Why do Cats Chase their Tails?

Why do Cats Chase their Tails

There can be numerous reasons as to why your cat is chasing his tail. Cats think themselves to be more sophisticated than other animals. 

They do not like to do silly things like chasing their own tail. But there are certain situations where a cat does so. 

Here are a number of reasons why a cat chases its tail. 

  1. To get attention- little kittens chase their tail because they are new to the world. Oblivious to all the surrounding, figuring everything out. But sometimes a cat does this kind of behaviour to get attention from their owners. Maybe you have been a little too busy with everything else. Maybe you have gotten another animal in the house and probably taking care of that animal more than your cat. They might get jealous and try to regain your love and care by doing things that he or she thinks may impress you. Cats are quick to pick up new stimuli and they can try to do this to make us pay attention to them. Just like that when they notice that we are being amused and paying attention to them when they try and chase their tails they are more likely to do this type of behaviour more often. It just shows that they love their owners and want to please them. This is mostly noticed in the older cats. 
  2. When he gets bored- If your cat starts to chase his tail it might be a sign that he is getting bored. He probably had his food and now he wants some play time. Sometimes they get bored with their old toys and puzzles, just like us when we do not have anything to do we also get bored. If you see your cat is getting bored, play with him or try putting him into different exercises to release his surplus energy. Buy your cat some new toys, something that is constructive. You do not want to come home to a bored cat and a pile of chewed up things left by him.
  3. Medical reason- There can be serious medical reasons as to why your cat is chasing his or her tail. One of them can be skin allergy. There can be skin allergy in your cat’s tail which is why your cat is trying to check it. Sometimes when your cat goes outside he might injure his tail in some way. For certain reasons if he can not groom that place with his saliva then it can spread to some kind of allergy. Another reason is food allergy. Food allergies are rare to affect the cat’s tail area but in some cases it was declared positive. When the allergies start affecting the bottom area of the cat then your cat will try to chase its tail. He is not exactly chasing the tail though it may look like it. Worms are another reason your cat is frequently chasing its tail. It is not comfortable for your cat when worms invade their private parts. So, keep an eye on your fur-ball and check for signs like allergies, any kind of wounds etc. your cat might get disturbed by fleas that stay between the tail and his butt. There are other areas too where a flea can reside. If you see that your cat is chasing his tail it is recommended that you take him to a vet to get him checked. 
Why do Cats Chase their Tails
  1. Neurological problem- Neurological problems can also be blamed for your kitty cat’s behaviour. Your cat can have feline hyperesthesia which is a syndrome where your cat will have extra sensitivity in their back. This implies that when being touched along the spine your cat may get a tingling feeling and start chasing its tail. 
  2. For fun- your fur-ball can be much more intelligent than you think. Cats do not chase their tails often. But I have seen some who stare at their wagging tail. Researchers have declared that some cats try to attack their own tail because of their latent or hidden predatory instincts. This type of etiquette is mostly seen in cats while they are playing. 
  3. Grooming- Grooming is another big reason your cat may want to get a hold of his tail. As a cat owner myself I see my cat chasing his tail just to lick it clean. I do check him to see if he has any wounds or any infection. But if there is not then there is nothing to get hyped about. Grooming is a very important routine for all cats. Grooming relates to their health and hygiene but also adds to their safety.

Is tail chasing normal in cats?

As a cat owner, I have noticed this behavior in my cat sometimes and I have not found any problems whatsoever. He was just playing. Your cat can chase its tail for multiple reasons. 

If your furry friend is just messing with its tail and not doing anything that can harm his tail then you do not need to worry. In this case he is just playing.

But if the cat is also biting his tail to a point that it grows into something infectious then you need to take him to a vet. There can be multiple reasons for this behaviour. 

If the owner stays away for a long time, out of boredom the kitty might start doing this type of behavior. There is nothing to worry about in this case alo.

