1. Your cat’s tail helps them to balance. The tail helps to serve as a counterbalance when cats walk on narrow spaces such as fences or shelves. The tail also aids in balance when a cat is running after or jumping on prey.
2. Tail injuries can cause permanent damage. The tail houses nerves that can affect the tail’s muscles as well as their control of urination and defecation. Pulling on the tail can cause nerve damage. Nerve damage may heal over time, but can often be permanent.
3. Cats can live without tails. Even though cats use their tails for balance, if a cat’s tail needs to be amputated due to an injury, the cat will soon learn to compensate for the loss of their tail. In fact, Manx cats are born without tails and are not any less agile than their tailed friends.
4. The tailless gene is dominant but needs a recessive tail gene. When breeding a Manx cat, breeders will breed a tailless cat with a tailed cat. Having two copies of the tailless gene is semi-lethal and if a tailless cat is bred with another tailless cat, the fetus’ are often spontaneously aborted. In fact, many Manx cats will have a medical condition coined “Manx Syndrome”. Symptoms of which include spina bifida, fused vertebrae, and bowel or bladder problems.
5. Cats use their tails to communicate. As with most animals, cats communicate mostly through body language. The tail is a great indicator of your cat’s mood.
6. When cats put their tail in the air around other cats, it can be seen as an invite for the other cat to smell them.
7. The Domestic cat is the only feline that can hold its tail in a vertical position while walking. Wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs.