Cat Chewing Her Tail

by Lisa
(New York)



QUESTION

My Cat Emily lets out somewhat of a painful meow, then chews her tail continously, almost like a painful itch. She no longer has hair on that part of her tail. Its only in this one section, and I don't see any fleas or anything. Now I'm just starting to see alittle redness, that I'm afrain she's chewing too much that she's opening her skin. What could this be?




ANSWER

She definitely can irritate her skin if she licks and chews too much. She can make it very irritated.

The most likely thing is fleas. I would recommend treating for fleas by using Frontline even though you are not seeing fleas.

Another more remote possibility is mites. Cats with ear mites that lie with their tails curled up next to their heads can have ear mites on their tail.

Cats occasionally have a sort of obsessive compulsive type disease where they continually chew or lick somewhere on their body and the tail is one of the more popular places.

If it's not better and is getting worse, a vet visit is in order. She is uncomfortable, her tail is irritated and can even become infected. I have also seen cats chew whole sections of their tail off, so don't wait. Have her examined. Thank you,
Dr. Neely


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