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Author Topic: Cats who lose their tails, die!
FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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July of 2006, my kids went to North Carolina to visit my husband's family for the first time in 10 years. Long story as to why it was so long- but that's not why I'm posting.

We were watching "King of the Hill" and one of my kids mentioned a dog in the cartoon looked like "one of Uncle JR's dogs." Another kid piped up and said, "they have a tail-less cat too; well, it has a stump tail."

I said, "That's kind of sad because cats use their tails for balance."

Then, one of my kids- who wishes to remain nameless- said that Uncle JR's wife said that if a cat lost its whole tail, it would die. My kid swears that Auntie JR said that the cat would die because the "tail is connected to its digestive system." We (Mr. Feathers and I) laughed about it and asked: "What about cats that are born tail-less?"

My kid got mad at us for laughing and repeated, "Well, she said that, not me!"

So, has anyone heard that one? What's the story with "cats losing their tails and dying"?

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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bethntim
Deck the Malls


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My cat lost her tail when she was 3 when she fell asleep in my engine block and I didn't realize it until after my car was started. Her tail was "jerked" off of her and while her recovery was quick she had a lot of problems walking the fence rails for a little bit after that. But otherwise lived to be 16 when she couldn't outrun a coyote on the family farm.
[Frown]

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MissBethie
I Saw Three Shipments


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what about the breed of cat that has a bob-tail? they're born with just a stump.

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"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?" --the Scarecrow

"The Christian Right is neither."

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by MissBethie:
what about the breed of cat that has a bob-tail? they're born with just a stump.

Manx?

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I believe I'm growing skeptical of cynicism.
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landmammal
Deck the Malls


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There's Japanese Bobtail, and there's an American Bobtail, too.

Kittens of purebred Manx cats can either have a full tail, a stump tail, or no tail, IIRC.

ETA:links

Maybe this is where the rumor started (emphasis mine)?
quote:
The genetic mutation peculiar to the Manx cat determines the length of the spinal column. A super short spine can fail to provide proper nerve and muscle endings which can result in an open spine, a lack of bowel and/or bladder control, weak hindquarters or one weak hind leg.


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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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It could have been that your kid was referring to Manx Sydrome, (Click link and scroll down to "Special Medical Problems").

Supposedly breeding two "rumpie" Manx together can lead to deformities involving the spine and the digestive tract. There is some controvery over whether this is true or not, but generally breeders try to avoid mating two completely tailess cats.

I can attest though, that most tailess cats live long and healthy lives. I've got a 16-year-old bobtail sitting right next to me who will swear she's not dead. [Smile]

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Horse Chestnut:
It could have been that your kid was referring to Manx Sydrome, (Click link and scroll down to "Special Medical Problems").

Supposedly breeding two "rumpie" Manx together can lead to deformities involving the spine and the digestive tract. There is some controvery over whether this is true or not, but generally breeders try to avoid mating two completely tailess cats.

I can attest though, that most tailess cats live long and healthy lives. I've got a 16-year-old bobtail sitting right next to me who will swear she's not dead. [Smile]

But that's only because she is a creature of the night... the undead! C'mon, cats are TEH EBIL and have no soul.

The fact that they're also adorably cute just compounds their evilness.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Floater
Xboxing Day


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All cats, with or without tails, are going to die eventually.

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Some cats that lose their tails through trauma lose bladder and bowel control due to nerve damage. The owner may have to massage the bladder to empty it, but ultimately kidney problems can result. The muscles at the root of the tail are used in emptying the rectum (hence cats jerk their tails downwards when defecating). Where possible, vets amputate in such a way as to preserve the nerves and muscles, but it depends on where the damage occurred.

Breeding 2 tailless Manx cats together can result in gross deformities of the central nervous system. Kittens homozygous for the Manx condition are stillborn or, more often, reabsorbed by the mother. This is a contentious issue with breeders, some of whom argue that Manx syndrome doesn't exist and is purely due to selecting poor specimens for breeding, others accept is is due to the gene for Manx taillessness.

For some reason, genes for tail formation are mutational hot-spots in the cat. There are several different mutations leading to various degrees of taillessness, to bobtails and to curly tails.

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Floater
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Some cats that lose their tails through trauma lose bladder and bowel control due to nerve damage. The owner may have to massage the bladder to empty it, but ultimately kidney problems can result. The muscles at the root of the tail are used in emptying the rectum (hence cats jerk their tails downwards when defecating).

That is also true for Old English Sheepdogs, which is one reason cutting off dogs' tails is forbidden in Sweden.

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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Izzy Quigley
Jingle Bell Hock


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My dad has told me about a cat from the family farm. (Warning: stop reading now if you're easily horrified.) Apparently this cat developed some kind of sore on its tail, which got infected and grew until half the tail was hanging at an angle to the other half.

Finally my great-grandmother (apparently a very tough old German lady) got out the butcher knife and said, "Somebody hold that cat down for me."

She proceeded to cut off the infected portion of the tail. Predictably, the cat freaked out and disappeared for several days. It later returned and made a full recovery, although I'm guessing it avoided my great-grandma after that.

Anyway, I'm not sure what this story accomplished, other than demonstrating that cats don't necessarily die without their tails and giving some disturbing insights into Quigley history.

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A Viennese fellow is walking along the Karntner Strasse and notices a banana peel lying in his path. "Alas," he sighs, "now I must slip and fall down!"

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Lady Neeva
I Saw Three Shipments


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When I was a kid (so, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth LOL) we had a cat who got it's tail either caught in something and severed, bitten off by a feral dog, coyote, or fox, or possibly bitten off by a velociraptor (pesky things those!).

Anyways, the cat didn't die and did regain most of his hunting ability (talking almost 25 years ago, he was a "farm cat" -- mostly kept around to supposedly keep the rodent population down... in reality, at least at our farm, they mostly just kept the cat food and milk populations down LOL).

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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Maybe the aunt twisted a possibility (like the nerve damage injury result) but the whole "all cats die from losing their tail" just threw us for a loop. And my kid got so mad at us when we laughed and started throwing out: "What about bobtails?" and such.

Thanks for the responses.

--------------------
"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

Posts: 4524 | From: South of Madison, Wisconsin | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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