Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails?

Why do cats chase their tails? It is an interesting question as from time to time we see this behavior. When we see our furry friends do this, we chalk it up to them doing cat things. However, there more to this than our cats just being quirky?

Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails? A Few Reasons

The website The Dodo lists a few reasons why cats might chase their tail. Some of these reasons are:

  • Compulsive behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of stimulation
  • Pain
  • Skin irritation
  • Neurological disease
  • Seizures

The article goes on to say, “since tail-chasing is an indicator that there could be something more serious going on with your cat, Dr. Spano recommends that the very first thing you do is talk to a vet, a behaviorist or, in some cases, both.”

The VCA hospital website also gives similar reasoning on why cats chase their tails as it says:

“Some cats will chase and even viciously attack their tails. This may arise as a form of play, especially if there is a lack of sufficient routine and stimulation, and may escalate to a more serious problem because of its consequences.

Situations of conflict and anxiety in which the cat becomes highly aroused may lead to displacement behaviors such as tail chasing or over-grooming. Owner attempts to stop the behavior may add to the anxiety and conflict and further aggravate the problem. Regardless of the cause, if the cat manages to catch and bite its own tail the problem may progress to more serious damage and mutilation. The painful and infected tail may have to be amputated but this does not in any way address the underlying motivation for the behavior.”


As we have seen from the above, a cat chasing their tail is not a normal thing. It can potentially be a condition that needs medical or other treatment. So if your furry buddy is regularly chasing their tail, it might be time to look deeper as it can be a clue a more serious condition which needs attention. As cat lovers, we want to make sure our feline friends are healthy as possible.

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