Breeds of cats without a tail

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The best-known breeds of tailless cats are the manx and bobtails, however, they are not the only ones. However, ¿why are there cats without tails? Tailless cat breeds are due to mutated genes responsible for causing a shortening or disappearance of the tail. These genes have, for the most part, a dominant inheritance, which means that, of the two alleles that the gene carries, with only one of the two being dominant for this characteristic of the tail, the kitten will be born without it. Depending on the breed, this characteristic will be more or less manifest, in some it is even related to serious health problems and even the death of the cat..

There are cats that we can see in the street that have a short and even bent tail, it does not mean that it is one of the breeds that we will comment on, the mutations that cause a short tail can occur spontaneously in common cats or by crossing a purebred cat without a tail with one that has a long tail. Tailless or not, cats are wonderful beings, and in this AnimalWised article we will discuss the tailless cat breeds that exist all over the world.

You may also be interested: Why do cats wag their tails? Index
  1. Manx
  2. Japanese bobtail
  3. American bobtail
  4. Kurilian bobtail
  5. Mekong bobtail
  6. Pixie bob
  7. Lynx cats


Manx cats have one of the two alleles of the mutated gene M in a dominant way (Mm), since if they have the two dominant alleles (MM), they die before being born and present significant lesions at the level of the nervous system. Due to this, it should be avoided at all costs that a manx cat can have a MM kitten, so they must be crossed with other breeds without a tail or with a tail that are recessive to the M (mm) gene and cannot be of no way MM. However, it is always advisable to sterilize it.

Manx cats sometimes have some tails, but more often than not, they have nothing. This mutation comes from the Isle of Man of the United Kingdom, hence the name of the breed. Among its physical characteristics are:

  • Large, broad, round head.
  • Developed cheeks.
  • Wide and round eyes.
  • Small ears.
  • Strong but short neck.
  • Hind legs longer than front legs.
  • Round and curved torso.
  • Muscled body.
  • Short back.
  • Soft double layer hair.
  • The layers can be diverse, being two-color and even three-color very frequent..

They are calm, sociable, intelligent and affectionate cats and considered very good hunters. With regard to health, they are usually healthy and long-lived cats. However, during the kitten's growth, the development of its spine should be closely monitored to ensure that it does not suffer from malformations or diseases due to the absence of a tail..

Within the manx breed, there is a long-haired variety, known as cymric, which, although it has long and leafy hair, does not have a tendency to form knots..

Japanese bobtail

This breed of cat without a tail arrived in Asia 1 000 years ago.. Your tail mutation is recessive, so if you have both alleles for the gene your tail will be shorter than if you only have one. Unlike manx cats, the presence of the two alleles for the gene mutation does not lead to any health problems, much less the death of the feline.

The Japanese bobtail is characterized by having:

  • Shortened tail twisted into a pompom at the end.
  • Triangular face.
  • Separate ears and somewhat rounded at the tip.
  • High cheekbones.
  • Long nose with small indentation.
  • Well developed snout.
  • Large oval eyes.
  • Elongated and muscular body that allows them to take good jumps.
  • Long legs, the hind legs somewhat longer than the front.
  • The males are usually bicolor and the females tricolor..
  • Single layer soft hair, which can be long or short.

They are curious, outgoing, intelligent, playful, active and social cats. They are not noisy but are characterized by their need for communication and expression, especially with people, who usually meow in different tones to communicate.

Regarding their health, they are strong, but the diet must be consistent with their activity level, which is usually higher than other breeds.

American bobtail

This breed appeared spontaneously in Arizona in the late 1960s due to a dominant gene mutation. It is in no way genetically related to the Japanese bobtail breed, although they physically resemble each other, nor is it the result of mixing with another short-tailed breed..

It is characterized by presenting:

  • Short tail, one-third to one-half the standard length.
  • Hefty body.
  • Pointed ears.
  • Concave profile.
  • Wide snout.
  • Strong jaw.
  • Hind legs slightly longer than front legs.
  • Short and long and abundant hair.
  • It can be of different layers of colors.

They are generally a strong and healthy breed. These cats are playful, energetic, very intelligent and affectionate. but not very independent and very adaptable to new homes and they even tend to tolerate travel well.

Kurilian bobtail

It is a breed of cat with a very short tail from the Sakhalin and Kuril Islands, between Russia and Japan, which began its popularity in the late 1980s. It is thought to have occurred due to a crossing of tailless Japanese cats with Siberian cats.

Kurilian bobtail cats are characterized by:

  • Short tail (2-10 vertebrae), fluffy and rolled up like a pompom.
  • Large rounded wedge-shaped head.
  • Oval to rounded nut-shaped eyes.
  • Medium ears, triangular in shape, wide at the base.
  • Curved profile.
  • Muzzle wide and of medium size.
  • Strong chin.
  • Robust, medium to large body, since males can weigh up to 7 kg.
  • The area near the hip (rump) is usually slightly sloping up.
  • Thick skin due to the low temperatures in its area of ​​origin.
  • Strong legs, hind legs greater in length than hind legs.
  • Soft and dense hair, short or medium long.

