Cats attack their tails for a variety of reasons, including playing, distress, and aggression. In most cases, tail-biting is prompted by some level of discomfort or pain due to the following:
– Ear mites
– Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or infection
– Wounds from a fight with another cat or animal
– Ingestion of toxins
– Bacterial infection
– Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, or tapeworms
– Spinal injuries
The conditions that may cause discomfort or pain can be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. In addition to veterinary care for the underlying condition, your cat’s tail should be protected from further injury with an Elizabethan collar (plastic e collar) when he is not being supervised. It’s also a good idea to clean the area regularly with chlorhexidine antiseptic spray or wipes. If you cannot get him to stop attacking his tail, seek your vet’s advice immediately. [Article end]
With the above conditions in mind, let us look at some possible reasons why cats attack their tails.
1. INFECTION & PAIN
A cat’s tail can easily get infected especially if it is bitten by another cat. The wounds on the tail may become painful, and the only way for your cat to make this pain go away is to bite his own tail! Imagine having a toothache but you did not have any access to painkillers; what would you do?
Would you let someone yank out your tooth without pain relief or would you just ease the pain yourself? When your cat bites his tail, he is trying to reduce the discomfort that comes with infection and allergies. Just like us when we rub our sore wrists or necks when they are in pain, biting serves the same purpose for them. This is an instinctual behavior, which means that even kittens do this! It might be cute when they are little but as soon as they reach adulthood (around 7-8 months), they start to bite their tails more often.
2 IS DISTRESS
If your cat’s tail is injured or infected, there is a very high chance that he will feel agitated and distressed with it. Cats like routine; if something changes in the environment around them, it could cause stress and discomfort . And If your cat is chewing his own tail because of some litter change or redecorating of the house , then you should find ways to make him calm down by spending more time with him or making sure that he is not hungry.
If your cat’s tail is injured or infected, there is a very high chance that he will feel agitated and distressed with it. Cats like routine; if something changes in the environment around them, it could cause stress and discomfort. If your cat is chewing his own tail because of some litter change or redecorating of the house , then you should find ways to make him calm down by spending more time with him or making sure that he is not hungry.
3 BOREDOM & PLAYING
Just like humans, cats get extremely bored when they spend all day long alone at home without any activity going on in their mind. Some cats will playfully attack their toys while others will attack their own tails out of sheer boredom. If your cat is fixated on his tail, he might be trying to play with it! Cats are predators by nature; they love to hunt rodents and birds in the wild.
The problem with domestic cats is that their prey don’t run away anymore, but remain still when they attack them . This has caused housecats to become more aggressive to toys and even household items like mops or brooms. Does this sound familiar? Some cats will playfully attack their toys while others will attack their own tails out of sheer boredom. If your cat is fixated on his tail, he might be trying to play with it!
4 CIRCLE BEHAVIOR
One thing you should watch out for is if your cat starts to circle around his tail. This is a sign that he might be suffering from an inner ear infection; it’s the same as when humans hold their heads and start to walk in circles. The first thing you should do with this kind of behavior is take him to the vet right away because there are several things that can cause this kind of symptom like brain tumor, ear mites (Otodectes cynotis), or even an ear infection . Your veterinarian will have to treat your cat accordingly depending on the type of infection detected.
5 SUPPRESSED HUNGER
Cats are known for being very self-reliant animals , which means they don’t need us around all the time. This is why cats can survive and even thrive outdoors because they usually eat what they kill and drink from the nearby sources . This doesn’t mean that your cat won’t come to you for food; he just needs a reason to come back home.
If your cat’s hunger suppressant kicks in because of something as simple as a missed meal, he will be more likely to attack his own tail. You should make sure that your cat eats at least three times a day or free-feed him dry food during the day so this kind of behavior does not happen.
Owning a cat comes with many privileges but also responsibilities. One of these is to make sure that your cat stays safe and healthy. As much as you want your furry friend forever by your side, it’s important to realize that cats are very independent animals. This means they don’t need us around all the time.
Cats can survive and even thrive on their own . It’s not wrong to think of them as “stubborn” because it is true! Regardless, this doesn’t mean that they don’t love you back.