Why Do Cats And Dogs Chase Their Tails

Even though my cats sometimes have that stern, I’m-about-to-scratch-you expression in their eyes when they’re lying on the floor chasing their tails, it seems like they’re just trying to get some attention.

Erin Askeland, an animal health and behavior consultant at Camp Bow Wow, told POPSUGAR that “sometimes cats and dogs just chase their tails for pure fun and theatrics (think of the reaction they receive from their owners when they chase!)”. “Due of our propensity to respond, this may be done to garner attention. Tail chasing, however, can also be an indication of other problems, such as boredom or pent-up energy, a health problem that causes pain or discomfort, anxiety-driven (like OCD), due to age and bodily awareness, or because of a medical condition.”

When a cat chases its tail, what does that mean?

All cat enthusiasts have seen cats chasing their tails. It starts as a small twitch and quickly develops into your cat whirling around, as though in an idiotic attempt to catch its own tail. This begs the question: Is it normal behavior for kittens and cats to chase their own tails, and if so, why?

When playing and honing their hunting techniques, kittens frequently engage in tail chasing. Young kittens are fascinated by movement, and because tails mimic snakes, they appear ideal for pounces. Even when they do capture their tail, it’s harmless fun. They quickly discover that it is preferable to chase prey that is not linked to their body.

Even grown-up cats occasionally chase their tails for amusement, particularly if they did it regularly as kittens. It is vital to understand that your cat may be trying to communicate with you if he suddenly starts chasing his tail because most adult cats grow out of the behavior.

If you find that an adult cat is not biting or harming his tail while doing it, he may be chasing his tail out of boredom or to release tension. Make an effort to make sure your cat gets lots of stimulation (laser pointers are fantastic distractions! ), interactive toys, and laser pointers if you notice this new behavior and it appears to correspond with changes in the home routine. This will encourage your cat to pay attention to the toys rather than his tail.

However, if an adult cat suddenly starts chasing its tail, it may be the sign of a serious health problem, therefore you should talk to your veterinarian. It’s possible that your pet isn’t playing with his tail but is instead reacting to discomfort or itching brought on by an infection or skin allergies. Rarely, the cat may have feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS), which is brought on by overactive nerve endings that make the cat sensitive to touch and experience tingling in the tail.

Depending on the cat’s age and the surrounding circumstances, tail-chasing can be entirely normal. When left alone too frequently, some adult cats who are unusually playful or bored may also chase their tails. Kittens are very likely to do this. If your adult cat suddenly begins chasing her tail, though, and this is something she has never done before, be aware that she might not be playing, and speak with your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues.

My cat chases her tail like a dog, why?

Although it is less frequent in cats than in dogs, certain cats will chase their tails for amusement, according to Dr. Sasha Gibbons of Just Cats Veterinary Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut.

However, there are situations when a cat chasing its tail has a deeper meaning. Sadly, there are occasions when a cat chasing its tail denotes the complete opposite of fun.

Dr. Gibbons explains that cats can chase their tails for a variety of medical conditions.

If the tail has an infection and is painful, or if it is itchy from allergies, cats will chase their tails. Another ailment known as hyperesthesia syndrome, which is brought on by overactive nerve endings, can affect cats. Cats with this condition experience a tingling feeling on the tail.

Another problem that can be at play that necessitates medical care is stud tail, a skin ailment that affects cats.

To make sure your cat is not acting out due to a medical condition, it’s crucial to understand his typical body language and tail signals.

What if a cat is chasing his tailand biting it in the process?

If you see a cat running after his tail and biting it, make sure you have a plan of action! According to Dr. Gibbons, cat tails can easily become infected and can be difficult to treat. As a result, any injury to the tail, whether self-inflicted or caused by another cat, should be examined by a veterinarian.

How do you a stop a cat from chasing his tail?

Get your cat to the vet right away if you suspect an infection, hyperesthesia, stud tail, or any other damage is the cause of him chasing his tail.

“Dr. Gibbons notes that if a cat is merely chasing his tail and not biting or injuring the tail, it may be out of boredom. ” If a cat’s owner notices them doing it, they can try to get the cat to chase a laser pointer or a toy on a string instead.

Dr. Gibbons advises utilizing interactive toys like Frolicat or Panic Mouse if you’re concerned that your cat is getting bored while you’re away from home for an extended period of time. Your cat will be able to concentrate more on the toys and less on wagging his tail thanks to this.

What about cats who swat their cat siblings’ tails?

Sometimes the problem isn’t a cat chasing its own tail—a it’s cat pursuing another cat’s tail! It’s crucial to understand a cat’s body language when this occurs.” According to Dr. Gibbons, attacking a cat’s tail can be either playful or violent. “It all relies on the victim’s level of injury and the attacker’s body language throughout the crime.

Cats that are acting violently toward one another should be separated. Redirect the cats’ attention to engaging toys even if your cat is playfuly chasing or slapping at another cat’s tail.

The bottom line on a cat chasing his tail

Keep in mind that chasing your tail isn’t always amusing or playful. When your cat is hurting his tail or you think he may be chasing his tail out of discomfort, take him to the doctor. Find a local veterinarian behaviorist by visiting the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists if the problem appears to be behavioral rather than medical (ACVB). These specialists will assess your cat’s particular circumstance and assist you in making the best course of action.

Do you know if your cat chases its tail? Does your cat chase its tail for amusement, or has it ever done so as a result of a more serious problem?

Are dogs foolish who follow their tails?

Dogs frequently chase their tails in public places. You might even observe a dog repeating it in a circle repeatedly.

