Tip of the tail is limp, cat is biting it

eternir

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Hello!

I have a 10 year old female cat, Minnie. The end half of her tail has been limp for a couple of weeks, and recently she has started biting and licking her tail excessively near the tip. I don't know what could have happened to her, she's an indoor cat. She does have a larger sized brother tho, maybe they have played too rough? She also jumps down from a tall shelf every now and then.

Other than her tail, she's healthy and acts normal,likes to play with her brother and with toys. Eats, drinks and goes to the litter box normally.

We brought her to a vet and they took x-rays of her tail and her back, which came back normal - no fractures or anything unusual. The vet suggested that she has just hurt the tail and that it should heal on it's own in a couple of months, but i'm worried.

The cat doesn't really use the end half of her tail, flick it or anything. She often stops, stares at the tail and then "attacks" it and starts licking and biting, as if she had an itch there. It looks like she bites the tail pretty hard sometimes. She has managed to pull of some hair from the area, but i couldn't see anything weird in the skin.

Is it possible for the tail tip to be paralyzed or something? What i've read online, there could also be a nerve damage of some sort, but it would be weird since the bones are intact... I will bring her to another vet for a second opinion when i get money, but i wanted to ask if anyone has had similar experiences :( I'm super worried and feel sorry for her. I attached a picture of what her tail looks like.
 

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FeebysOwner

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I can only guess that this could be a soft tissue issue/injury and therefore would not show up in an x-ray and could still be tied to the nerves being affected. Will she let you touch her tail? Did you and or the vet touch it to look for any sort of swelling?

Given that she is 'attacking' it, I think I would assume there may be some level of pain/soreness involved. I would call the vet and let them know what she is doing and ask about some pain meds and/or anti-inflammatories to see if that might stop the excessive grooming and biting.

I only found one similar thread on this site (from 2019), in case you would like to read it, while you wait for other members to see your post and offer some help.
Cat's Tail Drooping | TheCatSite
 
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eternir

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Thank you so much for your reply. We have touched and softly squeezed her tail, there is just the tiniest amount of swelling on the spot that she bites, but i don't know if it's caused by the possible trauma or the biting itself. Touching / bending the tail doesn't seem to cause her any pain, or at least she doesn't let us know. The vet touched the tail also, but Minnie was very scared and tucked her tail under so the vet didn't see the "drooping" in action. They said there's no abscess or anything unusual.
 
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eternir

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Today she has been biting and licking the tail more than usual. We checked the tail in case there's a wound from the biting but luckily i couldn't see anything. Should we try to distract her when she starts licking the tail or let her do it? Does it comfort her? I'm worried she will bite it until it bleeds and it gets infected...
 

FeebysOwner

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You can try to distract her and see what happens. But I suspect the distraction will be short lived, if effective at all. Something about that area is bothering her, and until you see if you can possibly try to treat it, it will likely continue on until she does cause some sort of sore - or, if you are lucky whatever is going on heals on its own soon.

It is hard to come up with a human analogy but if a body part was bothering you enough to cause you to be so focused on it, you would probably try to take something to reduce the aggravation. Since she can't tell you what it is that is bothering her, then the guessing game begins by trying various things that might reduce the aggravation - best place to start is with consulting the vet for some possible solutions.
 
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eternir

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Can you distract her? Will she become involved in play with a toy?
She can be distracted from it yes. Maybe we should try to consistently try to get her focus on something else when she starts licking.
I will call a vet on Monday and ask what they think we should do. The other vet, that took the x-rays, said that there's nothing he can do...
 

hexiesfriend

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I had a cat that was semi feral that I took to my vet for a neuter. He apparently bounced around off the walls several times before they caught him and he returned with a limp tail on the last 1/4. like yours vet checked him out no break but probably injured his spine bouncing around. He overly groomed it while it was healing. It took about a month to go back to normal and then he stopped grooming it.
 
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