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Stepping On Cat’s Tail – What To Do?

Stepping On Cat’s Tail – What To Do?

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Stepping on a cat’s tail is a common accident, especially if you own a dependent, loving cat who constantly follows you around. One small moment of inattention is all it takes for an accident to happen, especially in the dark .

Besides hurting your cat and feeling incredibly guilty, stepping on a cat’s tail may cause serious injuries and extreme pain, so it’s important that you know how to care for your cat and repair the relationship!

If you’re a pet parent who’s afraid of such an accident happening, then this article is for you! If your feline friend is one of those cats who never leaves your side, then you should be extra careful.

Read the article and find out what to do after stepping on cat’s tail , how to know if your cat’s in pain, and how to react!

What To Do After Stepping On Cat’s Tail?

the cat runs away on the couch

After you step on a cat’s tail , there are two different outcomes. Either you hurt your cat badly (which may happen if you step hard on its tail or don’t  realize that it has happened immediately). Alternatively,  it may be nothing serious, usually because you noticed what you had done quickly and reacted fast!

However, if at that moment the cat is in pain and scared, she’ll usually react aggressively, while the cat owner will feel guilty – not knowing what to do. After all, how do you apologize to a cat?

Read on to find out what to do!

Cat’s Possible Reactions After Stepping On Her Tail

When in pain, cats may react aggressively because they’re in pain, shocked, and feeling threatened. So, the following reactions are completely normal for a cat, just as you may scream when you get hurt:

• Hissing

• Screaming

• Running away

• Shaking

• Hiding

• Loud meow

This can be upsetting for the owner as well as the cat! Here are some things that you should do after stepping on a cat’s tail . This way, your cat will know that you didn’t do it on purpose and that you want to take good care of her!

Make A Friendly Approach!

the cat is standing on the floor

After stepping on her tail, your cat may screech and run away from you. She may hide to check if she’s injured. However, don’t worry, your cat’s not mad at you, this is just her natural instinct. She felt threatened and tried to run away to safety.

The best way to make it up to your cat is to approach her in a friendly way so that she knows that you won’t hurt her. After she comes to you, calm her by petting her.

Let her know that everything is okay and that she’s safe now. If she’s hesitating to come, offer her favorite cat food or a treat she can’t resist. However, if you can’t find your cat anywhere, it’s time to take things seriously, because she may be badly hurt.

Check Her Up!

After your cat comes to you, the most important thing is to do a check-up! Search for injuries around the tail or other body parts . You may notice an injury from your cat’s reaction when you touch her. Usually, when injured, cats excessively lick the painful area. If you notice this, you should get it checked out by a vet.

The tail is very important as it’s an extension of the cat’s spine. A cat’s flexibility comes from the tail’s muscles and nerves, so it is easily injured.

Every cat owner knows that cats use their tails to communicate and express their feelings . So, you should be worried if your cat’s not moving her tail because this usually indicates a broken bone .

If you don’t notice any injuries, and your cat is behaving normally, then everything is okay, and you shouldn’t worry! However, if you notice changes in the cat’s body language or you suspect that she can’t move her tail, then that means it’s time to visit your veterinarian.

Can Your Cat Walk?

After checking for injuries on your cat, put her down on the floor and see if there are any changes in how she moves. If there is a possibility that you stepped on your cat’s paw instead of the tail, she may limp.

If she doesn’t move her tail, that is a problem. Either way, if your cat can’t walk, then rush to the vet!

If she can walk, that is good, but you still need to monitor your cat’s behavior over the next few days. If there are any changes that concern you, you know what to do – head to the veterinary clinic!

Possible Behavior Changes

Perhaps your cat didn’t react on the first day of the accident, but later pain began to manifest.

If you notice the following behaviors and symptoms, it would be best to visit a vet, even if physically your cat seems to be alright.

• Loss of appetite – this means that your cat is either stressed, shocked, or has internal damages , which need to be examined as soon as possible.

• Painful area – sometimes, your cat may react if you touch the injured area. That’s how you’ll know that she’s in pain. However, if you can’t see any visible injuries, it may be that she has internal injuries and needs medical attention.

• Not moving the tail – if a cat doesn’t move her tail, it’s probably broken. In this case, a veterinarian needs to do an x-ray to ascertain how serious the injury is.

