As long as you are gentle, you can pull and play with their tail to get rid of any loose fur. They will be fine if they can pull their own tail out without moving or adjusting the rest of their body.
But why shouldn’t you grab your cat by the tail? What’s all the fuss about?
Don’t ever pick up a cat by the tail. The muscles, skin, fat, and an extension of the spine make up a cat’s tail. There are several vertebrae in the tail that go from the back of the cat all the way to the end of the tail.
If you have ever pulled on their tail or held it tightly, they can be aggressive, a little bit stubborn, or easily tickled. Their tail moves because of the nerves.
7 Facts You Should Know Before Holding Your Cat’s Tail
Here are 7 things you should know about your cat’s tail and why it’s important to hold your cat’s tail.
1. Your Cat’s Tail Helps Them To Balance
A cat’s tail is an extension of its body that helps it keep its balance when walking on narrow surfaces like fences, shelves, or tree branches.
They also help a cat stay steady as it runs or jumps after its prey.
2. Your Cat Use Their Tail To Communicate
i.e. Your cat’s tail looks calm when it’s sleeping, and when you pet it, your cat either doesn’t mind being touched by its tail and moves it gently or doesn’t move at all because it’s so relaxed and close to being tucked inside itself.
Also, when your cat is upset, its tail stands straight up in the air, and its fur looks like it has huge goosebumps, just like a person.
3. They Spread Their Pheromone Through The Tail
When a cat waves its tail in front of other cats, it spreads its scent.
It could be seen as a sign for the other cat to come over and check them out for sexual activity. It is a very important step in starting the process of reproduction.
4. If You Tug Your Cat By His/Her Tail It Could Break A Vertebrae
If you try to grab an unsteady cat, grab a cat that is running away, or grab a cat’s tail to stop them from fighting, you are most likely to hurt the cat.
This is the part of his or her spine where you can do a lot of damage. Their tail or something closer to their hips or lumbar spine could break or put pressure on their whole spinal cord.
Lifting them by their tails will hurt them very badly, even if it’s just a tiny cat and kitten. Their tails are not made to hold their body weight.
Take them to a vet to get an x-ray so you can make sure you didn’t break any bones or pinch a nerve.
Accidents happen; all you have to do is make sure it doesn’t happen again, or else he or she will lose faith in you and become cold toward you.
5. Can Cause An Injury Or Even Paralysis
When the tail is cut off from the rest of the body, the brain can’t send signals to the rest of the body through the tail.
Injuries to the tail can cause problems for a long time.
Some of the most important nerves that control movement of the bowels and bladder are in the tail.
These nerves also control the muscles. If you pull on the tail, you could hurt a nerve. Nerve damage can heal over time, but it often can’t be fixed.
Cats with broken tails are more likely to have paralysis in the tail, back legs, or back. This can sometimes make it hard for the cat to move its bowels, so you as a pet owner or vet will have to help your cat urinate and defecate every day.
6. A Specific Breed Of Cat Can Live Without Tails
In fact, Manx cats are one of the breeds that can be born without a tail, but they are just as active as cats with tails.
How to breed Manx cats:
The gene for not having tails is dominant, but a recessive gene for tails is needed. When making a Manx cat, breeders will put together a cat with no tail and a cat with a tail.
When two cats without tails mate with another tailless cat, the fetus often dies on its own. In reality, a lot of Manx cats will get sick with something called “Manx Syndrome.”
Spina bifida is a birth defect that happens when the spine and spinal cord don’t form right, the neural tube that makes the spinal cord doesn’t close all the way, and the vertebral arches don’t form all the way either.
Some symptoms include fused vertebrae and problems with the bowels or bladder.
7. The Domestic Cats Hold Its Tail Vertical
All domestic cat breeds have this trait, and they are the only felines that walk with their tails up in the air in a question mark shape.
On the other hand, wild cats carry their tails sideways or between their legs.
What Is The Function Of A Cat’s Tail?
Before we can really understand why some cats don’t like having their tails stroked, we need to know how important this part of their bodies is to them every day.
