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Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails? Are They Just Dogs’ Copycats?

Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails? Are They Just Dogs’ Copycats?

As a cat parent, you’ve definitely had a chance to see some weird things going on in your house. From your cat gaging whenever she sees a comb to her unusual sleeping habits. But why do cats chase their tails? What is so special about them that both kitties and puppies find it interesting?

Is there something we’re not aware of? Maybe it’s magic and it has the powers that animals are trying to hide? Or there’s actually a more realistic explanation to all of this. Even though I prefer the possibility of magic and fairies being real, my research has said “No” to that.

Instead, there are many different reasons why cats chase their tails that don’t involve anything supernatural. Yeah, I know, kinda disappointing. It would be so cool to have a magician pet.

But hey, when you think about it more, you realize that every pet is actually magical! They are able to make us happy on the darkest days. Isn’t that such a cool superpower?

Anyway, today you’re here to find out what’s the deal with your kitty and her tail, and I promise to give you all the information you need. So let’s start!

Is it normal to see a cat chase her tail?

Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails Are They Just Dogs' Copycats

I know that every time you see some new kind of behavior, you immediately get scared and wonder if it’s normal or not. We all do that, so don’t worry about constantly overthinking everything regarding your pet.

You may be feeling anxious because you don’t know why your cat’s new favorite activity is chasing her tail. I’m sure you’ve seen dogs do the same thing, but since it’s their normal behavior, it doesn’t seem strange.

Well, then it will surprise you to hear that it’s actually also very common that kitties find it interesting too. So yes! Just like it’s completely normal that a puppy chases its tail, it’s also totally fine to see your feline doing the same thing.

There are many different reasons behind this action. Most of them are telling you that there’s nothing to worry about. However, it’s also possible that it’s a sign of a few health issues.

But don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. I promised to prepare everything you need to know about this topic, and I did. The only thing you have to do is scroll down and carefully read the explanations.

Why do cats chase their tails?

Great! Now we know that it’s a completely normal action. But we still don’t have the answer to our main question “Why do cats chase their tails?” Are you ready to find that out?! I’m sure you are, so let’s not waste any more time.

1) It’s playtime!

Kitties and playtime, is there a better love story than that? Haters might say what Rose and Jack had was true love, but I just know that nothing’s stronger than this bond between cats and their playtime. Okay, true, sleeping and eating are close enough, but this is still number one!

Do you remember when you were a kid and you would make up all sorts of weird games? Of course, it didn’t seem weird to you back then, but when you think about it now, you’re able to realize it was truly unusual.

For example, I used to play Masterchef with my friends. We would make food out of dirt and basically anything we found on the ground and we would rate it. No wonder why our parents hated that game. Poor them, they were probably worried that we would eat something.

But why am I saying this? Because playtime is weird! You never know what’s interesting to someone, especially if we’re talking about your kitty. Therefore, if you see your cat chasing her tail, you shouldn’t be surprised. It’s probably just a fun game she made up when you were too busy to play with her.

2) They’re in pain

If your cat is in pain she might do all sorts of things to get rid of it. It doesn’t necessarily just need to be about pain, but any sort of physical discomfort. It can also be itchiness that comes from different kinds of infections.

So, if it seems like your kitty is fixated on her tail and she’s chasing it too often, it can be because she wants to reach it so she can heal herself. She probably wants to lick it, bite it, or scratch it so it hurts her less, but she can’t get a grab of it so it just becomes an endless loop.

And if you notice this kind of behavior, the best advice I could give you is to contact your vet as soon as possible. This might not be the reason why she does it, but it’s best your vet rules it out so you can sleep peacefully knowing that your fluffball is fine.

3) They’re bored

Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails Are They Just Dogs' Copycats

Okay, this one is closely related to playtime. I’ll use us, humans, as an example again. That’s because, believe it or not, we’re actually much more similar to animals than we actually think we are. And no, I’m not talking about the fact that our skin is similar to the skin pigs have.

I was actually talking about our behavior. One of my favorite comparisons is between kittens and toddlers. They are both adventurous and easily scared, but still very brave and cute… and they also throw tantrums from time to time. See, pretty similar right?

Then does it mean that if we can compare kittens and toddlers, it’s also possible to compare cats and adults? I think yes, and I’ll try to prove it to you.

Have you ever caught yourself doing some weird things when you were home alone? Let me help you… Something like singing using a weird voice, talking to yourself, or making up some questionable dance moves? Yeah, probably, just like most of us. But why did we do it? Because we were bored!

If we can get bored, our kitties can, too. And when they do, they might do some weird things just like us. So if you sometimes see cats who chase their tails, don’t be surprised. It’s likely that it was the most fun activity they could’ve thought of at that moment.

4) It’s because of the stress

If you’ve noticed that your feline is suddenly spending lots of her time trying to attack her own tail, then it could actually mean she’s dealing with stress or anxiety. Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones who can suffer from it, as our pets can too.

It’s usually difficult to detect it, but you will most likely notice it when many things in your cat’s behavior start to change. For example, she might eat less than before, sleep much more, refuse her playtime, seem overall sadder than usual, and finally, your cat might even chase her own tail.

But why? That’s because cats, unlike us, can’t really work on their problems, and they can’t tell us what’s bothering them. So they’ll use the method of distraction! How does that work? Well, your feline will probably do some things she usually doesn’t, including this playtime with her tail.

That way, she will stay active and try to bring her life back to normal. But that’s not all. There’s one more reason she might do this when she’s stressed, and that’s to show you she’s not feeling well so you can come and cuddle with her.

Cats see us as their own protectors and they feel safe around us. Therefore, whenever they are feeling sad they’ll try to grab our attention so we would approach them and help them feel better.

5) It could be the feline OCD

Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails Are They Just Dogs' Copycats

Why do cats chase their tails? Have you heard of feline OCD before? Yes, unfortunately, our kitties can also suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. But it’s a good thing that if you contact your vet on time, they will be able to tell you how to deal with it and how to help your kitty in the best way possible.

However, in order to even contact your vet, you need to be able to notice some of the most common symptoms. And one of them is actually chasing a tail. It’s because OCD forces your cat to do repetitive actions that usually don’t have any purpose, and this could easily be one of them.

To help you out, I’ve prepared other most common symptoms. So let’s check them out together.

Constant repetitive meowing.

Dilated pupils.

Too much grooming.


Moments of aggressive behavior.

Running away from a threat that doesn’t exist.

Focusing on one thing for a longer period of time.

Excessive chewing on objects.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best you call the vet right away. They will give you the best advice and your feline will be alright.

6) Or they’re simply practicing their hunting skills

And finally, we need to talk about something that makes cats so unique. And those are their hunting skills! Even though your kitty’s bigger cousins are much stronger and more powerful than she is, it doesn’t mean that her hunting skills aren’t extraordinary too!

It’s genetics, and we all know how powerful it can be. Just think about how many people actually look more like their grandparents than their parents, or how similar you can be to your cousins. It’s the same for animals. No matter where their cousins live now, they still share many characteristics.

The biggest change we can see is one concerning looks, as indoor cats are much smaller. But that’s exactly why they think practicing their hunting skills is essential! They are small and they can be someone’s prey too, so they want to keep training and become more powerful and fearful.

Since your cat lives inside a house where she doesn’t have enough space and resources to practice her hunting skills, she might try to chase her tail. That’s one of the ways she’ll try to stay in shape and also try running after someone (or in this case, something).

Final words

Congratulations! Now you know all the most common answers to “Why do cats chase their tails?” Most likely, nothing serious is going on with your kitty, but if you feel like it could be one of the health reasons I’ve mentioned, then it’s best you react on time.

Luckily, even those issues aren’t any serious conditions that can’t be treated. So the key to success is to contact your vet as soon as you think there might be something wrong, like your fluffball being in pain. The vet will either tell you that everything is fine or prescribe needed medication.

Don’t worry! Instead, think about how an amazing pet parent you are! You’re here and searching for the answers to make sure your cat is healthy. If she knew, she would be very proud of you, just like I am. Please continue being this amazing! Good luck.

Why Do Cats Chase Their Tails? Are They Just Dogs' Copycats?