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Odd tail behavior

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
It's been awhile since i've posted as I haven't had any problems with my feline friend. But lately, he's been doing a really weird thing, at least weird to me as I have never had any of my past cats do this. He insists on sucking on the end of his tail. Not only does it make him look funny, I can't force myself to be near him when it's "wet". He sucks it so much that it makes it all slick and gross :/ Is he trying to tell me something? He's about a year and a half old now, is an indoor only cat, and has been doing this for about a month. I thought it'd go away but he keeps doing it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 6
It's probably a symptom of some disorder or other. If your regular vet can't find anything wrong, it might be some kind of stress that causes him to do it, and a behaviorist may help. Cats can develop a lot of problems that they exhibit by things like wool-sucking and compulsive grooming. There have even been cases of hallucinating cats--they're very sensitive, intelligent beings.
post #3 of 6
If he has only recently started doing it, then you need to think back if anything has disrupted his routine? Moved recently, added a roomate, another cat? rearranged furniture? anything?

I would discourage him from sucking his tail. I have a friend who has a bengal and this cat sucks its tail all the time, she thinks it is "cool and funny" sigh....but the cat is now bordering on neurotic. I would look into an E collar, or even behavioral meds to stop this if it were me. I know what Bunky's (yes that is the Bengal's name) tail looks like and it isn't pretty.

There is a company that makes a soft E collar for cats. I will try and find the link for you


Here you go- good luck!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. Hissy it's so funny you mention the rearranging of furniture. I totally forgot that his favorite chair to sleep on was just removed because the roommate it belonged too moved out. Although I had no idea at the time this could cause so much disruption, it makes total sense now. I guess the only thing to do is try to make another spot equally as comfortable (or alluring) to him.
Weatherlight it's also weird about your comments. He does groom himself a lot, moreso than i've ever seen a cat do. I always thought he did this because he was in indoor cat only, and had nothing better to do And he also sucks on things, like clothes or blankets. I asked about this on these very forums about a year ago when I first got him, and was told it was because he got taken away from his mother, and that he should grow out of the bad habit. Well he still does it, so i'm not sure what that means either.
post #5 of 6
Here's a website that explains Pica a bit further

post #6 of 6
Some cats groom themselves to the point of being bald. Those are extreme cases, but cats can get severe mental disorders. Hopefully he'll never get to that point.

Have you ever heard of Dr. Dodman at Tufts University? I read his book "The Cat Who Cried For Help" some time ago, and I learned quite a bit about cats from it. You might want to check it out.

Indoor only cats should be just as stimulated and happy as outdoor cats. I believe that cats truly are safest and healthiest indoors, and the ones I live with are indoor (except for going outside on leash a few times), but some people just lock the doors and forget about the cat's entertainment. That doesn't make for a very happy cat.

If you can afford to responsibly care for another cat, have you thought about adopting one? It might keep your cat happier and occupied, and save the other cat's life. Cats really can be healthier (mentally, too) with someone who can understand and speak all of their body language, someone they can talk to and play with the way they want to instinctively. There are plenty of threads about introducing cats; you'll want to judge your cat's personality and think about how you can implement a proper introduction, as a new cat might stress him out even more.

Kitty and Robin have each other, but they still have tons of toys (which they'll sometimes play with together, it's really cute), and we play with them with interactive toys from time to time as well. Windowsills are accessible, the living room is practically their bedroom (most of the furniture is for the cats lol), we grow cat grass/catnip regularly for them...so their lives are full rather than boring. It's not too hard to do. I got some good ideas from the book "250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You" by Ingrid Newkirk.
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