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"Double jointed" tail?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I'm curious how often this occurs in cats? I've been thinking about it for a while because my Blasa has a hypermobile tail.

The average cat tail can only bend a little further back (forward towards the shoulders) past 90 degrees at the very base, some bend even less. Blasa's can lay flat against her back - she often walks around with her tail like that.

She has no noticeable health issues associated with it - though strangely she's one of those cats that likes having her tail played with. She's never had her tail injured, as far as I know.

Does anyone else have a cat with a tail that can do this? Can there be spine problems for some cats?
post #2 of 32
I've seen cats who carry/arc their tail up/over their back at the shelter, but nothing as extreme as it sounds Blasa's tail is. The vet said it is a genetic "quirk" that happens rarely?
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
I know you've seen a lot of cats since you work with a shelter. Odd that even you've never seen one that could do this. I didn't think it was that rare. My vet didn't seem concerned.
post #4 of 32
I have two that have this kind of tail. The difference is in the muscling rather than the bone. Ringtailed cats have a lot more muscle mass at the base of the tail than normal cats.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk_pacer View Post
The difference is in the muscling rather than the bone.
I know. Double jointed is a misnomer, yet most people have no dang clue what you mean if you use the correct term - hypermobile. I have several hypermobile joints myself, so I do know it has to do with ligament laxity.

What do you mean by ringtail and normal cats though? If you're talking about coat pattern there's no difference, they're all normal cats. And if you mean ringtail as in completely different species (bassariscus) I assure, that's not what I'm talking about. Blasa is a domestic cat.
post #6 of 32
RInged tail or ringtail is when the tail curls or curls to the point it lies flat on the cat's back with the top third of the tail curling over the flank or the ribs. Here is one of my ringtailed boys - http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u...05-09_1144.jpg

There is or maybe was a registry for these cats and they had achieved Registration Only status with TICA, but the website seems to be stagnant, no updates, nothing for a couple of years. However, here is the page on orthopedics for the Ringtail: http://americanringtail.com/index.ph...d=44&Itemid=50
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you, that's a bit more clear. Trying to look up anything related to hypermobility brings up a lot of unrelated information.

Blasa's tail never curls down over her ribs like that, though. Might be because she has a short tail for a cat. The mentioned resistance in the second link is also not there, nor is her tail any thicker at the base than is normal for a female cat of her size. It's actually a little thinner than the base of her sister's tail (and Tanna can barely bend her tail to 90 degrees... I just realized I rarely see Tanna carrying her tail fully up, hmm.).

Another cat of mine, Tomas, also has a tail that can bend quite far over his back, but not flat against it. Again, his tail is normal in every other way other than it's kind of short. A vet even commented on him having a short tail as a kitten - I thought she was imagining things at the time because his kitten body (10wks old) still made his tail look long.
post #8 of 32
I started looking when I realised Streak and Tippy were 'deformed' and hypermobility never crossed my mind. I just started googling for cats with odd tails and lucked across the ringtail site. There is more to the cats than the ringtail - the personality seems somewhat different and they bond very closely with their humans. They are also a tad more agile than the other cats here and tend to climb higher although that may be partly due to them having a good dose of Siamese in them.

Both these guys will actually curl the tail around my arm when it is cat petting time. Otherwise, that tail is perfectly normal and can be uncurled by them at any time, and is even more of a barometer of mood than a normal tail.
post #9 of 32
I was thinking about this the other day! Couldn't figure out what I would name the post or how to word it, lol.

Cody's tail is the exact same way, it doesn't curl or anything but he carries it almost flat against his back, straight along his spine. He doesn't always carry it like that, but he does it when he is really pleased with himself or his food.

His tail is almost as bendable "backwards" as it is "forwards" if that makes sense. My other cats can't to this, their tales barely go backwards at all and are not nearly as flexable as Cody's tail.

I just reccently realized that his tail is different so I haven't asked the vet, but Cody hasn't had any issues from it.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKisses View Post
He doesn't always carry it like that, but he does it when he is really pleased with himself or his food.
Blasa is the exact same way. Usually her tail is up and forward. But at meals times it's on her back.

She has no qualities of a ringtail, btw. She's just your typical moggie. She's also a bit small, has a compact body, and a strangely rounder face with rounder eyes than her siblings have.
I'm not sure if it's the rounder features or her very unassuming delicate personality and mew, but there's something undeniably adorable about her. Even my DH and BIL aren't immune to it.

