TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Tail-less kittens
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Tail-less kittens

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Skipping the long story, I have a queen and 6 kittens in my care. The father is tail-less; possibly a manx mix and mother is a regular tabby with a tail to the best of my knowledge. Three of the kittens have tails and three are tail-less. I am worried about those with no tail because I read in my cat book that they are prone to birth defects and sometimes die young. Anyone had experience with this sort of thing?
post #2 of 16
I doubt if nothing is obvious now that something will show up later. If both parents were tailless you might see more problems. But one tailless parent usually dosen't cause a problem in offspring.
post #3 of 16
Birth defects occur more often in breedings of tailless to tailless - death or spina bifia. With your breeding (tailed to no tail) you should be ok. The only problem you might have is some elimination problems in complete taillessness.

A friend of mine had a mix of main coon and manx (completely tailless) and she had on/off problems in elimination (bowel) her entire life.
post #4 of 16
It depends on the gene that caused the tail-less-ness.

The Manx gene is a dominant gene and is often, but not always, associated with significant problems.

The bobtail gene is recessive and is not associated with any physical problems. Bobtail cats are no more likely to have physical problems than their normal-tailed counterparts.

Because of the physical problems associated with the Manx gene, it is much more likely that a random-bred tail-less cat is manifesting the bobtail gene.

An easy way to tell is that bobtail cats do have a bit of a tail. It's just very short - only an inch or two long.

Genetically, it's not really possible to tell based on a ratio of 50:50 tailed/tailless kittens. Just based on this, it is equally likely that Dad has two recessive bobtail genes (short/no tail) and Mom has one bobtail gene and one "tail" gene (normal tail), or that Dad has one dominant Manx gene and one "tail" gene (short/no tail) and Mom has two "tail" genes (normal tail). Either combination would statistically give you 50% tail-less kittens and 50% normal tailed kittens.

The good news is that, regardless of what gene the kittens have, if there were problems you would probably know about them by now. Incontinence is a very common problem with Manx cats. Another common problem with Manx kittens is anal and/or urinary atresia, which basically means that the kitten is born without an anus and/or urethra. Obviously this is a birth defect that is not compatible with life and affected kittens die within the first week or less.

I recently fostered an adorable bobtail kitten. He was very vocal, probably in part because cats use their tails a lot to communicate and he didn't have that option. But I told him that he shouldn't be ashamed just because his tail is only an inch and a half long. After all, I don't have a tail at all!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am relieved to hear that problems would have been evident already because they seem to be fine.

I didn't breed them. The male is a feralish stray and the female is my neighbors cat that decided to have her kittens on my front porch because her owner hasn't been home to care for her. And I caught the male and had him neutered last month, but it was too late, I guess. Sorry, I told you it was long story.

This male has long hair too and I have had to catch him and trim poop and briars out of his fur before. I guess him having long hair and no tail makes his grooming even harder. The poor old fellower! I may try to shave him next because it is a terrible battle to do anything to him. He definitely doesn't like having his butt messed with.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
An easy way to tell is that bobtail cats do have a bit of a tail. It's just very short - only an inch or two long.

Genetically, it's not really possible to tell based on a ratio of 50:50 tailed/tailless kittens. Just based on this, it is equally likely that Dad has two recessive bobtail genes (short/no tail) and Mom has one bobtail gene and one "tail" gene (normal tail), or that Dad has one dominant Manx gene and one "tail" gene (short/no tail) and Mom has two "tail" genes (normal tail). Either combination would statistically give you 50% tail-less kittens and 50% normal tailed kittens.
Wow! That is some really great information. Thank you for sharing it. I haven't been able to find this explanation in any of the material that I have been reading.

I am afraid that the father is a manx mix at least though. He has the build described as a manx and some of their characteristics and he really has no tail. The only indication that he should even have a tail is a small bony nub about three inches up his backbone from the rump that you can't see but have to feel. He doesn't even have a little tuff of fur where his tail should be.

Bless his heart, he should have been someone's house pet but he is older and awful wild to try to break in now. He will follow us around outside and tolerate being petted a bit when it suits him and leaves us thank you gifts (mice/lizards/frogs/etc) on the front porch, but he is a fighter with any of the other cats (even after neutering). He rides herd over the feral population that I am trying to TNR.
post #7 of 16
Ouch, that definitely does sound Manx. Bobtails definitely have tails, they're just very short.

If the kittens seem healthy and normal, though, then you can pretty safely assume that they will be just fine. It may even work out to be a plus when you are ready to find homes for them since often people are drawn to any cat that looks "different".

I figured you didn't breed them on purpose, especially since you mentioned you weren't sure what the mother looked like.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aries
This male has long hair too and I have had to catch him and trim poop and briars out of his fur before. I guess him having long hair and no tail makes his grooming even harder. The poor old fellower! I may try to shave him next because it is a terrible battle to do anything to him. He definitely doesn't like having his butt messed with.
This actually may also be a bit of incontinence. He may have poor anal tone which makes it hard to push the poop all the way out.

My friend's cat has a similar situation. He's feral and she found him with a badly injured tail. The injury was so far up the tail that the spinal cord injury affected his anal tone. He had to have what was left of his tail amputated to get rid of all the decaying tissue. Like your guy, he's a longhair. My friend takes him to the vet to be sedated and shaved whenever his hair gets long enough that poop starts getting stuck in the fur around his butt. Usually this happens every couple of months or so. It's a hassle but he's doing very well overall.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
I figured you didn't breed them on purpose, especially since you mentioned you weren't sure what the mother looked like.

