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Cat Breed Guide About Tails


Cat Breed Guide About Tails

A cat’s tail is more than a mere symbol of how the cat is feeling. It’s not even supposed to be a tool for the feline to slap a pet parent’s face in the middle of the night in an effort to play. The extension of the animal’s spine genuinely serves some vital purpose anatomically. All breeds should have a tail unless there is some type of genetic mutation like the Manx.

A Manx is a tailless breed, the only tailless or short-tailed breed of cat - or should be. The animal has a hollowed area where the tail should be. Some, though, are born with a stub or a shortened version. Click to read about the Manx breed.

Despite the fact that the appendage plays a vital role in a kitty’s overall balance and mobility, the Manx is a relatively agile and capable breed. In a naturally-formed cat, there will always be this anatomic feature, and they will be the same size for each gender, with males coming in at 11 inches and females at 9.9 inches.

The central part of this animal's anatomy needs to carry up to 23 vertebrae, which equates to nearly 10 percent of the entirety of the bones in the body. The incredible mobility takes place with the assistance of a plethora of ligaments, muscles, and tendons, keeping everything together.

The Long And Short Of A Cat’s Tail

While a cat is very adaptable and could learn to live quite capably without their tail, the appendage is a vital component for their daily living. Having someone tug on it, getting it caught in a door as it goes closed, or if the animal were to become severely injured with a resultant amputation, can leave the cat in great pain and often with permanent damage.


  • Tailless: Cats can live and thrive tailless. The Manx breed is evidence of that theory because these animals are born without the component, and they’re nearly as able as the average feline. View this cat guide to learn more about Manx.

If a tailed kitty were to become severely injured to where there was an amputation, learning to balance again would take time and effort, but the animal would adapt and be able to compensate for the loss. 

  • Injuries: Injuries to this area of a cat have the potential to result in permanent damage. Several nerves affect the muscles and control the bowel and bladder functions. 

Though the damaged nerves may heal, there are often permanent issues resulting. Tugging on the tail is especially harmful to the nerves. Pet parents should pay close attention to small children around kitties. It is usually a child’s first instinct with an animal.

  • Not Natural: A tailless cat is not a natural phenomenon. The gene is dominant but requires a recessive gene to be effective. With breeding the Manx, breeders use an already tailless with a tailed.

Attempting to use two tailless genes can be lethal, and when using two Manx together, it can result in a fetus that aborts spontaneously. Some Manx are prone to a condition referred to as “Manx Syndrome,” with symptoms including a fused vertebra, spina bifida, and bladder/bowel issues.

  • Communication: A feline speaks mostly through body language, and her tail does most of the talking. Depending on the position of the body part, you can generally get an idea of the mood your cat is feeling. Often, when it’s hanging down towards the ground, kitty is not feeling like herself or is ill.

A springy tail in the air is usually happy and ready to play. But a slap in the face in the middle of the night means you’re ignoring your furry friend, and she doesn’t like it. See what a cat has to say with her body language at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/06/animals-behavior-cats-tail-body-language/ .

Final Thought

It’s curious why anyone found it necessary to create an animal who relies on its tail for virtually everything without one. The need to genetically mutate a Manx into existence was for whose pleasure and what purpose really? 

Yes, the cat adjusts and is probably nearly as capable because it found a way to manage. Still, the risks and the potential for people to go further by combining two Manx “just to see what happens” is appalling.

Animals, I’m pretty sure, weren’t put here for experimentation or mutation. We should take them as they are and love them accordingly - as most

decent, humane individuals would. That’s just how a pet parent views it.

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