Another odd thing about her - I assume its common for her dark copper/bronze eye color, but her pupils are always more dilated than the other cats in the house. (her pupils constrict fine under brighter light) All of the other cats have lighter eyes, so I assume it's just related to more light getting through their irises than her's.
post #11 of 32
This isn't what you mean is it. I Googled "hypermobile tail", and the search engine can't even come up with a picture!! If you can get a pic, it'd be great to see what you're describing.



Buddy's tail curls under, and can get into quite a tight triple curl.

Sometimes the only problem is that he can get the tip of it messy when he's in the litter pan.

We have a small female that has her tail swing over her back when she's greeting a member of her family, but I don't think it's quite as much as what you are describing.
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
No, Buddy's doing his own thing with his tail. Interesting, though! I've never seen a cat curl it under so much like that. Tomas will stick his straight up and cork screw curl the end half of it with the curl pointing up.

If one is trying to read cat tail language... I have no dang clue what that means. Sometimes I think they just like bending their tails around because they can. Though I think we can all agree, tail posed extremely forward = content or even very excited.

(what is in the bowl on the table, btw? )


So basically it is a genetic mutation, that some breed for, that allowed the tail to flex very far forward, with no related spine issues - thankfully. I guess Blasa's just an oddball for having that and being a moggie.
post #13 of 32
Fascinating thread! I'll be taking notice of tails now. I don't recall any ring tails. And, I've never seen a tail lay flat on the back, or a tail that curls under. Very interesting!!

Herman's tail breaks off in an angle halfway up, but I think it's just that it actually did break at some point in his life.

Okay, off to inspect my critters' tails....
post #14 of 32
Reading the tail language of these cats is pretty simple after one gets used to the curled up tail. Both Tippy and Streak will have their tails curled most of the time but the happier they are, the tighter the curl until the tail is curled over the flank with most of it lying flat on the back.

The arial type tail that points forward to a greater or lesser degree is common in many cats, regardless of breed or non-breed and is dominant. The genetics for this involve at least two genes - one dominant and at least one recessive. The dominant gene may be linked to the X chromosome.

At any rate, my two boys are pretty neat.
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk_pacer View Post
Reading the tail language of these cats is pretty simple after one gets used to the curled up tail.
Except Blasa's short tail doesn't curl at all. I was referring more to Buddy's curled under tail - it probably has no more meaning than "content" and is just how he feels comfortable carrying it due to muscling.

I think the only thing our cats have in common is the very base of the tail, because honestly your ringtails sound very different.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Except Blasa's short tail doesn't curl at all. I was referring more to Buddy's curled under tail - it probably has no more meaning than "content" and is just how he feels comfortable carrying it due to muscling.
Need a pic of your cat's tail!!!LOL well, actually the whole cat!!!
post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Easier said than done since she prances.. I'll see what I can get later. Usually when I go to brush her teeth her tail will go flat on her back as she begs to be let out of the bathroom.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
No, Buddy's doing his own thing with his tail. Interesting, though! I've never seen a cat curl it under so much like that. Tomas will stick his straight up and cork screw curl the end half of it with the curl pointing up.

If one is trying to read cat tail language... I have no dang clue what that means. Sometimes I think they just like bending their tails around because they can. Though I think we can all agree, tail posed extremely forward = content or even very excited.

(what is in the bowl on the table, btw? )


So basically it is a genetic mutation, that some breed for, that allowed the tail to flex very far forward, with no related spine issues - thankfully. I guess Blasa's just an oddball for having that and being a moggie.
Tail Language: - guess we'll have to make some new entries in the Wikipedia definition.

(what is in the bowl on the table, btw? )

That's my husband's cereal bowl - he adds nuts, fruit, and everything - but the kitchen sink - into his cereal.
post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloriaJH View Post
That's my husband's cereal bowl - he adds nuts, fruit, and everything - but the kitchen sink - into his cereal.
Oh! Those are bananas... I swear they almost looked like marshmallows.

As for reading cats, there's generalities, but each cat has their own unique body language. Buddy has his own method. With my Tomas, some can be read from his tail but he has the most expressive face I have ever seen on a cat. I can actually tell a lot of what he's thinking/feeling just by his expressions.. he also pouts. Tanna is close in facial expressiveness.

Blasa actually puts a lot into her ears with just the basics in her tail. She also doesn't swish her tail as much, and when she does it's only the very tip. I'm not sure if that's related to the difference at the base.
post #20 of 32
Omg! I looove Buddy's tail!