Sorry, didn't mean to be vague. But I really can't tell much about her breeding. She is a ginger colored tabby with a tail. She acts scared but starved for attention at the same time. She has been sneaking over and eating ever since our neighbor brought her home. She is better than she was but she is still thin. She just doesn't look starved to death now.

BTW - Midnight, the cat in my new signature is the father that I was talking about.
post #10 of 16
I have been curoius about the "tail-less gene" also. What about a cta who has about 1/3 of a tail with the last vertebra being at a different angle so that it looks like a little ball on the end. Cali has a tail like this, and there was another female in my neighborhood who had the exact same tail (who I have since spayed, vaccinated and placed in a home). The other female had a litter of 3 kittens when I found her, 2 of them completely tail-less and one with a tail (Echo was one of these kittens). Any light you can shed on this would be greatly appreciated, because I have always wondered if Cali would be considered a manx type cat or it there would be a better term for her.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petnurse2265
I have been curoius about the "tail-less gene" also. What about a cta who has about 1/3 of a tail with the last vertebra being at a different angle so that it looks like a little ball on the end. Cali has a tail like this, and there was another female in my neighborhood who had the exact same tail (who I have since spayed, vaccinated and placed in a home). The other female had a litter of 3 kittens when I found her, 2 of them completely tail-less and one with a tail (Echo was one of these kittens). Any light you can shed on this would be greatly appreciated, because I have always wondered if Cali would be considered a manx type cat or it there would be a better term for her.
Well, it sounds like she may be a bobtail instead of a manx from the information that I have read. There are other characteristics that define the manx breed that you might consider. They are said to be almost dog like about following you and keeping company with you; very independent. Very vocal and "built like a souped up bunny" as one person described them to me. Their front legs a bit shorter than the back ones actually; giving them the appearance of having their butt up in the air.

I am not familiar with defining characteristics of the bobtails as they didn't fit Midnight, but I am sure that someone else on TCS could tell you. There are some wonderfully knowledgable people on here.
post #12 of 16
Typically, cats with short tails are bobtails rather than manx mixes. This would be especially true for outdoor moggies. Since the Manx gene is dominant and associated with physical problems, it would be unlikely to survive more than a couple of generations in the wild. The bobtail gene, on the other hand, shows up with totally healthy and otherwise normal cats. And since the gene is recessive, it can lay dormant for several generations and then show up when two cats who are carriers mate.

There aren't really "characteristics" of moggie bobtails except for a very short tail. Otherwise they're normal moggies with the same variety of characteristics you'd find in cats with normal length tails.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aries
Well, it sounds like she may be a bobtail instead of a manx from the information that I have read. There are other characteristics that define the manx breed that you might consider. They are said to be almost dog like about following you and keeping company with you; very independent. Very vocal and "built like a souped up bunny" as one person described them to me. Their front legs a bit shorter than the back ones actually; giving them the appearance of having their butt up in the air.

I am not familiar with defining characteristics of the bobtails as they didn't fit Midnight, but I am sure that someone else on TCS could tell you. There are some wonderfully knowledgable people on here.

Echo and his brother Jack which were the kittens of the other female (I never met or saw any of Cali's kittens before I took her in, but I am sure she had them), both had the manx characteristics (that is why Jack was named, short for jackrabbit) as well of some of the manx personality traits, such as the independence and dog like traits. All of these cats came from one home in the neighborhood a "collector" and I slowly trapped and spayed/neutered and found homes for the majority of them, but I was not sure if there is a classification for a cat with a longer tail that is not a full tail.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Don't know what others think on the subject, but I think that some moggies display temperment and characteristics of breeds that are dominant in them just like mixed breed dog. It probably has to do with how many generations they are from the pure breed.

I have a similiar situation here with a home in the neighborhood that has cats literally running everywhere. They feed the animals but don't s/n them and they just keep multiplying. These animals are not socialized and most are partially feral or completely. Now, there are so many that they are spreading out into the neighborhood. I have five indoor cats that I have s/n. I rescued all of them at one time or another, but two of them were kittens that came from this mess that I rescued and socialized. The outdoor count keeps going up as cats migrate from the neighbor's.
post #15 of 16
Thank God for you and that you are TNRing! If you don't imagine what the situation might be like!! I hate that people can collect animals and not take care of them. A particular peeve of mine is not fixing when it isn't all THAT expensive!!!

I have what I feel to be a manx mix - based on body type - but I think she has a docked tail - as it resembles a Bobtail's 1 to 2 inch tail. From the rear, she looks like a small bear when she ambles along, LOL. she is rotund and SOLIDLY built!! With those huge long back legs, LOL!! I wish I'd named her "Bear" and not "Lexi"! She has not had problems with elimination thankfully, but she was not "regular" in going when I first got her. Now she's more regular in her bathroom habits (albeit she does it outdoors now!!)
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by opilot
A particular peeve of mine is not fixing when it isn't all THAT expensive!!!
I just wish people would fix their own, but unfortunately it becomes someone else's problem. Fixing my own cats is my responsibility and part of their care. But when you have to start paying $70 a pop to TNR other people's cats, it gets a bit annoying really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opilot
From the rear, she looks like a small bear when she ambles along, LOL. she is rotund and SOLIDLY built!! With those huge long back legs, LOL!! I wish I'd named her "Bear" and not "Lexi"!
This sounds like Midnight. He is so cute. But being feral really cuts down on his tolerance of social nice-ities like removing twigs, briars, pine cones (yes), and his poo problem and being groomed in general. It is a good thing that God made them so cute, so we would put up with being bit and scratched.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Tail-less kittens