Have you ever wondered why cats have tails? Do you know the reason for its existence? Does it have any use?
As curious as cats may be in their temperament, they can be just as curious to us humans. Unless you’ve mastered the “meow,” you’ve probably been puzzled by your kitty’s mysterious ways at least once in your life.
One of the many interesting things that cats of all races and ages have in common is their fifth limb: the tail.
Why do cats have tails?
Cats, like other vertebrate animals such as dogs, have fully functional tails , which helps them in several different ways:
Reasons why cats have tails:
The most fundamental goal of your cat’s tail is physical balance . You have probably seen the graceful movements of a cat while walking on a raised surface, such as a roof or a tree. If you tried to walk on a tall, narrow, thin surface, you would instinctively extend your arms in an attempt to balance your body weight.
Kitten tails work the same way as your arms in such situations.
If a cat injures a paw, the tail also acts as an additional limb and becomes even more important in maintaining proper balance.
Wait, cats land on their feet, not their tails, right? However, your kitten’s tail is always helpful for landing.
Seeing a cat fall on its back is a strange phenomenon, not only because the feline body is extremely agile, the tail actually serves to make a kind of counterweight. It uniquely helps the kitten roll over and land on its feet. Or in other words, avoid possible injuries.
Regardless of the cat’s remarkable agility and athletic abilities, the extra tail counterweight helps by providing some extra stability .
Cats communicate in a variety of vocal ways through purring, howling, hissing, meowing, etc. But similar to us, they can also communicate non-verbally with the help of body language.
A cat’s tail is an essential aspect of the way it communicates through its body .
Even young kittens know how to use this extension of their spine for “talking” purposes. In fact, if you try to observe your pet in different situations, you will see that he has tons of different tail positions. And while the movements of the ears, facial expressions, and overall body posture can tell a lot about a cat’s emotions, its tail is what really gives it all away.
Whether the tail twists, curls, flaps like an angry broom, or flaps like a dog’s tail, it’s an undeniable fact that your cat’s fifth “limb” can be as expressive as human speech.
That being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is trying to talk to you when it’s tail wagging. It simply means that the movements and positions of the tail express your inner feelings. Learning to decipher these aspects of feline body language can improve your bond with your furry friend. Or at least it can tell you when your kitty is scared or angry and help prevent possible accidents.
Sense of touch
Somewhat like whiskers, feline tails offer an extra helping hand when it comes to the sense of touch. A cat’s tail contains about 10% of the kitten’s total bones and is filled with countless nerves. These not only serve as motor nerves, but also as sensory nerves.
As such, the cat’s tail also plays a role in its sense of touch and understanding of its surroundings.
Most cats do not like to have their tails touched or stroked. Keep this in mind the next time you pet your furry friend.
Where does your cat like to be petted?
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Facts about the tail of cats
Are you eager or eager to find out more about your pet’s tail? Keep reading.
Tail injuries can cause serious damage
Your kitty’s tail is a natural extension of its spine, but the spinal cord doesn’t actually stretch all the way in a cat’s tail.
However, tail injuries can lead to fairly serious permanent damage to the cat’s spine. Injuring the nerves in a feline tail can cause a temporary or even permanent inability to feel, walk, hold the tail in certain positions, or urinate properly.
Short-tailed cats do not (always) share genes
Not all bobtail (short-tailed) cats have the same gene. In fact, it depends on the genetics of the breed. On top of that, short-tailed kittens can be born to a bobtail parent and a full-tailed parent. And that’s just another reason why kitties are so curious and unique!
Cats can live without a tail
Even though the tail is an essential part of the feline body for many different reasons, kittens can actually survive the loss of their tail.
If there hasn’t been any permanent damage to the body’s nerves and bones, your pet will learn how to cope with life without its tail.
That, however, does not mean that you should take your cat’s tail lightly. Do not toss, squeeze or play with your cat’s tail under any circumstances and do not allow children or guests to do so either. Even without causing physical damage to the tail, it will cause emotional discomfort for your pet.
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