Recently we talked about how to read your cat's tail language. Now let’s look at some of the most unique cat tails out there! We pick our top four unique cat tails and take a look at some favorites among cats with long tails, cats with fluffy tails, and cats with striped tails.
Top 4 unique cat tails
The Kurilian Bobtail displays a short pom-pom tail that complements their glorious, winter-ready fur coat. This natural cat breed was first found on Russia’s Sakhalin island and Kuril archipelago, before being brought to central Russia in the mid-20th century. The Kurilian Bobtail cat is equal parts impressive mouser and loving companion to humans.
On first glance, the Somali cat's unique, bushy tail combined with their beautiful ruddy coat, ear tufts, and cunning expression makes us think we’re looking at a fox instead of a feline. The rare Somali breed is considered the long-haired version of the Abyssinian cat. If you ever come across this energetic and mischievous beauty, consider yourself lucky!
It’s easy to see where the “perm” comes in with the distinctive shaggy ringlets found on the LaPerm cat’s tail. This breed’s curls typically come in when they are between 2 and 3 years old. (LaPerm kittens are often born bald!) This breed started out on a farm, and maintains the energy and activity levels of a barn cat—without the skittishness.
American Ringtail cats carry their unique tails curled over their backs. Despite what some may think, this isn’t a deformity or result of an injury—it’s just the super cute way this breed does it! While friendly, the American Ringtail is an uncommon breed that carries over some endearing behaviors from their feral ancestors, like hiding their food throughout the house to eat later on.
Cats with long tails
The tiny Kinkalow cat breed is a cross between the Munchkin and the American Curl. Their elegant tails are often longer than the length of their bodies! These cats also sport cute curled ears. When a Kinkalow is born, their ears usually start off straight, and as they age, they begin to curl backward. Playful and cuddly, these forever kittens act like kittens, too
Oriental Shorthairs are long, slender cats, and likewise have long, slender tails. This man-made breed is derived from the Siamese cat, but the Oriental Shorthair displays up to 300 color combinations! Their large, flaring ears also distinguish them from modern Siamese breeds. Like the Siamese, they are chatty cats with lots of love to give.
In addition to their hallmark silvery-blue dense coat and vivid green eyes, the Russian Blue cat displays their elegance with a long, tapering tail. These cats are known as the “Archangel cats” due to their Russian port of origin. If you’re looking for a gentle and playful cat that doesn’t mind being cuddled but values their independence, this is the kitty for you.
The ancient Siamese breed is a long, elegant, colorpoint cat that is “defined by extremes,” including her long, tapering tail. It is believed that Siamese cats are descended from the sacred temple cats in Siam, now called Thailand. This impressive and vocal breed contributed to the lineage of many other modern cat breeds, including the Balinese, Oriental Shorthair, and Ocicat.
The Sphynx cat is undoubtedly the most popular hairless cat breed. Their tails are long, hard, and tapering; the tails may be as hairless as the rest of the body, or display a fine down. Surprisingly, these cats can display a variety of skin patterns and colors. They may look a little unusual, but the Sphynx cat is one of the most affectionate cat breeds out there.
These large, long cats also have large, long tails, all of which aids in the Turkish Van's natural habitat among the harsh landscape of the mountains and cold climate of their native Turkey. You’re not likely to find a Turkish Van outside of their home country, but at least we have the internet to admire their powerful stature and lovely white-and-orange coat pattern from afar.
Cats with fluffy tails
Balinese cats are known for their fine, silky fur, striking blue eyes, and plumed tails. These fine-boned, graceful cats are named after dancers on the Indonesian island of Bali. Although they are essentially a long-haired version of the Siamese, they’re a distinct breed with traits that set them apart. But like the Siamese, they are extremely loving and vocal.
Semi-longhaired Birman cats have bushy tails that elegantly contrast their light-colored bodies and deep sapphire eyes. Legend has it, this breed acquired their appearance from a blue-eyed goddess in ancient Burma. Their long, fine fur is extremely soft to the touch and surprisingly requires little grooming. These cats are loving, curious, and docile.
