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Why Does My Cat Hit Me With Her Tail? 5 Vet Approved Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat with lifted tail

Why Does My Cat Hit Me With Her Tail? 5 Vet Approved Reasons


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you have ever wondered why your cat likes to hit you with her tail, that’s precisely the question we’ll answer in this short guide. We’ve talked with several pet owners and searched the internet to get as many reasonable explanations as possible. Join us while we discuss why your cat might exhibit the strange behavior of hitting you with their tail.Cat ball divider 1

The 5 Reasons for Cat Slapping You With Their Tail

Cats are often lost in their own worlds, and their behavior is a continual source of amusement, but sometimes, their strange acts frustrate us, like when they slap us with their tails. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Showing Interest

Cats are known for being curious, and their need for investigating often puts them in the way. You have probably experienced this first-hand many times as you try to put away groceries from the supermarket or fold clothes. Your cat’s desire to be in the center of the action makes completing these simple tasks extremely difficult.

If you shoo away your pet while you are trying to complete these tasks, your cat may be trying to signal to you that they are interested in what you are doing. They don’t want you to shoo them away when they gently tap or wrap their tail around your leg.

2. She Loves You

Cats have a strange way of showing affection compared to many other animals, especially dogs. They can only tolerate petting for a short time and are generally not big cuddlers or snugglers. If they like you, they sit by you and follow you around the house but will stay just out of reach.

A cat seated at your feet, gently hitting you with their tail, is likely showing you a sign of affection not all that different from petting you. It can be a sign of deep love if your cat is trying to mimic your affectionate behavior.

cat smelling with tail
Image Credit: succo, Pixabay

3. Scared

If your cat wraps their tail around your legs while you investigate another room, it can mean they are apprehensive or scared. In that case, the tail wrapping is like holding hands. Your cat is nervous and wants to hold on to you while you investigate.

They don’t want you to pick them up because they may need to get away quickly, but they want to go with you, so they wrap their tail around you for safety. Of course, you might be going into the other room for a pencil or to answer the phone, so the behavior seems strange to you.

4. Angry

Your cat has limited ways of showing affection and showing anger. However, they have ways to communicate; they show dissatisfaction by being annoying. Many cats will knock items off the shelves, tear up furniture, and break litter training using your bed or favorite chair instead.

It’s also not uncommon for your cat to wait until you are sleeping to hit you in the face with their tail. They can also hit you with their tail while you are watching TV. The best way to prevent this behavior is to find out what the cat is mad about and correct it. If it was a one-time incident, you can wait a few days for it to pass.

cat angry
Image By: lagunabluemolly, Pixabay

5. They Want Attention

It’s difficult to ignore a cat continuously hitting you with their tail. We can only assume that your pet is fully aware of this and is trying to get your attention, especially if it has worked in the past. Your cat is likely trying to communicate something with you. Most likely, they want you to supply pets or a treat.

If the tail hitting is becoming annoying and you have narrowed it down to a call for treats, you can use a cat toy to provide entertainment and slowly dispense treats.


We hope you have found this look into why your cat hits you with her tail entertaining and informative. In our experience, our cats hit us with their tail when they want pets or treats. They will wrap their tail around us when we bring home groceries to show us that they want to know what’s inside the bags. If you have learned something new and discovered what causes your cat to hit you with her tail, please share this short guide on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured iImage Credit: Natalya Kokhanova, Shutterstock

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