Cats are known for their acrobatic skills when it comes to climbing, sneaking up on their prey, and, most importantly, jumping down from high places and landing on their feet. Their whole body is designed to help them keep their balance, but their tail is also a very important part of this.
Dr. Cottrell, DMV, of the Cat Hospital at Town in Baltimore, Maryland, says, “Their flexible backs and lack of a real collarbone help them spin, so they can land on their feet.”
“As they fall, the tail helps realign their legs and body, keeping the cat level,” she says. When they move through tight places like tree branches and fences, their tail helps them stay balanced.
As kittens grow up, they learn to be able to change their direction in midair before landing. Their inner ear also lets them know when they are off balance. When this happens, they start to get back on track by moving their heads, then their front paws, then their backs, and finally their tails.
What if they need to talk to their owners, though? According to a study, cats communicate with people through both sight and sound, and they meow to get our attention.
Even though their sounds have changed for humans, they still use the same body language to talk to us.
For example, if your cat wags its tail when it hears your voice, that can be seen as a sign of happiness and acknowledgement. By learning your cat’s tail language, you’ll be able to understand it better and see signs that show how your cat is feeling.
It’s also important to note that, while their tail may show how they feel inside, taking this signal out of context can be misleading.
This is why Carlo Siracusa of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine says that looking at the tail alone isn’t enough and that looking at the whole body is more effective.
Do Cats Have Feeling In Their Tails?
Our cats can talk, see, and smell to communicate with us and their surroundings. They can also use touch.
How they act when we touch them depends on a lot of things, like their personality, how close they are to us, and how sensitive the area is. This can lead to a good or bad reaction.
It may sound complicated, but these nerves, especially the sensory nerves, send information to your cat’s brain about pain, touch, temperature, taste, hearing, balance, sight, and smell.
So it’s not surprising that your cat reacts more strongly when you touch its tail than when you touch its legs or other parts of its body.
Why won’t cats let you touch their tails?
We all have sensitive parts of our bodies, and how we react when those parts are touched varies from person to person.
Cats are no different. Many cat owners say that their cats don’t like it when you pet them along the back of the tail. What do all of these cats have in common, and what could be causing this?
1. Their Tails Are Sensitive
Some parts of a cat’s body, like a scratch on the chin, make them “purr,” while others, like the tail, might make them attack. Both of these are sensitive topics, so why do they make people feel so differently?
As was already said, a cat’s tail is an extension of its spine, which makes it a very sensitive part of the animal.
Because of this, cats can be very protective of their tails, making sure nothing bad happens to them. Even a small touch can make them angry and cause them to act defensively.
2. It Causes Stress
Unless you have the friendliest and most patient cat, I think most of us will agree that our cats may get stressed out easily.
It could be because you had to take them to the vet or because it was finally time to wash their favourite blanket before all the fur on it turned into another cat.
Even though bad things can happen, it is our job to make sure our cats live in a safe and stress-free environment where they can thrive. Touching your cat’s tail, which might seem like a harmless thing to do, can make them feel uneasy.
It’s also important to know that this is not something cats do with each other, so it’s a strange place to touch them.
Grabbing their tail will almost certainly make them angry, which can put a lot of stress on your relationship.
3. Their Tail Is In Danger
Cats don’t like to feel worried or threatened, and because their tails are more fragile than the rest of their bodies, they see anything that comes close to them as a threat.
No matter what history is behind your cat’s being defensive, it’s important to respect the limits they’ve set.
4. They Don’t Trust You (Sorry)
Cats are known to be more distant, but most cat owners will tell you that you have to work a little harder and not just expect them to like you if you want their love and trust.
This is one reason I love cats, and I think the bonds they make with people are based on trust and giving each other space.
If you don’t know a cat well, the last place they’ll let you pet them is their tail, because they don’t trust you yet.
There are ways to get a cat to trust you, whether you just got it or are taking care of it for someone else. However, it may take some work on your part.
The first step is to learn how to approach a cat and pay attention to what their body language tells you, especially at first.
Let the cat come to you first. Hold out your fingers and let it sniff them. If it rubs its face against your fingers, that means you can pet its head.
