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10 Cat Breeds with Curly Tails (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

While cats can be vocal, it is undeniable that body language accounts for the bulk of their communication. They especially love using their tails to express a wide range of emotions, which is why experienced pet owners can tell the mood their cat is in simply by observing its tail.

Most people love it when cats curl their tails, as it typically means that the animal is happy or content. And of course, cats with curly tails are really something. As such, it comes as no surprise that breeds with curly tails are top on the demand list.

But here’s the thing; all cats can curl their tails. Unfortunately, only a few breeds come with a permanently curled tail. In fact, the American Ringtail is the only pure breed that comes with a permanently curled tail, as it was bred specifically for that trait.

In other breeds, the curly tail trait is a matter of luck. However, some breeds have been observed to be more likely to have this trait than others. The following are some of them.

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1. The American Ringtail

If you want the assurance your cat will have a curly tail, look no further than the American Ringtail. As mentioned earlier, this is the only cat breed that always comes with a curly tail.

Also known as the Ringtail Sing-a-Ling, this cat is relatively new, originating from a rescued kitten called Solomon in 1998 in California. The rescuer and breed founder, Susan Manley, explained that Solomon’s tail began curling over his back unnaturally when he was just 4 weeks old, upon which that became Solomon’s natural tail position.

In 1999, Manley started breeding Solomon with the hopes of creating a breed with Solomon’s distinctive curly tail. She used various breeds in the process, including Domestic Shorthairs and Ragdolls, resulting in the American Ringtail.

Nevertheless, the American Ringtail remains a rare breed, explaining why the price of recognized kittens ranges between $500 and $1,000.

American Ringtails are born with straight tails, curling naturally as the cat ages.


2. Devon Rex

Devon Rex
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock

While the Devon Rex’s trademark attributes are its oversized ears, short curly whiskers, and a unique wavy coat, some come with curled tails. However, you are more likely to find that trait in a Devon Rex mix than in a pure Devon Rex.

Devon Rexes are incredibly intelligent but mischievous. They are a good fit for people looking for a friendly, fun-loving kitty.


3. Russian Blue

Russian Blue
Image Credit: VS_star, Pixabay

Native to Northern Russia, the Russian Blue is a striking feline that sports an elegant and luxe blue-grey coat. However, some Russian Blues sport a white coat.

Another trademark attribute of the Russian Blue is their “smile,” which results from their mouth’s natural shape. Fortunately, the Russian Blue’s personality matches its natural smile, as it is one of the sweetest cat breeds around. These cats tend to be attached to their owners, sulking whenever they are left alone.

While a curly tail is not a signature attribute of the Russian Blue, some individuals have been observed to have naturally curling tails, suggesting this breed has the curly tail gene.


4. Siamese

Siamese
Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

The Siamese is renowned for its overly vocal nature and crossed eyes. Interestingly, a good number of Siamese kitties sport a curly tail. Legend has it that Siamese cats became cross-eyed and curly-tailed after a pair of them were tasked with watching over a golden goblet belonging to Buddha.

Apparently, they stared at the goblet for such a long time that their eyes crossed. While at it, they wrapped their tails around the goblet for extra protection, resulting in a curled tail.

In the past, Siamese cats used to come with curled tails. Unfortunately, some people did not like the curly tail, deeming it crooked. As a result, more and more breeders began breeding out the curly tail trait out of the Siamese, which is why most Siamese cats today do not sport a full-time curled tail.


5. Sphynx

grey sphynx cat
Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

With its hairless body, the Sphynx is a unique breed. This cat does not even have whiskers and eyelashes. Nevertheless, it is still an incredibly striking feline, its lack of hair notwithstanding.

What makes Sphynx cats such a hit with people is their affectionate nature and love for cuddling. Experts posit that the Sphynx’s cuddly nature can be attributed to the cat’s need for a secondary source of warmth due to its lack of warmth.

Unfortunately, the Sphynx cat is susceptible to many health issues, meaning it requires a greater level of care than the average house cat does. This breed does have the curly tail gene, meaning some individuals come with a naturally curled tail.


6. Bengal

Bengal Cat
Image Credit: Irina_kukuts, Pixabay

The Bengal cat is the owner of arguably the most stunning coat of any house cat breed. The Bengal’s coat is marked with gorgeous marbled or rosette patterns akin to those of a leopard or cheetah. While the Bengal is not a wild cat, one of its parents, the Asian leopard cat, is.

This breed resulted from crossing the Asian leopard cat with various domestic cats in the United States. This breed has a somewhat wild personality and is energetic, confident, and stoic.

While most Bengals come with straight tails, a few individuals have a curly tail.


7. Ragdoll

Ragdoll
Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay

Most cat breeds are not big fans of being held for extended periods. However, that is not the case with the Ragdoll. This is the ultimate cuddly cat. The Ragdoll will not only love being in your laps or arms but also will go limp once you pick it up. It is sweet-natured and is one of the largest domestic cat breeds out there.

Some Ragdolls sport curled tails. However, this trait is more likely to surface in Ragdoll mixes due to the broader gene pool.


8. Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold is an incredibly sweet-tempered and expressive breed. However, the cat’s trademark feature is its distinctive folded ears, hence its name. However, the Scottish Fold’s ears are not the only parts of its anatomy that curl, as a few individuals come with curly tails.


9. Singapura

Singapura
Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock

As you can probably tell from its name, the Singapura is native to Singapore and was designed to melt the coldest hearts. This feline is among the smallest house cats in the world, with most individuals weighing between 4 and 8 pounds as adults.

It’ll come as no surprise to know that this micro-sized kitty is incredibly adorable. However, despite being so tiny, Singapura cats have larger-than-life personalities, thriving when they are the center of attention. Being descendants of the Siamese, some Singapura cats have curly tails.


10. Ocicat

Ocicat
Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock

The Ocicat is a striking cat, resembling a Bengal cat both in coat pattern and athleticism. This breed came about from the crossing of an Abyssinian with a Siamese. As such, it does not come as a shock that some Ocicats have curly tails.

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Conclusion

The curly tail trait is thought to be a recessive gene. This means that for a cat to have this trait, it must have two copies of the curly tail gene. Therefore, by crossing cat breeds with this gene, you will increase your chances of getting a kitten with a tail that curls naturally.

The American Ringtail is the only breed whereby all individuals sport a curled tail. As for the other breeds on our list, it’s a matter of chance.


Featured Image: Yuryi Oleinikov, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.