Why does my cat hold his tail forward over his body?

  • I've got a fair amount of experience with cats, but I've never seen this posture in another cat.

    My one cat holds his tail forward, arching over his back, with the tip just a few inches behind the back of his head.

    His tail seems to have the normal range of motion, but he always holds it in the same position when walking or standing.

    He's a neutered male, if that is relevant.

    Is there a physical reason behind this, or is it some behavioral indicator, or related to his social status relative to our other cats?

    We had a cat that stuck one of her back feet out in front of her while sitting down. We took her to the vet, who poked and prodded and gave her all sorts of range-of-motion and joint pain tests. The verdict on why she sat that way? "It's more comfortable." All cats are furry little weirdos; some just have more unique habits than others.

    My neutered male cat is a long haired cat that also holds his tail curving over his back almost touching his head. I wondered if it was a particular breed of cat that happens to have this genetic mutation. I was thinking Persian because he looks to have some in him.

  • Ash

    Ash Correct answer

    8 years ago

    My cat does a similar thing, except his curls some instead of being flat over his back. According to my vet, this sort of thing, where the tail rests on their back, is a genetic mutation that some cats have. It isn't painful and doesn't cause them any harm, it is just a difference in how their tail rests on their body. Most cats cannot pull their tail over themselves in that particular way, as their body structure prevents it, but your cat (and mine, and many others) were just born with a mutation that allows them to do this.

    +1 one of my four cats does this. I make fun of her for having an upside down tail.

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