Why do cats chase their tails? 5 Vet Reasons

While witnessing a dog playfully chasing its tail is a common sight, the same behavior is less frequently observed in cats. However, it’s not unusual for many cats to engage in tail-chasing, and various reasons underlie this behavior. Sometimes, it’s simply a goofy and harmless activity that provides entertainment for both the cat and the observer. On the other hand, tail chasing might indicate discomfort in certain situations. Curious about why do cats chase their tails? Keep reading to discover the reasons behind this behavior.

Why do cats chase their tails

Why do cats chase their tails: 5 Reasons Revealed

1. Fun And Games

Cats view their tails as potential playmates. The dynamic movement of their tails, varying with their mood, captivates their attention. With a range of slow to rapid movements in almost any direction, it’s like having an interactive cat toy that moves autonomously. Embracing their innate feline nature, cats eagerly attempt to pin it down, grab it, paw at it, or even give it a playful bite. Yes, even if it happens to be their own tail!

2. Itchy: Could Fleas Be the Culprit?

Sometimes, tail chasing means something’s bugging your cat, literally! Fleas, allergies, or dry skin can make their tails itchy, so they chase to try and scratch those hard-to-reach spots.

But fleas leave clues beyond just a twitchy tail. Keep an eye out for these other signs that might warrant a trip to the vet:

  • Bumpy skin: Flea bites can trigger small, red bumps, especially around the tail and back legs.
  • Grooming gone wild: Scratching and licking incessantly are surefire signs your cat’s fighting something on their fur.
  • Patchy fur: Flea-induced scratching can lead to bald patches and fur loss.
  • Skin irritation: Redness, scabs, and inflamed areas are all signs of the discomfort fleas cause.
  • Snooze time all the time: Feeling drained and lethargic can be another symptom of a flea infestation.
  • Telltale black specks: Those tiny black dots in your cat’s fur? Not dirt, but flea dirt – another red flag!

If you see even a few of these signs, don’t wait for the tail-chasing to become a pirouette of pain. Book a vet visit or alternatively look into quality flea products such as Effipro Spray For Cats 100 Ml

Effipro Spray For Dogs/Cats 100 Ml

3. Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS)

Feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS) was first reported in 1979 and described as an accentuation of an otherwise normal behavior
in cats consisting in episodes of tail chasing, biting or licking the lumbar area, flank, anal area or tail; skin rippling and muscle
spasms; excessive and unusual vocalizations, wild and uncontrolledjumping and running and presumed hallucinations.

There was a interesting study conducted by The University Of Edinburgh on Cats With FHS you can read here

If you are interested to understand what FHS is this vet’s video below really breaks it down well.

What Is Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome | Veterinarian Explains

4. Stud Tail

In simple terms, stud tail in cats refers to the condition where a cat’s tail base becomes greasy and may have some bald spots or skin issues. It often happens in male cats, especially those who haven’t been neutered. The reason behind it is the overactive oil glands around the tail base, usually influenced by hormones. It’s like a little oily trouble near the tail, and it might need some attention from a vet to keep your cat comfortable and healthy.

 5. Instinct

Cats are hardwired to chase and hunt. It is instinct for them to do so. Generations of cats before them have done so as well. Their tails only happen to be a convenient target to practice and test their hunting skills.

why do cats chase their tails

How toys can help cats who chase their tails:

Stimulate natural hunting instincts: Cats are natural-born predators, and chasing toys that mimic prey like feathers, sparkly balls, or crinkly mice taps into their instincts. Providing much-needed mental and physical stimulation. Imagine a feathery wand dancing like a bird taking flight – irresistible for any cat Hunting.

MeoHui Cat Toys

MeoHui Cat Toys , Interactive Cat Toy

Entertainment For Cats. Cats are crazy about chaser games! Combine string and feather into a great cat toys for indoor cats, this cat toy is an irresistible lure for cats! Swing the feathers ” lure” will get your cats excited and trigger their natural ” hunt instinct”, making them run and jump like a wild animal, driving your cats crazy with joy! Even adult cat play like a kitten again!

Remember: If your cat chases its tail during playtime, it’s likely just playing. Yet, if other signs appear, consider a vet check for potential health concerns.

Thank you for joining us today and uncovering that age old question. Why do cats chase their tails.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *