... she keeps chasing her tail vigorously! and then frantically cleaning and kind of biting her back end - like chewing it and cleaning really hard. Do you think she has fleas or something? I've had a look and can't see anything - she has a flea collar on. Or is she just mad? Taverymuch
She could have fleas or worms, or she could have eczema or an allergic skin condition that's making her itch a lot. She could even have a neurological problem which is causing her to attack her own tail (some sorts of injuries cause the tail to be numb, which frequently results in them 'worrying' it).
The problem is that if you don't know what you're looking for, you could miss the signs of fleas (you very very rarely actually see a flea), and whilst flea collars aren't the most effective way to kill fleas, they remain a very potent allergen in some cats, causing eczema and itchiness.
My advice would be to remove the flea collar and treat her with something like Frontline drop on flea treatment- then you can be sure that whatever is happening, it's not caused by fleas.
Whilst buying decent flea treatment, I'd recommend buying a Drontal wormer too- that will cut out another possibility.
If she carries on doing it, or if she actually draws blood, I think you need to get her checked out with a vet.
Is she going to the loo a lot? If so, feline cystisis may be the problem, in which case antibiotics will sort her out. HTH
Hi Guys, thanks for your replies, she is actually due for her booster so I will ask the vet. She did lose her sister in an unexplained way last September so I have 'mollycoddled' her since then. I also wonder whether I should get her a companion - but she might not take too kindly to that. She seems happy enough but we are all out at work all day. I have had the last week off work and she seems to love me being around. Anyone who doesn't have pets will not 'geddit'! Cheers again x
All of the above, but it's quite possible that she's exhibiting symptoms of anxiety or frustration.
If she doesn't do it when you're around, then it might be worth seeing if you can do things like leave the TV on, etc. when you're not around, wear a T-shirt in bed and aroudn theplace for a few days to get it smelling of you and leave that for her, etc.
And a kitty friend might help!
But I'd look at the suggestions above first. What does her fur around her tail feel like when you stroke her? Is it a bit 'greasy' or 'rough'? Try combing it through; is it luggy? Are there any white flakes (dermatitis 'cat dandruff') or dark specks (dried blood) coming off? Anything like this would point to fleas. If you cn, check out her stools. Any blood? Anything 'wormy'? Has she been wormed?
I would worm her as a matter of course, treat her for fleas and if there is no change, off to the vets.
Hi my cat suffers with this and it is an allergic reaction to something, (we are still trying to find out what) but could be fleas, the only way to stop it for now is to have a steroid injection at the vets which will stop the itching. If you leave it untreated the cat will end up with nasty sores and bald patches. Hope this helps
If it is an anxiety problem, Medusa has posted lots of good advice on this elsewhere, including the use of a feliway plug in. It emits a calming pheromone or something :?
Thanks for all your help guys ... xx