Cats are known and loved for many things, including their beautiful tails. Most cats can be seen with their tails held high when they're in a good mood, so any abnormal behavior using the tail might alarm pet owners. If your cat is dragging its tail behind it, that's actually a very good reason to be worried. Here's what you need to know about what your cat is doing.

Likely Causes

There are a few potential causes for a cat to drag their tail. For example, a female cat that's recently been mated with might hold their tail down. Cats of both genders will often exhibit this behavior when they're protecting their hind end from being touched or hurt. This might mean that they already have an injury to the area, or another health issue, like a skin rash.

One of the most common causes of a cat dragging its tail limply, though, is when its tail itself is injured. Cats' tails can be bruised, pinched, or completely broken, and all three of these types of injuries can lead to dragging the tail. Cats will drag their tail when it's injured either because it hurts to lift it or because they cannot lift it at all due to a loss of function from a break or swelling.


While your first thought might be to touch your cat to see if they're injured, it's not the best idea to poke around the area that's bothering them. If their back end or tail is injured, their reaction may be to lash out at you if you hurt them further by touching it.

Instead, keep an eye on your cat while you wait to see a veterinarian. If you have one, you can use a e-collar to help keep your cat from picking at the area, which could make it worse. Make sure to keep other pets and small children that could be inclined to try and grab at the kitty away from your cat for the time being, as well.

Getting Help

By now, you should already have an appointment with a veterinarian. This is the best way to get your cat the help that they need.

If your cat has an injury to their hind end, your vet will be able to inspect it, debride it, and if necessary, use stitches to help it to heal. If there's evidence that your cat has breeded recently, you'll also receive information on how to care for your cat while it's pregnant.

If your cat's tail is damaged, your vet will perform a physical examination and likely run some scans, like x-rays, in order to ensure that there isn't a break. If it's simply injured, preventing an infection and letting the injury heal on its own will likely be your veterinarian's response. However, if it's broken, repairing the tail with a cast or amputating the damaged part if it can't be repaired will be necessary. This will ensure that your cat can lift its tail again - even if part of it is amputated - and won't become paralyzed from the injury.

In short, if you ever notice your cat exhibiting behavior that's out of the ordinary, call your veterinarian. They can provide advice over the phone and let you know whether your concerns are worth coming in for or if it's something that you can simply wait out at home.

To learn more, reach out to a company like Parkview Animal Hospital.