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  • Post last modified:August 21, 2023
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Why Do Cats Tails Fall Off? Is It Normal? (EXPLAINED)

Did you know a cat’s tail contains nearly 10% of its bones? The tail helps cats to balance and steer while jumping and running. Also, cats use their tails to communicate with humans and each other, expressing emotions like fear, aggression, and happiness.

It is only when a cat has lost its tail will an owner realizes how precious an organ is in saying so much about his feelings and personality. However, you have already realized this since you are reading this article. 

Why do cats tails fall off? You are either asking this because your cat has lost its tail, or you’re just worried about having heard of some cat that has lost its tail. 

Hopefully, it is the latter. Either way, read on.

Why Do Cats Tails Fall Off?

Why do cats tails fall off? A cat with no tail.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

No one likes the sad sight of a cat without a tail, so it would be good to begin by knowing what can lead to this, after which you can look at how to better look after your cat and her tail. 

While there are several reasons for a cat’s tail falling off, here’s putting them all into a few broad categories, which you can now see.

  • Accidents: This one should have been quite obvious, but since it is inevitable, putting it first. Cats are playful beings and always prone to accidents, from scratches and scrapes to mutilation of their tails. And so, as an owner, you have to be careful.
  • Disease: In some cases, allergies can cause a cat its lose its tail. These allergies can be anything from allergies to food to fleas, which must be checked. At other times, it can be a more serious illness like cancer, leading a cat’s tail to fall off his body. 
  • Tail necrosis: This is caused by a lack of blood supply; tail tissue can degenerate and die, resulting in a partial or complete tail loss. Always seek veterinary help at the first sign of tail necrosis.
  • Self-mutilation: Cats are strange beings, and only an owner knows why they chew on their tails so much that they fall over. As per the source, cats self-mutilate due to over-grooming, stress, neurological disorder, environmental factors, flea allergies, or psychological issues.

If you want to see her tail, make sure that she is always secure, comfortable, and happy. As a result, you can say that a cat’s tail can fall off due to natural and unnatural causes and that all you can do to prevent it is to care for your cat appropriately. 

Can Cats Tails Fall Off Randomly?

Cats’ tails do not typically fall off randomly. The fact is that a cat’s tail will not fall without a reason. There always would have been something that would have led to it, from the reasons that you saw above. 

Now, how likely that is to happen with your cat will depend on how careful you are and the measure that you take. 

Must Read: Why Do Cats Sleep With Their Tongue Out?

Is It Normal For Cats To Lose Their Tail?

Here is a video showing the tail of a cat that fell off.

Tail injuries are common in cats. This is something sad but true. And yet, know that this is not normal. 

A cat’s tail is delicate and can easily be injured. If a cat’s tail is injured, it may fall off. Some cats are born without tails, some have their tails amputated due to injury, and others may lose their tails due to other reasons.

A cat’s fallen tail is a sure sign that something is wrong with your cat. It could be an illness that will need some treatment or an accident that calls for immediate attention.

Generally, tailless cats have an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years. So, as a good owner, you won’t ignore your cat’s fallen tail if it’s bothering you. 

Reading all this surely has brought another question to your mind, so read on to find the answer. 

Can A Cat’s Tail Grow Back?

If it’s a small cut, all it needs is a little time to heal, but no, a broken tail cannot grow back on its own. 

In this case, a vet visit is necessary, followed by surgery. Some people think it’s unnecessary since cats can live without their tails, but that’s only half true. 

Think back to what you read at the beginning. A cat’s tail is a big part of his personality, and it’s another way he communicates to you the ways he feels after meowing and purring. 

How To Tell If A Cat’s Tail Is Broken?

Adorable fluffy cat napping on cozy bed in house.

It starts when you notice something fishy. Even if you don’t agree at first, you must immediately take action if you observe any of the following signs. 

  • Lack of Movement: Cats use their tails a lot, and if you find this has not happened for a while, you need to pay attention.
  • Blood: This can arise due to an injury but is most often a sure sign that the poor cat’s tail is broken and is going to need some immediate attention.
  • Swelling: Do you see a puffy tail? Then, it’s probably not in the best of health, and chances are that it’s broken. Seek immediate attention.
  • Loss of Hair: Your otherwise hairy cat suddenly shows up with a hairless tail. Something’s wrong. Chances are, it’s a broken tail.
  • Poor Bowel Movements: This is because the nerves at the bowels are very close to the tail. So, if your cat is showing improper bowel movements, have a look at the tail.
  • Cry: Animals are sometimes like babies, and a broken pain is sure to bring them a lot of pain. And if she is going through a lot of pain, she will cry like a child in pain. Something to be noted again.

Notice any of the things above? Worry not, for that is why you have the vet. Your cat is hopefully soon going to be healthy and safe. 

What To Do When Cats Tail Falls Off?

Firstly, what you need to do depends on the kind of tail injury concerning your cat’s tail. If it’s a minor injury, wrapping the tail for a while will help it to heal. To this, you can add some ointment to speed things up and let the cat’s tail heal. 

Change the bandage and reapply the antibiotic ointment daily. To prevent your cat from chewing on the bandage, you can use a deterrent like Bitter Apple or an Elizabethan collar (cone).

Note: Sometimes, an injury may just include a scratch on the tail or, at the most, a deep cut or scrape, in which case the above would suffice. Yet there are other times when major accidents can lead to fractures or, even worse, an amputated tail. If this is true, in your cat’s case, waste no time in showing its tail to the vet. 

