Catster logo

What Causes Limp Tails in Cats? Our Vet Explains

tortoise shell cat on fence
Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

Cats Can Suffer From A Number Of Things That Can Cause Their Tails To Droop.

A couple of days ago this blog covered limp tails in dogs. Among canine companions, swimming and over-wagging are common causes of strained tails.

Most cats aren’t big-time swimmers (although there are exceptions), so swimming isn’t very likely to cause tail problems in feline friends. Cats also don’t spend much time wagging their tails, so they also aren’t prone to straining their rear appendages by over-wagging.

Cats can, however, suffer from a number of syndromes that cause their ordinarily erect tails to become droopy. I was reminded of this when a cat with a limp tail came to my office a few days ago.

Feline tails are frequently injured after they are stepped on, shut in doors, or rolled over by rocking chairs. These sorts of injuries can lead to serious tail trauma (fractures or neurological damage) as well as mild bruising and pain.

Cats with access to the outdoors often get into fights with other cats. These fights can lead to skin infections known as abscesses. If an abscess begins to develop on or near the tail, the tail may go limp.

Problems with the anal glands may cause limp tails in cats. The anal glands, located (as the name implies) near the anus, may become infected or painful. This may cause the tail to become limp. An anal gland infection was the cause of the limp tail in the cat I saw the other day.

Syndromes that infrequently cause limp tails in cats include bladder infections, neurological disorders, and certain tumors.

If your cat’s tail has suddenly gone limp, your best bet is to see the vet immediately.

Featured Photo by Mitchell Orr, Unsplash

About the Author

Dr. Eric Barchas
Dr. Eric Barchas

Dr. Eric Barchas is a professional traveler who spends his spare time working as a full-time veterinarian; contributing to Dogster and Catster; walking, cooking, camping, and exploring the outdoors; skiing (when conditions permit); and reading Booker-shortlisted novels. In between trips Dr. Barchas lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Denise, and his canine pal, Buster. His main veterinary interests are emergency and critical care, wellness, pain management and promotion of the human-animal bond. Dr. Barchas has to Dogster and Catster since May 2005. 

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.


Follow Us

Shopping Cart