Video: Cat Tail
How important is the tail for a cat? Many people think that the tail is the most important organ for balancing. However, when a cat injures its tail, or when all or part of its tail has to be amputated, cats do well without it. They are great at climbing trees, walking on fences - just like cats with tails!
There is another side to the coin: if you refer to Kenneth Anderson's article "Anatomy of a Cat" published in the book "Catalog of Cats; the complete book about cats ", then find out that the tail is a very important organ and helps the cat to balance during climbing, jumping, and also in the mysterious trick of" self-leveling ", if the cat happens to fall from a height.
However, Dr. Gordon Robinson, MD, who heads the surgical department at Henry Berg Hospital, New York, says: "I am not convinced that the comment about a cat using its tail to align body position is fair." Dr. Robinson, aptly referred to as cats falling from a height as traumatic fall syndrome, states that if you take a tailless cat and turn it upside down and then release it, the animal will level itself before it reaches the floor, although the height in this case does not exceed two meters …
However, a long tail can probably help a cat maintain balance during sharp turns, but in general the balance of cats depends on other factors as well, as Alvin and Virginia Silverstein state in their book Cats and All About Them: “Their paws are designed like this the way that dads turn and rotate in them more freely than our arms and legs. When a cat walks, its front paws move inward, so the prints of the left and right paws are straight lines, and the front and hind paws (or rather, their tracks) coincide. The hind legs do not have such a pronounced inward movement, and nevertheless, the cat needs a very small point of support so that the hind legs do not have problems with support. This helps her move easily along a fence or tree branch."
Hence, the tail is not everything when it comes to quality balancing !
At least the completely tailless Isle of Man cats have no reason to worry about losing their long appendage! On the Isle of Man, several stories are told that explain the reason why the local cats lost their tails. One of them says that Irish warriors used to decorate their helmets with cat tails. Cats - mothers, out of fear that their kittens would be killed for the quirks of the warriors, bit off the kittens' tails immediately after birth!
And another legend: a cat from the Isle of Man with her stubby tail and her bouncing gait is the result of the love joys of a cat and a rabbit. Of course, these are very funny stories. However, in reality, taillessness is due exclusively to a genetic nature.
How do tailless cats communicate without a tail? Susan Naffer, chairman of the Morris Animal Foundation for Animals and an amateur Isle of Man cat breeder (she has 10 Maine cats and one Kimri cat, says: “My Isle of Man cats think with their heads, not their tails!”) She thinks we are great communicating and expressing ourselves without a tail - what is worse than her cats ?! She convincingly explains that cats from the Isle of Man do not worry about what they never needed. "The tail is just a process, they do not care."
But it's a fact that the tail is a kind of expression model, how can tailless cats compensate for the lack of this model? “They don’t compensate,” says Dr. Michael Fox, “their signal repertoire is largely reduced. It is as if the person communicating in sign language had no fingers! This is a disadvantage. An essential element of communication is lost."
It is true that the tail is a very important model of a cat's expression, but the expressions themselves are just as important: conversations with the tongue, head, ears, eyes, paws, nose, whiskers and sounds. After all, a cat communicates not only with its tail, and since there are many - countless - messages expressed by our cats, we should just as easily understand a tailless cat if we are interested in it! In the book There are No Bad Cats, authors Debra Pirotin and Sherri Sub Cohen describe different ways of talking with their tail. For example, when the tail bristles, it conveys anger.
Cat Feeling Article
Another example of self-expression of tailless cats can be the state of fear. According to the authors of the book, when a cat is frightened, its tail drops between its hind legs. The authors also note that fear is transmitted by the cat's round eyes.
But how can we, for example, understand, in the absence of a tail, whether our cats are happy? As Karl van Vechten said in his book "Tiger in the House", a cat's tail held high means pride or contentment. What does a tailless cat do if it feels pleasantly satisfied? Without a doubt, when a cat is relaxed and happy, it is obvious: the ears are raised expectantly, the paw pads are compressed and unclenched, the animal purrs - such obvious signs can even be tailed by cats! Thus, it is not difficult to imagine that for the countless number of tailless cats, beautiful with their strange beauty, of which there are a lot all over the world, there are more important things in life than some kind of tail !