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Corkscrew tail sign of inbreeding?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My mother in law recently got a kitten and he has a corkscrew tail. It's literally only about 4 inches long total(on an approx. 5 month old kitty) but it's curled like a corkscrew and stiff, so it's actually looks like a very puffy bobtail. I thought it could be from an injury, but my MIL says 2 of the other kittens in that litter had the same tail. So that would leave only genetics or maybe some illness that caused stunted tail growth? I don't know anything about the kitty's parentage, but the place they got him from is infamous for over-breeding their cats and inbreeding. I also have heard that Fold-ears started out as a genetic quark that was then interbred to get the breed, and was wondering if this could be similar.

That being said, Spaz is incredibly adorable, and seems very very healthy. He also thinks he's a dog. Such a silly kitty. THis is all just out of curiosity, but just wondering if anyone knew anything about kitties with corkscrew tails.
post #2 of 18
What breed is he??
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamhainBorn View Post
the place they got him from is infamous for over-breeding their cats and inbreeding.
How can people willingly condone getting a kitten from such place
post #4 of 18
Its possible if the "colony" is known for inbreeding. But the Japanese Bobtail breed is not inbred - its a natural mutation and the tail doesn't affect the health.
post #5 of 18
Not quite sure what you mean by corkscrew tail - I have some with ringtails - tails curled over their backs in a ring. With these guys, the happier the cat, the tighter the curl until the tail is flat on the back with the end ringed. The tail, however IS flexible, and can uncurl; these cats also use the tail differently than the ones with normal tails.

Curled Tail:

http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u...05-09_1144.jpg
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
He's just a cat. I don't think he's any specific breed. I guess I should have been a bit more clear: the "place" is a farmhouse out in the country and they have a ton of barn cats and the colony isn't maintained at all. So a lot of their cats STAY pregnant, and several litters are inbred. I hope that's more clear.

Spaz is just a black kitten with an odd tail. It's more like a pig tail, if anyone on here has seen a curly domestic pig tail. I looked at the photobucket photo and that's not close at all, though that's a very cute kitty. Spaz's tail really looks like a fluffy bobtail until you feel it, then you notice it's tightly curled.

He's healthy, has had all his shots and is gettign neutered next week, according to the MIL. I'll try to get her to send me a pic. thanks for the replies.
post #7 of 18
Thanks for clearing that up.

My Nana had a kitten with a corkscrew tail once - it didn't seem to do him any harm although he had balance problems too.
post #8 of 18
I never have seen one with a corkscrew tail...the ones here just have ringtails, and they are mostly normal, whatever normal is for a cat
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Still waiting on a pic from my Mother in law. Lol. I am so curious about his little tail. It'a absolutely adorable and doesn't cause problems. It's just odd.
post #10 of 18
Someone mentioned Japanese bobs, so I thought I'd add my 2 cents.

There are a large number of strays in the city where I live. And the locals here on Okinawa tend to treat their cats as outdoor pets anyways (kind of like farm cats). There's a colony that mostly hangs out around the local park where I go bike riding everyday. The people who frequent the park (it's mostly older folks) sometimes bring meat bones and food for the cats so the cats aren't discouraged from hanging out there since they make a decent living, so they breed... Sad, I know... My guess is none of the cats are fixed.

The cats there, one is a tom?, with a half a tail that appears to be a natural mutation not an amputation (the end is balled up like a fiddle-head fern). Kittens with tails like his appear from time to time in the same locale.

This is just my opinion, but there are so many strays I'd have a hard time saying that the colony is inbred just because there are a few bobtailed cats running around. I would say that there is a tail-less, or a half a tail gene mutation that is endemic to the local cat population in the area near where I live, much like the prevalence of polydactyl cats in New England where I'm from. Maybe its the Japanse bob gene? I picked up Aya off the street nearby. She has a full tail, but greatly resembles the breed standard for a moggie street cat.

Usually the tail defects (aside from the Manx one) cause no harm like the extra toes, and doesn't affect survival rates, so nature doesn't select against them.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyrajean View Post
The cats there, one is a tom?, with a half a tail that appears to be a natural mutation not an amputation (the end is balled up like a fiddle-head fern). Kittens with tails like his appear from time to time in the same locale.

This is just my opinion, but there are so many strays I'd have a hard time saying that the colony is inbred just because there are a few bobtailed cats running around. I would say that there is a tail-less, or a half a tail gene mutation that is endemic to the local cat population in the area near where I live,
There IS a gene in Japan that causes that balled-up tail thing. My first cats from when I was a kid (they're almost 20 years old now!) are from Japan, and one of them has a balled-up part on the end of her tail. She's not a full bobtail; just the end is bunched-up. But we did have a stray we fed with a fully bunched-up tail. It's weird to feel it. My mom thought the Japanese did something to the cats when they were babies to make their tails like that, LOL. But it's genetic.
post #12 of 18
The gene with the Bobtails and the gene from the Manx are not the same ones - The Manx gene can be lethal or cause health problems if two tailless cats breed - not so with the JBT's
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
My mom thought the Japanese did something to the cats when they were babies to make their tails like that, LOL. But it's genetic.
There is a legend that the bobtails originated from a feudal lord ordering that all the cats in Japan have their tails cut off ('cause one caused a fire by knocking a lantern over, or some such nonsense). Of course this didn't really happen. Also, the maneki neko or lucky cat with tis paw raised beckoning money or customers is a JBT.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow, that's almost an exact what the kitty's tail is like, like a fiddlehead fern, only curled up sideways! Thanks for sharing that! Although I doubt the kitty's lineage is from Japan (he's from a farm in Rural Alabama!), it is interesting to note that it seems to be genetic. In this case I would have to think that is would be a recessive gene that caused it, which would almost have to be brought out by closely related cats breeding to bring out the gene, especially since littermates also had the same tail.

Right now the MIL is on a trip and has a sitter watching the cat and dogs. I'm still waiting on some pics but they'll be up asap. :-)
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamhainBorn View Post
Wow, that's almost an exact what the kitty's tail is like, like a fiddlehead fern, only curled up sideways! Thanks for sharing that! Although I doubt the kitty's lineage is from Japan (he's from a farm in Rural Alabama!), it is interesting to note that it seems to be genetic. In this case I would have to think that is would be a recessive gene that caused it, which would almost have to be brought out by closely related cats breeding to bring out the gene, especially since littermates also had the same tail.
The cat doesn't have to be Japanese. I used to work at a Vet's office as a receptionist in the States and we a had a 'please adopt me kitten' from the local HS with us for a while who had a tail like that. It was straight for a couple inches and finished off with a little ball. He was a playful sweetie and got a home real quick.
post #16 of 18
This webpage has a LOT of info on curly-tailed/corkscrew tail/bobtail cats:
http://www.messybeast.com/bobtail-cats.html
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
From the best I can tell, he has a pom pom tail. I have pics now, just have to figure out where I'm goig to post them and then add a link. Also going to edit a photo to show the line of the vertebrae.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that site, Nekochan.

Here's the link to 3 photos. The MIL has renamed him (again) and now his name is skittlez.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...6&l=7194ded08c

First pic has a pink line denoting the positions of the vertebrae.
thanks all for all the comments. I'm just very curious about this super sweet little kitty and his unique little tail.
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