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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 18 year old female cat keeps flicking her tail. She doesn't act bothered in any other way but she's walking around constantly flicking her tail. She's a crf cat. She's been treated for fleas fairly recently. Would a cat do that if it were constipated? I have another cat so I don't know if she's had a bowel movement or not.
 

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I haven't seen tail flicking as a symptom of constipation, but that doesn't mean it might not happen. More frequently, I see tail flicking as an indication of irritation, as with a flea bite or other acute pain.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I felt her over and couldn't find any evidence of pain. I had her shaved recently because she gets very matted and doesn't like to be combed. I don't see any fleas on her.

I guess I'll keep monitoring it. Her appetite today hasn't been very good although she paws at me asking for food. That's pretty typical of her though. Some days, she'll eat a lot.
 

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Is her tail straight up in the air when she flicks it? Two of my fosters do that. Its nothing to worry about. Just the way they are! If a cat is crouching and flicking its tail it is showing you it is irratated and is warning you to stop what your doing to them.
 

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It's possible that she has a little irritation or razor burn from the shaving. I have a couple of cats with VERY sensitive skin that can get quite tender during shedding season or when they pull matted clumps out of their own coats. My guess is that your old girl's skin is irritated and bothering her a bit.

Laurie
 

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...I have another cat so I don't know if she's had a bowel movement or not.
Here are a couple of suggestions to remedy that and determine whether/not there's movement:

  1. Seclude/isolate one of your cats in one area/room equipped with all the accoutrements....in a day or so you'll know whether/not either is constipated
  2. If you can't separate the cats:
    In a multi-cat household, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which cat is producing which stool or who is not pooping. One way to sort things out is to feed each cat, in turn, a small amount of baby food beets. Be forewarned that beets may also color the urine, a harmless effect, and that will probably occur more quickly than the beets coloring the stool. Wait a couple of days before giving the beets to the next cat so you are sure whose results are whose. Acute Treatment
If you want a handy reference guide for checking possible trouble symptoms in kidney-kitties, there's a reputable one here (where you won't find tail flicking!)
 

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how much of the tail is flicking and position

just wondering since there are many different interpretations depending on whether it's the whole tail or just the tip flicking, and also whether the tail is vertical or horizontal, etc...

if everything else about her is "normal", maybe it's just a new habit she's picked up, too. then again, maybe the new shave IS a bit irritating to her as the hair grows back and every once in a while it itches her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Stryker, I've been wanting to be able to do that!
She's sleeping now so I won't bother her. I will check her when she wakes up.

Her skin may be irritated like you said, Laurie. I scratched the area above her tail lightly and she just seemed to love it. She hasn't reacted like that before so I think her skin is itchy.

The flicking she does is the whole tail side to side. It's almost like little spasms.
 

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little spasms

The flicking she does is the whole tail side to side. It's almost like little spasms.
could this be the "quivering" that has been described in some books as a sign that she is extremely happy/excited to see you?

when our Angel does it, her tail is straight up and down and just barely quivers sorta from side to side. she usually does it first thing in the morning when i get up presumably because she's so excited to be getting her breakfast. :catmilk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
could this be the "quivering" that has been described in some books as a sign that she is extremely happy/excited to see you?

when our Angel does it, her tail is straight up and down and just barely quivers sorta from side to side. she usually does it first thing in the morning when i get up presumably because she's so excited to be getting her breakfast. :catmilk
I don't know; she's not looking at me when she's doing it. I haven't seen her do it today - although I've been gone most of the morning.

As far as I can tell, she's not constipated.
 
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