Why Do Cats Have Tails? | The Reason, The Forming & The Function

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Tail in a cat is mentioned as very crucial body parts. It can not be second essential one in cat’s habit. How can it be like that? Sure, the tail has various functions in animals; as a means of a motion for fish and other aquatic animals, as a balancing and communication tool for land animals (e.g. cats) or even to hold something (in monkeys). Generally, the cat has a tail for balance and signaling and probably the signaling is more important role. Furthermore, cat has a tail for communication tool between fellow cats and others animal. They use the tail to give signal in interpreting what they fell and want.

The tail is the organ that extends from the posterior part of the spinal cats. Its position beyond the trunk or main part of the body. It is located in end of the spine. On the other words, the tail is the back of the cat’s body and a very important organ that fills most of the back of the body cat. The tail becomes a part of the body that is dominant in the cat’s body.


The Formation of Cat’s Tail


why do cats have tails
Credits: Paw and effect

Why do cats have tails? Scientifically, the formation of cat tail is not much different from other animals in general. The structure comes through several processes such as organogenesis. It is a process of formation of various organs that develop from the three layers of the process of gastrulation. Organs are formed from three layers are as follows.

1) The Ectoderm Layer  

The layer develops hair, skin, nervous system and senses.

2) The Mesoderm Layer

It forms into muscle, skeleton, reproductive, circulatory apparatus, and means of excretion. Here, the tail is formed.

3) The Endoderm Layer

It establishes the digestive tract and the respiratory tract.

The tail comprises the bones approximately 10% in the body. On the average, the bones on the tail are between 20 -23 although, there is no rule that state the total of bones in the tail. Those amount are based on the length of the tail and the breed of the cat. Those bones are well-known as “caudal vertebrae”.

The coccyx is elastic and can be driven through the mechanism of the spine. The level of elasticity of the coccyx is highly depend on the species,the growth and the individual cat. The coccyx largely covered by muscles versatile form of segments, especially at the end. These segmental muscles are able to move subtly so as to lift the tail, move it from side to side, rolled down or the whole body. One of the interesting things, domestic cats that exist in our environment is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking.

Part of the muscles that cover the tail bone is formed of muscles associated with the rectum, anus, and pelvic diaphragm. These muscles have many tendons that come from sections 5 and 6 to the spine and then the next and so on to the tail end. The movement of cats served by 4-7 pairs of nerve cells.


The Function of Cat’s Tail


why do cats have tails
Credits: kimballstock.com

In  reality, the tail is a bone extension that help cat to balance and communication. The balance here means keeping the cat’s body when they walks along the fence. It is also used as counterweight when they look to right, the tail automatically will move in the opposite direction (left).

For communication tools,  the tail can explain to the others cat about the cat’s mood or the desire. In a certain feeling,  cat’s tail will show a especially form that express their sense.

For example, the vertical cat’s tail means that a cat is happy to meet you and play with you. When you look the tail is wrapped, it means that they are comfortable. They don’t to be disturbed him and desire everything so far away.

The tucked away tail means there are something that make him nervous and worry. In this situation, they try to relax their body and feeling. It is better not to shock them if you do want to something undesirable occurs.

You have to be careful when you see the cats swishing their tail. They are ready to attract you, whatever do not care either to the owner or other animals. The cat’s with this tail wagging is are having very bad mood.


The Manx Cat Without The Tail

Credits: vetstreet

In addition, how about Manx cat communicate without the tail? One of cat race that do not have a tail entirely has been living without tail. Some Manx cat are known for their short hair or no tail completely. The Manx cat is perhaps the most popular cat because the absence of a tail in the cat breed in general. The cat is also called “grumpy”, “rumpy” (no tail),”rumpy riser” (with some vertebrae) “longie” (the longer tail but shorter than cat on average) and “stumpy” (longer but defective).

In contrast with the nature of cats in general, Manx loves the water, they like to put his hand into the water or a place to drink. Because of the uniqueness and history, Manx remained much sought after by collectors around the world cat.

Manx body size is shorter than the other races, e.g with a broad chest and spine arched up to the hip. Location of Manx hips higher than his shoulders, it is because their hind legs are longer and stronger than the front legs. So sometimes also referred to as cat Manx half rabbit. As cats in general, Manx has an active and playful characteristic. Manx cat also known as loyal to one person (the employer) or the family. It’s usually rather difficult to adapt to live with the employer or another family, so Manx cat got the nickname one person or one family cat.

In fact, the Manx cat that lives without tail and unpredictable,  they can live normally and do alright act without the tail. They can communicate using the body gesture between fellow race and others cat race. Many opinions say that they just learn in adaptation. It is a little bit enough to answer “why do cats have tails?