Cody is a moggie too, strangly enough he is very round too. Round head & kinda cobby body. Not fat either.

I will try to get a pic, easier said than done! lol I am sure that when I grab the camera, Cody will "undo" his tail.
post #21 of 32
Beeba can arc his tail over his back and the tip touches up near his shoulders. He "taps" it there sometimes.

I take it as a sign of extreme happiness.
post #22 of 32

We have the same thing in 7 cats. and our vet said it was really rare. 3 of the cats are inside the rest are outdoor cats. I find it funny that its rare but yet we have 7 with it.

post #23 of 32

 My cat does this alot when she walks, and she seems fine... and she's just 2 months old...

post #24 of 32

Yeah I'm pulling up an old thread.  Don't know who's going to reply to it. 

 

Only reason I'm doing so is that we just adopted a kitten last week from the pound.  A couple of days later my youngest daughter says "Mom- check this out- Sam has his tail flat along his back".  Sure enough- when he's happy he'll have his tail almost flat along his back.  It's got this funny little crook on the tip too.  A friend of mine saw it and said that maybe he had a broken tail.  But from what dd said (and we both found on the internet) it's a genetic mutation. 

 

Kind of cool smile.gif  I like "different" cats.

Cheryl

post #25 of 32
 
Originally Posted by Sneakymom View Post
Yeah I'm pulling up an old thread.  Don't know who's going to reply to it. 

" But from what dd said (and we both found on the internet) it's a genetic mutation."

 

 

 

 

Just found this site after first trip to vets in Australia --  tried to describe to new vet how my cat's tail curls over his back -- when he isn't scared. From what I've read, it is a genetic mutation.  I adopted two kittens (brothers) from Batterseas Dog and Cat home in London; one has a curly tail, the other doesn't.  Ziggy's tail curled up over his back from just a few weeks old (hence being named 'Ziggy' by Batterseas.  Milo has a very expressive tail, but he looks more oriental...    When particularly happy and on my lap, he will curl his tail  around my wrist like a bracelet --  so quite a flexible tail.  Apparently there is a colony of curly tailed cats in Chelmsford, England, not far from London.  Not sure where my cats were originally from!  Ziggy has no health issues that I'm aware of. Did not have a broken tail --  he was born with this.   

 Will try to post a pic if I can.  Nice to have an unusual cat!

post #26 of 32

I have been trying for a month to take a picture of this cat's tail.  But he's a 5 month old kitten, so he's in perpetual motion :lol3:   Got lots of pictures of his butt, but nothing where he's laying his tail flat on his back.

Cheryl

post #27 of 32

Haha - re: not managing to get photo of kitten with curly tail.  Ziggy is now 2, so a little bit easier, but not much!  Here we go- not great photos, but at least the curly tail is visible.  In addition to previous, he is very sweet tempered, quite a small cat, and very vocal.  He likes to 'sing' at about three in morning and talks to himself, whereas brother Milo is quite silent. He looks like a rabbit when he runs (bounces along --  maybe it's the tail?) and is quite springy.  Not sure how much his tail helps with balancing.

 

post #28 of 32

Oh, this is interesting!

 

The colony of cats that I care for all have the strangest tails. Some have long tails that seem to be bent in half, either to the left or right, others just a half tail that curls over at the tip. Some have little curly stumps and Gin kun, the boss of the colony (He's in my avatar) has a long tail that looks as if someone tied a knot in the end of it.

 

I'll try to take some photo's and show you.

 

I thought it was down to inbreeding. I live in a small village surrounded by mountains so I guess the cats here don't get much chance to wander. I've noticed the shorter the tail the less likely the cats are to climb up onto trees or rooftops. Maybe it has something to do with balance?

post #29 of 32

Your cat colony sounds fascinating and Gin kun is lovely. There is a Japanese bobtail cat with short curly tail, but I don't know how common they are.  I wonder if your cats are like those at all?  Pics would be interesting.  The maneki neko is a Japanese bobtail...  (my sister lived in Japan for a while).  You're probably right about (smart) cats with short tails avoiding risky climbs that require 'tail balance'. 

post #30 of 32

Better a tail that curls UP, then DOWN like our Buddy's tail.  Like I posted before - sometimes the tip of his tail gets dirty after he uses the litter pan.  ugh!  

 

ref: post #11 of 29

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