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10 year cat who sucks tail

February 16th, 2004, 10:39 AM
I have a male cat who is about 9 or 10 years old. I rescued him from the pound when he was about 5 or 6. Ever since I got him, when he is feeling content, he will sit and put the tip of his tail by his mouth and start sucking it. Now I don't mind the fact that he does this, except that it causes him to throw up at least every other day. He has to much hair in his stomach I guess. He also will not eat wet cat food (canned) as I thought this might help him also...he will only eat dry food. I love my cat, but what can I do to get him to stop this? He has destroyed every carpet in our home? He only seems to suck his tail when he is purring while he is sitting near me...I have never seen this in a cat before and don't understand. I don't want to upset my cats sense of happiness or contentment, but this is getting horrible. I was given some gell stuff from our vet that was supposed to help "lubricate" his stomach, but the cat refuses to eat it, I have put it on his paw, he shakes it he runs when he sees it. How can I help him?

Lucky Rescue
February 16th, 2004, 10:58 AM
This is the same as a child sucking his thumb. Your cat probably started this to comfort himself and ease his stress at the pound.

I don't see the connection between the tail sucking and the frequent vomiting, however. Has he been thoroughly checked out by the vet? Is he actually vomiting hair balls, food, or bile?

When he sitting next to you and starts the tailsucking, gently ease his tail out of his mouth, give a little "Ah ah!"noise, and distract him by petting him under his chin or on his cheeks.

When you put the gel the vet gave you on his paw, put it on the top of the paw and really smear it on so it can't be shaken off easily. Do it in one smooth motion - put the gel on your finger, lift paw and smear.

How is he destroying your carpets? By scratching them? Or vomiting on them?

If it's by vomiting, then the source of that really needs to be explored.

February 16th, 2004, 01:51 PM
He is throwing up all the fur that he sucks off his tail while sucking it. Usually there is no food in although sometimes there is. He is destroying the carpets because when he throws up it is the same color as his food and it permanently stains the carept. I have tried distracting him, but that has been unsuccessful, he just continues and gets very upset when you pull his tail away. What I have here seems to be a chronic sucker

February 27th, 2004, 12:37 AM
I have had kittens who start sucking their tails when they are weaned. Some grow out it, but some don't. It could be that he was weaned too early, didn't want to be weaned, or comforts him. At any rate, he associates the tail sucking with happy memories and that is why he does it when he is happy. The throwing up, even though there is food in the vomit, is most likely caused by the ingestion of hair. There are several dry foods that have hairball formulas. My favorite is Iams. This may help with the vomitting, especially since he prefers dry. Also, for hairball problems, I use vaseline. A vet told me years ago that vaseline is the same thing that gets sold for more money as hairball medication. My cats like the vaseline and will lick it off of my finger. In fact, I have to keep it locked up because they go looking for it! As for the medicine your vet gave you, have you thought of putting it on his tail? Since he sucks his tail anyways, he would have to ingest it along with the hair. Or if he hates the medicine that much, it would act as a deterrent.

Also, for the stain removal problem, I have recently found a new product that I swear by. Its called Kids N Pets Stain and Odor Removal (I've seen it at Wal-Mart and Walgreens). I had several pet related stains that nothing else worked on and I thought were going to require steaming. Some of the stains were almost a year old. I saturated the stains with that product and left them. Thirty minutes later, they were gone. I didn't even have to scrub. I was amazed and wish I could buy stock in the company!

Good luck and I hope I helped!