Helping Your Cat Heal From a Tail Amputation

Your kitty can live without his tail.

Your kitty can live without his tail.

A cat's tail can be broken or damaged in numerous ways -- sometimes simply by being pulled or caught in a door. If the injury is severe enough, amputation may be necessary. While your cat can live without a tail, he needs quiet, rest and TLC for a full recovery.

Let your cat recover from surgery in a quiet room -- such as a small bedroom or bathroom -- where he cannot be bothered by other pets or children in the household. Place clean bedding in a spot on the floor that is close to food and water bowls, as well as a clean litter box.

Restrict his moving around, if recommended by your veterinarian. If necessary, place him in a crate or cat carrier where he cannot move about freely for at least one to two days.

Keep your kitty warm as he recovers. A heating pad on a low setting or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel can provide the necessary warmth. Keep your kitty's bedding or carrier out of a draft and away from air conditioning ducts.

Monitor your cat's litter box use closely. Some cats lose bathroom sensation -- and even bodily functions -- after a tail amputation. Your vet will want to know if your cat is able to urinate or defecate without assistance.

Give your kitty any required medication to control his pain or assist him in going to the bathroom, such as stool softeners or antibiotics to fight a urinary tract infection. Follow the veterinarian's directions on dosage and how frequently to give it to your recovering cat.

Check the incision site twice a day. Notify you veterinarian immediately if you notice any odor, excessive redness or swelling, drainage or continued bleeding. These could all indicate an infection.

Change your cat's bandages as recommended by the veterinarian and ensure your cat is not biting or pulling at them. An infection of the incision is possible if the area is exposed to feces or urine; if necessary, put something bitter-tasting, such as bitter apple spray, on the bandage to encourage your cat to leave it alone.

Items you will need

  • Clean bedding
  • Crate or cat carrier
  • Heating pad or hot water bottle
  • Medication
  • Clean bandages


  • See your veterinarian for a follow-up visit after a recommended period of time; additional X-rays or treatment may be necessary to ensure your kitty heals properly.


  • Ask your veterinarian what type of litter to use -- such as recycled newspapers rather than gravel -- during your kitty's post-surgery recovery to avoid infection of his incision.

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About the Author

Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."

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