Kinked tails are something we do see now and again on cats within all breeds and even domestic cats.
Most often it’s located at the very end of the tail and it can vary a bit in type and also degree.
It’s not known how they are inherited, but it seems like a single recessive gene or polygenes might be responsible for the kinked tails. It seems like it’s different types of kinked tails, which are also inherited in different ways.
A kinked tail might also be caused by trauma (an accident).
In some cases, you will see the kinked tail in the newborn kitten, but sometimes it takes a lot longer until it will be visible. In some cases first around 1 year of age. Before 1 year the skeleton is not fully outgrown and hereditary kinked tails seem to gradually evolve.
I have seen many cases where the kinked tail is no more than stiffness at the very end of the tail.
But I have also seen really visible kinked tails in kittens.
In this kitten, the kinked tail is very visible and even if there is hard to see on this photo where the kitten is no more then a couple of hours old, this kitten actually got two bends on the tail the one we can see very visible and one more you could just imagine in the very end of the tail. This kinked tail is a bit further up than the very end of the tail. This particular kitten went to be a very nice companion, he got a brother who is used in a breeding program but I have never seen any other kinked tail in any of his brothers offsprings, and I have never seen any other kitten with a kinked tail in any of his mothers or fathers litters so this one seems to be the only one.
I have also seen false kinked tails, those can be visible for a short while at about 7-12 weeks of age and are the result of ligaments not growing evenly. This will cause some ligaments on one side of the tail to drag the tip of the tail to one or another side. If it’s a false kinky tale this will disappear in a couple of weeks to never come back again. But it can be hard to tell whether its a false or a real one until the kitten is full-grown.
I would not recommend that you use a kitten with a kinky tail in breeding IF there is an equally good kitten without a kinky tail in the litter. I would never use a kitten with a severe kinky tail in breeding programs.
Though I have used it, and I know a lot of breeders who had cats with small kinky tails located at the very end of the tail in breeding programs. This is a descition you need to do for yourself and consider if there is an equally good sibling to keep instead.
By: Malin Sundqvist