While we often think about dogs chasing their tail, that same stereotype doesn’t apply to cats. So, when a cat starts chasing or playing with their tail, it can raise a couple of eyebrows.
Is it normal for a cat to play with their tail, and if it isn’t, what could it mean? It all depends on the situation, and here, we help you figure out if your cat is simply having fun or if there is a deeper issue going on.
Keep reading as we break down everything that you need to know about a cat that won’t stop playing with their tail!
The 5 Reasons Why Your Cat Might Chase Their Tail
Before you can figure out what you should do and if it’s normal, you need to figure out why your cat is chasing their tail in the first place. Here are five of the most common reasons that your cat might chase their tail.
Sometimes your cat is simply chasing and playing with their tail because it’s fun. If this is the case with your cat, they’ve likely played with their tail since they were a kitten.
It’s possible for an older cat to suddenly start playing with their tail when they haven’t before, but it’s unlikely.
Fleas itch and bite, and your cat won’t like them on their body. They’ll lick and chew to try and get them off. If the fleas are on their tail, this is where they’ll focus their attention. While cats can reach all different portions of their body, their tail is one of the easiest for them to access.
If you take a closer look at your cat’s tail and notice inflammation, scabs, or other problems, there’s a decent chance that there’s an infection that you need to take care of. Unless you already have the medication on hand and know what you’re doing, it’s best to take your cat to a vet for treatment.
As the weather changes, so can your cat’s allergies. They might be perfectly fine for a particular season, but for the others, they may need medications to help get them through. If your cat going after their tail is a recent problem, you might need to take them for an allergy test to get it under control.
5. Stud Tail
This is only an issue with unfixed male cats, but if that’s your cat, it’s something that you need to consider. It’s a serious health problem, and you will need to take your cat to a vet right away for treatment and possible surgery.
When Is It Normal for a Cat to Play With Their Tail?
There’s usually nothing wrong with your cat when they’re playing with their tail and nothing that you need to do. This is especially true if your cat has always played with their tail or if they’re still a kitten.
It’s also possible that an older cat is looking for new ways to entertain themselves, and their tail looks like a fun toy! If you notice your cat playing with their tail and there’s nothing wrong near or around the tail and they’re not chewing at it, there’s a good chance that they’re just having fun and there’s nothing to worry about.
When Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet for Chasing Their Tail?
While it’s perfectly possible that your cat is just entertaining themselves when they’re playing with their tail, that’s not always the case. You should be a little more worried if your cat hasn’t played with their tail before, and this is a new thing.
Furthermore, if your cat is chewing at their tail, this is a sign of irritation, and you should take them to a vet to figure out what’s going on. But if they’re not chewing and you don’t notice anything abnormal near or around their tail, there’s no reason to rush them off to the vet.
Other Ways to Entertain Your Cat
If you think that your cat is simply playing with their tail as a way to entertain themselves, there’s nothing that you need to do. However, if you don’t like them playing with their tail, there are a few things that you can try to get them to stop.
But keep in mind that none of these methods are foolproof; sometimes their tail is simply too much fun to play with to consider stopping!
Get Them New Toys
If your cat is playing with their tail, it might be because they can’t find any other toys to play with! There are many cat toys out there, and the more options that you give your cat, the less often they’ll play with their tail. But keep in mind that cats can get bored of their old toys and want new ones, so this might be an expensive way to keep your cat away from their tail.
Spend More Time With Them
Your cat isn’t playing with their tail just because you aren’t spending enough time with them, but the less time that you give them to be bored, the less likely that they’ll play with their tail. If you’re playing with your cat, they’re not bored, so they shouldn’t play with their tail.
But keep in mind that if you start playing with them every time they play with their tail, they might start to associate playing with their tail as a signal that you will play with them.
Get Them a Friend
Your cat is likely playing with their tail as a way to entertain themselves, so why not give them another cat to play with? This gives them a whole new cat with their own tail, and there’s a good chance that they’ll have plenty of fun chasing each other around the house and completely forget about their own tails.
The next time that you see your cat playing with their tail, consider the situation. While it’s not the most typical behavior for an adult cat, it’s not unheard of either. Unless they start chewing on it, there’s really nothing that you need to do.
If you don’t like it, you can try to distract them with something else, but it’s ultimately not that big of a deal if they just like playing with their tail!
Featured Image Credit: CarruthersCat, Shutterstock