Treatment Options For A Cat’s Tail Loss

Cat at the Veterinarian

Now that your cat has lost its tail, what should you do? Panic? Well, that was normal and okay, but perhaps not the best course of action. Calm down first; then read on to learn what common treatment options are available. 

1. Medications:

This is in the case of minor injuries. Know that when you have a cat at home, one thing you also need to have at all times, along with your cat, is the first aid box. 

This way, you can always provide ready relief to your cat in times of injury. 

2. Surgery:

Now, you can’t do this, so don’t. This means taking your cat to the vet, preferably at the earliest.

What you can do on your part here is to be as gentle and kind as possible, to provide all the relief you can to your pained cat till she reaches the safe and experienced arms of the vet. 

3. Alternative therapies: 

Along with the above, there are other things that you can do, like putting your cat on supplements for her to restore her strength and tail, but make sure that it is only on the advice of the vet. 

And more importantly, make sure that this isn’t all you do. If necessary, take your cat to the veterinarian.

Do Cats Feel Pain In Their Tails?

Yes, a tail is very much a part of a cat’s body, and like any other animal with a tail, they, too, can feel the pain. 

It’s a different thing that these creatures can sometimes hide their pain. Don’t believe them. If the tail is injured, she is in pain. 

So gentle as you treat your cat that has already injured her tail. Let her not have to face any more pain. 

Recommended Reading: Are Stray Cats Friendly?

Tips For Preventing Accidents And Injuries

Adorable purebred cat lying on cozy bed

While you can’t always control everything, you can still, on your part, make some effort and do some things. Here are some preventive measures to protect your cat and his tail, and more importantly, his head and other vital organs. 

  • Supervise your cat outside or keep it indoors: Cats love exploring their surroundings, even if it means meddling with other animals and vehicles too, and who can blame them for these things? What you can do instead is keep them in control and secure by using a harness and leash.
  • Avoid Pulling Or Twisting Your Cat’s Tail: Yes, some people do this; hopefully, you are not one of them. The tail is an extension of their spine, and any injury to it can be very painful and cause serious medical problems, including nerve damage.
  • Maintain Your Cat’s Safety And Comfort: Cats can become overactive when bored, so provide enough exercise to keep them from playing the fool around. Provide your cat with various treats, toys, and, most importantly, love and attention to make her feel comfortable. 
  • Cat-Proofing The Home: Keep things around free of any chances of accidents and injuries. No sharp objects around and no furniture that can cause damage. With a cat, think twice about all the things you intend to bring into the house. 
  • Regular Check-Ups: A part of your life as a cat owner is about making those regular visits to the vet. And this is important not just about your cat’s tail but also his overall health. This can include dental problems, joint pain, or other health issues that may impact your cat’s mobility.
  • Seek Professional Help When Needed: No incident is too small to send you to the vet, even if it is just got to do with the animal’s tail. So, if you detect any such problem here, take the tail and the entire cat with you to the vet. Veterinarians can provide your cat with the necessary treatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Why Do Cats Tails Fall Off?

Q1. Why Did My Kitten’s Tail Fall Off?

Ans: As you saw, there could be many reasons for this. The internal reasons could be health issues, from allergies to fatal diseases. The external reasons are usually accidents, from small to major accidents, that could lead to greater injury. 

Q2. How Serious Is A Cat Tail Injury?

Ans: Again, this is going to depend on the kind of accident or disease. Often, it can be as simple as a scratch or a scrape, which with the right treatment, will soon heal. But then, if you see anything more than this, do take it to the vet, lest the tail may not heal. 

Q3. Is A Cat’s Tail A Bone?

Ans: Yes, it is an extension of the spine, though it may not seem like it. This is because of its flexibility, which is often seen in the way a cat uses it. But at the end of the day, a cat’s tail is indeed a bone, so watch out and be careful with it. 

Q4. Can A Cat’s Tail Fall Off On Its Own?

Ans: Sometimes it can, as a result of a serious illness, which is why it is so essential to be proactive when it comes to the cat’s health, for she cannot go by herself to the vet, even if her tail is so important. You need to take her regularly to the vet. 

Q5. Tail Pull Injury Cats Symptoms

Ans: There are quite a lot of them that you need to look out for. For one, he is going to move his tail less often. And then, there will be physical changes like puffiness, bleeding, loss of hair, and so on. Your cat may cry at times or have trouble with bowel movements. These are all signs that tell.

Q6. My Cat Has A Limp Tail But No Pain: Here’s Why

Ans: Most often, the cause of this is nerve damage, which makes it impossible for your poor cat to move her tail. As a result, it will hang limply on her back, though she will not complain of any pain in it. Make sure to go to the vet as soon as possible so he can assess the situation. 

Closing Thoughts

Whoever thought that a simple tail in a cat could get so complicated? And yet, complicated it is, and if you love your cat, you’re going to love her tail too and do all it takes to protect it.

Because if you don’t, there’s going to come a time when your cat and you will miss those moments when she could tell you some of the cutest things with the use of that tail she now no longer has.

Therefore, prevent this from occurring by taking proper care.


Hey there, pet lovers! I'm Pratik, a lifelong animal lover, and pet care expert. My passion for animals began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. Through my blog, I hope to share my knowledge and expertise with other pet owners and provide them with valuable information on pets.