Teenage kitten ALWAYS chomping his tail!

Lukasmommy

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We adopted Luka, a 6-7 month old kitten roughly a month ago. Since he came home, he has been constantly chewing on his tail. He does it for 20-30 minutes at a time multiple times a day, not usually associated with grooming any other part of his body. I also think he does it more than I’m aware of, as most of the time when he comes over to interact with me I find his tail wet. When I asked the vet about it, she just looked at me blankly and gave me a 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’ve tried butter yuck spray and he chews right over it like it’s nothing.
I’m a first time cat owner and I’m just not sure if this is something to be worried about? I’m afraid he’s going to hurt himself!

PS. Is there a way to attack video on this site? I have a few of him doing it I could post
 

stephanietx

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I wonder if he's allergic to the litter you're using. Just a thought.
 

Kokomo

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Is he chewing/licking/playing with it to the point he is losing fur? I have a cat whose tail is his very favorite toy. He he is a very happy guy with lots of normal cat toys but chasing and catching his tail, which then means some playtime with it till he loses it and starts all over again, seems to be his very favorite play option.
 

LTS3

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You can upload the video to YouTube and then post the link to the video here.

When I asked the vet about it, she just looked at me blankly and gave me a 🤷🏼‍♀️

Have you shown a video of the cat chewing on the tail to the vet? If the vet still doesn't seem concerned, seek out another vet.

There is a condition called feline hyperthesia which causes some cats to be OCD about chewing various body parts and may have super sensitive skin.

Hyperesthesia Syndrome
https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952886

Is your cat bored? Does the tail look ok? Not red or bald or with sores? Just a normal looking tail that's just wet from being chewed on?
 

fionasmom

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I would also like to see the video if you can upload it. I had a cat with FHS and that is what I am thinking your boy has.
 
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Lukasmommy

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Thanks everyone for your responses! He has lots and lots of toys (I have a bad habit, every time I go to the grocery store or a new part of town I buy him a new toy). So far, I haven't noticed any damage to the tail. I hope he's just playing!!! That would be awesome and a big relief. I started taking the videos after visiting the vet unfortunately. But here are some videos:

Chewing 1

Chewing 2 (sorry I had to place the phone right up against my nose to get this angle so I'm breathing really loud!)

Chewing 3


I know you guys aren't vets or a substitute for a vet, just curious to see your opinions as veteran cat owners and if you think I should try another vet visit.
 

Maurey

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Do you know if he’s harming his tail with his chewing? Is there any ever any evident soreness or bleeding? Also, is there any kind of triggers you’ve noticed that seems to start the behavior?

If he’s not hurting himself, he may be self-soothing. The way he’s chewing and licking his tail reminds me of when my male cat is very cozy and content when curled upon my chest and will start licking and lightly chewing my fingers.

That said, a common cause of such behavior can be boredom. Does he have plenty of play/access to independent enrichment?
 

fionasmom

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He is a cutie, even with being intent on reorganizing his tail. I am not expert on FHS, but Chelsea did not look like that. She got the big dark eyes, clearly did not know who I was, circled and circled chasing her tail as if it were the devil incarnate. I could only stop it by protecting myself first with gloves or picking up a safe object like a pillow and touching her with it.
 
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