A cat has the capacity to fluff up his tail and the fur along his back to stand erect at a right angle to the skin, referred to as piloerection. This gives the cat a much larger silhouette and is used, together with an arched back and a sideways stance, to signal defensive aggression to other cats. Some cats that experience a sudden fright will instinctively puff up their tail before investigating the perceived danger a little further.
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