My cat is attacking its tail: 5 reasons why

For some time now, your cat has been adopting a strange behavior: it is chasing their own tail! Even if at first you found it cute, it now becomes somewhat disturbing. Especially since it sometimes even goes so far as to bite their tail and injure itself… To solve the problem, it is essential to understand what drives them to act like this. Here are the reasons that can push your cat to chase its tail!

1. It has fleas

If your cat suddenly starts reaching for its tail and chewing on the base of its tail, fleas are probably the cause. Indeed, they tend to lodge in this precise place, causing severe itching.

2. It is stressed

If a change has occurred in your cat’s environment (moving house, arrival of a new animal, change of routine, etc.), it is possible that this has caused them anxiety. Likewise if it suffers from separation anxiety. In order to externalize their stress, it then engages in unusual activities, such as grabbing their tail.

In this case, the only solution is to make your cat feel comfortable in its environment. To do this, give them more time than usual to play with them and cuddle them until it is completely reassured and used to their new life.

3. It is bored

When a cat is bored, it can become destructive, just like dogs, but also self- destructive. In addition, it may adopt stereotyped (repetitive) behaviors. So, to fight against boredom and have fun, it chases their tail.

In this case, all you have to do is enrich your cat’s environment by offering it new toys and accessories (cat tree, wall shelves, interactive toy, etc.). And above all, dedicate a little of your time to play with them every day!

4. It is allergic

If your cat is allergic, it may cause itchy skin. Hair loss, excessive licking as well as lesions on their skin can also be observed.

In this case, it is a matter of determining the responsible allergen and eradicating it from your cat’s environment. This can be particularly long since, as in humans, there are many types of allergies: food allergy, contact allergy, pollen allergy, flea bite allergy, etc.

5. It has a health problem

Injury or infection of the anal glands can cause such behavior. But there is a syndrome which has the very particular symptom of a cat trying to grab its tail. This is feline hyperesthesia syndrome. Indeed, this syndrome causes a tingling sensation on the tail. Several causes can be at the origin: allergies, skin infections, brain tumours, diseases of the spinal cord, muscular diseases…

Cats with this syndrome can also show other unusual behaviors: back skin spasms, frantic licking or scratching, fits of madness, intolerance to touch, etc.

In any case, if your cat starts grabbing its tail compulsively, a visit to the veterinarian is in order.

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