Oct 21, 2022

Our pets want to be close to us, which sometimes means they get under our feet, causing us to trip, fall, and step on them. Approximately 240 Americans are in the emergency room daily for injuries caused by a fall after tripping over their pet. These injuries may include fractures and sprains, but what about the fluffy's injuries?

Though you may be at risk from a fall caused by your cat being underfoot, your beloved pet can be injured too.

Continue reading to learn more about what you should do if you accidentally step on your cat.

What To Do If You Accidentally Step On Your Cat

cat walking through owner legs

Cats are curious creatures and often find their way under our feet when walking or standing while cooking. During these curious moments, you may see yourself stepping on your cat's paw, tail, or body. In most cases, your cat will survive the incident, but it is best to check to ensure your pet is okay. Again, staying calm, checking over your pet, and comforting them is best.

These are some steps to take in the moments after stepping on your cat:

Determine How Much Weight You Put On Your Cat

Black cat on a scale staring at camera

After stepping on your cat, take a moment to breathe and determine how much weight you put on your cat. Then, ask yourself: "Did you stop before putting all your weight on the cat?" Once you realize you didn't put all your weight on the cat, you may feel relief.

Determine What Part of Your Cat You Stepped On

Cat being pet by someone outside

Where you stepped on your cat may determine how injured the pet may be. Though the incident may happen in the blink of an eye, you must try to find out what part of your cat you stepped on.

Check on Your Cat

Close up on veterinarian taking care of a cat's leg

The next step involves two parts. First, go to your pet and check to see if they are okay. While checking your cat for injuries, take time to pet and love them. Remember, the incident may spook your cat, so approach your pet calmly and start gently petting them to coax them out to come to see you.

While petting your cat, look for any signs of an injury, open wounds, and your cat's reaction when you rub over specific parts of its body.

Monitor Your Cat's Behavior

white cat with green eyes closeup portrait

After you step on your cat, it is best to monitor its behavior even if it seems okay. Pay close attention to see if the cat's behavior changes or if it starts acting differently. For example, a behavior change could indicate the cat suffered an injury or is in pain.

See Also: How Cats Show Affection: Understand your Feline Emotions and Signs

Decide If a Trip to The Veterinarian is Needed

Veterinarian putting medicine on a White fluffy cat paw

If you notice any significant injuries to your cat, or they show changes in behavior, it might be best to seek veterinarian assistance. The vet can help determine if your cat was significantly injured and help treat the injury at the animal hospital. If you choose to go to the veterinarian, tell them everything that happened, including where and how you stepped on your cat.

Will My Cat Be Okay?

Annoyed cat biting a foot for stepping on him

In most cases, your cat will be unharmed if you step on them because, most of the time, we instinctively lift our foot back up when we start to feel something underneath it. Plus, cats are swift to move when they think something out of the ordinary is about to occur. Therefore, only in worst-case scenarios will your cat be significantly injured and need veterinarian care.

What Happens If I Step On My Cat's Stomach?

Yellow kitten lying on its back

Stepping on your cat's stomach can cause significant injury to your pet, including damage to internal organs and ribcage. However, damage after stepping on your cat's stomach is rare; most injuries result from stepping on their paws or tails. Though rare, it is possible to cause significant damage to your pet by stepping on its stomach, so if this occurs, it is best to seek medical treatment from your pet's veterinarian.

What Happens When You Step on a Cat's Foot?

Closeup of cat's paw

Cats have bones in their paws called digits, similar to how a human hand is structured. Though they can break, there is less chance the paw can break if you do not put all your weight on it.

After stepping on your cat's paw, it can be challenging to see if they are okay because cats typically do not like their paws touched. If your cat is limping or the paw swells, you should take it to the veterinarian for an exam to determine if it is broken.

What Happens When You Step on a Cat's tail?

closeup of yellow cat legs and tail

The cat's tail has complex anatomy with 21 bones, six muscles, and a collection of nerves. Stepping on your cat's tail may cause injury, which could affect your cat's ability to move its hind limbs or control critical functions such as urination and defecation. It requires significant force to cause substantial damage to your cat's tail, but it is common to step on the tail or get it stuck in a closing door.

Can You Break a Cat's Foot by Stepping on It?

Cat's paws have a series of bones that help them walk, move, and use their paws for various functions. Though cats are very agile, they can suffer from broken bones, especially when someone steps on their foot.

How Can I Tell If My Cat's Foot is Broken?


The first sign your cat may have a broken foot is they will limp or favor the broken pay by just touching their toes on the ground briefly as they walk. Other signs the cat's foot may be broken include open wounds, swelling, and bruising. Additionally, if your cat is consistently vocalizing, crying, or howling, they are expressing its pain that could be related to a broken foot.

What Can You Do For a Broken Cat Paw?

Chinese woman concerned of her injured sphynx cat with a broken paw that's being checked by a vet

If your cat's paw is broken, there is not much you can do outside of keeping your pet comfortable and taking them to its veterinarian. The vet will examine the cat's injuries and help assess the options. The veterinarian may x-ray the cat's paw and provide medications to help with the pain before bandaging up the paw. More complicated and open fractures may require surgery to repair.

What Could Happen if You Stepped on a Cat's tail?

Stepping on a cat's tail can cause a fracture, break, or nerve damage, leading to paralysis. If you step on the cat's tail, it may be limp for a bit but should go back to normal quickly. However, if it does not go back to normal, it is best to check with your veterinarian to ensure there is no severe damage caused to the tail.

Do Cats Forgive You if You Accidentally Step on Them?

cat laying on the floor

Cats are not as forgiving as canine companions, but given lots of love and space, cats will eventually forgive you for accidentally stepping on them. Your cat may be mad initially but will not hold a grudge for long, especially if you shower them with treats, such as Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Soft-Moist Cat Treats (Chicken and Duck). After some treats, lots of loving, and attention, your cat will most likely forgive you but will remember not to hang around under your feet.

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How Can You Make It Up To Your Cat?

One way to make it up to your cat after stepping on them is to spoil them with lots of love. Plus, buy your cat something to comfort them. The perfect comfort item is the BODISEINT Modern Soft Plush Round Bed, which they can sink into and let all their worries disappear.

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It could take a while for your cat to forgive you, but until they do, give them space and pay attention to them.

How Long Does it Take a Cat to Forgive?

cat playing with his owner on a carpet

Cats have memories lasting up to 16 hours, which means they may stay mad at you for at least 16 hours. But, in most cases, cats will forgive, but not forget sooner than that, by showing you love and affection. When your cat decides to forgive you, it will start acting normal again, going on about its typical day.

Our cat loves us and often wants to be close to us at all times, which may result in them being stepped on because they are always underfoot. Do not worry if you accidentally step on your cat because your cat will be fine in most cases. However, continue monitoring your cat's behavior watching for any changes which may suggest the cat was injured in the accident.

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If your cat is always underfoot, consider having them wear a breakaway collar with bells to alert you when they are near.

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