Cat tails come in many different sizes. From fluffy to kinked and curly, you’ll see them all in the feline world. However, some of the most distinctive cats go around with no tail, or barely one at all. If you’re intrigued by those felines whose tails resemble a pom-pom or are so short that they are almost invisible, read on as we explore the most famous cats with no tails and look at the reason behind this unusual feature.
Why do some cats have no tails?
Cats who are born with no tail (or a short tail) usually have this feature due to a random genetic mutation. The only cat breed that is truly tailless is the Manx, but there are many other types of felines with extremely short tails. Unfortunately, the lack of tail is often associated with deformities of the spine and tailless or short-tailed cats frequently suffer with many health issues.
Do cats with no tails have a higher risk of health issues?
The lack of a tail is usually caused by a genetic defect and this can have serious consequences. Cats with no tail may have a deformed spine which can affect the spinal cord and nerve supply to important organs. Other possible health issues could include early arthritis and bowel blockages.
9 Cat breeds with no tails
The Japanese Bobtail got the name from their short-curled tails. These lovely felines are quite rare in the UK which means that there is limited information about any potential health issues with the breed, but it is likely that they may suffer spinal problems similar to other short-tailed breeds. If you welcome one into the family you should expect plenty of cuddles and long play sessions. These bold, curious cats make friends fast and won’t resist climbing onto a shelf or a windowsill to get a better view of everyone around.
The Mekong Bobtail is very rare in the UK. It comes from South-East Asia and is a distinguished-looking cat. Their tail is usually short, but there is much diversity in terms of the length and the way it’s curved, so that you might think that each Mekong Bobtails looks like their own unique breed of cat with no tail. They are highly intelligent and quite athletic, which can make a wonderful combination for active owners who don’t mind lots of feline brain games.
Another rare beauty, the Karelian cat comes not only with a short tail, but also with a silky coat that is incredibly fluffy and soft. They are curious but quiet which means you won’t always know when they’re following you around to find out more about your day. Despite its quiet nature, the Karelian Bobtail can be friendly and affectionate.
Sharing the same ancestry as the Manx, the Cymric kitten’s distinctive look is based on their lack of tail too. If you’re the owner of a Cymric cat, you will notice straightaway that this is an independent feline. They love to be around their human family, but won’t mind spending a bit of alone time too. Although they’re not the most energetic cat breed, they do enjoy play time, so make sure you’ve got a few different cat games lined up.
Another cat with no tail, or rather a very short one, the Kurilian comes from Eastern Russia. They’re not very common in the UK, but you will recognise one straightaway thanks to their pom-pom-like tail, strong build and fluffy fur. They make great friends with everyone, including cats, dogs and people. The Kurilian cats tend to be affectionate, but independent.
The Highlander might look closer to a wildcat than to a lap cat, but they can make amazing companions. Their looks are incredibly distinctive: they feature not only a short tail, but also curly ears. To add to the uniqueness of this breed, they like water, unlike pretty much any other feline out there.
The stocky Pixiebob is another cat with no tail you should know about. They’re very intelligent and playful, so they do very well in active households. Their curiosity can be hard to handle at times, but they compensate with plenty of adorable moments when they are keen to ‘help’ with any family activity. Also, you should expect plenty of attempts at telling you about their day with a range of noises that go from chirrups to grumbles.
Many of the short-tailed or tailless cat breeds are very rare in the UK which means that there is limited information regarding any health issues that they may suffer with. However, it is very likely that the same problems that are seen in the Manx cat, will be common in other short-tailed breeds. Breeding tailless cats is a somewhat controversial topic because of the potential for associated spinal problems and if you are thinking about welcoming a new feline into your home, you should always bear this in mind.
Next, discover more about another group of felines with a distinctive look: the amazing hairless cat breeds.
They originate from the Isle of Man, where many cats either were tailless or carried the gene. Today, they are a playful companion, but remain a little bit reluctant when new visitors come by. However, sadly the genetics behind their tailless appearance frequently results in serious health problems including spinal disorders.
American Bobtails are such sweethearts and will love nothing more than to keep you company all day long. This also means that they won’t like spending too much time by themselves, without their favourite play mate. However the American Bobtail is known to be at higher risk of hip dysplasia.