You can often see cats that do not have a tail, or that have only one stump, or others still have it twisted. This is normal, as there are genetic mutations in some breeds, such as the Manx cat or the Bobtail, and when you cross cats with normal tails with others that have this mutation, they can result in specimens with this appearance.
In addition to using it to express their emotions, the tail is an area that has a large number of nerves and blood vessels, and therefore very susceptible to receiving injuries that can produce undesirable consequences for felines and their guardians.
Do you want to learn more about the reasons why a cat has a broken or crooked tail? In this article, we will talk about this aspect of feline anatomy, with its curiosities, alterations, and possible solutions
The cat’s tail is made of bones
The cat’s tail is made up of about 22 caudal and coccygeal vertebrae, which are small, rectangular bones that decrease in size from the base to the tip. The tail of the felines is actually an extension of the vertebral column, so the sacrum, which is located behind the pelvis, separates the lumbar vertebrae from the vertebrae of the tail.
The vertebral column of cats is more flexible than that of dogs, especially the tail area allows great mobility and flexibility to the animal. In addition to serving as an axis to rebalance posture when they fall, it is also the center of stability.
Cats without a tail
The absence of the tail in a cat is considered a mutation (i.e. a change in the DNA sequence that occurred at an unspecified time). Today we see more and more cats without a tail, with only a stump, or with a crooked tail.
This is due to the fact that for some this characteristic was interesting and surprising and therefore they selected these cats to have them reproduce among themselves so that said mutation was perpetuated in other individuals, fixing it.
In cats we can find two types of genetic mutations that lead to alterations of the tail:
Gene M of the Manx cats
This gene is dominant, so cats that have one or both of the dominant alleles for the gene (MM or Mm) will not have a tail. Cats that have the two dominant alleles (MM) die before birth due to severe lesions of the nervous system.
On the other hand, heterozygous cats (Mm) are those that will be born without a tail or with only one stump. In addition, some cats on the Manx cat have defects in the pelvic bones and internal organs and die before they are one year old.
For this reason, it’s necessary to avoid that cats of the Manx cat cross with breeds whose gene is dominant, while those that have this recessive character (mm), such as the British, are fine., the short-haired American, or the long-tailed Manx cat. In these cases, no diseases are produced or fatal malformations are found.
Japanese Bobtail gene B
Their genetic inheritance of this gene is dominant, as in the previous case. Cats heterozygous and homozygous for this gene (Bb and BB) have short, absent, or crooked tails, which is usually more evident in cats with two dominant alleles for this gene (BB). This gene, unlike M in the Manx cats, is not lethal and does not lead to skeletal problems.
Types of tails in cats
There are cats with shorter tails that are indistinguishable from Bobtail type or Manx mutations. Such mutations can appear in any type of cat, regardless of their breed. Perhaps some are genetic mutations that have not yet been thoroughly researched.
This feature can sometimes be seen in crosses of normal cats with other mutated cats. In general, depending on the length of the tail, cats can be divided into:
- Rumpy: without a tail.
- Riser: cats with tails of less than three vertebrae.
- Stumpy: cats with tails of more than three vertebrae but not reaching normal length.
- Longy: cats with a tail with several vertebrae but which is not complete.
- Tailed: Long-tailed cats, like normal.
my cat does not lift its tail
When you notice that your cat does not lift its tail, is limp, or even motionless, we can assume that something has happened to the caudal nerves. In particular, fractures, dislocations, and subluxations of the caudal vertebrae can produce damage to the spinal cord with flaccid paralysis.
The result is that the cat is no longer able to lift its tail, as it’s paralyzed.
However, usually, along with tail problems, there is damage to the area of the marrow segments of the sacral area, causing a sacrococcygeal injury. Other symptoms will occur in this case, as injury to the nerves in this segment, such as the pudendal or pelvic nerve, which innervate the sphincters of the urethra, bladder, and anus causes urinary and fecal incontinence.
Furthermore, these nerves are involved in the sensitivity of the perineum and genital organs; damage to the caudal nerves causes the tail to become numb and flaccid. If the blood circulation is also involved, necrosis or gangrene (which would be the death of the tissue due to lack of oxygenation) of the affected part may be observed.
So if your cat is in a similar situation, you must quickly contact a trusted veterinarian.
Broken Tail in the Cat – Cure
The tail is a fairly common place where bone fractures occur in cats. This usually happens due to car accidents, falls, fights with other cats, or situations where the tail gets stuck somewhere.
When a cat fractures its tail, treatment depends on the severity of the fracture and its location. Traumas that are localized towards the tip can be treated well with a surgical operation that consists of putting a splint with an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic bandage.
However, if the lesion is located near the base and nerve damage has occurred, then it cannot be cured, so the tail must be partially or totally amputated.
Amputation is the best solution for a cat with a damaged tail and involvement of the caudal nerves. After the operation the cat will have to follow a course of anti-inflammatory and antibiotics to avoid secondary bacterial infections; it will also be necessary to prevent the cat from scratching or licking the area.
If the treatment is followed and the evolution is favorable, the stitches can be removed after about ten days, subsequently, the wound will heal and your cat will be able to happily continue Its life.
This article is purely informative, at Shelterapet we do not have the right to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We encourage you to take your pet to the vet in case it has any kind of discomfort.