Kurilian bobtails are cheerful, intelligent, patient, docile, tolerant and very good hunters, especially fish, so they tolerate water better than other cat breeds.

It is a breed accustomed to extreme climates, very strong, which in general is very healthy, so that possibly visits to the vet will be routine and for vaccination and deworming..

Mekong bobtail

It is a breed developed mainly in Russia with cats brought there from various countries in Southeast Asia; it is widely distributed in the latter area. Was created from the Siamese cat breed, being able to consider its variety of short tail.

The physical characteristics of these tailless cats are as follows:

  • Athletic body, rectangular and elegant in shape.
  • Slender, medium-length legs.
  • Back nails always exposed.
  • Short tail in the shape of a brush or pompom.
  • Somewhat flat head with rounded contours.
  • Strong jaw.
  • Fine, oval muzzle.
  • Large ears, broad at the base and rounded at the tip.
  • Large oval blue eyes with expressive gaze.
  • Short, silky and shiny hair.

They have the same "color point " pattern as the Siamese, beige in color but darker in color on the extremities, tail, nose and ears, where the temperature is lower. They are silent animals, with a much more subtle meow. They have a good character, they are affectionate, playful and very intelligent. They are a breed of cats with a facility for learning commands and are continually alert to any possible prey with which to play or hunt..

It is a generally healthy breed, without genetic problems. Sometimes they require veterinary checks due to the strabismus that some specimens may manifest, but it is not something hereditary.

Pixie bob

Pixie bob cats are originating in the Cascade Mountains of Washington in the late 1960s. Some experts believe that it is due to a cross between bobcats, domestic cats and American wild lynxes.

The physical characteristics of this feline breed are:

  • Short and thick tail (5-15 cm), although some specimens may have it longer.
  • Medium to large breed.
  • Slow development, complete at 4 years.
  • Strong skeleton and musculature.
  • Wide chest.
  • Long head.
  • Prominent forehead.
  • Muzzle wide and long.
  • Oval eyes, somewhat sunken, with bushy eyebrows.
  • Strong jaw.
  • Wide-based, rounded-tip ears, with lynx-like tufts.
  • More than 50% of cats have polydactyly (6-7 toes on the front legs and 5-6 on the back).
  • Layers range from reddish to brown, with darker colored stippling.

Regarding their character, they are very peaceful, calm, sociable, docile, affectionate, faithful, intelligent and homelike cats, since they love to live indoors. Unlike other breeds of tailless cats, they do not show much interest in exploring the outdoors, although they can tolerate walks on a leash.

The health of pixie bob cats is usually good, but they can suffer reproductive disorders in females (dystocia in childbirth or cystic endometrial hyperplasia), in males cryptorchidism (one of the two testicles does not descend into the scrotum at two months of age , but stays within the abdomen or inguinal area of ​​the cat), as well as heart problems such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Lynx cats

During the 90s, a group of tailless cats were developed that were grouped within the group of "lynx ", specifically there are the following racial varieties:

American lynx

They are cats whose appearance resembles lynxes, with short and fluffy tail, strong appearance, muscular and robust. They have a fairly large head, broad nose, high cheeks, a firm chin, and a well-defined beard. The legs are robust and the hind legs somewhat longer than the front ones. The coat is medium from leopard to reddish colors in different shades. They can get used to living in a home, but they must have the possibility of being outdoors so that they can use up their high energy.

Desert lynx

Also called caracal or desert lynx, Although they are more stylized and do not have the hairs around the face of lynxes, they are found in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. They are felines that can reach up to 98 cm in length, 50 cm in height and 18 kg in weight. Its tail is longer than that of the cats that we have been commenting on, but it is still short, its fur is reddish sand while its belly is white. They have black ears and spots of this color on the eyes and whiskers and on both sides of the muzzle and a black stripe from the eye to the nose. Its eyes are large and yellowish, its legs are long and thin, and its body is athletic..

Alpine lynx

Are white cats, medium-sized, with a short tail and long or short hair, very similar to lynxes in appearance. Its head is medium to large, well developed square muzzle, large and expressive eyes of various colors, ears with tufts at the tips that can be straight or curly, the latter are larger and dominant. Its paws have tufts on the fingers.

Highland lynx

It was developed in the United States by crossing the desert lynx breed with jungle curls to achieve curly ears with the latter. They are cats with short or semi-long hair and of different colors. They are of medium size, muscular and robust body and some have polydactyly. They have a long, sloping forehead, wide-set eyes, a large, blunt muzzle, and a broad nose. It is a very active, intelligent, affectionate and playful cat.

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