Get Your Cat Neutered & Practice Good Hygiene
As tail chasing can also be caused by Supracaudal Gland Hyperplasia, you could also limit this behavior by having your cat neutered. This will prevent several other possible conditions, including unwanted pregnancies of female cats, fewer stray animals, prostate problems, and testicular tumors.
The other thing you can do is to practice good hygiene. This means grooming your cat at least once or twice a week to prevent mats from forming. Cats with long hair need grooming every single day.
Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails So Many Reasons
One weird but interesting habit of cats is tail-chasing. While it may be a cute sight for your little kitten to chase his tail, it may be a sign of something serious for an adult cat.
However, cats often chase their own tails for several reasons. In this article, youll learn about all the reasons why cats chase their tails.
Tail Chasing In Adult Cats What Does It Mean
kittens hunting for their own tail is normal behavior, but if it is an adult kitty, it is a reason to be wary.
One of the reasons for this behavior is lack of physical activity you do not play with the cat and he/she becomes bored. Or maybe he/she doesnt even have toys with which they could play or they have rolled up somewhere.
So they have to come up with games with their own tail.
But not always the reason is just attention deficit. Often, tail play can be a symptom of a serious illness such as:
- Violation of intellectual development.
- The pet may be disturbed by parasitic infections for example, fleas that bite on the tail and cause unpleasant itching sensations.
- Itching can be caused not only by parasites, but also by an allergic reaction to food, litter for the tray, household chemicals, new furniture, etc.
- In fact, chasing the tail can be regarded as obsessive movements that arise during various stresses and neuroses.
- Often the reason for running after the tail can be its injury. The cat could injure and even break its tail during active games, falling out of a window or fighting with other animals.
- Another fairly common cause is associated with trauma to the anus. cats can be disturbed by constipation, parasites, glandular blockages and inflammation.
- On very rare occasions, a cat may chase its tail to attract the attention of its owners. Also, the kitty may try to catch and bring you his ponytail as a gift, as they do with dead animals.
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When To Seek Medical Attention
Tail chasing is usually a simple pass time or way to alleviate boredom, but it can also be an indicator of a medical concern. Dr. Richard Goldstein says when an animal is pointing to a certain body part, consider all the body parts in the area that could be the source of a problem.
Medical issues that can cause a cat to chase her tail can range far and wide, but the there are a few more common reasons:
- Skin/Food Allergies: If your cat touched something or has been exposed to something she is allergic to her tail may be itching or otherwise in discomfort which may cause her to chase it.
- Feline Hyperesthesia: While the cause isnt known, VetInfo and PetPlace indicate it can be thought of as a form of Cat Schizophrenia. It sometimes results in a fixation with the tail, often manifested as swishing of the tail, chasing of the tail or attacking the tail. It can also cause frantic grooming of the flank and tail, often leading to hair loss.
- Impacted Anal Glands: If the glands get impacted it may be painful to poop and your cat may be more likely to go after her own tail according to PetMD.
- Fleas: Fleas often live on just above the base of the tail and on the butt of pets. Even if your pet isnt allergic flea bites can be very painful. If your cat so happens to be allergic a single bite can cause quite an episode.
Question: Why Does My Cat Attack Her Tail
Monkey attacks her own tail. Marlene says Monkey did this for a short time after she was spayed a year ago. “She started again intermittently about a month ago and the frequency has increased. Now Monkey hisses and attacks her tail, hissing, and swatting at it, all day and night. She will stop for short times and then start again. We have tried talking to her, picking her up, and squirting her with water from a squirt bottle.”
The veterinarian could find nothing wrong and suggested it was a behavioral issue and suggested tests and possibly kitty Prozac, but they’re beyond the owner’s current budget. Instead, the veterinarian suggested “calming drops” placed in Monkey’s water, and Marlene got a “Good Behavior Calming Collar” which have helped “a tiny bit but not much.
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When Becomes Concerning A Cat Chasing Its Tail
Any sudden change in your cats behavior should give you a heads up that something is amiss. A cat that has never chased its tail before suddenly begins to do so is a red flag that you should look into. The majority of health conditions that cause tail-chasing have signs that you should be aware of. If your cat suddenly starts chasing their tail, check for fleas, wounds, infections, or anything unusual. Any other unexpected behaviors, such as changes in affection, hunger, or energy level, should be noticed.
