Why doesn't my cat have a tail?

United States
August 28, 2007 9:02pm CST
Ever since my female cat was a baby, she hasn't had a tail. We got her as a gift from the next door neighbors when she was just two months old. And, they didn't bother telling us how she lost her tail. Perhaps her siblings had the same issue. And, I was wondering, why do some cats have tails and others don't? I don't think someone purposely snipped off her tail when she was newborn or anything sinister like that. Maybe it's some sort of cat birth defect or genetic issue she could pass along to her babies. Could she have lost her tail in the womb, before she was born? Maybe one of her womb-mates bit it off? Are there lots of cats born without tails? Does anyone know why a cat would be born without a tail? I've heard that this condition can affect a cat's ability to jump high distances or when falling, cause their tail is not their to maintain balance. Not sure if that is true. But, would love to know.
5 people like this
9 responses
@ladybug565 (2217)
• United States
29 Aug 07
manx cats are born without tails. I dont know of any others. http://www.manx.com this site has info and pictures. hope it is helpfull. good luck.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
31 Aug 07
She is a Manx. They do not have tails. the reason is that they interbred on the Island of Manx where they lived and this resulted in a mutation. If two tailless cats are bred, the kittens are spontaneously aborted, so the owners have to be careful in breeding them. No kitten in the womb bit off her tail, this is a natural and the taillessness is a dominant gene. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_(cat) for information.
@luvcatzzz (208)
• United States
30 Aug 07
i have two japanese bobtails that were strays ... got them many years ago when they were babies. when they in turn had kittens (which was an accident i'm afraid), they had a couple of normal tailed cats and a couple of bobtails. bobtails are little nuts! :-D
@williamjisir (22902)
• China
29 Aug 07
It sounds strange that a cat is born with no tail. Maybe it is just like what you said in the discussion. But I do hope that some day when it grows older, the tail will grow out of the back part.
@youless (95308)
• Guangzhou, China
29 Aug 07
My cat was born to have no tail, too. It is just so funny. I don't think there is something wrong with him even if he is without a tail. I think he even behaves well than other cats.
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
29 Aug 07
I'm not sure either but I had a cat that was the same way he was a black cat his name was Midnight but we nick named him bob tail because he didn't have a tail. I grow up with this cat from the time before I was born untill I was about 8 or 9.
• United States
29 Aug 07
Some cat breeds just dont have tail. It's part of their breed appeareance. It's okay, there's nothing wrong with the kitty, it's just the breed of cat.
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
29 Aug 07
More then likely it is part Manx, this breed of cat does not have a tail. Our one cat does have a short tail because it was broken as a kitten but he does still have it, they don't just fall off. It could be it was never formed but more then likely it is due to the cat's heritage and genetic make up. I saw the one poster gave a link about Manx cats so I'd check that out and see if your cat matches it.
• United States
29 Aug 07
Almost all of the things you listed are feasible. In theory, she might have broken the tail as a kitten and needed it amputated. It's unlikely another cat bit it off, or that it was just "lost" in the womb as things tend not to just disappear from there. Genetics is the most likely reason. There are genetic defects for almost everything. There are cats that inherit deafness through their genes, by not developing their ears correctly. It also isn't uncommon for cats to be born without eyes. Not just blind, but without eyes completely. It isn't normal or average for these defects to exist, because it is unlikely that they would be passed along. Most genetically no-eyed cats aren't bred again! Plus, if the cat is an outdoor cat they would most likely not survive because sight and the balance derived from having a tail are important.