We admire most breeds of cat for their beautiful long tails. However, that tail can sometimes be the reason for trouble and accidents, especially when cats are young. Young cats don't always mind their tails and might find their tail end getting caught somewhere.
Tail trauma is an occasional problem mainly in outdoor cats. Also known as broken tail, luxated-subluxated tail or dislocated tail, clinical signs can vary from a kink in the tail to complete paralysis with fecal-urinary incontinence. Most cats with tail trauma have a flaccid, paralyzed tail. Fortunately, although this can be a frightening situation, most cats survive this kind of trauma. I just read a story from a woman who's cat Chester survived an accident involving his tail.
Darcy Sanders writes to us from Salt Lake City, Utah to tell us about her cat Chester, a one year-old orange cat who was always getting into mischief. Lively and healthy Darcy didn't have any fears for his health, but was certain that the high-energy beast was going to get himself hurt somehow. So she got him health insurance very early on and was glad that she did.
Chester was racing around the house like a wild man one morning while Darcy was doing the laundry. As always that cat wasn't taking much care where he was running to or what he might run into. He bolted past her into the garage as the door swung shut behind her, catching Chester's tail.
Chester let out a horrible yowl and ran for a hiding place. When Darcy finally coaxed him out, it was obvious damage had been done to his limp and lifeless tail. There was a patch of fur missing, but he didn't really seem to be in pain. Poor little guy! Darcy raced him to the vet to have him x-rayed and checked out.
Darcy's vet recommended that Chester have his tail amputated to avoid further damage and to keep the paralyzed tail from being soiled by feces and urine. He promised that cats are in no way handicapped without their tail.
Chester has character now, Darcy thinks and he's also a little more careful about where he goes and the risks he takes. Darcy isn't taking any chances though. She's keeping his pet insurance policy now that it's already come in handy once to pay for the expenses of the "tail incident".