Why Do Cats Thump Their Tails when Lying Down? This is a question that I often get asked by friends, family, and even people who have just met me. It’s an interesting one as the tail movement has quite a few different meanings attached to it. In general, cats use their tails for balance when leaping from place to place and sometimes also as a counterbalance from their front legs for added stability when landing after those leaps. The tail allows them to judge whether or not they would make it over a distance safely if they were to jump off of something to land on top of another object.
However, the tail thumping we humans see happens not during jumping but mostly while lying down – usually before going to sleep at night or after waking up in the morning. There are a couple of reasons for this behavior. Firstly, cats are known to have very sensitive hearing, especially in the higher frequencies – they can hear things that our human ears cannot. Cats’ tails work as a type of antenna which helps them judge whether or not something is around them by how it affects the air particles. Many times when cats are dropping off to sleep, they will thump their tail on the floor to get any noises out of their bodies so that other animals won’t be able to hear them coming while hunting for food at night time.
Secondly, many people believe that cats also use this noise as a form of communication with other cats in the area who aren’t necessarily part of the same family group/clan/etc. By thumping their tails, the cat can send a message (often as part of mating rituals) to others saying that they are looking for a fight or attempting to frighten other animals off.
Finally, cats use the noise of their tail hitting the ground as a way of leaving behind what we might consider “signposts” so that other animals will know this cat has been here and has marked its territory so, therefore, do not enter and take over this area without fear of confrontation. You may have noticed your cat beginning to thump his tail at regular intervals when you bring another new animal into the house – he is essentially marking his territory with this gesture and warning off any future visitors from venturing onto his usual resting place!
Of course, there are other reasons why your cat may choose to thump his tail. Sometimes it can be a way of showing submission and pleading for forgiveness if he has argued with another animal such as another cat or human family member. It could also mean that the animal is feeling happy and contented with life! Thumping a cat’s tail can also help to attract attention from those around them after all, most animals (including us humans) respond better to things that make noise rather than those that are quiet – perhaps this is a unique instinct that helps cats survive in the wild.