Tail chasing is entertaining, but keep an eye out for self-inflicted injuries and infections if your cat begins chasing and chewing their tail. Even if your cats tail-chasing is normal behavior, biting can have far more catastrophic repercussions. A veterinarian should constantly evaluate any injuries or bite wounds on the tail.
Is Your Cat Lonely
Cats crave attention and are often the pets that are home alone quite frequently. Unless they have another feline friend or even a dog to keep them company, their pent up energy may induce tail chasing.
Indoor cats do not often have the same activity opportunities of cats that spend most of their time outdoors. Outside they can chase birds, mice, blowing leaves or any number of other fast moving objects. They can also run around more often and expend their energy.
When you leave a cat alone inside the house for excessive periods, they may start showing signs of being lonely and craving attention. Aside from chasing and over-grooming their tails, they may start being more vocal or even start getting into things theyre not supposed to.
Lonely cats can also be clingy cats and start to follow you around everywhere like a puppy. If your cat starts acting like its lonely, shes looking for some much-needed attention and her tail just isnt going to do the trick.
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Whats Your Cats General Disposition When Hes Chasing His Tail
Last but not least, observe your cats temperament and disposition keenly while he chases his tail.
Is the cat happy and playful? Does he howl, growl, or exhibit other signs of aggression? Does the animal limp or run in a manner likely to suggest hes in pain?
Once youve identified the root cause of the problem, the next logical thing to do is take an appropriate course of action.
If your cat whirls out of excitement, boredom, anxiety, or predatory instincts, you may consider getting him enough toys.
Toys are a major positive distraction. They can keep a cat stimulated and prevent him from developing aberrant behaviors, such as whirling. While choosing the right toys for your kitto, insist on interactive ones, such as ball launchers, wand toys, and puzzle toys.
Also, avoid drastic routine changes as that may trigger anxiety and cause your cat to whirl. Its okay to move homes or repaint your kittos sleeping area. However, go slow on these projects to allow your cat ample time to familiarize himself with the routine changes.
If your cat chases his tail in a desperate attempt to draw your attention to something, be keen to learn what the animal is trying to communicate. It could be that youre not petting, grooming, exercising, or feeding him to his satisfaction. Basically, take note of whatever the animal is trying to draw your attention to.
Why Do Cats Chase And Bite Their Tails
A cat chasing its tail is a natural trait in animals and it may be doing it because the cat is in a playful mood. Tail chasing behavior is instinctive, and it indicates that your furry friend is bored and trying to kill time. When a cat is chasing its tail, it may be compulsive to hone its hunting skills. Young kittens, however, may be seen tail chasing as a fun-loving activity, and they may find it more playful than toys. Regardless, if you think your feline has developed an obsession with chasing its tail, it indicates that your cat is probably bored and chasing its tail for stimulation. If you find this cat-chasing-its-tail behavior annoying, you can get a toy for your cat to entertain itself.
Sometimes tail-chasing behavior is also accompanied by tail biting. Although tail chasing is considered normal, tail biting can be a matter of medical concern. When a cat is chasing its tail, it may seem aggravated and continue to catch and bite it too. A cat chasing and biting its tail can be triggered by a lack of good routine and stimulation in its environment. The conflict and anxiety associated with lack of cleanliness or boredness frustration can lead to displacement behavior in the cat and is a medical concern.
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How Frequently Do Cats Chase Their Tails
What do cat to-do lists look like? Stare out of the window, steal socks, lick paws, cuddle in your lap, chase tail, take naps, eat, and much more. So when you see a cat chase its tail, consider its age, environment, stress levels, cleanliness, diet, or any other environmental factors. Cats chase their tail as an expression of a predator instinct. If you see a cat chase its tail, it would be better not to try to stop it, which for some might cause stress and aggression in the cat. Cats chasing their tails is not a medical concern, but if the cat seems to be chasing its tail more frequently, biting or knawing at it, pay attention. So when your cat goes on its next tail chase, do not be alarmed, it could be just normal feline behavior. The cat could be attacking its tail due to its predator instinct.
Studies reveal that kittens chase their tail more frequently than adult cats. If your cat is not very playful, but your cat tends to play with its tail frequently, then consider looking for bites on the tail or missing fur. Feline hyperesthesia is a skin sensitivity caused by severe itching near the tail. Take your cat to the veterinarian for examinations to rule out any underlying skin problems. Sometimes if the cat is allergic to any food, it can also lead to the hyperesthesia condition. It is a painful disease, and when your adult cat suddenly seems to be obsessed with its tail, it would be advisable to get it checked for any signs of hyperesthesia.
Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails We Investigate
Of all the outrageous behaviors that cats exhibit, very few are as confusing as watching a cat relentlessly chase her tail. Sometimes she seems happy spinning in dizzying circles once or twice, and other times, these seemingly innocent play sessions end with her gnawing on her tail until it bleeds. It doesnt make sense why do cats chase their tails?
Cats typically chase their tails to fulfill their hunting instinct or out of boredom. More often, the explanation for this behavior is an underlying medical issue. Feline hyperesthesia syndrome, stud tail, compulsive disorders, or fleas may lead a feline to chase or attack her tail!
The good news is that your cats bizarre tail-chasing behavior might have a relatively innocent explanation. But sometimes, the cause is a medical condition that may require immediate treatment. To learn about all of the reasons cats chase their tails, read on!
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Is It Normal That A Cat Chases Other Cats Tails
Sometimes cats wont choose if theyre chasing their tail or another cats tail. Many owners see this as an attack and are worried about whether its normal. However, as long as the two felines are playing and there isnt aggression, there is no need to be concerned. They are just playing around together and having fun.
However, a completely different story is when a cat attacks another cats tail, but its accompanied by aggression. In this case, youll notice the cats ears facing backward, they will growl, and the altercation wont be fun. This is not normal and could lead to a catfight, so try to separate your felines before things get nasty.
Why Does A Cat Chase Its Own Tail
Cats are predatory animals by nature and when they are kittens, they tend to pounce on almost anything that moves near them. You can have a lot of fun watching a kitten or a young cat chase a light beam, wrestle with shoelaces or tangle itself up in a ball of yarn.
Their tails are also something nearby that moves, wags and twitches. Its practically an irresistible object that they need to chase due to their predatory instincts. Indoor cats especially do not have the opportunities that outside cats do to act on their innate instincts, and so they need other ways to expend their energy.
As kittens get older, however, pouncing on and chasing moving objects, including their own tails, may be a less common activity. If you see that your adult cat is still chasing its tail, there are a few good reasons for it and some remedies for curbing the activity.
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Get Toys That The Cat Loves To Chase
If youre not comfortable with your cats tail-chasing antics, you may find him an alternative. Some toys can give your cat more pleasure than chasing his tail.
You can try using wand toys or any toy that dangles on a string. The toy will hang from the stick, allowing you to sway it and be in control of where it will go. You can even move it around to make the cat jump and reach for it.
Another good idea is a laser pointer. To use this item, youll need to point the light in a particular direction as your cat gets closer to it.
But, make sure to avoid choosing a toy that looks like a tail. Since you want to discourage him from chasing his tail, youll need to stay away from toys that will only remind him of the activity.
Are Cats And Dogs Aware That Their Tails Are Attached To Them
Sometimes when I watch my dog chase his tail, I wonder if it hurts! After all, chomping down on a hand or leg doesn’t exactly sound pleasant for us humans. Fortunately, our pets are more cognizant than I thought. “Cats and dogs are aware that their tails are connected to them,” she explained. “Though puppies and kittens may still be in the process of learning that. While they may not think of their tails in that way, they can move them at will and feel when touched, and they respond to this.”
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What Does It Mean When A Cat Chases Their Tail
The answer to this can often depend on the age of your cat. If you have a kitten or a younger cat the reason is probably to play or to explore.
However, if you have an older cat and it is chasing its tail this could be for different and more concerning reasons. It is abnormal behaviour for an older cat to chase its tail.
A second factor to consider is if this behaviour is new or if it has changed in frequency. Any major changes in your cats behaviour such as suddenly chasing its tail or chasing its tail very frequently can be a sign of a bigger issue.
The third factor is your cats demeanor whilst playing with its tail. Is your cat playful or is it becoming aggressive? If your cat is growling or hissing then this may indicate a problem rather than your kitty behaving playfully.
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Tail Chasing In Kitten What Does It Mean
Kittens start chasing their own tail from childhood as they begin to walk on their own. Thus, they play, and in the course of the game they acquire a vital skill they learn to hunt.
Little kittens are rather silly: they do not yet understand that the tail is a part of their own body. In the same way, they can hunt for the mothers tail, for the masters legs, for a string, or a teaser. But when they are not at hand, their tail can go into business.
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