So all in all please keep a keen eye towards your cat, if you do not notice any injuries on your kitty’s tail then do not worry otherwise take him to a vet or you can consult a pet helpline if you are too anxious about your pet’s health. There is nothing wrong to be protective of your pets.

What about cats who swat their cat siblings’ tails

What about cats who swat their cat siblings’ tails?

When you let your cat be undisciplined he or she will be undisciplined. So, you have to end any kind of destructive behavior that your cat might pick up from other cats. 

The first advice is when you see your cats chasing each other’s tail and kind of biting it you  have to determine if they are doing it playfully or they are being aggressive. 

If they are chasing and goofing around playfully there is no harm done. Nothing wrong in this type of behavior. Dogs also do that but specially kittens and puppies do this type of behavior.

But if your babies are being aggressive then it is a more serious issue. They can seriously injure themselves. This type of conduct also wrecks bad behavior, fierce nature and a bad temperament. 

So when you see your babies fighting too aggressively distract their energy to some toy or food or something more positive.

What should I do if my cat is biting her tail?

If you see your cat biting its tail you should not be worried unless it is occurring multiple times a day and for a long period of time. Even 10 seconds is a very long time for a cat. Some cats cause major injuries when they keep on biting their tails.

 Sometimes it needs medical attention like antibiotics, cleaning and eventually going to vet for a surgery. To prevent these situations observe your pet friend as these can create a cycle of injuring and reinjuring the tail. 

If you notice this behavior go to a vet. The vet usually recommends dermatology workups. Skin workups are very important whenever there is something going on with the skin. It is not always a common cause of tail, biting is certainly much easier to treat. 

There are lists of different probabilities for the underlying cause of tail biting habits. Some of them are quite hard to diagnose. Tail biting is treated often in a symptomatic way by making sure that cats have an enriched environment. So if there is any anxiety related or stress related component to the behavior that the cat has a time budget that is less likely to allow providing the tail. 

In other words keeping your cat busy is an effective way. You can also cover the cat’s body with a towel right around the lower back portion and the tail can be helpful. Because if the cat can not see his tail he might not bite it.

Bandaging your cat can be helpful in some cases though it should not be performed without an expert veterinarian. This is a difficult procedure and you do not want to do this all by yourself as it can hamper the relationship or the bond between you and your cat.

How do you stop a cat from chasing his tail?

To know how to stop your cat from doing a certain thing you need to know why your cat is doing that in the first place.

 As I have mentioned before there are many factors as to why your cat is chasing his own tail. There can be physical problems as well as neurological problems too. 

First if we talk about physical problems then there are problems like flea allergy, irritation, worms etc. 

In these cases it is best to take the cat to a vet, there are certain medications that can help. Same goes for the psychological problem.

Cat chasing tail and growling

If your cat is chasing its tail and at the same time growling at it then he or she might have either flea allergy or seizure or bladder issues(this affects cats mostly who are in between 1 to 4 years old. Some cats can feel uncomfortable when they have bladder issues) or FHS. 

However a vet only diagnoses a cat as FHS only when other possible diseases rule out. Because there are no actual tests for this disease.

But this is rare. When you see this attitude in your cat towards its tail try to observe other symptoms like any injury in his tail. FHS can be caused by many things like moving to a new house, having a new pet in the home, letting your cat be alone with a sitter, having a new roommate, arrival of a new person, arrival of a baby in the home etc.

Cat chasing tail and growling

So, anything that can cause you cute pet cat stress can cause FHS. Because stress actually causes FHS.

If you see self harming behavior in your cat then you should immediately take your cat to a vet.

FHS can affect any brees but it affects the most to —

  1. Siamese
  2. Burmese
  3. Abyssinians
  4. Himalayans

This affects cats mostly who are in between 1 to 4 years old. Some cats can feel uncomfortable when they have bladder issues.

There are some treatments like certain medications and management of the behavior issues. Acupuncture is another method that has been used successfully for some people.



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