It’s not a good idea to focus on a cat’s tail if you start petting it. Even if a cat doesn’t mind having their tail petted, going for the tail first can be scary and make bonding harder.
The best plan would be to start by building trust and making sure they are okay with you touching them in more “normal” places.
Maybe in time, when you find yourself stroking your cat’s body and carefully testing the water on their tail, They will take it, but that isn’t a sure thing.
5. They’ve Got An Injury (Old or New)
There are many reasons why your cat might not like it when you touch their tail, and most of the time, you don’t need to worry unless it’s a sign of an injury. Your cat may be in pain if they act strangely protective of their tail, try to hide it, or get very angry when you touch it.
Since most tails are long and stick out from the body, they are more likely to get hurt or hurt someone else in an accident.
So, it’s very important to watch how your cat’s tail moves. Is it bent in a strange way? Could it be that your cat is dragging it behind them? You may have noticed that your cat is having trouble getting around.
In that case, you need to take your pet to the vet.
In other cases, your cat may be afraid of you touching its tail because it has been hurt in the past. You can feel a “kink” in the tail, which is most likely where an old break healed. Even after they’ve healed, some spots on a cat can still hurt.
6. They Don’t Enjoy It
Sometimes the most obvious answer is the best one, and even though we’ve tried to figure out why cats don’t like it when you stroke their tails, there doesn’t have to be a reason.
Respecting your cat’s ways is the best thing you can do as a loving owner, whether it’s because of instincts to stay alive, biological reasons, or just a preference for being petted. Instead of trying to figure out why your cat doesn’t like this method, try to find out what they do like.
Why Some Cats Like Their Tail Petted?
We all know that there are always exceptions to the rule, and while most of us may wonder why cats don’t like it when you touch their tails, there are some who can’t understand.
Cats are all different, and how they want to be handled depends on what they like best. One of my cats likes it when I rub the base of his tail, and the other will lie down in front of me and ask for a belly rub without trying to hurt me.
It’s great if your cat likes it when you rub their tail. It could mean they trust you. It’s one of their most private places, so being able to go there is a treat.
It’s also possible that the sensitivity of this spot makes it feel more pleasant to some cats, while others feel like they’re being tickled.
No matter what, the important thing is that you now have more ways to show how much you love your cat.
How To Know If Your Cat Likes It Or Hates It?
If your cat’s mood changes for the worse, it might be because you’re getting in the way. They might hiss at you, scowl, or even try to bite you.
But what if they tell you things that contradict each other? The answer could be at the end of their tails!
Tail And Body Language
When trying to figure out what your cat is trying to say with its body language, it can help a lot if you keep an eye on it and wait.
John Bradshaw, head of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol in England, says that “many cats and their owners gradually develop a unique “language” that they both understand but that is not shared by other cats or owners.”
But if you’re a new cat parent trying to win your cat’s love, tail signals can be a big help!
Position Of The Tail
Most of the time, you can tell a lot about how a cat is feeling by looking at its tail and how it is positioned. When your cat walks with its tail straight up and its tip curved, it usually means it is happy.
In similar situations, I sometimes run my fingers down the spines of my cats and then down their tails. I always keep it short and simple, because a quick pat on the tail doesn’t seem to bother them.
On the other hand, an angry cat’s tail will be standing up and fluffed out, and its back will be arched. This is another sign that you need to stop what you’re doing and give your cat some space.
Motion Of The Tail
The position of your cat’s tail may help you figure out some of how they feel, but the way their tail moves is just as important.
Take note of how fast and strong the movement is. Change just the tip, or the whole tail? It can move slowly and be hard to notice, or it can move quickly and stop.
When one of my cats sleeps on my lap, I give him a few random strokes here and there, but when I do the same with his tail, he tries to get it out of my hands. The thumping sound that comes next tells me I should stay away from that area.
Your cat’s tail can move in many different ways, with different combinations happening at different times depending on how they feel and what’s going on. With time and work, you’ll be able to figure out what they mean.
Movement and position alone can sometimes trick you, which is why it’s important to know what’s going on.
For example, your cat might like the way you pet it and want you to rub its tail most of the time, but it might not be a good idea to pet it while it is eating or sleeping.
