Why Do Cats Have Tails?

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Tails are very important for cats as they perform the following functions:

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• Help cats maintain their balance

• Help cats communicate

• Form a major part of the cat’s sensory system

• Are used to mark a cat’s territory

A cat’s tail helps maintain its balance by acting as a counterweight. Essentially, it serves the same role as your arms when you extend them while you walk along something narrow.

A tail is densely packed with both motor and sensory nerves. A cat’s brain receives information from sensory nerves, processes that information, and then gives instructions to motor nerves on how to respond.

A cat’s tail contains caudal glands, which are scent glands that release pheromones. These pheromones are chemicals that are undetected by a human’s sense of smell but other cats can detect them.

A cat’s tail consists of: • Caudal vertebrae • Muscles • Ligaments • Tendons • Nerves • Blood vessels

If a cat sustains a serious injury it can sometimes result in tail amputation. If this has to happen, there is no need to be worried. A cat’s body will learn to make up for the loss of its tail by adjusting its muscles and senses, enabling it to respond properly.

Pulling a cat’s tail should always be discouraged, it’s very uncomfortable for the cat. Pulling a cat’s tail can lead to severe avulsion injuries.

Cats do have control over their tails. Although some tail movements are involuntary, for example in quick, reflex reactions or while sleeping.

A kitty’s tail is a very important appendage! People often talk about the importance of cats’ whiskers, but cats’ tails are just as important! Their function is fascinating and keeping the tail healthy is essential to a cat’s wellness.