Why You Should Never Pull On Your Cat's Tail

Posted on: 18 July 2018


It may seem tempting to give a gentle yank to a cat's tail, but in addition to being alarming and potentially painful, this is something that's actually very dangerous for a cat to endure. If you're interested in taking the best care you can of your cat, keep reading to discover why you should never tug a cat's tail.

The Tail's Contents

As you probably know, a cat's tail is more than just fur. Their tail contains muscle, skin, fat, and yes, an extension of their spine. Several vertebrae are located in the tail, running all the way from the cat's back down to the tip of the tail.

Although the tail is separated from the rest of the spine, it still carries signals just like the rest of the spine to the entire body. If the tail is hurt, it's bad news for your cat's health. There are two main problems that typically occur with a swift yank to the tail: a dislocated tail, paralysis, or both.


One of the most common problems that happens when a cat's tail gets pulled on is that it becomes dislocated. Dislocated tails are extremely painful for cats to undergo and it's not something that can fix itself.

When your cat's tail is dislocated, it will most likely hang limply after a certain point. Where it occurs depends on where the dislocation has happened. The tail may also swell and will most likely be painful to the touch. If you notice these symptoms, get to a vet right away to prevent your cat's tail from getting worse.


Pulling on a cat's tail could actually paralyze your cat. Oftentimes, when a cat's tail is damaged, it results in rear paralysis in the body. Severing the connection within the tail to the rest of the body means that the brain can't send signals through the tail to the rest of the body. Cats who have experienced broken tails typically experience paralysis in the tail, rear legs, and sometimes even the bowels, which means a pet parent or vet would have to manually help the cat to go everyday.

Never, ever give in to temptation and pull on a cat's tail, and make sure to let children who come into contact with your cat to never do it, either. A well-intentioned grab could cause a world of misery for your cat, so leave your kitty's tail be.

If your cat does get its tail hurt, take a visit to a local veterinary hospital for help.