Explore the dark side – Broken tail in cats and its shocking consequences

Cats are flexible creatures, skilled at always landing on their paws and escaping from narrow spaces. They often rely on their tail for balance while on the move. However, if your cat’s tail is hanging down, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong. Detecting the early warning signals can greatly help your cat’s healing and well-being. Continue reading to learn about broken feline tails and what to do about it.

Can Cats Break Their Tails?

  • The bones that form a cat’s tail can break or dislocate like any other bone. This can also put their nerves, blood vessels, and muscles at risk of harm, making the injury more serious. 

Cats’ tails are susceptible to various injuries from the rough and active way they live. In such situations, your beloved cat can experience significant pain and discomfort. It’s wise to consult a vet for guidance and advice on the best steps.

Common Causes of a Broken Tail in Cats

  • Tail fractures or dislocations are frequently the result of trauma, such as being hit by a vehicle, falling from a great height and landing awkwardly, or getting their tail caught in a door. When cats roam outdoors, they encounter various risks, some from external threats and others due to their actions. 

Any impact, regardless of its strength, can cause damage to their fragile bones. While pet owners can’t do much to protect pets during their adventures, they must be prepared to act if an unfortunate incident occurs.

Signs of a Broken Tail

  • Here are some signs that indicate a broken tail in cats:

A Limp Tail

  • If your cat’s tail is hanging down or tucked between its hind legs, it’s typically a clear sign that something is wrong. A limp tail is often an obvious indicator of an injury, so observe this closely if it ever happens.

Back Leg Issues

  • Depending on the location of the injury, your cat might lose complete control of their back legs. An injury at the base of the tail, where some nerves controlling the hind legs are situated, could significantly affect their mobility.

Bladder and Bowel Issues

  • An injury at the tail base can also disrupt a cat’s control over bowel and bladder functions. This is often caused by nerve damage in the spinal cord, leading to incontinence, which requires immediate veterinary attention.

Behavior Changes

  • If your typically friendly and easygoing cat suddenly becomes aggressive, unsociable, avoids interaction and vocalizes distress, they’ve likely experienced significant trauma.

Swollen or Bleeding Tail

  • While most fractures aren’t visible externally, there are instances when you can spot a problem. Even though internal damage isn’t apparent to the naked eye, external signs like abrasions, bleeding, or inflammation can warn pet owners about a more serious issue.

Treatment Choices for Cat Tail Injuries

  • broken tail in catsIn many instances, a cat’s tail can naturally heal. For less complex injuries, the primary treatment involves rest. Your vet might also prescribe pain relief medication. However, if the nerves controlling bladder or bowel function are damaged, your cat may need surgery. Additionally, your vet may provide medication, and some cats may require stool softeners and enemas.

For more severe cases, amputation is required. Your veterinarian may advise surgery if:

  • The blood supply to the tail is disrupted.
  • The cat is chewing at its tail, causing further harm.
  • The weight of the hanging tail continues to damage the nerves.
  • Urine and feces are collecting on the tail, increasing the risk of infection.

Contact Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center if your pet has encountered a tail injury or related concerns. We provide urgent pet care services to promote rapid healing. Contact us to get precise guidelines for your pet. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Appointments are conveniently available. Call us at (434) 971-9800.