Cat Tips

About Tailless Cats

We know it’s difficult to imagine a cat without a tail. But do you know why the tailless cat became a detective? Because it was an expert in tail-less clues! 

Okay, jokes apart, tailless cats are unique and fun in their way. But before we get into that, let’s answer the most asked question regarding them.

How did Tailless Cats happen?

The answer is gene mutation. Taillessness is often attributed to a genetic mutation that affects the development of the tail during a cat’s embryonic stage. This can result in both, no tail or a very short tail. For some cats, the tail may be replaced with a bump or a nub. 

Injuries can also cause a cat to lose their tail. But for now, we are talking about the ones born without a tail. So, let’s move to the next most common question.

What Are Some Tailless Cat Breeds?

Originating from the ‘Isle of Man’, these cats have a mutation that shortens the tail. However, most are best known for being completely tailless. We know you have more questions relating to this breed. We have dedicated an entire section of this article to them below. But before that, let’s check out some other tailless or short-tailed breeds!

  • Japanese Bobtail 

The name itself talks about the tail and the origin here. Their tail can be shortened or kinked. While they can be found in multiple colors, the white one is the most popular one. The reason for that can be that these cats look like cute little rabbits in white. Temperament wise these cats are affectionate, smart and great with children given their high energy and mischievous nature. 

Well, we have one of our own as well. The American Bobtail is not very common and is a recently developed breed. And while some may think that they are a variation of the Japanese one or any other tailless cat, they are not. A different kind of mutation caused the stubby "bobbed" tail in these cats. Apart from the tail, we mean ‘no-tail’, that sets them apart, these cats are also among the most dog-like cat breeds out there. They are very social, energetic and affectionate. 

  • Kurilian Bobtail

Here’s the one joining all the way from Russia. There is a chance that they may be related to the Japanese tailless cat mentioned above. They come in both short and medium-length coats. They look like a wild cat and that’s because they are meant to be. They are excellent fishers and hunters and love to play in water. However, their gentle nature takes them away from the wild. But they do credit their long lifespan of 15-20 years to being bred in the wild. 

  • Cymric 

Known as the Manx’s twin, Cymric is the long-haired version of it. Both these cats have the same place of origin – the Isle of Man. It is a muscular cat with a sturdy bone structure. It also has a full-tailed version but is only recognised as a separate breed in New Zealand. 

Rumpy Riser Manx Breed Information

As promised above, we will dive deeper into the original tailless cat breed – Manx. Now, the reason you see this section titled ‘Rumpy Riser Manx’ is that these cats are categorised further according to their tail variations. The completely tailless ones are called ‘Rumpy’. The ones with a bump of cartilage under the fur where the tail might have been, are called ‘Risers’. And the ones with a slight tail coming out are known as the ‘Rumpy Riser’. There’s one more addition to this group; the ‘Stumpy’. These are the ones with short tail stumps that are often curved, knotted, or kinked. 

Because of the odd physicality of these cats, there are numerous folktales about them. In one of them, the biblical Noah closed the door of the Ark when it began to rain, and accidentally cut off the tail of the Manx cat who had almost been left behind. (2) Another story claims that the Manx is an offspring of a cat and a rabbit. To add spice to it, some even call it a ‘cabbit’. 

They have a coat with dense, soft, underlayer and a longer, coarse outer layer with guard hairs. There is a curly version of this cat too, called ‘Tasman Manx’. Irrespective of the coat type, all of them display dog-like characteristics. They are excellent hunters and are known for taking down larger prey. 

How to Take Care of a Tailless Kittens

A tailless cat is amusing to look at but they have their own health challenges. These include – 

  • Manx Syndrome – The tail is the extension of the spinal cord in cats and dogs. Because of a short or absent tail, the nerves to the back legs, bladder, and colon might not function properly. These cats are hence prone to mild weakness affecting their jumping ability, loss of bladder and fecal control and even paralysis. But if your cat does not show any symptoms during the initial life stages then there’s no risk of it developing later in life.

  • Arthritis – Most cats are prone to arthritis when they get older. Cats with short or no tails stand a chance of developing it earlier in life. 

  • Megacolon – Problems in the nerves of the colon can be caused by chronic constipation in cats. This, when severe, can cause a stretched-out and weakened colon that cannot pass backed-up stool.

  • Corneal Dystrophy – Some Manx kittens can develop swelling or an accumulation of fluid in the front layer of the cornea, which can progress to significant fluid-filled blisters on the cornea. 

Taking care of such cats, especially with the above medical conditions requires special attention and consideration. These include – 

  • Cleaning their hind regularly is essential to prevent skin and urinary tract infections. For cats with poor fecal control, diapers are a good option but must be changed regularly to avoid skin issues.

  • Tailless cats may face issues with balance and mobility. Lowering cat houses and beds, using ramps for access to elevated areas, and installing no-slip rugs on hardwood floors can help. 

  • It is better to keep them indoors most of the time to avoid any risk of injury or accident outside.

  • Grooming and exercising are recommended like for any other cat to ensure overall well-being. 

  • Regular vet visits may help here to detect any kind of symptoms of Manx Syndrome or any other illness.

More About Spot Pet Insurance

With a Spot accident and illness plan, you can take your cat for treatment at any licensed vet in Canada or the U.S. Spot plans don’t have networks, so whether you’re home or traveling within the U.S, veterinary services your cat receives for the diagnosis, treatment, or management of eligible services can be covered. Spot’s accident and illness plans can help cover a variety of conditions, ranging from broken bones and bite wounds to behavioral conditions, and cancer. And while base plans do not offer coverage for preventive care services, Spot’s Wellness Riders can be added to any base plan for an additional fee and can help cover the eligible costs of wellness exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and more! Learn more about cat insurance or get a free quote. 


  1. Wikipedia contributors. (2024, April 23). Manx cat. Wikipedia.

  2. Adams, C. (2024, February 27). 6 Cat breeds with no tails (Vet-Reviewed info with pictures) - Catster. Catster.

  3. Leeson, J. (2023, October 13). Manx.

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