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Kitten chewing its tail

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
So I recently adopted a kitten, took it to the vet and got a clean bill of health. Checked for fleas and he doesn't have any. Just to confirm Vet put Revolution (sp) by Pfizer which I believe is an anti-flea, fungi topical.

Anyways, the guy is chewing his tail something bad. The skin is exposed, and some cuts are rather deep. I'm thinking this may be behavioral or some sort of defense mechanism.

The guy is really energetic and I'm assuming perhaps his hyperness may be some sort of behavioral catalyst to this self-mutalation. When I adopted him he was quite underweight, ribs exposed and all. He has been steadily getting heavier and has a hearty appetite. I tried putting pressure on his tail to see if he was in pain from the gashes, but didn't receive any response. Also, no blood from the cuts. Tail is wagging normal, but am starting to see some resistance.

Is there any method of covering the tail till it recovers? I have tried punishing him whenever I see him chewing on it, but to be honest, I'm not home enough to catch him doing it.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Vet would be a good idea, but I'm in school and money is tight. I just shelled out $35 for vaccinations last time, and would rather try some home remedies w/the knowledge of this group as to prevent him from gnawing on it more before going to the Vet.


Edit: Something I just thought of. Even thought the vet is mentioning it isn't fleas, might it be a good idea to bathe the guy in flea shampoo? I imagine that with the gashes and water, this maybe quite painful for him, though. However, it may rule out fleas. ????

Edit of the Edit: Lol, sorry I'm thinking of more ideas here. Can cats take topical antimicrobials like Neosporin. I imagine Bacitracin would be a good ointment to apply.
post #2 of 2
I wouldn't recommend bathing him in flea stuff. He's already received a dose at the Vet...it is a poison and you don't want to overdose him.

A better strategy would be to put a collar on him to prevent him from being able to reach his tail to bite it. The Vet should have one of those collars.

Some cats/kittens chew their tails out of stress....don't punish him....they don't respond to that....give him hugs and reassuring words....basically distracting him from doing it. Try to play with him too, when you see him biting.

If it continues...take him back to the Vet...hopefully he/she will have some more ideas..and will check the wounds for any sign of infection.

Be careful about putting any topical ointment on. He will lick at it, ingest it, and may get sick from it. The collar is the best idea. It looks painful and sad....but it really does help with the healing. I speak from experience...my kitty had to wear one when he had a bad scratch on his face..and he kept scratching it, opening it up again. The collar let the wound heal in 2 days...then he was free of the collar..and much happier...

Good luck...I hope he stops chewing at his tail.
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