Symptoms That a Cat Has Broken Its Tail

Written by jamie conrad
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Symptoms That a Cat Has Broken Its Tail
A broken tail is a serious problem for a cat. (barn yard cat image by Stephen Orsillo from

Cats use their tails for balance and even as a way to communicate and express themselves. Cats break their tails in a number of ways, including tail pulls by children, having the tail closed in a door, being hit by an automobile or by fighting with other cats. Broken tails often result in nerve damage for the cat. Veterinary treatment of the injury is recommended and may include amputation of the tail, depending on severity of the injury. Seek veterinary assistance if your cat displays any symptoms of a broken tail.

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Limp Tail

Broken cat tails are often limp and drag the ground. A cat with a broken tail may also avoid holding the tail high. Cat tails twitch, flick and sway almost continuously, so if you notice a lack of motion from the tail, it could be sign of a fractured tail.

Litter Box Problems

Cats with broken tails may unintentionally urinate a few tiny drops of urine at a time. The cat may express pain or have trouble urinating or defecating. The cat may have diarrhoea or be unable to control when he defecates. The cat may even have a full bladder but be unable to urinate unless the bladder is manually expressed (a veterinarian will either squeeze the urine out or show you how to do so in chronic cases). Urine may or may not be bloody.

Coordination Problems

As previously mentioned, a cat uses his tail for balance. When the tail is injured, your cat may lose coordination of the rear legs and have trouble walking properly. The cat may also suffer from coordination problems throughout the entire body, showing difficulty when moving from sitting or lying down to standing, or inability to play. The cat may be much less active than usual.

Tail Sensitivity

Your cat may cry out in pain or become defensive when any of the tail area is touched if the tail is broken. Depending on where the tail seems to be sensitive, you may be able to tell where the actual fracture is. Another sign of a broken tail is a lack of tail sensation. If the cat seems to not notice when you touch the tail or to not feel pain or pressure in the tail at all, it may be broken.

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