Skip to content

Why does my cat slap me with his tail? 12 surprising reasons

  • by
Why does my cat slap me with his tail

Have you asked yourself “why does my cat slap me with his tail?” It is typical behavior in cats. Tail slapping indicates that your cat is trying to catch your attention, but they do it for many other reasons as well.

Cats are intelligent creatures that interact with their owners through body language and verbal signals. You can tell if a cat is happy, annoyed, or upset by looking at his tail.

Cats use their tails to catch your attention. A cat may slap you with the tail when irritated, lonely, affectionate, worried, or hungry. This is a typical way for cats to communicate, and there should be no cause for concern.

Below are some of the reasons for this behavior:

1. Showing interest

Cats are curious and like to investigate everything and as a result they end up getting in our way while we are busy. 

I’m sure that you have often seen this behavior in your cat when attempting to store groceries or fold clothes. Because your feline friend likes to be in the center of the action, completing simple tasks around the house can be challenging.

If you shoo your cat away, the slap of the tail may be your cat’s way of indicating interest in what you are doing .

When they softly tap or wrap their tail around your leg, they don’t want you to shoo them away.

2. Sign of affection 

Cats, unlike many other animals, notably dogs, have an unusual way of showing affection. 

They can usually tolerate petting only for a short time, and they are not huge cuddlers or snugglers. They will sit next to you and follow you about the house if they like you, but they will keep just out of reach.

A cat sitting at your feet, softly tail slapping you, is most likely showing you a display of affection similar to petting you. Imitating your style of giving affection is your cat’s way of saying, “I love you.”

3. Scared

If your feline friend slaps you and wraps his tail around your leg as you walk to another room, it could indicate that he is nervous or afraid.

In this case, tail wrapping is similar to holding your hand. Your cat is anxious and clings to you.

He doesn’t want you to pick him up because he may need to flee quickly. Since he wants to accompany you, he holds on to you with his tail for protection.

Of course, you could be going into the other room to get a pencil or to answer the phone, so the behavior may appear unusual to you.

4. Angry

Tail slapping is also a sign of aggressive behavior in your cat. Your cat has only a few ways to show affection and even fewer ways to express anger.

If a cat is not engaged in play or stalking something, the twitching tail movement indicates that they are irritated.

A quick flick of the tail almost always indicates that your cat is upset.

One of the ways your furry friend shows his anger or displeasure is by becoming annoying. Many cats will knock objects off shelves, chew up furniture, and even abandon litter training in favor of using your bed or favorite chair.

It’s also not uncommon for your cat to wait until you’re asleep before tail slapping you in the face. Your cat may even land a slap on your face while you are watching TV.

The easiest method to avoid this behavior is to figure out what is upsetting your cat and fix it. 

Allow your cat at least twenty minutes to calm down before approaching him again. If the cause of anger is your toddler yanking your cat’s tail or an aggressive cat, remove the troublemaker from the room to give your cat some space to relax again.

5. Needs attention 

It’s tough to ignore a cat whose tail is constantly slapping you. Your pet is most likely trying to get your attention, especially if it has previously worked. Tail slapping is your cat’s way of asking for a treat or petting.

6. It’s mealtime

If a cat is hungry, he will sometimes walk past and flick his tail angrily. This action indicates haste, as your cat is trying to tell you that he is eagerly awaiting his next meal.

If you are eating and your cat wants some of it, he may slap you with his tail.

Take corrective action if you find your cat becoming extremely agitated around mealtimes. If you continue to allow your cat to act out when hungry, the habit will worsen. 

Cats who are food motivated should not be rewarded with food when they misbehave.

7. Warning of danger 

As you go along the street, a friendly-looking cat approaches you and slaps you with his tail. 

You may be surprised to know that this seemingly friendly gesture is actually a warning sign of a nearby predator.

When a cat puffs up its tail like a bottle brush, he is alerting you to the presence of a “larger” cat or maybe something more dangerous nearby. In this situation, the message indicates that danger exists or that a more dominant cat is close.

The length of the cat’s tail and the speed with which it slaps against your leg tell a lot about the cat’s size, activity level, and intentions.

A short tail on a huge cat indicates the presence of a dominant cat nearby, while a large tail on a little cat indicates the presence of a smaller cat.

8. Your cat wants you to move 

A flick of the tail to the leg can indicate that you are in your cat’s way and that they want you to move. 

If you prevent your cat from entering a room, your cat may slap you with the tail to let you know that you are in the way. 

9. Irritated 

When your cat is irritated, he will strike you with his tail in a succession of fast, sharp touches. A quick flick of the tail is typically an indication that your cat is unhappy.

This can happen when you’re brushing his fur and he is ready for you to stop, or when you’re petting him, and he wants you to stop. A cat’s mood can shift quickly, and you can tell by looking at his tail.

Other signs that your cat is annoyed with you? Examine your cat’s ears to determine whether they are likewise pinned back and if they are sitting in a stiff, rigid position.

If you notice your cat engaging in these activities, the best thing you can do is ignore him and move away. Acting communicates typically to them that there is no threat or irritation present, which should help them settle down more quickly.

10. Ready for playtime

If it is an hour of the day when your cat generally has a lot of energy, they may come by and hit you with their tail to let you know its attention time.

Expect your cat to do this in the early morning or late evening, after he has finished dinner.

A playful cat will usually find a toy or anything to bat around and may even get the “zoomies” and run in circles around your house. When you see this, get your toys ready and get ready to play with your cat!

11. Accidental 

Your cat’s tail may accidentally strike you from time to time. Cats enjoy getting near their owners and may frequently dart around under your feet while you are working or moving around your home. When your cat is close to your feet, it is possible for them to accidentally bat their tail in your direction.

12. Saying hello

People shake hands or embrace one other to say hello, but cats can do the same thing with their tails. Consider it a friendly greeting if your cat hits you and wraps his tail around your leg or arm. Cats display this behavior to demonstrate that they are delighted to meet you.


Your cat’s tail can tell you a lot about his mood. Its an important part of a cat’s body language. You can understand your cat better by spending a bit of time to understand what the tail is saying.