Why Do Cats Tails Puff Up When They Die? (5 Reasons)

Cats use different ways of communication. The biggest one is communication by tail, when your feline friend’s tail is straight down, it means her mood is not good or having an aggressive mood. 

When the tail is curled at the top, it means she wants to play or be in a friendly mood. 

When her tail is beneath her body in a curved position, it means she is not sure, confused, nervous, etc. 

Every cat owner needs to learn their cat’s tail language because it will improve their relationship with their furry friend. I know, it’s difficult to learn the full cat’s tail language but you can learn some common tail language signs, so you can respond in a better way. 

Let’s move toward today’s topic. I will share five reasons why do Cats Tails Puff Up when they Die? Read the following to know all about it. 

Why Do Cats’ Tails Puff Up When They Die?

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It’s a sad moment for every pet owner when their pet dies and leaves them alone. When a cat dies their tails puff up, however, it’s a part of the natural dying process of them. 

When a cat dies, her tail may puff up because of a phenomenon which is called a cadaveric spasm. Whereas, cadaveric spasm is a very rare and poorly understood occurrence, it could happen after death. However, this occurs in the body when the muscles of the body undergo a sudden and intense contraction, 

This may cause the body to assume a distorted posture or also cause certain body parts, like the tail.

Following can be the reasons why cats’ tails may puff up when they die. 

  1. Cat having Stress or Fear: 

Before death, if a cat is under heavy stress or fear, their body may release high levels of stress hormones and those hormones can cause the muscles to contract, possibly it may lead to cadaveric spasms.

  1. Sudden Death of Cat:

In case a cat dies suddenly, without having any earlier symptoms or illnesses, it is possible that after death it could trigger an involuntary muscle contraction.

  1. A Drop In Blood Pressure

As a cat reaches her end of life, her heart pumps blood abnormally or could stop at once.

This may trigger the cat’s hair erector muscle to contract and during this process, the tail puffs up.

  1. Environmental factors: 

Environmental factors, like extreme heat or cold, can cause the cat’s body to suffer from changes after death, including cadaveric spasms.

  1. Engaged in Physical activity: 

Before death, If a cat was engaged in any physical activity, her muscles may be more prone to contracting after death.

why do cats tail puff up when they die

What does it mean, If Cat’s Tail Is Held Low to the Ground?

When a cat lowers her tail below the level of their back, it’s a sign that she is frightened. Although, it’s possible that she is in pain or she gets terrified. 

There can be other possible reasons just like those mentioned above. Learn such types of cat tail signs, it will help you to understand your cat’s feelings. 

Why does the Cat Tail up?

Usually when cat’s express their confidence by holding their tail high in the air. It’s a sign that the cat is happy or in a good mood. Maybe she wants to play with you


Do cats try to talk to us?

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Yes, usually cats try to talk to humans but unfortunately, we can’t understand their language and she also doesn’t have facial expressions. But as we spend time with our feline, as time passes we understand their signs.

Can you tell if a cat is happy by their tail?

Yes sure, if your cat is happy, her tail is straight up in the air, and usually it may be a little curve to the end. This shows that the cat is happy or excited. There are many other tail signs, you can learn.

Why do cats touch you with their tail?

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If your cat touches you with her tail, there can be many possible reasons, such as your feline friend expressing affection, relaxation, and love to you. It’s possible that she’s demanding from you or wants to play with you.

Closing Thoughts

There can be any reason but for you, I have mentioned 5 reasons why a cat’s tail may puff up when she dies. However, the main reason is also discussed above. 

It’s a horrible experience for any cat owner to see her cat in this condition, but it’s a natural process. This article will be helpful for you. Learn different tail signs of cats, this will make your bond stronger with your furry friend.