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Anything To Look Out For With A Stubtailed Cat?

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by IronHippo, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. IronHippo

    IronHippo Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 5, 2018
    Hi all--my husband and I, finding ourselves with much more space after a recent move and with both Marple (~5 yo female shorthaired torby) and Radish (1.5 yo male medium haired brown tabby) settled in, have decided to add a third cat to the mix. We found a sweet but shy 7 month old orange boy at a Humane Society-partnered cat cafe this past weekend, and I will be picking him up after work today! We've got the guest bathroom set up for him and refreshed our memories on what to expect with bringing a new cat home, as well as introducing a cat to an established cat household. What I haven't found much information on is his tail--or rather, his lack thereof. Marple and Radish both have their full tails, but he's just got a fist-sized stub that kind of curls into a knob at the end. He eliminates fine (he happened to decide he needed to do both 1 and 2 right in front of us while we were visiting) and he doesn't seem to have any balance issues, although he wasn't really doing anything more acrobatic than relieving himself when we met him. The Humane Society also didn't have any information on his tail, so we're not sure if it's congenital or circumstantial. He was brought in alone but trapped in an urban area with known feral colonies, and he likely had some amount of human socialization growing up.

    Anyway, does anyone with experience with stub-tailed cats have a (tail)tip or two on anything to look out for?

    I like stories too btw, so please feel free to share any tales about tails! :)
     
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  2. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Staff Member Forum Helper

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    He sounds so cute! Congratulations! I would love to see pictures once you get some! My guess would be that his tail is naturally bobbed, since it’s a knob, rather than a normal, thin tail that abruptly stops (that would indicate it was severed at some point). Since he’s a shelter cat, you don’t have to worry about Manx syndrome, which is great! As far as I know, the main concern with bobbed tail cats is that they can have some back problems. But hopefully, that won’t happen with him. This is a also question you can ask your vet at his first appointment. They will probably have more knowledge and information than I do.
     
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  3. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm glad you are able to adopt again! You have such great names for your kitties, cannot wait to see what the new guy's name is. :)

    If his tail situation is congenital, a lot of what may happen with bone growth and development will unfold over the next 18 mos or couple of years, as he grows. I don't have a cat with any major tail issue (though she does have a kink at the end of her tail), but it was around 10-14 months that some of her issues with congenital luxating patellas began to show up. We had no clue about this prior to that time. It could be a good idea for you to save money for a thorough set of spine and tail xrays in your new kitty's future -- the radiologist or ortho vet can see what issues he might have, if any. We also discovered though xrays that our kitty has something going on with her L1 vertabra plus she only has two sacral segments instead of the normal cat's three... but she's not had any litter box issues or anything. lol, she also has a shortened lower jaw (an overbite), so who knows what all you will find via a thorough exam! It will be good to know what to watch out for, though, if some congenital things during growth will come up in your kitty's future.
     
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  4. IronHippo

    IronHippo Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 5, 2018
    Abyeb and PushPurr, thank you so much for your information! I had not known about Manx syndrome and it looks very painful. I hope the little dude doesn't have any spine issues. He is walking fine and showed me that he can hop in and out of the bathtub without any problems (he is hiding in the bathtub every time I poke my head in). But we will definitely ask when we take him in for his free checkup.

    We haven't settled on a name yet because we want him to get settled down a little first and see what comes out in his personality, but I sat with him for a bit and he is seriously sweet. He is also seriously hungry--he ate a whole quarter cup of dry food in one go and quickly began snacking on his second serving. We think he probably wasn't eating much in the cat cafe since he was hiding most of the time. Despite his hunger, he went for head scratches over a piece of kibble when I offered it to him, and he happily sat beside me for more pets. He doesn't mind me petting him while he eats, too. His tail feels very strange to pet with its little crook at the end...it's like he's got a wizard staff hiding under there haha!

    I didn't bring my phone into the bathroom with me and we're letting him have some quiet time now, but will definitely share once I get some! He seemed keen to go outside of the bathroom already. He definitely knows that Radish and Marple are out there and I think he really wants to hang out with them...unfortunately Radish hissed at him when he saw him (couldn't close the door fast enough) and then my sweet boy even hissed at me when he smelled my hands after I petted the new guy. :*( Just need to keep doing some scent swapping! Radish and Marple both got chicken outside of the bathroom door and we'll just keep up the positive reinforcement.
     
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  5. IronHippo

    IronHippo Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 5, 2018
    Also, Abyeb, I'm kind of relieved to hear his tail is probably congenital--it made me sad to think that he might have gotten hurt before he was trapped. Although I guess a congenital stub tail may lead to other issues!
     
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  6. IronHippo

    IronHippo Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    We have settled on a name: ʻUlu (oo-loo), which is the Hawaiian word for breadfruit. Why? Because my husband had the hardest time finding breadfruit and then suddenly found a whole tree near us, and ʻUlu is shy and hard to spot when he's hiding under the shower curtain but once he's out you can't get rid of him. Also, I thought a short name suited him because he's short (as in curtailed).

    [​IMG]
    Here is a shot of his tail! (Sorry, I'm not sure why some of my photos end up posting sideways!)

    [​IMG]
    And his little face. He has such orange eyes!
     
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  7. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    Love the name! :goldstar:
     
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  8. basscat

    basscat TCS Member Top Cat

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    I watch out for the teeth and claws. :lol:
     

  9. IronHippo

    IronHippo Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 5, 2018
    :lol: Luckily he's got a smaller mouth and claws than your guy!
     
    basscat purraised this.

  10. basscat

    basscat TCS Member Top Cat

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    :flail:
     

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