Tailless kittens?

by Ashly
(Austin, TX)

For the last few years, I have been working on a cat colony fixing and feeding. Last year in a litter of kittens, two were born tailless. I was able to catch one and get it fixed, however, the other had four kittens and three are tailless.


How could this taillessness all of a sudden start happening? Should I be worried?

My thoughts: Thank you for taking care of the feral kitties.

Cat genetics is a complex topic, and I am not an expert. Without a scientist looking into things, all we can do is be very unscientific and speculate.

I do know, however, that there are different forms of taillessness which show up as spontaneous mutations in the cat population.

Some that I know of are represented by the Japanese bobtail breed, the Pixie Bob, and the Manx.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, we're dealing with the Manx gene here. As I said, this is a spontaneous mutation, so it could have just appeared.

I believe it's more likely, however, that one of your cats met up with a cat carrying the tailless gene and mated, producing your first tailless cats.

Then, one of those cats mated with a cat with a tail and produced three tailless kittens.

If I remember the genetics part of biology class, since the gene is dominant, that sounds about right to me.

There are some potential health problems associated with the taillessness that exists in the Manx cat. Obviously, a vet would have to get involved and examine the cats to know if these kittens have any issues.

There's also the problem of two tailless cats mating, which would be very bad, but hopefully you'll be able to stop that before it starts.

I hope that helps.
-Kurt

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