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What's His Tail Telling You? catipedia_behavior.png

Understand how to read your cat’s body language.

Cats can use vocalizations—like meows and purrs—to let us know what they want, like or dislike. But a large part of their communication is based on body language—much of it conducted through their tails.

The primary purpose of your cat’s tail is balance—it helps when walking out on a limb, and more importantly, it helps him flip in the air to land on his feet should he fall off that limb. But our domesticated cats use their tails to communicate with people and other cats, sending messages with their tail based on its position and shape.

The position we're most familiar with is the straight up "greeting." The tail is vertical like a pencil, and you usually see it when your cat is happy to see you. If the tip of your cat’s tail is bent slightly, it generally means he's very happy.

A tail straight up with the fur bristled out communicates the opposite meaning: Your cat feels threatened. Usually when your cat is in this mode, he'll stand sideways to the perpetrator, back arched, in order to appear as large as possible.

A cat often uses his tail to communicate intentions in order to avoid conflict. A cat being petted will communicate that he no longer likes it with a slow swish of the tail—it’s a first warning. If the unwanted petting continues, your cat may bat at you with a front paw or get up and walk away.

When your cat is particularly agitated he will whip his tail rapidly and may accompany that with a low growl. When stalking prey—real or toy—your cat’s tail will be straight out, twitching or quivering. This is usually seen when the cat's whole body is spring-loaded, in pre-pounce position. This subtle movement of the tail communicates his intentions to other cats without alerting their prey.



Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Our Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We recommend signing up to become a member of our MyPerks loyalty program to receive exclusive offers. We also offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. Make sure to watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer as well.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Help! My cat has a health issue and I’m not sure what to do.

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat.