As pet dad and mom, we typically take the conduct of our cats’ curious appendage, the tail, with no consideration. As an illustration, whereas we’ll rapidly discover if our cat is limping, we don’t essentially discover when one thing is mistaken with their tail. Discover ways to acknowledge a damaged cat tail and different widespread cat tail accidents.
Do cats have bones of their tails?
Sure, cats have bones of their tails—actually, 10 p.c of your cat’s bones are within the tail. The tail is an extension of the backbone, so these bones are vertebrae. Bones, muscle mass, and nerves within the tail play an essential function in your cat’s motion, steadiness, bowel management, and extra. On a unique be aware, your cat’s tail language is an important type of expression with people and different animals.
What does a damaged cat tail seem like?
Can cats break their tails? Since cats have bones of their tails, it stands to purpose that they will fracture them. A damaged cat tail may end up from quite a few incidents, from life-threatening occurrences like getting hit by a automotive to innocuous occasions like falling off a mattress. You may additionally see a damaged cat tail as a result of the tail obtained shut in a door, or was pulled too exhausting by a rowdy little one. (Ouch!)
So, how do you notice a damaged cat tail? It might be so simple as your cat’s tail drooping down. A tail that’s limp or held low to the bottom is a certain signal that your cat is pained, fearful, or each.
Extra signs that accompany a damaged cat tail could embrace:
- Incapacity to wag the tail
- Incapacity to maneuver the again legs
- Lack of bladder or bowel management
Get to a veterinarian immediately should you discover any of those signs in your cat.
Therapy for a damaged cat tail
Relying on the place the fracture occurred, many tails heal on their very own inside just a few months. A damaged tail tip could have a kink or a bump in it afterward, however gained’t require further remedy. Fractures situated nearer to the bottom of the tail are normally extra critical, leading to nerve harm. Lastly, crushed vertebrae or degloving will seemingly require surgical procedure. Relying on the severity and placement of the damage, the tail could have to be amputated. Your vet will decide if that is vital with an examination and X-rays.
The excellent news: Even when your cat’s tail have to be amputated, she or he isn’t more likely to be all that affected by the partial lack of this appendage. (In spite of everything, bobtail cats do exactly superb with quick tails!)
Different widespread cat tail accidents
In case your cat goes exterior, tail accidents will develop into extra seemingly. Along with the hazards posed by visitors and publicity, your cat could are available contact with different animals and pests that may trigger cat tail accidents. We advocate having a cat first assist equipment in the home with bandages, instruments, pest care, wound care, drugs, and extra.
Scrapes and scratches in your cat’s tail normally don’t warrant a visit to the vet. When you see a minor abrasion the place hair is rubbed off and crimson pores and skin is uncovered, simply clear the world with delicate cleaning soap and water or sterile saline wound wash. (Don’t use hydrogen peroxide.) Then apply antibiotic ointment and a self-adhesive bandage—simply make certain to not wrap too tightly. When you discover your cat licking, scratching, or biting the injured space, it’s possible you’ll want to use a cat e-collar.
Any abrasion that has extreme swelling or bleeding is finest checked out by your veterinarian.
One of the crucial widespread cat tail accidents is a chunk wound, whether or not attributable to one other animal or self-inflicted. Within the case of the latter, flea dermatitis, meals allergy symptoms, or stress are seemingly the trigger.
Chew wounds on the tail can simply develop into contaminated—be looking out for indicators like redness, warmth, ache, and irritation. It’s higher to err on the aspect of security and take your cat to the vet should you discover chunk wounds on the tail (or elsewhere on the physique). If the wound is bleeding closely, wrap it in a towel when you transport your cat to the vet. The vet could must flush out the wound, apply sutures, and even carry out surgical procedure. At-home remedy could embrace antibiotics and ache treatment.
We already talked about that chunk wounds on the tail can typically be self-inflicted, typically as a result of pores and skin issues equivalent to flea infestations, fungal infections, or mite infestations. These kinds of infections are handled with vet-approved topical drugs, shampoos, injections, and extra.
Much less widespread are self-inflicted cat tail accidents attributable to a dysfunction known as feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS), also referred to as twitch-skin syndrome, rippling pores and skin illness, or rolling pores and skin syndrome. Veterinarians normally characterize FHS as a seizure dysfunction or an obsessive-compulsive situation. Most episodes start if you contact or scratch the cat’s decrease again area. Your cat could go from dozing peacefully to scratching, biting, or licking at their again, flank space, or tail all within the house of 20 or 30 seconds. FHS will be troublesome to diagnose, however it may be handled with anti-seizure treatment like gabapentin and/or anti-anxiety treatment like Prozac.
Cat tail accidents are extra widespread than you’d suppose. Whereas some accidents are minor and can heal on their very own, many require the eye of a vet. Now that you understand how to identify a damaged cat tail, you possibly can act immediately if you discover one thing is off about your furry member of the family.
Cowl photograph by Jason Leung on Unsplash