What Does It Mean When a Cat Chews Its Tail?

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Cats are very hygienic creatures; after all, they are almost always found constantly grooming themselves. They clean as much of themselves as they possibly can, including their tails. So when a cat chews its tail a bit more than just a simple grooming, they might have a health issue that needs to be given some attention. If your cat is chewing or even gnawing on its tail a lot, the first thing you should do is take it to be seen by the vet.

Here are some reasons why a cat would chew its tail:

– Acne: If your feline’s tail is greasy, matted or even has blackheads, it’s likely they have cat acne. Medicated shampoos can help remedy it, but in extreme cases, you will want to take it up with a vet. 

– Wounds: Since cats can’t verbally convey to you that they have an injury, their tail biting can give you a clue as to what is going on with them. If your cat is licking an area more than usual, you’ll want to examine the area for any signs of a wound or growth. If it is sensitive to touch, the cat could have fractured its tail; if it is bleeding, you could use antibacterials to prevent infection.

– Flea Infestation: If your cat has been biting its tail and you discover bugs on it, chances are, your cat has fleas. Cat fleas can infect both indoor and outdoor cats, as well as dogs and sometimes even humans. Depending on the severity of the flea situation, there are several treatment options – from oral and topical medications.

– Allergies: If there is no sign of wounds or bugs, it could be that your cat is having allergies. If allergies are the suspect, try to reverse any recent changes in its diet and/or environment. If your cat’s conditions improve, you’re going in the right direction, and your vet can even do a full allergy test just in case.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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