Chopping off a cat's tail?

  1. Today I came across one of the most pitiful looking creatures I have ever seen, a small kitten about 3-4 months old. He was hiding near a dumpster at a local gas station. He looked to be nearly starved to death and his tail has been chopped off.

    I brought him home fearing that my husband would hit the roof when he saw that I had brought home a stray. Luckily, he did not and the kittie has managed to win him over.

    We fed him, bathed him, and put medication on his stump of a tail. He has a huge scab there. He manages to sit without hurting himself, but when he rolled onto his back to seek his newly found afftection he literally screamed. He's done that twice tonight. It's very startling and sad.

    Have any of you ever heard of cutting a cat's tail off. I've did several searches on google, but haven't come up with anything. I've only found legends of why manx cats have no tails, and information about "docking" or cutting off a dog's tail, but nothing on a cat.

    I suppose this isn't something common. I've never seen it or heard of it done before.

    If anybody knows anything about this practice I'd love to have your information. Mainly I am just concerned about how to get this cat healthy since he appears to have several problems.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   caroladybelle
    I hve never heard of chopping off a cat's tail. As they use it for balancing assist, it would be totally inappropriate. Cats have very sensitive tails, especially the base, so I am sure that it is in some discomfort.

    I would say that you need to see a vet promptly, to rule out infection and possible need for debridement. Also, to be checked for other signs of abuse. You may have to try a couple types of litter if kitty is very sensitive and puts it's butt in it. Also advise to see vet for deworming/antiflea meds for a while to let the area heal better.

    Otherwise, feed, water and love the little kitty and it will be a friend for life.

    PM Vettech, on this board for more advice.

    Carolina
  4. by   gwenith
    Princess the cat I had before my current one nearly lost her tail. She had a bite on the tail and appearently bites there can abcess in a ring aroung the tail and cut off circulation - the vet congratulated me on picking it up. I had to keep checking the colour of the tail which was very difficult as she was a lilac point and had bluish skin anyway. My advice is the same as Carolina's take her to teh vet with the added advice of letting your SPCA in case this is not an isolated incident.
  5. by   CashewLPN
    um.... I hate to say it, but sometimes, some sick people do horrible things to animals... including cutting their tails off....
    a few years ago, we had some kids that decided to abuse strays horribly.... so badly, I'm not going to post what they did, as it still nauseates me....
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think I agree w/the above. Someone abused this poor animal and he came to YOU for a reason. Thank good ness he has you. Poor baby. If any sign of infection shows up, get to a vet asap. I can't imagine the pain this poor guy is in...Damn THEM!
  7. by   funnygirl_rn
    Yeti, I have to agree. There are sick people out there. Just hope that wasn't the case. Maybe the kitten could have gotten his tail caught in machinery/equipment. One of my grand-parents had a dairy farm & occasionaly a cat would get their tail caught in farm equipment.

    Glad YOU found this little kitten and are giving him a nice home & love.
  8. by   BadBird
    Awwwwwwww poor kittie, Thank God you found him, some people just suck!!! I can't imagine hurting a animal, it makes me sick.
  9. by   MishlB
    I say GO TO THE VET!!!! Poor thing could benefit from some pain meds probably. Also wouldn't hurt to have him checked out thoroughly.
  10. by   Ortho_RN
    As Gwenith stated, cats do get abscesses on their tails occasionally... If this cat has been a stray its whole life and got in a fight another cat could have bitten his tail, which cause the whole ordeal.. So "hopefully" the cat has not been abused and just got the bad end of a fight...

    But I would take him to the Vet and get him looked over, definately needs an antibiotic...

    My parents have a cat that was born with absolutely NO tail whatsoever, you can rub you finger over where the base of her tail should be and you can feel a hole... Pretty neat, and she has no balance problems
  11. by   caroladybelle
    Froggy,

    Please update us, when you have more info.

    Kitties can be rather resilient, loving creatures if given reasonable care.

    Let the little kitty pig out for a few days and that will frequently take care of many ills (improve immune status, help fight any nfections), but do see a Vet. Generally, debridement is not necessary, but ABs would probably help.
  12. by   PennyLane
    Poor little thing. Please give him lots of TLC to help him get over the loss of his tail. Never heard of anyone doing that before. So sad.

    I have a Manx, and he seems to have no problems with balance. Not sure if that's due to his breed, or if he just got used to it.
  13. by   P_RN
    Mama's dog had puppies once under a grape arbor. One of the pups got a foot and his tail caught in the vines and almost lost the foot before we discovered him back there. I hope it was somethng NON abusive that happened, cause if there is someone out there doing crap like this they may just go onto worse thngs.
  14. by   Jay-Jay
    Cats will often sleep ontop of the engine block of a car, because it is warm, then when the car is started, they get cut to ribbons by the fan and fan belts. Barring that possiblity, I think the little guy probably was the victim of abuse. As there is a nerve running down the centre of the tail (it's part of the spine after all!) that's probably why he screams with pain. Please get the vet to have a look at it. Maybe he can operate, so that the nerve is no longer exposed.

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