View Full Version : My Siamese Cats Chew on their Tails

10-12-2001, 11:01 AM
My two Siamese like to chew on the tips of their tails. Frisco is the worst, doesn't seem to hurt anything but I find this to be pretty strange behaviour - maybe its common - anyone have one that does this? Could this be a nervous behaviour, they shouldn't be nervous, they live very easing going lives :confused:

10-12-2001, 12:07 PM
Sometimes this is a nursing behavior in cats that were separated from their cat-mom's too early. Are your cats young? Have them been doing it since you got them? Do they tend to do it right before a nap?

If they aren't compulsive about it, I wouldn't worry. Just keep on eye on them and make sure the hair on the tips of their tails stays looking healthy and normal ...


10-12-2001, 12:11 PM
Dianne - No Frisco is 5 years old and has just been doing this in the past year or so. Spencer is 7 and only does it once in a while. Strange - its really icky when I pick them up and get all wet :mad:

10-12-2001, 12:33 PM

Oh, after I posted I remembered you have Spencer!

This does sound a little strange, since they started doing it late in life. It may be a sign of stress or, more likely ... boredom. (Boredom in older, indoor cats is pretty common. They aren't as able to be active with humans or each other anymore, and may be tired of the toys they've had for awhile.) Frisco just may want some additional special time with you ...

With Spencer, who's more infrequen, maybe he is stressed about all the vet visits he's had. Or, he's seen Frisco doing it and thinks it looks fun ... :confused:

All just theories ... please don't think that I'm suggesting you don't play with your "babies" enough! :)


10-12-2001, 06:22 PM
I don't often stray onto the cat board but this one caught my attention.

If I am understanding the situation correctly you have two adult, indoor, cats that have started to show this behaviour recently?

If this is the case then your cats are showing classic displacement behaviour. They are not able to express their natural behaviours or personalties in the environment they are living in. They have, therefore, turned to an activity that they have control over, that gives a physical sensation which overtakes the mental stress, that gives focus and purpose to their lives and that is a variant on a natural behaviour - this releases endorphines which are painkillers - so, again, relieving the mental stress. This behaviour will quickly become habit as it is the only activity the cats have to find relief and that make themselves feel better.
New toys will not stop them unless they are challenging toys or mega-toys - like ledges and carpet on a wall in a room that the cats only have access to when you are out. Their favourite toys, in rotation, can be left on the ledges and shelves for them to discover.
Give them height, give them carpet, give them rope - anything they enjoy and lots of attention when you are home. Access to the fun room should only be when you are not at home.
Building an outdoor enclosure would also be a great thing for your cats - with access only when you are not home.
Hope this helps.

10-12-2001, 09:22 PM
Ritzy gives her tail tip a thorough cleaning, but more odd that this, she chews on her back toes...not just licking, but putting each whole "toe" in her mouth and biting down, almost like she is "sucking" on it....it is a nightly ritual that is part of her overall cleaning. It seems also to serve the purpose of grooming the back claws....really odd, but she is always clean as a whistle.

10-12-2001, 09:25 PM
And, on Carrie's comments....if you have a bored kitty, I can personally recommend the "kitty lairs" made of carpets and rings...Ritz plays for hours on this thing. http://wsphotofews.excite.com/033/7b/6S/cw/IU18205.jpg