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Kinked Tail

Discussion in 'Describing Cats - What Does My Cat Look Like?' started by Azazel, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Azazel

    Azazel Thread Starter Time spent with cats is never wasted. Top Cat

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    My kitty was adopted from a shelter just over a year ago. The shelter people were convinced she’s part Siamese although she has no papers.

    She has a very interesting kink in her tail and I’m wondering what you guys can tell me about where this kink comes from and whether it tells us anything about her ancestry? I realize without papers we can’t make any claims but it’s still fun to discuss. :)

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019

  2. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Kinks don't really tell us anything about ancestry. Kinks can be from injury (even an injury in utero may cause a kink or more extreme appearances) or a genetic trait. There is a cat I know of who was born with a wider flatter tail and when his owners took x-rays his tail had somehow formed as a zigzag but the skin had grown over the bumps and hidden that. They think it was somehow compressed in utero and the skin just grew that way. None of his siblings had noticable difference in their tails. I've also had a cat who had a nearly identical (to yours) kink who was a huge black and white street cat. He came to us with the kink so don't know if his was injury or not, I always assumed injury since his early life was rough.

    While some Asian decent cats more commonly have shorter tails it isn't an indicator for a particular single breed. More so a commonly occuring trait I'm the particular population. The original Siamese were known to frequently have kinked tails but it was seen as a defect and has been bred out of the more modern descendents.

    Without knowing if her kink is genetic or not, it's hard to say if it does tell us anything about ancestry. Even then it could be a throw back to some distant ancestor or a genetic quirk from crossed lines. Even if she was born with it we still would know if it was genetic or an injury in utero or during birth that caused it. She's a color point so there had to be a Siamese somewhere but one or one hundred generations back on both side its hard to know.
     
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  3. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder "Say what, crackerhead?" Adult Cat

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    Long ago, we had a number of Siamese cats, and one young female had a severely kinked tail, short like an angled human thumb... we called her "Stumpy." Not the most flattering name for a cat, but she was still a sweetheart, LOL. :cutecat:
     
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  4. Azazel

    Azazel Thread Starter Time spent with cats is never wasted. Top Cat

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    She did also have her 2 canines chipped when we adopted her which the vet believes must indicate some kind of trauma or fight with another animal. The people at the rescue we got her from were adamant that the kinked tail indicated Siamese ancestry. I knew that it was impossible to tell but still interesting to consider where kinks come from if they’re genetic!
     

  5. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    Anyone who insists that a kinked tail indicates Siamese ancestry is simply misinformed. Kinked tails can appear in any breed and can also appear in random bred domestic cats with no breed ancestry.
     
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  6. Azazel

    Azazel Thread Starter Time spent with cats is never wasted. Top Cat

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    So nothing interesting that we can speculate about? Dang, well thanks anyways guys.
     
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  7. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

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    In addition to being kinked, it looks in the pic like her tail is shorter than normal. Sometimes when a cat’s tail gets broken part of it loses blood supply and dies. So to me my guess is that your cat had an injury that resulted in the tip loss as well as the kink.
     

  8. Azazel

    Azazel Thread Starter Time spent with cats is never wasted. Top Cat

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    Oh wow, that would be awful. :(

    We really don’t know what she went through the first year of her life. But she came to us in really bad shape. We know that she had babies, had 2 chipped teeth, has a little cut on the tip of her ear, and was extremely underweight. She’s also very food insecure. Despite all this she is honestly the sweetest cat I’ve ever adopted and is my best friend. She has always been really scared and shy, but such a sweetheart at the same time. I hope she didn’t go through anything that traumatic. It hurts me to think of it.
     
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  9. jen

    jen TCS Member Top Cat

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    All it can tell you is that it was injured at some point. The Siamese thing is so ridiculous, a simple x-ray will likely show some healed over injury...
     

  10. Azazel

    Azazel Thread Starter Time spent with cats is never wasted. Top Cat

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    E997FD34-0992-493E-A8DD-5F326727A2B3.jpeg
     
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  11. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    It's perfectly normal for kinked tails to be a bit shorter than normal tails. Here are two examples of Chartreux kittens with slightly short tails that are kinked at the end... these kittens did not undergo any trauma, and they are definitely not Siamese mixes :)

    Visible kink.png

    Jimmy3.jpg
     
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  12. Azazel

    Azazel Thread Starter Time spent with cats is never wasted. Top Cat

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    Honestly the person who adopted her to us was shady as hell and I really questioned everything she said.
     

  13. Azazel

    Azazel Thread Starter Time spent with cats is never wasted. Top Cat

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    So cute! That makes me feel better that she was possibly born that way.
     

  14. bitkit

    bitkit TCS Member Young Cat

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    From what I read most cats in Thailand, formerly known as Siam have kinked tails. Wonder if that's true.
     

