Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails? - An Ultimate Explanation

Why do cats chase their tails? Do they know they're doing it? What does it mean? Let’s explore these queries and more.

There are a million questions about why cats do what they do and why they do it. One of them is “Why do cats chase their tails?”. 

It seems pointless, but there are many reasons why they do this, and they are all quite fascinating. Scroll down this article to discover!

Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails?

For Fun

A reason why do cats chase their tails is that some have found their tail to be the perfect plaything. After all, with an elongated body part like a tail, it’s much easier for cats to find things to entertain themselves with! 

For playful kittens or older, less agile felines with sore hips and aging joints won't allow them to run around as easily due to age or illness. You can purchase various interactive toys instead of having fun with them.


Fleas aren’t just a nuisance for you and your cat but can cause many other problems if the infestation isn’t taken care of quickly. 

New pet owners can tell if their cat has a flea infestation by noticing itching or scratching on their back end, especially at the base of their tail and close to their body. 

You may also notice them chewing excessively or grooming themselves more than usual and occasionally finding dark brown flecks near their hindquarters. 

The most common sign that you’re dealing with an overpopulation of fleas is seeing two or three individual adult fleas scurrying across your pet’s fur when running a comb through it. 

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Source: Pexels


When environmental and food allergies irritate the skin of your cat's tail and other areas, they may appear to be spinning in circles trying to scratch an itch, leading to additional complications like chronic ear infections, rashes, and irritation of other body parts. 

Allergies should be treated by avoiding the allergen if it is known or using an antihistamine. Severe cases may require a steroid medication to relieve the itch. This is a serious case of “Why do cats chase their tails?”, so you better watch out for your kitten.


Irrespective of how much effort and time you spend in cuddling your kitty, their attention in their tail or other portions of their body may fade over time. 

If you reach out to touch a cat, it's natural for them to attempt to escape since these locations bring them discomfort connected with the human touch. 

In terms of retaining a cat's focus, it can be wise to prevent tickling or caressing the parts of their bodies that cause them to wiggle in suffering.

Stud Tail

As is true with most cats, male or female felines have supracaudal glands on their tail. These glands in healthy animals produce oils that keep the hair in their tail nice and soft. 

However, overly oily skin may cause a buildup of oil near the base of your cat's tail that becomes crusty and flaky. If not properly treated, this can become infected and spread to other areas along the tail, perhaps moving up onto your cat's hind legs. 

If your cat has a very long and thick tail, regular cleaning of his entire length is best for keeping him healthy! Although this is a fun reason “Why do cats chase their tails?”, it should be taken care of carefully. 

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Source: Pexels

Hyperesthesia Syndrome

This disease is a bit mysterious. Experts don't know why your cat might have it, but some characteristics help doctors recognize the condition, including "ticked tail" or your cat being overly sensitive when touched. 

You'll also notice that after a brief struggle during which your cat runs around wide-eyed and frantic for 20 to 30 seconds, he falls back asleep as if nothing happened. Any changes in your cat's behavior can be brought up with your veterinarian at his next visit.

How to Stop Cats From Chasing Their Tails?

Now you've known why do cats chase their tails, let's continue reading to learn how to stop their action.

Get Your Cat Some Toys That He Will Enjoy Chasing

If you find your cat's tail-chasing to be a little too much, there are options for getting cats entertained with other types of toys. 

Try letting them chase a toy attached to a string where they can swipe at the dangling object to make it sway as if it were alive, moving everywhere they go. 

You might even want to try something more advanced like fishing pole toys, which you can control and make bob around in front of him by swimming it around in the air. This will help get your cat reeled in on some more exciting activities.

Another great choice is a laser pointer. To use this item, you'll need to aim the light in a particular direction as your cat gets closer to it. 

However, ensure to avoid selecting one that looks like a tail! It's necessary to stay away from toys of this kind, not to remind your kitty of the activity that he should be limiting.

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Source: Pexels

Keep A Close Eye On What's Going On Around You

If you don't pay enough attention to your feline, you might not be able to distinguish between a cat attempting to reach anything on his behalf and one who is simply following the tail. 

Many observers could easily think that they are both following the tail because their actions and behaviors are similar.

Thus, you should know the difference as a pet owner because it matters. If you observe that your dog isn’t merely chasing its tail, get him checked out by your vet immediately. If you find yourself in this situation, stay calm and collected – it's usually treatable!


Hopefully, you enjoyed our blog post on “Why do cats chase their tails?”. We know that it’s sometimes frustrating to watch our cats do this, but it is actually a sign of their intelligence. Curious kitties are smart kitties! 

If you have any other questions or concerns about cat behavior, please leave a comment down below. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Robert T Zamorano
Robert T Zamorano
A professional writer and editor with a penchant for home improvement. I write about all things interior design, architecture, and construction.