Although lots of cats curl their tails around themselves to communicate or keep warm, very few cats have tails that naturally curl up all the time. Kitties with this rare trait have tails that curl back on themselves, even when the rest of their body is stretched all the way out.
Having a curly tail doesn’t hurt the cat at all, and all the evidence shows that it doesn’t make the cat any less healthy throughout its life. Now that you know it’s safe, you have permission to find it adorable.
Curly tails are most common in mixed-breed cats. In this list, we’ll tell you about all the cat breeds who have been observed to have curly tails.
So far, there’s no breed of cat that has a curly tail all the time. At the end of the list, though, you’ll see how that might change.
1. Russian Blue
The Russian Blue is known for its bright green eyes and short, dense coat that’s so gray it almost looks blue. Their fur sometimes has silver tips, especially around the eyes, ears, and nose. Their regal bearing combines with a natural smile to make this a charming, comforting breed.
Russian Blues are hypoallergenic. Cats with Russian Blue ancestry have been observed to demonstrate the curly-tailed trait.
2. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold was born through another cute mutation: when resting, its ears might fold back over its head, though it still uses them to express emotions. Despite their ancestor being a folded-eared Scottish farm cat, not all Scottish Folds demonstrate the trait.
Scottish Folds have short, dense coats and medium-round bodies. Their personalities are sweet but not needy. They can come in a wide range of colors and sometimes have curly tails.
3. Devon Rex
Devon Rex cats are famous for their pixie-ish expressions, huge ears, and playful personalities. Devons display a wide range of coat lengths and colors. Like the Scottish Fold, their appearance arose naturally from a British housecat in the mid-20th century.
Devon mixes are rare, but having one as a parent gives a kitten a chance of having a curled tail.
Also called the Persian Longhair, Persian cats might be the world’s most famous lap cats. Their placid, sleepy personalities and long, fluffy coats make them perfect for petting. Be warned, though: while they don’t need to play as much as some other breeds, Persians need a lot of grooming, and will let you know if they aren’t getting it.
Siamese cats are one of the oldest breeds still in existence today. They’re famed for their colorful faces and paws, and for frequently being cross-eyed — according to legend because their ancestors once spent too long staring intently at a sacred goblet.
Siamese cats used to have kinked tails, but that trait was bred out of them over time. However, you still sometimes see them with tails that are kinky, crooked, or curled.
Bengals are fun-loving, high-energy housecats. They look a lot like wild ocelots or lynxes until they snuggle up to you in a decidedly non-wild way.
In 2005, a Bengal kitten named Shinobu was discovered in Arizona with a curled tail. Shinobu can swing her tail from side to side or uncurl it when she wants to, but it always curls up naturally when she’s at rest.
Sphynxes, the epitome of ugly-cute, are one of the weirdest-looking cat breeds you can adopt today. Naturally hairless, Sphynxes are friendly, bubbly, and love to eat. Their tails are frequently naturally curled at the tip.
Hairless cats need to take regular baths, or they can start to suffer from a range of skin conditions.
Ocicats are a lot like Bengals: they look like wildcats, but there’s not a wild bone in their bodies, except maybe when you get out a bag of treats. Ocicats are natural athletes, and love their humans fiercely, though they’re also great at entertaining themselves. They’re born with a wide variety of coat colors and have been known to exhibit curly tails.
First bred in the early 1970s, Ragdoll cats look a bit like Persians, but they’re a little bit more active and dog-like. They get their name from their tendency to go limp when humans pick them up.
The original breeders of Ragdolls rejected the usual certification process, so it’s a little difficult to tell their exact ancestry. However, it’s almost certain they have Siamese ancestry, which gives some Ragdoll individuals a curled tail.
10. Turkish Van
There’s an ancient legend that the two cats who sailed on Noah’s Ark were Turkish Vans. Whether or not any of that is true, it’s a fact that people have been falling in love with Turkish Vans for hundreds of years.
These cats have a silky-smooth fur coat and markings on their heads and tails that come in all different shades. In addition to curly tails, some Turkish Vans are also known to have heterochromia (different-colored eyes).
The Singapura cat was bred from a litter originally purchased in Singapore. It’s one of the world’s smallest cat breeds and is also renowned for its large ears and sepia-toned skin.
Singapuras have a short, manageable coat, and love attention. Like many of the cats on this list, they have some Siamese blood, which makes curled tails a possibility.
12. American Keuda
American Keudas are a rare, exotic breed, thought to be descended from the first cats brought to Texas by Spanish explorers. They look a lot like the more common Egyptian Mau but also display a wider range of colors.
In the late 1990s, an American Keuda kitten was named “Curlietail” after her curled tail. As she grew up, her tail stopped curling as much, suggesting that the trait is more prominent in kittens.
13. American Ringtail
The American Ringtail is the first attempt to create a breed of cats that all have tails curling over their bodies. Also called the Ringtail Sing-a-Ling, American Ringtails are still a rare, experimental breed. Primary breeder Susan Manley has crossbred them with Domestic Shorthair cats and purebred Ragdolls.
So far, it seems like American Ringtails are curious, affectionate family cats who love to explore but don’t mind living indoors. We’re excited to learn more about these remarkable newcomers to the cat world.
14. Australian Curly-Tailed
In 2016, a stray cat named Alana turned up in Adelaide, Australia, where she and her three kittens were taken into the home of David Karamatic. David soon discovered that Alana and her kittens all had naturally curled tails. He’s currently working with breeders in America to see if Alana is a new breed of cat, or if she’s similar to the American Ringtail.
Until American Ringtails become more widely available, it’ll be hard to tell for certain whether a certain cat will have curly-tailed kittens. Just like tufted ears or different-colored eyes, curled tails will remain a nice, unpredictable surprise for now.
Of course, even if you don’t find one with a curly tail, all the cat breeds on this list are ready to shower you with love and affection. You can’t go wrong with any of them!
Featured Image Credit: Grigorita Ko, Shutterstock