The large Maine Coon sports a magnificent mane, along with a magnificent fluffy tail! It’s no wonder their tail contributes to their overall status as one of the largest domestic cat breeds. Their thick and protective fur helps keep them warm in the winters and well-regulated in the summers. Maine Coons are known for being superior mousers and are often polydactyl.
The Nebelung, which translates to “creature of the mist,” looks like a long-haired variety of the Russian Blue. They sport a long tail with a full thick plume. Interestingly, their tail hair length must be longer than the hair on their bodies. Like Russian Blues, these cats are reserved and wary of strangers, but loving and loyal to their bonded humans.
Norwegian Forest cat
The large, muscular Norwegian Forest cat has a long, full, and flowing tail. These cats have a water-resistant coat that comes in handy in their harsh Scandinavian homeland. Known as the skogkatt (which means forest cat or fairy cat) in Norway, the Norwegian Forest cat likely traveled with the Vikings once upon a time, keeping their ships and villages free of vermin.
Persian cats, sometimes called “furniture with fur” because of their long periods of inactivity, sport short, fluffy tails carried straight and low. They’re known for their long, shimmering coats, which are incidentally difficult to groom. These sweet, low-energy kitties are best recognized for their solid white-cream coat, but their patterns and coloring range widely.
The beautiful Turkish Angora cat has a tail that changes somewhat with the seasons: In the summer, the tail is fluffy, while in the winter it becomes fully plumed to complement the full winter coat. Like their cousin the Turkish Van, this breed isn’t commonly found outside their homeland of Turkey. They are a national treasure known for their love of water!
Cats with striped tails
While tabby isn’t a breed of cat, it’s a very common coat pattern found among countless cat breeds. Striped (mackerel), spotted, and classic tabbies quite often display striped tails. Where do these stripes come from? Researchers discovered that the gene Dkk4 actually “maps” patches of thick and thin skin during fetal cat development. Thick patches are later covered with darker fur, while thin patches are later covered with lighter fur.
The exotic Savannah cat with their striped tail was developed after a domestic cat crossed with an African serval gave birth to a kitten in 1986. Their exotic pattern likely emerged from the serval combined with other breeds that contributed to their heritage, such as the Bengal and Egyptian Mau. This breed is known for growing larger than the average cat—up to 25 pounds, in fact.
The Bengal cat is the result of a domestic cat crossed with an Asian leopard cat. They can have either spotted or marbled tabby patterns. Some Bengal coat color variations include mink, brown tabby, silver-black tabby, and sepia. This highly active and intelligent breed is not only known for their beautiful coats, but their love of water and play.
Perhaps the “stripiest” of the striped cats, the Toyger is a brown mackerel tabby developed to have branching stripes and orange and black or brown coloration reminiscent of a tiger’s pattern. That includes the tail, as well! They also display necklace-like markings that frame their face beautifully. These cats are as energetic as they are friendly and easygoing.
The large, muscular Cheetoh was bred to look like a jungle cat with Bengal and Ocicat parents. They can weigh 20+ pounds and might make you look twice while stalking through your yard. Not to worry, though: This fun-loving breed enjoys playing, running, and jumping through every room in the house.
The silvery ancient Egyptian Mau is the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cat. Egyptian Maus can have smoke, bronze, or silver coats. Smoke-colored fur is silkier and finer, while bronze and silver fur are a bit denser. These adventurous cats love water. Despite their smaller height and weight, they can run up to an incredible 30 miles per hour!
The spotted Ocicat was created by accident in 1964 when breeders were trying to develop a Siamese with points the same color as an Abyssinian. A geneticist became intrigued by the ocelot-looking kitty, and a new line of domestic house cats was established. The Ocicat looks wild but is very affectionate, outgoing, and devoted to their family.
The Serengeti cat was developed to display the stripes and spots of the wild African serval. But unlike the Savannah cat, the breed has no wild blood. They are a cross between a Bengal and an Oriental Shorthair, and can jump an incredible 7 feet in the air. Mini wild cat, indeed!
What’s your favorite among our list of unique cat tails? Are you preferential to cats with long tails, fluffy tails, or striped tails? You’ll have the pick of the litter with the cats above!