Cut In Cat's Tail

by Madelin

"My cat's tail got stuck in a door a few days ago, his tail was cut open length wise for a couple inches. It now looks like there is litter in it, and also possibly infection. What should I do? He seems to avoid letting anyone touch his tail, and won't lick it." Thank You!

RESPONSE:

Cats aren’t cooperative when it comes to getting cuts cleaned so I suggest that you wrap your cat in a towel like a burrito. Have the towel wrapped so that the paws/claws are trapped but the tail is outside the wrap. It would be good if you could get another person to assist you.

Try to clear the area of fur then clean the wound with an antiseptic solution or plain water and gauze (not cotton pads which leave fibers). A syringe is needed to flush the wound. In a pinch, even a turkey baster will do. You can make the antiseptic solution by diluting concentrated products like povidone iodine (diluted to the color of weak tea) available at Walmart etc. or chlorhexidine diacetate (diluted to pale blue) available at Walgreens. DO NOT USE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE OR ALCOHOL. These items can damage tissue.

You can also clean the wound by placing the tail under lukewarm, running water. This will flush bacteria. Use an antibacterial soap and rinse well. Dry the area with a soft towel or paper towels. Avoid touching the wound directly. After the area is dry apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin. Then wrap the injured tail with a sterile gauze bandage to prevent the cat from licking the ointment (if not wrapped) or tearing at the gauze (if wrapped).

Another option is placing an Elizabethan collar (lampshade color) around the cat’s neck which prevents your cat from getting access to the wound.

If you notice redness, swelling, a bad odor or discharge after your cleansing process…your cat may need oral antibiotics and treatment by a vet.

For some additional info on other cat mishaps see: Cat First Aid

I wish you luck in getting this tail cleaned up and healed.

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