Cat Tail Injury - How Serious?

One of my cats got in a fight with another one and got its tail injured pretty bad.

The best way to explain it is to show the pictures taken the moment we noticed.

We are trying to find out if we should just spray some cat disinfectant on it such as Vetericyn and have him heal himself, if we should try to bandage it up and try to keep dirt from getting into it, if there are some other options, or if we need to take him to the vet. Our last visit to the vet turned out horrible, so I would like to avoid it if at all possible.

Our cat doesn't look to be in pain, is walking and jumping around and eating just fine.

Thanks so much for your time, any advice you have would really help out!

Cat tails are tricky areas to treat wounds because they are not an area your cat will likely leave alone to allow the injury to heal properly.
A major concern with cat tail wounds is that, depending on how deep the wound is, the spinal column may actually be effected. Does your cat hold his tail up? Does he have anal tone? These two factors can be indicators of spinal column damage.

Even if your cat's spinal column has not be effected by the initial wound, your cat may continue to bother the tail and chew, bite, or scratch at the wound, and may end up damaging his spinal column in the process.

The topical treatment you are considering will not likely be enough to treat your kitty's injury. Also, bandaging or wrapping the wound to attempt to keep dirt out of it can actually create a breeding ground for bacteria.

The absolute best thing for your cat would be to be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. It is likely that he needs oral feline medications and antibiotics to treat his tail wound. Also, depending on the laws in your area, because the wound is a result of a cat fight, the injury may need to be reported if his rabies vaccine is not up-to-date. If your cat's vaccinations are current, a rabies booster may still be advised due to the nature of his injury.

In the meantime, try to keep the area clean and dry until you can bring your kitty to the veterinarian for an exam and treatment for his tail injury.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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