Sometimes dogs are just having fun when they chase their tails. They are discovering what their bodies are capable of and learning about them. However, tail-chasing can also occasionally be a symptom of compulsive behavior.

A compulsive behavior is one that is displayed for a longer amount of time than is typical, repeated inappropriately, or repeated under circumstances that are deemed abnormal. Over time, compulsive habits often deteriorate and call for medical or behavioral intervention.

You may have a compulsive behavior on your hands if your dog’s occasional tail-chasing turns into a constant habit that worries you and is detrimental for their health. It is best to speak with your veterinarian in this situation.

Can cats remember their names?

Have you ever questioned whether cats are name-aware? Cats are not known for responding to calls as dogs are. However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that your cat doesn’t know its name if it doesn’t even bat an eye when you say its name.

Cats do in fact recognize their own names, according to a 2019 study that appeared in the journal Scientific Reports. Atsuko Saito, a behavioral scientist from Sophia University in Tokyo, is the study’s lead author. Her previous work showed that cats can distinguish the voices of their owners.

In order to conduct the name recognition study, researchers observed cats in both typical homes and cat cafes. The cats who lived in the cafe could tell their names apart from common nouns, but they were unable to tell their names from from those of the other cats who also called the cafe home. The house cats, on the other hand, were able to distinguish between their own names and those of other cats who were in the house as well as between general nouns. The researchers came to the conclusion as a result of this that cats are able to distinguish between the phonetic variations in human language.

Why lick you do cats?

Your cat may lick you for a variety of reasons, one of which is to establish a social connection. A cat’s mother would lick them from an early age in addition to grooming them and showing love. Then, cats imitate this behavior with you to express their own affection—it just comes easy to them.

This licking behavior is not exclusive to pet owners and their pets. Cats frequently lick other cats and even other creatures to express their love. However, if your cat starts to lick other cats or animals, be cautious because not all cats or animals enjoy being licked. When a cat tries to lick another cat or animal, occasionally such cats or animals may strike back or grow agitated.

Your cat may lick you for another reason, such as tension or anxiety. When stressed, cats and other animals frequently start licking objects excessively. This includes licking you; if you believe this to be the case, it may be wise to see your neighborhood veterinarian. If you believe that something is making your cat anxious, attempt to find the problem and see if you can solve it.

To let other cats and animals know what is theirs, cats like to mark their territory. A cat may start licking you to designate you as being in their territory if they recognize you as being theirs. This is to identify your family to other cats. Watch out for territorial behavior even though this kind of behavior is quite normal because it could cause issues in the home if you have more than one cat or pet.

Do cats notice their tails?

The majority of cats have perfect control of their tails, though reactions do so sporadically. Particularly when kids are awake and attentive, this is true.

This is due to the tail’s abundance of neurons and receptors. The brain, neurological system, and spine are all connected via them. Your cat can make its tail wag or curl, just like it can make its legs move.

Are Cats In Control Of Their Tails?

The tail of a cat could seem supple and flexible. It can even appear that the tail has no substance at all if your cat has long fur and a fluffy coat. You can relax knowing that the cat is totally conscious of its tail, every sensation it feels, and how it moves.

Because of this, many cats hiss or yowl when you unintentionally stomp on their tail. If your cat ignores your attempts to pull on its tail, it is probably being patient with you.

Rare instances include cats with damaged nerves or injuries to their tails. They might not be able to control their tails in these situations because they lose all feeling in them. This might be the situation if your cat’s tail is always cocked oddly or doesn’t seem to move very much.

Can cats become bored?

You might believe that your cat doesn’t have time to get bored because she sleeps for 15 hours every day. Cats can and do, however, grow bored. While Fluffy might not always let you know she’s bored, cats occasionally communicate their boredom in direct ways that their human partners don’t always find amusing. Watch out for these signs of boredom before she starts damaging your furniture, climbing the draperies, or ruining every roll of toilet paper you place on the holder. Then, take steps to provide her additional mental and physical activity.

excessive grooming or other recurring actions

Boredom-stricken cats may continuously lick, bite, or chew at their skin or yank out their fur. They may continue to over-groom as a result of the resulting irritation, which can lead to a vicious cycle of annoying behavior.

pursuing or battling other animals

In order to get rid of their pent-up energy, bored cats will occasionally chase other animals. Your cat may require additional excitement if it starts chasing the other cats in the house or tries to corner the dog.

Absence of regular curiosity

Cats sleep for a major amount of the day, but they also have periods when they play and are active. You may have a bored cat on your hands if you find that your cat isn’t engaging in much else but snoozing and snacking at the food bowl.

wallowing in the house

Your cat may not be receiving enough cerebral stimulation if she appears depressed and disinterested in many activities that would normally keep her active, such as eating. Be alert, though, and consult a veterinarian to rule out any health issues if this behavior persists even after making good modifications to the surroundings.


On this front, bored cats and boring people are on the same page. They will consume too much just because it is fun to do so. This may result in obesity, which makes a cat feel much worse.

All of these symptoms could indicate boredom, but they could also indicate health or behavioral issues. If your cat exhibits any of these behaviors, be sure to consult your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues that may be the cause of your cat’s behavior.

Battling Boredom

Work to create a more engaging environment for your cat once you’ve determined that boredom is the issue and there are no health problems with it. Giving Fluffy a variety of interactive toys, lots of high places to climb, horizontal scratchers, scratching posts, and perches in front of secure windows to let her see the outside world can all go a long way toward keeping Fluffy entertained and engaged in the correct ways.

Your cat will express its gratitude to you by being active, curious, and bright-eyed, as if to say, “Thanks, mom. Play time!