Cat is licking her back side & thumping her tail

All of a sudden, for the past few days my cat is crying a lot and licking her back side closer to her tail. She is thumping her tail and swinging it hard. My cat is almost 9 years old and is fixed & declawed since she was six months old. I'm afraid something is wrong.

Without seeing your cat in person or having a lot more information about her, it would be very difficult to say whether or not there is something wrong medically. Is your cat an indoor/outdoor cat or indoor only? Do you use any preventative flea treatment on your cat? Is she on any medication? Is she eating, drinking, and otherwise acting normally? Could she be constipated? Could she have been injured in that area?

When you say that your cat is licking her back side near her tail, it seems most likely that the licking, twitching, and thumping you are witnessing is due to cat fleas or flea allergy. It only takes one flea bite for an allergic cat to become quite itchy and uncomfortable, and this is a classic area for fleas to bite cats. To learn more about feline allergies, click here.

However, if you are noticing a change in your cat’s appetite, drinking, or litter box behaviors, please make an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Cats can use their tails to communicate many things, most often annoyance, but including that they are not feeling well. Otherwise, if you are not already doing so, purchasing a flea comb to check for fleas and applying Frontline monthly would be wise, regardless of whether or not fleas are found upon combing.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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