The majority of cats have long tails, and they use them very well to express emotions, to serve as balancing poles during cat gymnastics, or for keeping warm as they use them to curl around their bodies for a cozy nap.
But some very popular breeds have short tails, and these can be half the size of a usual cat tail, as short as a stub, or in some cases, completely missing.
Though many people think that a cat with a partial tail may have lost it in an accident, there are cats who have very short ones due to genetics.
The International Cat Association recognizes several short-tailed breeds as Championship Breeds. These are cat breeds that are recognized as being eligible to compete for various awards within the organization’s parameters.
One popular breed is the American Bobtail. These cats take their names from the wildcats that they resemble, but they are very family-friendly cats; doing well with children and dogs. The first American Bobtail, a feral male, was found on an Arizona Indian Reservation in 1960. His name was Yodi, and he became the father of many other little bobtails.
The Japanese Bobtail is documented with paintings and written records for at least 1,000 years in Japan’s history. This cat is the subject of the famous cat sculpture that, paw raised, graces many Japanese front doors, welcoming guests. These cats are intelligent, curious, enjoy people; talking with soft meows and chirping. Each cat’s tail is unique.
The Kurilian Bobtail also has short and long haired types. Its origins are the volcanic Russian Sakhalin Island and Kuril Islands, which have been the ancestral home of this breed for at least 200 documented years. These cats are gentle, devoted to their families, excellent mousers, fine jumpers and enjoy children and observing their domains from high spots.
The Pixie-Bob comes from the Northwestern United States (pictured right). They can walk on a leash and fetch toys, just like dogs. They enjoy being with children and other pets. They are medium to large sized with 2 inch tails on average. They are also often polydactyl, having extra toes on their paws.
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The Cat Fanciers’ Association includes the ancient Manx breed as short-tailed because it carries the gene for long tails. Though most are born without tails, kittens are born with short stumps or even full tails. This breed is from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.
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According to The Ultimate Cat website, the Highlander is a fairly rare, newer breed. It has curled ears, a tail about half as short as a normal length tail, polydactyl paws and either long hair that is patterned much like a lynx or short hair that looks similar to a cougar. They may weigh as much as 20 pounds.
Short-tailed cats are very individualistic breeds, even though they all sport varied lengths or stubs of tails. The majority seem to enjoy being with people and that may be part of their enduring charm.
About the Author
Judy Greenlees has a B.A. in Music History, an English Minor and an M.B.A. She is a professional writer and musician. Her short stories have been published on Amazon.com, Short Story Press, Barnes & Noble and other bookseller sites. She currently has a Romance Novel, Cherished to the Utmost, available on Amazon.com in the Sweet, Clean, Christian categories. In addition, she is the author of numerous articles about music published on the Internet.
Feature image by torbakhopper