How Do You Know If Your Cat's Tail Is Broken And How Should You Treat It?

Posted on: 18 August 2022


Getting stepped on, getting caught in a closing door, and getting into a fight with another cat are all ways that cats can break their tails. While a broken tail can be painful, minor fractures low down on a cat's tail often heal on their own. Unfortunately, injury near the base of a cat's tail can lead to debilitating nerve damage. If your cat has been injured and you think their tail may be broken, read on to learn about the common signs of a broken tail and what you should do.

How Do You Know if a Cat's Tail Is Broken?

For a minor tail injury, a cat will often stop moving their tail as much due to the pain that it causes them, and they may hide in a spot that feels safe to them. The injured spot may appear red or swollen, and your cat may be missing some of the fur on its tail if it was pulled out during the injury (for example, during a fight with another cat.)

It's important to look for signs of nerve damage. The nerves at the base of a cat's tail control bowel and bladder function as well as the usage of their hind legs. If those nerves are damaged or destroyed as part of an injury to the base of the tail, your cat will have difficulty walking using their hind legs, and they'll also have urine and fecal incontinence.

What Should You Do if You Think Your Cat Broke Their Tail?

If you suspect that your cat's tail is broken, you should take them to an animal care hospital. Even minor tail injuries require veterinary attention since the injury typically also creates a break in the skin. A veterinarian can provide you with an antibiotic ointment and bandages that you can place on your cat's tail to reduce the risk of infection, and they can also provide you with a neck cone that will prevent your cat from biting at the bandage.

If your cat suffered nerve damage as a result of the tail injury, you may want to consider boarding them at the animal care hospital for closer observation. When a cat has fecal incontinence, they need frequent cleaning in order to prevent a skin infection, and boarding them is a good idea if you don't have enough time to care for them on your own. Boarding them at an animal care hospital will also help prevent them from getting injured if they're having trouble walking.

Overall, the biggest risk of a tail injury in cats is nerve damage, as your cat will require constant care while the nerves heal. An animal care hospital can look after your cat during this time. Even for minor tail injuries with no nerve damage, however, it's important to seek veterinary treatment — antibiotics and proper wound care will help prevent your cat's injury from becoming infected.

Contact an animal care hospital for more information.