• Not using the litter box – the absence of urination and defecation may be a sign of a serious problem. This problem requires special attention from a veterinarian, because it may indicate nerve damage .

Show Her Affection!

After the horrible accident, and after you establish whether your cat is injured, make sure you show love and affection to your cat so that she knows you’re sorry.

You can take your cat outside and play with her, but mostly pet her in order to calm her down because she still may be in shock.

You can even give her food or her favorite treat to cheer your furry friend up, and believe me you’ll hear her purr again sooner than you think!

What Is A Common Mistake That People Make When They Step On A Cat’s Tail?

a woman petting a cat

There are a few common mistakes that pet owners make after s tepping on cat’s tail.

First of all, they may start to panic, making the situation worse. A cat can sense this negative energy, making her feel even more frightened and stressed.

Secondly, they may not have the right approach. You need to know how to calm your cat down and convince her that everything’s alright.

Finally, sometimes owners blame the cat for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, it’s definitely not the cat’s fault. As a cat lover, you should be aware that your cat may be constantly following you around and you need to keep that in mind.

If you’re in the dark , make sure that you always have a small light with you when walking around the house, so you can easily see your cat beside you.

Do Cats Know You Hurt Them Accidentally?

Yes, cats can realize that it was just an accident because they can sense your energy and recognize your soothing voice .

Of course, your cat won’t know what she did to be stepped on, but as soon as you start showing her affection and that you care for her, she will come again to interact and cuddle with you.

If you hurt your cat on purpose, she will sense your negative energy and probably run away or hide somewhere.

What If Your Cat Has A Broken Tail?

the vet examines the cat's tail

First things first, if you notice that your cat can’t wag her tail and you suspect that it may be broken, you should take her to the vet for professional advice . The vet will do an x-ray and run a blood test to establish how serious the situation is.

When the tail is broken there are two different solutions but it all depends on the seriousness of the injury.

If the injury isn’t that bad and doesn’t require surgery, this means that it’s a tail trauma . A tail trauma is an injury of the cat’s spinal cord. To treat this, the vet will provide your cat with anti-inflammatories and pain relief and let the tail repair itself.

On the contrary, if the damage is serious, then the vet will prepare everything for surgery to mend the tail, or amputation if necessary.

How To Treat A Broken Tail?

Treating a broken tail depends on the type of the injury.

Usually, your cat needs to rest so that its tail can heal. After the surgery, the process is the same. Sometimes, a tail injury may affect your cat’s legs, meaning she’s not able to urinate by herself. So, your cat may really need your help as it recovers.

Healing Process

The healing process also depends on the type of injury. It takes time for bones and nerves to repair and heal. Complete recovery can take 6 to 7 months. Some cats will fully recover earlier and some later so it does come down to the individual cat.

Other Possible Tail Injuries

• Lacerations – these are deeper cuts on the body when you can see the bones or muscles. Sometimes, the cat herself can cause lacerations, by biting a particular body part for some reason, such as fleas . You should be careful because your cat can easily get an infection if there is a laceration.

• Abrasions – these are small scrapes that may happen if a cat hits its tail on something sharp. This is usually nothing serious, but still, if you see a wound or inflamed skin, make sure you disinfect it and apply antibiotic ointment. If you notice excessive bleeding or signs of infection, take your cat to the vet.

Symptoms Of Serious Injuries

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek professional help because it is essential you prioritize your cat’s health :

• Vomiting

• Loss of appetite

• Limping

• Crying

• Hiding

• Sleeping more than usual

• Excessive licking of a particular body area


Stepping on cat’s tail by accident can be stressful for both the cat and her owner. Your cat may follow you everywhere as a sign of affection and you need to keep that in mind and try not to step on her, especially in the dark .

However, accidents happen. The important thing is not to panic, because you’ll scare your cat friend even more. Your cat will probably react aggressively, but you need to stay calm.

After that, make sure you approach her friendly and let her know that it wasn’t on purpose. Pet her, give her favorite food, and believe me, in a blink of an eye, she’ll be cuddling with you again.

However, it’s also of great importance to check your cat to see if there are any injuries or changes in her body language . If you notice anything worrying, you should contact your veterinarian!

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