FELIS – Tails

TAILS:

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The shape of a cats tail varies greatly between species and the tails we see today are the product of a long and complex evolutionary history. As with many species in the animal kingdom a small wild cats morphology, or physical traits, have been affected by millions of years of natural selection and the differences today can be associated to the different conditions these cats live in to hunt and find a mate.

@pallascats
Photo Credit: @Pallascats (Instagram)

Pallas cats are native to the steppe regions of Central Asia, where they inhabit elevations of up to 5,000m. Their tails are long, fluffy and extremely lightweight perfect for covering nose and paws from cold winds and freezing conditions. This can also be said of the Andean Mountain cat who lives in a similar environment high in the Andes.

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Photo Credit: Jim Sanderson

Like most arboreal cats Margays and Clouded leopards have long and muscular tails that assist with balance when moving around in trees. As they leap about in the canopy the tail is used as a counterweight helping them move effortlessly from branch to branch.

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Photo Credit: Gerry Ellis

On the other end of the spectrum Bobcats have very small tails. They do however have big paws this helps them hunt for prey in deep snow, having no need for a tail we can see over time it’s gotten smaller and smaller. Lynx’s also share this trait.

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Enter a Photo Credit: Stephen W Oachs
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Photo Credit: Unknown

Asiatic golden cats and African golden cats also have long muscular tails. Due to a lack of research we are unsure why but being predominantly land hunters maybe the tail is used as a rudder for changing direction quickly much like a cheetah, aiding their stalk and rush hunting method.

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African Golden cat – Photo Credit: David R Mills/Panthera/WCS
DISCLAIMER: WHILST WE ALWAYS TRY AND CREDIT THE PHOTOGRAPHER FOR ANY PHOTOS USED OFTEN THAT INFORMATION MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE. IF YOU SEE A PHOTO THAT IS YOUR OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW AND THEY WISH FOR IT TO BE CREDITED OR REMOVED PLEASE GET IN TOUCH AND WE WILL ACT. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT NO PROFIT WILL HAVE BEEN EARNED FROM YOUR IMAGINE AND ITS USE SIMPLY TO RAISE AWARENESS OF SMALL WILD CATS.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE:  PLEASE DO NOT POST ANY COMMENTS RELATING TO WANTING TO OWN ANY OF THE CATS WE DISCUSS ON THIS WEBSITE OR ON OUR SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS. THESE CATS ARE WILD AND IT’S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP THEM THIS WAY. IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT OWNING A CAT WE WOULD SUGGEST AVOIDING BUYING COSTLY BREEDS, EVEN IF IT DOES LOOK LIKE A BABY LEOPARD OR TIGER AS THIS CONTRIBUTES TO THE ILLEGAL PET TRADE. PLEASE GO TO YOUR LOCAL RESCUE AND ADOPT A CAT IN NEED OF A HOME. IT WILL BE FAR MORE REWARDING AND RATHER THAN ADDING TO THE PROBLEM YOU’LL BE REDUCING IT

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