Breeds of “Cats With Short Tails”

In the vast world of feline breeds, some stand out for their distinctive physical characteristics. Among these, cats with short tails have sparked fascination and curiosity for centuries.

Whether born through natural genetic mutations or selective breeding, these cats bring a unique aesthetic to the feline world. This comprehensive guide provides in-depth information about the various breeds of cats with short tails.

Cats With Short Tails

The phenomenon of short-tailed cats is intriguing and often leads to numerous questions. What does it mean for a cat to have a short tail? Why is this trait more common in Asia? And how does a short tail impact the cat’s lifestyle, especially feeding?

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This comprehensive guide dives into the world of short-tailed cats, demystifying their unique traits, shedding light on their rarity, and offering feeding advice tailored to their needs.

Cats with Short Tails: An Overview of Breeds

Here are some breeds of cats with short hair:

American Bobtail

The American Bobtail, renowned for its wild appearance, has a short tail that adds to its unique charm. The tail is usually one-third to half the length of a regular cat’s tail. The breed is well-muscled and sturdy, characterized by an affectionate and intelligent nature.

Japanese Bobtail

Distinctly known for its short, rabbit-like tail, the Japanese Bobtail has been a part of Japanese folklore and art for centuries. These cats are generally sociable, intelligent, and known for their vocal nature.


The Manx breed, originating from the Isle of Man, is famous for its taillessness, although some do have a short stump.

The lack of tail is due to a natural genetic mutation that has been preserved through selective breeding. Manx cats are robust, round, and are known for their hunting skills.

Kurilian Bobtail

Originating from the Kuril Islands of Russia, the Kurilian Bobtail is recognized for its pom-pom-like tail, typically comprised of 2-10 vertebrae. These cats are strong, agile hunters with a docile and sociable disposition.


The Pixie-bob breed, with its bobbed tail, mimics the look of a North American Bobcat. Apart from their short tails, these cats have a muscular body, woolly coat, and lynx-tipped ears, giving them a wild appearance.

The Short Tail: A Result of Genetics

In most short-tailed or tailless cat breeds, the shortened tail is a result of a genetic mutation. This trait is often dominant, meaning that if one parent cat carries the gene, it’s likely that the offspring will also have a short tail.

Health and Lifespan of Short-Tailed Cats

Generally, cats with short tails are as healthy and long-lived as their long-tailed counterparts.

However, it’s crucial to understand that in certain breeds like the Manx, the gene responsible for the shortened tail can occasionally lead to health issues, such as Manx Syndrome.¬†Always ensure that you source your pets from reputable breeders who prioritize the health of the breed.

Key Takeaways

  • Breeds of cats with short tails include the American Bobtail, Japanese Bobtail, Manx, Kurilian Bobtail, and Pixie-bob.
  • The short-tail trait is often a result of genetic mutations and is typically dominant.
  • While generally healthy, certain short-tailed breeds may have breed-specific health considerations.
  • By understanding these unique feline companions’ backgrounds and needs, we can appreciate them even more and provide the best care for those we welcome into our homes.

What Does a Short Tail on a Cat Mean?

A short tail in a cat could be due to various factors including genetics, breed, or even a past injury. In some instances, a short tail may signify a specific breed like the Japanese Bobtail or the American Bobtail. However, the length of a cat’s tail usually doesn’t have any impact on its health or well-being.

Feeding of Cats With Short Tails

Feeding a cat with a short tail doesn’t differ significantly from feeding any other cat. Short-tailed cats don’t have special nutritional needs based solely on their tail length.

However, it’s essential to consider their activity level, weight, and age when planning their diet. Quality cat food that is rich in protein is generally recommended. Always consult your veterinarian for personalized feeding guidelines.

Why Do Cats Have Short Tails in Asia?

Short-tailed cats are more prevalent in some Asian countries, most notably Japan. The Japanese Bobtail, a native breed, is famous for its short, “bunny-like” tail. Cultural beliefs often associate these short tails with good fortune, which may be why the trait is celebrated and preserved.

How Rare are Short-Tailed Cats?

While not exceedingly rare, short-tailed cats are less common compared to their long-tailed counterparts. Breeds like the American Bobtail and Manx are known for their shorter tails but are not as widespread as other breeds like the Siamese or Maine Coon.

Why Was My Cat Born With a Short Tail?

If your cat is born with a short tail, it’s most likely due to genetic factors. Breeds like the Manx have a gene that affects tail length, and when two such genes are inherited, the cat may even be born without a tail. Always consult a veterinarian for a thorough examination to rule out any health concerns.

Can a Cat Survive Without a Tail?

Yes, cats can live perfectly healthy lives without a tail. The tail is mainly used for balance, but cats adapt quickly and find other ways to stabilize themselves.

Do Cats Control Their Tails?

Cats do have control over their tails, using them to express various emotions such as excitement, irritation, or relaxation. However, the tail’s primary function is to aid in balance, particularly when climbing or making agile jumps.

What Is a Short Tail Called?

A short tail is often referred to as a “bobtail,” and cats with such tails are frequently termed “Bobtails,” as seen in the names of specific breeds like the Japanese Bobtail and the American Bobtail.

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Cats with short tails, carrying their unique charm, offer a delightful twist in the rich tapestry of feline breeds.¬†From the American Bobtail’s wilderness charm to the Kurilian Bobtail’s pom-pom-like tail, there’s an intriguing range of appearances and personalities to explore within these breeds.

Short-tailed cats are fascinating creatures with unique characteristics that capture our attention. Their tail length does not significantly impact their feeding needs, nor does it hinder their ability to live full, healthy lives. While not exceedingly rare, these cats are special in their own right, often celebrated in specific cultures for their distinct appearance.