December 02, 2018 4 min read

One of the prominent features of any cat is its tail, the cat tail is also a very important part of the body of the cat. They have very important functions and this article will try to explore the different facts about the cat tail and why they are so important to the cat. Also, this article will look at artificial cat tails that can be used for different purposes like the kitten play tails.

Structure of The Cat Tail

The tail of a cat is composed of about 20 supple and articulated caudal vertebrae, the number of vertebrae differs depending on the breed, specie and individual cat. There are many factors that play a role in determining how long the tail is. The vertebrae is enclosed by a musculature and this helps the tail to make graded movements which enables the cat to move its tail up and down and from one side to the other.

 The muscles are attached to the tail vertebrae by various tendons. It is important to note that art of the musculature of the tail is generated from muscles that are connected with the rectum, the anus and the pelvic diaphragm. The tail has about four to seven paired nerves that helps the tail to be sensitive.

Tail Functions

The cat’s tail have various functions and one of the functions of the tail is that the cats use their tails to signal mood and motivation. You can tell how your cat is feeling by looking at its tail movement. Here are some basic movements you should know:

  • Tail is erect at full length means a friendly greeting to another cat or a human being
  • Tail curves gently down and then goes up at the tip means the cat is relaxed and is at peace with the world
  • Tail raised slightly and softly curved means that the cat is getting interested in something
  • Tail lowered and probably tucked between the hind legs is a sign of defeat, it could also mean that the cat has submitted to its owner
  • Tail moving from side to side means the cat is in an angry mood, in other situations it could mean that the cat is about to attack a prey most likely a rat
  • Tail is held at stationary position with the tip twitching means that the cat is irritated with something around it
  • Tail held to one side is a sexual invitation and this is usually done by a female cat that is in heat.

Other Facts About The Cat Tail

1. The tail of the cat helps it to maintain balance, you must have heard of this fact before. The tail has been shown to serve as a balancing system when the cat moves through narrow spaces, like when the cat is walking on a fence or on a slim shelve. The tail in that situation helps the cat to stay steady and keep from falling off. Also, it provides balance when the cat is running after a prey, and also when a cat jumps from an elevated surface.

2. Tail injuries can lead to irreversible damage. The tail has four to five paired nerves and these nerves control the muscles that are involved in urination, and also defecation. If the nerves of the cat tail is injured it can cause a permanent damage to these muscles and can lead to all kinds of complications. Also the nerves in the cat tail can be injured by pulling the tail, sometimes the nerve can heal over time but usually the damage it has caused is permanent.

3. Cats have the ability to live without tails. It is true that the tail is an important part of the cat’s body as it helps it to balance and communicate, however a cat can live without a tail. If a cat’s tail is cut off due to an injury or an accident, the cat over time will learn how to adjust to the deformity. There is a specie of cats that are born without tails, they are the Manx tail, and them being tailless has in no way affected their agility or made them inferior to other cats.

4. The tailless gene in the Manx cat is the dominant gene and it needs a recessive tail gene. When breeding the Manx cat, the breeders always mate the tailless ones with the tailed cats. This is because if two tailless cat mate, the fetus is usually aborted in a condition called Manx syndrome.

5. Calico cats are not a particular breed of cat, it is just the color of the fur coat, some people have called calico cats tailless but in reality, those cats are usually Manx cats that have calico fur coats.

6. The domestic cat is the only feline that has the ability to hold its tail in a vertical position while walking. Wild cats cannot do this, they rather hold their tails horizontally or tuck it in-between their legs.

7. Cat tails vary in length. Most cats have the full length of tails, but certain species have shorter tails. Some of the cats in the Manx family that have tails, end up having very short tails. The size of the tail is usually genetic and is similar in cats of the same species.

These are some facts you should know about cat tails. Also there are artificial cat tails like the kitten play tails. This is used by showgirls at times in clubs and can also be used by a normal person for different purposes. You can buy the kitten play tails in various stores.

The cat tail is a very important part of the cat and knowing of the facts above will help you communicate with your cat better and also help you to take care of it. Cats are wonderful creatures and they deserve the best care available.

Kawaii Meow
Lover of Japanese culture, cats, and self-help hacks. The biggest cat online store.


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