As pet mother and father, we typically take the conduct of our cats’ curious appendage, the tail, as a right. As an example, whereas we’ll rapidly discover if our cat is limping, we don’t essentially discover when one thing is incorrect 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—in reality, 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 tissue, and nerves within the tail play an necessary position in your cat’s motion, stability, bowel management, and extra. On a unique observe, your cat’s tail language is a vital type of expression with people and different animals.
What does a damaged cat tail appear 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 result from quite a few incidents, from life-threatening occurrences like getting hit by a automobile to innocuous occasions like falling off a mattress. You may additionally see a damaged cat tail as a result of the tail bought shut in a door, or was pulled too laborious by a rowdy youngster. (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 positive signal that your cat is pained, fearful, or each.
Further signs that accompany a damaged cat tail might embody:
- Lack of ability to wag the tail
- Lack of ability to maneuver the again legs
- Lack of bladder or bowel management
Get to a veterinarian instantly should you discover any of those signs in your cat.
Remedy for a damaged cat tail
Relying on the place the fracture occurred, many tails heal on their very own inside a couple of months. A damaged tail tip might have a kink or a bump in it afterward, however received’t require further remedy. Fractures situated nearer to the bottom of the tail are normally extra critical, leading to nerve injury. Lastly, crushed vertebrae or degloving will doubtless require surgical procedure. Relying on the severity and site of the damage, the tail might must be amputated. Your vet will decide if that is needed with an examination and X-rays.
The excellent news: Even when your cat’s tail have to be amputated, she or he isn’t prone to be all that affected by the partial lack of this appendage. (In any case, bobtail cats do exactly tremendous with quick tails!)
Different widespread cat tail accidents
In case your cat goes exterior, tail accidents will turn out to be extra doubtless. Along with the hazards posed by visitors and publicity, your cat might are available contact with different animals and pests that may trigger cat tail accidents. We suggest having a cat first aid kit in the home with bandages, instruments, pest care, wound care, medicines, and extra.
Scrapes and scratches in your cat’s tail normally don’t warrant a visit to the vet. If you happen to see a minor abrasion the place hair is rubbed off and purple pores and skin is uncovered, simply clear the world with gentle cleaning soap and water or sterile saline wound wash. (Don’t use hydrogen peroxide.) Then apply antibiotic ointment and a self-adhesive bandage—simply ensure to not wrap too tightly. If you happen to discover your cat licking, scratching, or biting the injured space, you might want to use a cat e-collar.
Any abrasion that has extreme swelling or bleeding is finest checked out by your veterinarian.
Probably the most 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 doubtless the trigger.
Chunk wounds on the tail can simply turn out to be 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 whilst you transport your cat to the vet. The vet might must flush out the wound, apply sutures, and even carry out surgical procedure. At-home remedy might embody antibiotics and ache treatment.
We already talked about that chunk wounds on the tail can typically be self-inflicted, usually as a result of pores and skin problems corresponding to flea infestations, fungal infections, or mite infestations. These kinds of infections are handled with vet-approved topical medicines, shampoos, injections, and extra.
Much less widespread are self-inflicted cat tail accidents attributable to a dysfunction referred to 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 might go from dozing peacefully to scratching, biting, or licking at their again, flank space, or tail all within the area of 20 or 30 seconds. FHS will be tough 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 instantly if you discover one thing is off about your furry member of the family.
Cowl picture by Jason Leung on Unsplash