We accidentally ran into our cat backing out of our driveway. We took him to the vet and they said he broke many parts of his tail so it will have to be amputated.

They also said if he didn't go to the bathroom soon, he would have to be put to sleep. When we brought him home though and he tried to go to the bathroom, he couldn't because he can't lift his tail which is paralyzed.

So I don't know how he's going to go to the bathroom. Any thoughts?


I think you've misunderstood the situation slightly.

A cat's tail is an extension of its spinal column, and the base of the spinal cord runs into it. Some of the nerves run back from the tail into the cat's hindquarters, including (if i'm remembering correctly) to the colon and anus. A tail injury, like any other spinal injury, risks damaging the central nervous system and causing loss of sensation or loss of control.

So the issue isn't one of whether the cat can lift its tail. It's whether the damage has affected the cat's ability to control some fairly essential muscles.

The good point here is that you should have an answer relatively quickly, either way.

Think about the cat's comfort and quality of life, and work with your vet to determine the best course of action. A possibly useful question to ask: "If this was your cat, what would you do?"

  • My cat had a similar injury about six months ago. We prepared ourselves for euthanasia, just in case. But the vet gave us some medication that made it easier for him to do his business, and he managed to do it! (Not right away, though.) - - - The good news is that he had a full recovery. It was very, very gradual. Good luck! May 2 '15 at 15:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.