2 Reasons Why Cats Have Tails & How To Protect Their Tail

2 Reasons Why Cats Have Tails & How To Protect Their Tail

Author WCF Staff


Cats are fascinating creatures, and they always seem to find a way to amaze us. You probably heard at some point that cats always land on their feet, so you might wonder if that is true. You'd be surprised to know that this is completely true, and the reason behind this is their tail.

Cats’ tail not only serve are a way for balance, but it also provides cats with different uses. So if you wondered: "Why do cats have tails?" you are about to find out.

1. Balance and movement

Cat tail is one of the main weapons cats have to fight balance. This is the main reason cats will always land on their feet – their tail serves as a counterweight and helps them flip over.

Besides balance, the cat tail also serves as help for walking, running, and changing directions. When the cat needs to move quickly, the tail will shift in the opposite direction of where the cat is facing in order to provide her with stability and quick movement.

cat tail for balance

RELATED: 9 Common Reasons Why Cats Wag Their Tails

2. Way of communicating

Cat tail can communicate cats' emotions and how they are feeling. This is one of their main features and way of communicating. Every cat owner should know how to read the cat's body language and tail position. By understanding that, you can learn much about your cat and how she feels.

These are some tail positions and what cats are trying to communicate with them:

  • Raised tail with a hook at the end – means your cat is curious and wants to investigate things on what they have focus
  • Straight up the tail – confident and ready to play
  • Swaying – your cat is happy, especially if you can hear purring
  • Twitching – the cat will need some alone time
  • Flicking – by slowly flicking their tail, cats will let you know that they are in pain and that something is bothering them.

cat tail

These are only a few types of cat tail movements and their meaning. To learn more about why cats wag their tail and what tail wagging means, jump to this article - 9 Common Reasons Why Cats Wag Their Tails

Can cats have no tails?

Yes, of course. Some cats could be born without tails as a genetic mutation. There is nothing weird with this. You might be wondering how those cats will balance themselves and move if they don't have the main weapon - their tail. You’d be surprised to know since this is a genetic mutation, their bodies are developed slightly differently, and their constitution will allow them to get all the things that cats with tails have.

For example, cats born without tails will have bigger muscles in the hind limbs and longer front limbs. This will allow them to balance themselves better, and they will not miss much compared to cats with tails. How amazing is that?

cat tail

RELATED: Are Laser Pointers Bad For Cats?

Do cats have bones in their tail?

The tail can be explained as an extension of the cat's spine. As such, their tail contains little bones, mostly known as caudal vertebrae. Normal cats will have anywhere from 18-23 vertebrae in their tails. Besides these tiny bones, your cat's tail will have muscles, nerves, and blood cells.

Cats must protect their tail since if an injury does happen, your cat could experience a big pain.

RELATED: 8 Possible Reasons Why Does Cats Meow at Night

Can cats break their tails?

Since cats' tails have bones, cats can break their tails. There are a few different reasons why this could happen.

The most common reasons for tail breaking in cats include:

  • Stepping on the tail
  • The tail being caught up
  • Pulling tail

If a cat breaks her tail, this could be very painful for her, and you will have to provide her with proper medical help. You should immediately contact your vet if you think or notice something strange with your cat's tail.

black cat sitting

GOOD TO KNOW: Some cat owners tend to pull their cats by their tails, and this is something that you should never do. In some cases, you may pull your cat's tail too hard, and as a result, their tail will separate from the spine causing major problems and pain for the cat.

Why cats don't like tail touching?

Many cats don't like when you start touching or petting their tail. Of course, there are always exceptions, but this is pretty rare. We would advise you not to touch your cat's tail since this is a part of their body that have a great purpose in their lives and is a vital part of their movements.

This shouldn’t surprise us that they don't like their tail to be touched since their tail serves so many different purposes. Our advice is to stay away from the tail and pet your cat in an area she will enjoy.

World Cat Finder Team

world cat finder logo