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, you’ll learn about all the reasons why cats chase their tails.
Why do cats chase their tails?
Typically, young cats love to chase their tails just for the fun of it. But, the presence of fleas can also make your cat appear to be chasing her tail when she tries to reach it in order to get rid of them. Allergies can also lead to an itchy tail in cats. Certain medical conditions also make your adult cat chase her tail.
To have fun
The tail of a cat is almost always moving, and cats get attracted to moving objects. So, in the absence of who and what to play with, your kitten may resort to playing with his tail.
Your cat will go round and round to try and catch his tail.
Of course, she may never catch the tail, and she does not have to. The fun of the moment lies in the chasing itself. That’s why she’ll engage in it.
Only kittens and young cats do this. Thus, if your adult cat begins to chase her tail, it is a sign of a medical condition that warrants your attention.
When there are fleas on your cat’s body, they will stay on the tail, especially at the part where it is attached to the body. As they bite your cat for their blood meal, she’ll feel the bites and try to chase the fleas away by trying to reach the tail.
You may even see the cat trying to reach the base of her tail, making her look like he’s chasing his tail.
This implies that cats don’t chase their tails just to have fun. You’ll have to observe your feline pal’s behavior carefully.
Flea infestation isn’t something difficult to detect. You’ll definitely come across a few of them when bathing your cat.
To address your kitty pal’s tail-chasing, treat the flea infestation at the get-go. You can start by washing the body of your cat with flea shampoo.
You can even apply flea spray after bathing him. But, it is not enough to eliminate a flea infestation without getting rid of them in your apartment.
If your cat has fleas, they’re already in your home. However, you better treat your cat first before you go ahead and clean your apartment and stop the infestation once and for all.
Environmental and food allergies are common issues with cats. Some of these allergies could make their tails very itchy.
And, when their tails start to itch, cats will spin repetitively to try and scratch the itchy part. So, if your cat tries to reach his tail several times a day, it could be an allergy issue.
No one can help you with this issue better than a vet. If it is an allergy issue, the tail will not be the only itchy part of his body.
Your cat will try to scratch other parts too. Once your cat starts scratching different parts of his body, it is a sign that he’s reacting to an allergy.
And, to relieve the cat of his misery, your vet will prescribe antihistamines to stem the allergic reaction.
However, we don’t advise you to simply assume without getting your cat examined by a vet. Try to see a vet as soon as possible.
The longer you’ll wait, the longer your cat will scratch his body. If he scratches too hard, he could damage his skin.
Aside from allergies, an anal infection can cause your cat to chase its tail. One particular infection to watch out for is the Stud tail. This type of infection affects the cat’s sebaceous glands.
Normally, the sebaceous glands secrete oil that keeps that cat’s hair soft. These glands are located at the base of the tail. Thus, if the glands are infected, a crusty buildup occurs.
But, don’t worry. You can treat such infections with antibiotics. You’ll just have to let the vet take a look at your cat so he can prescribe what’s appropriate for its condition.
Another ailment that could lead to tail-chasing is Hyperesthesia syndrome. This causes a tingling sensation in the cat’s tail.
Any cat that is suffering from this condition will not allow you or anybody else to touch his tail. And when you mistakenly touch it, he’ll charge forward to evade you.
Tips on how to prevent tail-chasing in cats
While there are various reasons why your cat chases its tail, you can curb such a habit with certain solutions. Take a look at some of them here.
Get toys that the cat loves to chase
If you’re not comfortable with your cat’s 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, you’ll 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, you’ll need to stay away from toys that will only remind him of the activity.
Be a keen observer
If you don’t pay close attention to your cat, you may not know the difference between a cat trying to reach something on his behind and the one that is merely chasing its tail.
Many people just assume that both of them are chasing their tails since such actions look the same.
Thus, as a fur parent, you should know the difference because it matters. If you observe that your cat isn’t merely chasing his tail, better have your vet check on him immediately.
Though such a situation will scare you at first, they’re often treatable.
As a recap, cats chase their tails for fun, to chase fleas away, or to scratch their tails. More often, the third reason’s caused by an allergy, an infection, or another ailment.
Thus, always have it in mind that only kittens chase their tails for entertainment. An adult cat won’t chase his tail simply to have fun.