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Do Cats Have Bones in their Tails?

A cat’s tail is one of its most prominent physical traits. It has a bushy, long, and flexible appearance. Due to this adaptability, many cat owners question if their cats have bones in their tails?

Cats, surprisingly, do have bones in their tails. The tail is an extension of the spine and is an essential feature of feline anatomy. The vertebrae, or tail bones, are more prominent at the base and smaller at the tip. Soft discs also provide flexibility by cushioning the gaps between the vertebrae. As a result, the tail muscle and nerves are able to support the tail movement.

Continue reading to learn more about whether cats have bones in their tails, the anatomy of a cat’s tail, whether cats have feelings in their tails, whether your cat’s tail is broken, and more.

Do Cats Have Bones in their Tails
Do Cats Have Bones in their Tails

Do Cats Have Bones in their Tails?

Yes, cats do surprisingly have bones in their tails. In fact, a cat’s tail contains 10% of a cat’s bones. These bones in the tail are called vertebrae because they are classified as an extension of the spine. 

The bones, muscles, and nerves of your cat’s tail are crucial for movement, balance, and bowel control, among other things. 

What is the Anatomy of a Cat’s Tail?

The tail is attached to the cat’s spinal column at the very end. It is an extension of the spine rather than being a component of it. The spinal cord usually comes to an end before the appendage begins. A large number of nerves, however, branch out from the spine and go through the tail to the base.

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Male cats have tails that are around 11 inches long, while female cats have tails that are 9.9 inches long on average. Regardless of gender, the appendage serves a purpose other than to make the cat seem attractive. It also helps individuals maintain their balance when walking in tight areas or turning sharply.

A Cat’s tail can also be used to communicate. Felines utilize it to communicate with one another as well as other animals. By monitoring your cat’s tail, you may learn a lot about them. If you’re curious about what’s going on in their heads, all you have to do is a glance at their tail.

Is it True that All Cats Have Tails?

No, cats do not all have tails. Some cats are born without a tail, while others may have a tail injury that necessitates the amputation of their tail. Manx cat breeds, for example, are born without a tail, just like bobcats and lynxes. 

How Many Bones Can Be Found in a Cat’s Tail?

The tail is one of the most expressive aspects of a cat’s anatomy, accounting for 10% of all the bones in the animal’s body. A cat’s tail is considered both flexible and sensitive due to the bones, tendons, muscles, nerves, and ligaments.

Your cat’s tail has approximately 19-21 vertebrae or tailbones. However, the exact quantity varies depending on the cat’s species, individual, and breed.

Parts of the tail can move from side to side, towards the anus, or between the legs since flexible muscles wrap around the bones. The tail muscles then lie on top of the lumbar and tail vertebrae, which are attached to the bones via tendons.

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Cats Tail
Cats Tail

Are Cats Able to Control their Tails?

Cats have control over their tails and may use them to communicate with humans and other cats, as well as to help them move around. Cats may either waggle their tails or tuck them between their legs. Swishing their tails from side to side is another skill that cats have.

Cats can also move the tip of their tail separately from the rest of it, adding to the complexity of how they communicate with it. 

Is It True That Cats Have Feelings in Their Tails?

Since the nerves are part of the general central nervous system, the nerve endings in a cat’s tail make it particularly sensitive. Nerves are made up of trillions of linked cells called neurons that transmit information through electrical impulses.

On the other hand, sensory nerves convey a wide range of feelings such as touch, pain, taste, vision, temperature, smell, and balance. When a tail cat is touched, it feels more sensitive than other body parts such as the leg or the head.

If you’ve owned a cat for a time, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that you may not be able to touch your cat’s tail. Some felines aren’t fond of having their appendages handled or played with. 

Cat’s can brush their tails on you, but you’ll be surprised when you reach out to run your fingers over them. To indicate that they are uncomfortable with what you are doing, the cat may pull its tail away.

As a result, some cats have extremely sensitive nerve endings, while others lack sensation. If you delicately brush your fingertips across your furball’s tail and they don’t pull away, don’t be startled. It simply indicates that their nerve endings aren’t as sensitive as others. Some people love the sensation of having their appendages touched.

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Even those with sensitive tails have different reactions. Certain animals will become irritated when the tail is touched, while others may retaliate aggressively.

What Happens If a Cat’s Tail Is Pulled?

Giving a mild pull to a cat’s tail may appear appealing, but this is not only startling and perhaps uncomfortable for the cat, but it is also extremely dangerous. 

Despite its separation from the rest of the spine, the tail sends signals to the entire body in the same way as the rest of the spine does. It’s terrible news for your cat’s health if the tail is injured. A rapid yank to the tail usually results in one of two problems: paralysis or a dislocated tail.

When a cat’s tail is pulled on, one of the most prevalent problems is that it becomes dislocated. Dislocated tails can be excruciatingly painful for cats and will not heal on their own.

When your cat’s tail is dislocated, it will probably hang limply for a while. The location of the dislocation determines its placement, and the tail may enlarge and become uncomfortable to touch. If you observe these symptoms, see a veterinarian straight once to avoid your cat’s tail from worsening.

Paralysis is another typical ailment caused by yanking on a cat’s tail. When a cat’s tail is destroyed, the body often becomes paralyzed in the back. Cats with broken tails often develop paralysis in the tail, rear legs, and even the intestines, necessitating manual assistance from a pet parent or veterinarian on a daily basis.

Can a Cat Break its Tail
Can a Cat Break its Tail

Can a Cat Break its Tail?

The tail of a cat extends from its spine. As a result, the tail, like the rest of the body, is made up of bones, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves and can be readily hurt in an accident. Since cats rely on their tails for a variety of everyday functions, including balance and utilizing the litter box, tail damage is generally rather significant.

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Like any other bone in the body, the vertebrae that makeup tails can shatter. When a cat gets hit by a car, falls from a porch or bed, or has her tail smashed in a door, her tail is frequently shattered. However, the severity of the damage is mostly determined by the placement of the fracture.

What Are the Signs That a Cat’s Tail Is Broken?

If your cat’s tail is broken, there are a few methods to tell. The most typical indication of a broken tail is if your cat looks to have a limp tail. Since its bones can’t sustain an upright movement, the tail might droop low to the ground.

Another indicator of a damaged tail is a tail that does not wag. You can tell if your cat’s tail is broken if it can’t move from side to side or in any other direction.

If your cat is unable to move its rear legs, its tail may be damaged as well. This will come as a result of damage near the base of their tail.

Finally, a tail injury can also be indicated by a loss of bladder and bowel control. Certain injuries to the upper portion of the spine, which controls bowel motions and urine, can cause this.

Final Thoughts

Cats do, in general, have bones in their tails. The tail is an extension of the spine and an essential feature of feline anatomy.

The vertebrae, or tail bones, are bigger at the base and grow smaller as you move closer to the tip of the tail. Soft discs, which cushion the gaps between the vertebrae, also contribute to flexibility. As a result, tail muscles and nerves can help in tail movement.

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The tail is such an essential part of a cat’s appearance. It not only looks beautiful on them, but it also performs other functions. A cat’s tail contains roughly 19-21 bones, accounting for approximately 10% of the bones in its body.

However, because to the presence of all the bones, a cat’s tail may break in an accident. Broken tails, fortunately, can be remedied, so contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice something is wrong.