Cat’s tail games and kneading behaviour

Most cat owners have observed their cats and wondered why do cats knead when they’re older and why do some cats play with their tails? Behaviourist Kathy Clayton explains:

Cats knead for comfort and to show pleasure. Many cats knead when lying on your lap, or when they feel like showing love and contentment.

Kneading is relaxing and soothing for cats and they usually purr at the same time.

Kittens will knead their mother’s stomach to stimulate milk production while they are drinking. This is comforting for them when they are kittens.

Kittens and adult cats are generally playful animals, and tail-chasing can be a normal, playful behaviour. They also like to hunt prey, and seeing their tail moving can stimulate that prey drive to chase.

They don’t realise that it is their own tail – it’s moving, so they grab at it. When bored, some cats might chase their tails to entertain themselves.

Sometimes, it can be a sign of a health issue – maybe she is in pain and it is being referred into the tail, so the cat is trying to get to the source of the pain. If you think it could be health-related, then take your cat to the vet for a check-up.



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