Cat Hissing At Her Own Tail

Our cat problems are with our year and a half old spayed female cat. Out of the blue, she looks at her tail, then starts hissing at it like it is another animal attacking her. We are at a loss.

Reply from Liz (Editor): If these cat problems are brand new, and your cat has never had a "thing" about chasing and playing with her tail before (which some cats like to do), you need to look at what else she's doing to try to figure out what could be wrong. If, after doing this, you have concerns about her health, you should take her to the vet.

Has her behavior changed in any other way? Is she just hissing at her tail or has she actually started to chase it / attack it aswell? Have you treated her for fleas recently? It's possible that cat fleas may be biting her tail and she's reacting by hissing at it.

There is a condition in cats called Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS) or "Rippling Skin Disorder." This has a number of symptoms, including rippling of the skin around the base of the tail, biting and hissing at the tail, racing round erratically (but in distress rather than for fun) and sensitivity to touch. There are various causes (more information here), but if you think your cat could be suffering from this, you should take her to your vet who will be able to assess her properly and provide the best advice for treatment.

Good luck - I hope you manage to resolve this.

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