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Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails?

Posted by Awesome Doggies

tail-chasing-catEveryone knows that cats are fun, entertaining, mysterious creatures that most humans will never fully understand. Cats, especially kittens, will spend hours chasing a single scrap of paper around a room, and very often even take the time to chase their own tails around and around. While it’s amusing to watch a kitten chase its tail, sometimes it gets to be such a habit that it worries the owner. There are other reasons that cats chase their tails other than their own amusement, some of them are listed below.

Tail Chasing Syndrome

This is probably the most common reason that a cat chases its own tail. And...big sigh of relief here...tail chasing syndrome is simply a fancy name for, "it's something fun for the cat to do." The cat is playing a game where they consider the tail as prey and must do something to stop it. The cat is aware that the tail is a part of their body, which is why they usually clean it once they catch it. There is really nothing wrong with the cat, no more so than when they run full speed through the house as if that very tail they were chasing is now on fire. Cats are playful and this tail chasing thing is just a way to play that your particular cat especially enjoys.

tail-chasing-catHealth Problems

If you can read your cat well enough to sense their mood, you may have an idea whether their tail chasing is playful or desperate. If the tail chasing is excessive or if they seem desperate rather than simply determined, there may be a health problem that needs to be looked into by your vet. One such medical problem can be a flea infestation. If you have a sensitive cat, then even one single flea can drive it to distraction and what looks like them chasing their tail can actually be them trying to scratch an itch that they can’t reach. If you aren't experienced at searching for and identifying fleas, get a professional to check it out for you. The little parasites are very good at hiding, so you may not be able to see them, even when they are driving your cat crazy.


Believe it or not, some kinds of allergies can cause your cat to chase its own tail. These allergies can come from everything from the cat’s food to pollens, grass, and mold. Consult your vet for the best treatment if allergies are a problem.

If you're concerned, more info is available elsewhere online about possible causes of a cat chasing their tail. Most likely however, when you see your cat attacking its own tail, it is probably just a case of a playful cat acting like a kitten.



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