So, before you stroke your cat’s tail, make sure he or she is comfortable, calm, and ready to get some love.
How To Groom A Cat That Doesn’t Like Their Tail Touched?
Some people might think this is a silly question because most cats can take care of their own tails. However, long-haired breeds like the Maine Coon and “lazy” cats might have trouble.
When you go to the tail, don’t squeeze or pull on the tail or fur. Instead, use light strokes to find out how much touch they can handle.
Buying a good brush could change your cat’s attitude about grooming in a big way. If your cat doesn’t like traditional grooming brushes, you should try something kinder.
Make this a good experience by being patient, praising your kitten, and giving it a few treats while you brush its tail.
Can Cats Live Without Tails?
While we’re talking about tails, I think it’s important to talk about cats with very short tails or no tails at all. This could be due to a breed trait or an injury.
Tailless Cat Breeds
The Manx cat, which comes from Scotland’s Isle of Man, is a popular breed that doesn’t have a tail. This breed is known for not having a tail. This is because of four mutations that only happen in this breed.
Leslie Lyons, a cat expert and geneticist at the University of Missouri—Columbia, says that the mutations were common on the island. This means that all Manx cats must have come from tailless cats that have lived on the island for hundreds of years.
Even though tailless breeds can live a pretty normal life, these genes aren’t good for this breed because cats need their tails, and only if both parents are tailless can it be passed on.
The Japanese Bobtail is another breed without a tail that seems to be healthier than the Manx.
Studies show that a cat’s short tail is caused by a natural genetic mutation. Since the trait is recessive, if two cats with short tails mate, their kittens will also have short tails.
Even though both types or similar breeds don’t have tails, they do have a sensitive bump where the tail would be.
My parents got a beautiful Mekong Bobtail cat a few years ago, and one thing was clear from the start: he doesn’t like it when people touch his tail.
Cats That Lost Their Tails
It’s awful when a cat loses its tail, but it does happen. Your cat may have lost its tail before you got it, or it may have lost it while in your care.
Accidents happen, and cats who are let outside are more likely to get hurt or sick, which could lead to tail loss.
Veterinarians say that because the spinal cord ends so high up, the nerves that leave the cord to control and feel the tail, back legs, urinary bladder, large intestine, and anus must grow long branches to get where they need to go.
It’s important to remember that if your cat’s tail is dangling or moving in a strange way, you should take them to the vet, no matter how small the injury.
Some injuries may heal on their own, in which case you’ll just have to keep an eye on your cat and keep it away from other cats until it’s better. No matter what you do, it’s important to keep your cat safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe for cats to play with each other’s tails?
You can let your cat play with another cat by their tails if they are close and get along well. However, be careful if the other cat doesn’t like your cat or is a threat to it. If they fight, the other cat could hurt your cat.
Why does a cat hisses you when you grab its tail?
The tail of any animal is a long spine with dozens of nerves running from the spinal cord to the tip of the tail.
These nerves let them move, sense, and do other voluntary things. Their bowel and urination are completely dependent on their tail.
Why do cats wiggle their tail rapidly sometimes?
As I’ve said before in this essay, cats show how they feel through their body language, especially the movement and responsiveness of their tail.
You must be very aware of the situation when they twitch their tail. The most common reasons for a dog’s tail to wag are happiness, excitement, and anger.
Why do cats lick their tail frequently?
It may be part of their general hygiene to keep themselves clean all the time. They lick their tail after pooping, peeing, or both. They may also lick their tail to get rid of dirt, ticks, or fleas. If this is the case with ticks and fleas, see a vet.
Is it safe for children to play with your cat? Especially with their tail?
It depends on the children and how much they know about cats. You should make sure that the kids who play with your cat know about cats and know what happens if they pull a cat’s tail too hard.
This will make them more aware of cats and other animals, which will help them get along better with them.
Even if you’re just having fun, resist the urge to pull your cat’s tail too hard.
Grabbing your cat’s tail, even if you mean well, can cause a lot of pain and suffering, so be careful, be a responsible pet parent, be careful if your cat is having a medical emergency, and let your cat’s tail wag in happiness.
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