Tail Trauma Average Cost

From 517 quotes ranging from $100 - 800

Average Cost


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What is Tail Trauma?

Injuries to the tail, no matter how serious, warrant veterinary attention as there is no way for the owner to know the full extent of tail damage. Before rushing your cat off the vet, however, call ahead as the vet may be able to advise you over the phone if the injury is minor.

Tail trauma in cats is usually the result of accidental injury.  A cat’s tail extends from the spine. The tail is an important part of a cat’s body as it provides them with a sense of direction and balance as well as control over their bowels. There are no breed, sex, or age predispositions for developing tail trauma, although outdoor cats have a higher risk for experiencing tail trauma than indoor cats.

Symptoms of Tail Trauma in Cats

Tail trauma can range in severity. It may be as minor as a small scrape or as severe as complete paralysis. Other symptoms may also be present depending on the cause of the trauma. In any case, seek immediate veterinary attention as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Limp tail
  • Difficulty urinating and/or defecating
  • Lack of or no movement in the tail
  • Signs of pain
  • Hair loss
  • Skin damage
  • Bleeding


Many types of tail trauma may occur in cats, including, but not limited to:

  • Abrasions
  • Fractures
  • Bone breakage
  • Dislocation
  • Nerve damage
  • Complete paralysis

Causes of Tail Trauma in Cats

The primary cause of tail trauma in cats is accidental injury. These injuries may range in severity, from the tail simply being shut in a door to being hit by a car.

Diagnosis of Tail Trauma in Cats

Call your vet as soon as you can to let them know what happened; they will be able to advise you on whether or not an appointment is necessary to evaluate the damage. During the appointment, your vet will be able to make a tentative diagnosis based on a thorough physical examination and presentation of symptoms. Be sure to inform your vet of the extent and duration of your cat’s symptoms, as well as any recent accidents that may be the cause of the tail trauma.

The appearance of the tail is usually sufficient for making the definitive diagnosis. However, in more severe cases of tail trauma, blood count, urinalysis, x-rays, and other standard diagnostic testing may be utilized, particularly if the tail appears to be paralyzed.

Treatment of Tail Trauma in Cats

Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the trauma.  Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment plan based on your cat’s specific needs. 

In minor cases of abrasions, treatment may not be necessary. For more severe abrasions, a tail wrap, coupled with the use of antibiotic ointments, may assist in the healing process. In some extremely severe cases, tail shortening may be required.

If there is a fracture in the tail, treatment will vary depending on the severity of the fracture. Minor fractures may not require any treatment at all. If the fracture is more severe and the bones in the tail have been crushed, amputation may be required. If the tail is broken, it may be able to heal by itself depending on the location and extent of the break. Surgery may be required, although vets tend to prefer to allow the tail to heal on its own before taking this route.

Nerve damage may require more invasive treatment. Depending on the severity and extent of the nerve damage, surgery may be required to restore normal bowel and/or urinary function. If the tail has been completely paralyzed, amputation is generally required. In some cases, full nerve function may return after a month or longer.

Recovery of Tail Trauma in Cats

Recovery and prognosis may vary depending on the cause and severity of tail trauma. Always follow your vet’s post-treatment and/or post-operative instructions carefully. Never apply any antibiotic ointments made for human use unless specifically instructed to do so by your vet.

You may want to limit your cat’s outdoor activity during the recovery period. You may also have to assist your cat in urinating and defecting normally if the tail has undergone nerve damage, is limp, or otherwise unable to move.

If your cat has undergone surgery or amputation, do not allow them to irritate the surgery site. Ensure they have a warm, safe place to rest for the duration of the recovery period. Your vet will be able to advise you on helping your cat adjust following amputation.

Your vet may or may not schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor healing. If you have any questions, or if the tail does not seem to be healing with treatment, contact your vet immediately.

Tail Trauma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Domestic shorthair
8 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Our 8-month-old kitten, Sunny, recently came back inside with a noticeable kink roughly 6 cm from the end of his tail. He also had a 2 to 3 cm laceration at that point and an apparent gap in the vertebrae. We took him to an emergency vet who told his tail had been stretched but not broken. She added that she thought that the damage would reverse over the next month.

Unfortunately, we are not certain on recovery. His tail hangs limp from the point of injury with no movement whatsoever beyond the injury. He’s moving the rest of the tail somewhat (mostly raising it halfway vertically, no lateral movement at all) but the tip just hangs straight down. Everything else is normal--no issues with toileting or walking.

What are the actual odds of recovery from such an injury?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1700 Recommendations
To this extent, I am less optimistic about Sunny regaining function of that portion of his tail back; however, it wouldn’t hurt to take a wait and see approach or a month or so to look for any improvement before deciding on amputation. I wouldn’t like to put specific odds on the recovery, but I am not optimistic given your description. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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4 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Found a 4 week old kitten and saw his tail is eaten off and one of his toes on the back paw to him to the vet gave him a antibiotic shot and cream for his eye.what els can i put on the open wounds to heal and make sure there no infection

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1700 Recommendations
You should bathe Warrior’s wounds with a dilute antiseptic and apply an antibiotic ointment if the wounds are small; however if the wound on the tail is severe, a partial caudectomy should be considered. The most important thing is to make sure that the wounds are clean and that Warrior is hydrated. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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7 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Hello my kitty got her tail smashed in the door and cried pretty loud
. We think it might be broken it feels like it is bent about half way down. She is eating and playing normally. She is wagging her tail but it is pointing down now when she moves it. I ran my hand through her tail and she wined a little. Does she need to ne taken to the vet or will ot heal on its own?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1700 Recommendations
It would be best to have Luna checked by your Veterinarian as broken vertebrae can cause chronic pain if they don’t heal correctly and a caudectomy may be required (cutting the tail off before the fracture). Your Veterinarian will also prescribe pain relief for Luna as well as this is a painful injury for a cat. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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2 Months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

My kitten tail is paralyzed. There is no movement at all. The vet has told me to cut of the tail. I just wanted to know that is it possible for the tail to return?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1700 Recommendations
Once the cat’s tail is removed, it doesn’t grow back; there are coccygeal vertebrae in the tail and those bones will no reform after a caudectomy. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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