a tabby cat with arched back brushing against a pair of leg and wrapping their tail around legs

Why Does My Cat Slap Me With His Tail?

Do you ever wonder why your cat slaps you with his tail? It’s a common behavior in all felines, males, and females. Tail slapping is a sign that your cat is trying to catch your attention, but they do it for several reasons.

Cats are intelligent animals, and they communicate with owners using body language and verbal cues. People out there claim their cats talk to them in cat language, and they can have full conversations with them for minutes.

However, all cat owners notice a set of behaviors in their pet that the animal uses when it’s trying to catch your attention. Tail slapping is one of its favorites, offering your furry friend a versatile communications tool.

Here are the top reasons why your cat is hitting you with his tail.


We’ve all heard the saying, “curiosity killed the cat.” The fact is cats are inquisitive animals, and they want to know everything you’re up to around the home.

The cats need to investigate all your activities extends to everything you do in life. We’re sure you’ve all had the experience of your cat between your legs slapping you with their tail as you go through the grocery bags on the counter.

They’ll do this while you’re folding laundry, doing the washing up, and a variety of tasks where they want to know what you’re doing is more valuable than spending time with them.

Your cat might stand around your feet and wrap its tail around your leg, tapping the tip against your calf muscle.


a tabby cat getting a cuddle

Your cat flicks its tail to show affection to you. If you’re sitting on the couch with your cat watching a movie, and you start petting them, they might start to purr and lightly flick their tail.

However, most cats don’t like petting for long periods like dogs, and when they stop flicking their tail, it’s usually a sign to stop touching them – or risk the claws and teeth. For those few moments you are touching your cat, it might lightly slap you with its tail as a sign of appreciation.

If you’re sitting at the table talking to a friend, your cat may wander over to you or your friend and walk between your legs or sit at your feet. They might start slapping you lightly with their tail to see if you pay attention to them.


Tail slapping is also an indicator of fear or annoyance in your kitty. They might sit next to you looking out the window, slapping you with their tail. It’s an attempt to get you to look at what they’re looking at, but most of the time, it’s nothing.

If you’re petting your cat and they start tail slapping, it’s a sign they’re getting annoyed with you touching them. Stop it right there, or they’ll likely take a swipe at you.

Sometimes, your cat might wrap its tail around you when you go to enter a new room. It’s a way they feel secure, sort of like holding your hand. They’ll follow you with their tail wrapped around you as you move through the room.


As mentioned, tail slapping is also indicative of aggressive behavior or anger in your kitty. If your over-petting your kitty, stop when they start the tail slapping.

As all cat owners know, felines have a way of being incredibly annoying when they feel they want to teach you a lesson. Some cats will knock objects off tables with their tails, acting as they did it on accident.

close up of a badass tabby cat snarling at an unseen foe

Cats might also hit you with their tail when you’re watching TV. They might want to play and see you engaged with the screen more than with them, leaving them feeling frustrated.

Cats can also use tail slapping to display anger or frustration with other pets in the house. If one cat wants to play, and the other wants no part of it, they may slap their tail as a warning to the other feline not to approach.


If it’s early morning, and your cat wants to go outside, or it’s feeling bored, it might come and try to wake you up. Tail slapping is one of your cat’s favorite communication tools to help it stir you from your slumber.

They’ll sit next to your head and slap your face gently with their tail until you get up or shoo them away. If you respond to this behavior, then your cat is more likely to use it on you again.

Your cat may also slap you with its tail as a sign it wants a treat, or it’s feeling hungry. If you notice the behavior around feeding time, it’s trying to remind you that it’s nearly dinner. Best you get in the kitchen.

You’ll probably find your cat starts weaving between your legs as you prepare its meal. It might stop and tap your leg with its tail and start mewing or purring in anticipation.

In Closing – Tell Us Your Tales of Tail Slapping

Cats slap us with their tails for all types of reasons. It’s a cute behavior, and it’s more of a gentle tap than a slap.

From feelings of frustration to excitement and curiosity, your cat uses tail slapping as a communication tool to get your attention and let you know how it’s feeling.

Did we leave anything out? Why do you think your cat slaps you with its tail? Let us know in the comments!