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Solomon the Ring Tailed Cat

Welcome to Solomon's Homepage. This page is to publish his story, meet new friends and gather information about ring tailed house cats from around the world. If you own or know of a ringtail housecat please contact me. I am gathering information and photos of such cats.

The Story

Solomon was found as a 2 day old kitten underneath a temporary classroom building in the spring of 1998 at Washington High in Fremont, California. He still had his umbilical cord, his eyes closed, ears folded and easily fit into my hand. My niece brought him home and my brother knowing how much hard and precise work it is to hand raise a kitten sent him to me.

Day and night every 2 hours Solomon needed to be fed. I carried him with me to keep him warm and only put him down when I had to shower, cook etc. Small kittens cannot regulate their body temperature and they need warmth to properly digest their food and stay healthy.

During our long nights together I learned that small kittens even without their eyes open need to play and exercise. Solomon woke me every morning at 4 am. This is an active time for cats in the wild as the predawn hours are excellent for hunting. Solomon woke me by nuzzling my neck and then grabbing my fingers with his paws and mouth. I was amazed at the abilities of this seemingly helpless baby and his awareness of play and me.

Solomon at one week old

At 3 weeks old Solomon took his first wobbly steps. He mostly crawled and explored the floor

At 4 weeks he was walking, but he had this peculiar habit of carrying his tail up over his back, like a high wire artist carries a balancing beam.

Solomon at 4.5 weeks Shows his Ring Tail

At 4 Months it became apparent that Solomon was very different from other cats. He not only carried his tail up over his back, he carried it in a ring like a Siberian Husky or a Pug dog would. He used his tail for balance just like other cats but he preferred it centered over him instead of behind him. Solomon also can relax his tail and carry it like a normal cat. The only thing about his actual physiology that is different from other cats is the size and strength of his tail muscles. The bones in Solomonís tail are not fused and his tail has normal range of motion.

Since recognizing that Solomon was different I have researched this trait with Members of the CFA, TICA and Veterinarians both local and over the Internet. Many people could tell me that they have heard of a cat with a ring tail but most have never seen or owned one. My research has only uncovered UPDATE 5 other confirmed cats in the US that have this trait. One Maine Coon female, one Munchkin male, a mixed breed male, a mixed breed female, and a prick eared Scottish Fold. It seems apparent that this trait is a natural trait but rare.

Max Tail one of Solomons 1999 Kittens

This spring we bred Solomon to a DSH black female named "Audrey Catburn" and were blessed with a litter of 8 kittens. The kittens are all exhibiting signs of becoming ring tail cats. What is unusual is how early some of those signs showed up.

My research has uncovered that most ring tail traits are thought to be inherited recessively. However amoung Singapuras there is a dominant trait that has variable expression. That means that a cat could have the trait and only show it a little or a lot. We are not positive, but it appears that Solomon carries a dominant tail trait and for him it has a lot of expression.

In May of 1999 I started corresponding with Solveig Pflueger a well known and respected geneticist that works with TICA ( The International Cat Association) and she has told me she would like to work with me on this project. Since I am not an experienced breeder,(I have done cat rescue for 27 years) having this kind of support is crucial toward understanding how the tail trait is passed on and if their are any ill effects caused by it. I look forward to Dr Pflueger's guidance and would love to hear from anyone else who has insight, opinions or ideas about "ring tailed house cats".