  15. bitkit

    bitkit TCS Member Young Cat

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    Written by Gwyn Kemp-Philip -

    "I had deeply researched the origins of Siamese cats because I bred them - but admittedly that was a long time ago now.

    Originally, the Siamese cat that we all know, was reserved exclusively for royalty in Siam, then the possession of a Siamese cat by any other was punishable by death and export was strictly forbidden.

    The original trait of a Siamese was noted by a distinct kink in the joint third from the end of the tail, from that genetic marker grew the legend that is was gods gift as a useful trusted place to store the royal ring. That in turn characterised the Siamese breed into perpetuity.

    Eventually, A Siamese breeding pair was gifted by the king of Siam to the Consul of Gt. Britain in 1884 who was said to have sworn to prevent any possibility of cross-breeding with others - which of course went the way of all political promises and they were exhibited at the Alexander Palace in London.

    By 1902 there was established a Siamese Cat Fancy which was incorporated into the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy with the breed number of 24.

    The breed no. was originally specified as a blue eyed, pale coated short-hair with distinctive dark brown points to the face and extremities with the distinctive crook to the tail - this crook was held to be the mark of a genuine thoroughbred cat with no cross breeding, it was held in esteem along with several other distinguishing traits that do not involve the tail - but the most impressive being the cats high level of intelligence and loud voice. Noted as conversationalists, they are not pets, they are companions.

    As time passed, so breeders began to vary the specification of the standard and began the course of disliking the kink, to which the breeders responded by trying to selectively breed it out. It has taken over forty years and as yet is only marginally successful because any moment of carelessness meant the re-appearance of the kink, much to the annoyance of the purists who are determined to eliminate it along with the smooth sleek lines of a pure bred original Siamese Seal Point 24 that was noted for its beautiful lines

    It was during these attempt to modify the distinctive tail kink and pricked ears that I decided to bow out of show breeding, for (my) ethical reasons, believing that what we had to begin with was defined perfection in any breed, so I wanted no part of it.

    So, the crooked tail and moderately canted pricked ears are not ‘defects’ in my eyes, they are the genuine article proven by the inability to eradicate it.

    To most people’s delight, an original Siamese is now regarded as defective and fit only for a pet. That is the cat that most people - including me - find to be most appealing, yet are often given away or abandoned, which brings me to where I am now, a rescuer of ‘unloved’ original Siamese in all their glory - kinky tail and all.

    In my opinion, a Siamese cat is the most perfect in form of all living creatures on this earth - or was until people began to meddle with them."
     
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  16. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Our lynx mix also has a kinked tail though her sister (a snowshoe mix) doesn't. I also thought the kinked tail was something that Siamese cats of various types/mixes sometimes have!
     
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  17. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    A "Siamese mix" would be a cat with recent Siamese breed ancestry. The colorpoint gene has been widespread in the domestic cat gene pool for many decades... most colorpointed cats simply happen to have inherited two copies of the colorpoint gene, and are not really "Siamese mixes."
     
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  18. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, I'm sure ours are very mixed! And mixed up! They definitely have the colorpoint gene but their heritage is totally unknown. (We adopted them at a shelter... it's about like @Azazel's cat's story.) But even the vet (a cat specialist) calls them Siamese mixes!

    They have lots of the (allegedly!) typical characteristics -- the darkening, red in their eyes in certain light/angles, etc. -- but who knows where all that came from. About all we know for sure is that they're great cats.
     

  19. lutece

    lutece TCS Member Top Cat

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    I can tell they are great cats :)

    The darkening color and red reflections in their eyes both go along with the colorpoint gene itself. This gene originally came from the Siamese breed about 70 years ago. Many domestic cats are carriers of the colorpoint gene, and if a cat happens to inherit two copies of this gene, it will be colorpointed and have those traits.

    Lots of people, including vets, call all colorpointed shorthair cats "Siamese" or "Siamese mixes"... lots of people also call all blue shorthairs "Russian Blues" or "Russian Blue mixes," and all brown tabby longhairs "Maine Coons" or "Maine Coon mixes." It's a perfectly normal thing for a shelter or vet to say, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily accurate :) Many vets and shelter folks are simply not aware that most cats aren't "mixes" of breeds.
     
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  20. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Ha ha, yes, of course the shelter told us the same thing, with papers that say "Siamese/mix"! :)

    I wonder if shelters and vets use "[whatever breed] mixes" as a sort of shorthand, knowing it's not necessarily accurate but finding it easier than trying to explain genetics (or even just "colorpoint") to people. Of course when everybody does that -- particularly professionals, like vets -- terms begin to lose their original meaning and broaden, which seems to have happened with terms like, say ;), "Siamese mix."
     

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