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Manx Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The Manx cat is tailless. You read that right; it’s a cat without a tail!  And here at IndulgeYourPet, one of our favorite things about most cat breeds is their tail.  So, if the Manx is a tailless cat and… is still one of our favorite cat breeds worldwide, you can pretty much bet that they are a ton of fun to own!

But just because…

We love them, but that doesn’t mean they will be the right cat for you.  This is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one of these little guys so that if you’re allowed to adopt one, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good idea.  So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Manx Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  The Isle of Man (Which is technically a part of Great Britain), depending on how you want to look at it.

Size:  Medium

Weight:  9 to 12 pounds

Eyes:  Round

Shape of Head:  Round

Lifespan:  8 to 14 pounds

Origin of the Manx Cat Breed

The Manx cat breed traces its roots back to the Isle of Mann, a small, independent island about two hours by ferry west of the English coastline.  And it was here that due to the small population of island cats, what first began as a recessive gene “mutation” that would have probably only occurred in one or two generations of cats had they happened in a larger gene pool population was able to “establish” itself on this isolated island and develop into its unique cat breed.

Now we say that…

The Manx results from a “genetic mutation” because that is the “leading” theory on how this cat came into existence.  But we should point out that the “gene mutation” theory is only one of several different “competing theories” out there.

Because there is also…

The Celtic folklore theory attributes the Manx’s missing tail to the fact that this was the last animal to make it on Noah’s ark!  And just as the ship was going to set sail, the Manx jumped on board.  Only to have his tail “chopped” off as Noah slammed the door to his ark.  This is why the Manx doesn’t have a seat today!

Now, if this sounds unreasonable, there is another competing theory that Noah’s dog was responsible for the Manx losing his tail. This version of the story also explains why the Manx ended up on the Isle of Mann because to get away from Noah’s dog, legend has it that he jumped off the Ark and swam to the Isle of Mann.

And while we’re not sure…

Which of these three competing theories is correct? What we can tell you is that all three are much better than the last, which claims that the reason why the Manx doesn’t have a tail is because the Manx mothers used to “bite off” the bottoms of their kittens to prevent the Vikings (and later the Irish) from cutting them off and using them as good luck charms and with that said we figure, we’ll leave it up to you to decide which origin story is correct.

What is known for sure is that…

Over the years, the tailless trait was “established” on the island, and in the early 1920s, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) did decide to “officially” recognize the breed.  That said, however, the Manx breed “must” be a shorthaired variety, which left the longhaired “Cymric” version out in the “cold.”

Physical Characteristics

As we’ve already said, the most distinctive feature of a Manx cat is its non-existent tail, but not all Manx cats are tailless. There are three different types that this breed can have:

  • “longies,” aka normal-length tails,
  • “stumpies,” aka a short seat,
  • And “rumpy” the lack of a seat completely.

There’s also a last one called a “riser,” in which you can see the bump of a bone at the end of the spine.  But enough about tails. Let’s talk about the other features a Manx cat has.

In general…

Manx cats are small to medium-sized.  Their heads are round, as are their big eyes. Their eyes usually will have a hue variant of gold.  And while they may be missing a tail, their bodies are broad and muscular, as are their thighs. One additional “quirk” about them is that their hind legs are longer than their front legs, giving them the appearance of a rabbit. (Fun fact: another folktale is that a Manx mated with a rabbit, giving it this look, and of course, the lack of a tail.)

Now, despite them…

Being broad and muscular, they aren’t fatty but can be pretty heavy. They can weigh 8 to 10 pounds, or even a little less if they’re.  And they can be a pain to groom at times because regardless of what “kind” of Manx you end up adopting because these guys grew up in the Isle of Mann, they do have a very thick double coat, which will require periodic weekly grooming to be sure that they don’t shed all over your house.

A situation…

This can even be made worse if you adopt the long-haired version of the Manx called a Cymric.  Their coats can be either short or longhaired double coats, though this one may be known as a Cymric.  The good news is that if you don’t plan on combing your Manx all that much, they do come in a variety of colors, including:

  • Calico,
  • Tabbies,
  • Tortoiseshell,
  • Or a simple solid color.

So, perhaps you might be able to find one that matches the color scheme of your home, so all that hair won’t be as noticeable!

Personality and Temperament

The Manx cat is playful. They love to play fetch (and they’re willing to learn) or with play toys. Most will usually carry them around as they head toward their next destination.  Generally, this breed is gentle toward its favorite people but can be aggressive toward anything they don’t know. They won’t attack your friends, so don’t worry about that. I mean that if they hear or see something strange, they won’t hesitate to growl and make sure that you’re aware of that thing’s presence.

But because…

They’re also intelligent and observant; once they calm down, they notice you’re not reacting like they are. They’re very protective of the people they love! Like we said, despite this, they’re warm and mellow cats.  They also love to cuddle on your lap or sit nearby, and they’re fans of peaceful environments in which they can relax with their favorite people (or person, as some like to choose one family member to stick to the most.) Depending on how they’re feeling, they can be peaceful or playful.

They’re also one of the…

There are a few cat breeds that seem to listen to their owners!  So, if you say “No” or “Don’t do that,” they’ll stop what they’re doing and move on. It’s Amazing!  Manx cats are also great cats to have around children.  Because they love to receive attention and don’t get easily upset, they are pretty tolerant of toddlers while learning to behave around animals and love “cozying up” with a child at night.

Potential Health Concerns

A few health issues could arise in a Manx cat, so it’s wise to be informed and prepared for these.  The first is arthritis. However, the arthritis can be in the tailbone in a Manx with a tail. They can also have corneal dystrophy, which causes their eyes to become cloudy,

They can also develop a condition known as “Manx syndrome.” Which is a collection of symptoms related to the fact that the Manx cat does not have a tail.  Symptoms may include:

  • A spine that is too short,
  • Urinary tract defects,
  • And problems with their bowls and digestion.

These are common medical conditions known to be a problem with the Manx breed, so you can be sure that any responsible and knowledgeable Manx breeder will know about them and will likely be doing as much as possible to ensure that their litters don’t have these issues.

But there is only so much one can do.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet always like to remind all of our readers that while they are “researching” what kind of cat they should adopt, they should also take a moment and research what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one as well.

This way…

If their new pet ever gets sick or injured, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of their medical bills.  For more information about who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies, check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • lise K December 29, 2020, 11:58 pm

    a most informative piece of journalism describing the Manx cat.
    It also had me in fits of laughter imagining the manx cat getting his tail caught in Noah’s Ark. Well really………
    But the pros out weigh the cons in welcoming a Manx cat into a family setting.

    • Eric January 7, 2021, 12:46 pm

      I believe I have adopted a Cymric with Manx Syndrome. He’s a really loving kitten who does come when I call him. He does love to keep his toys in his mouth, and spend time on my lap. He has the bony rear end that sticks out and his rear legs are longer than the front. He loves to play, I just had him to the vet due to some pretty bad constipation, hopefully it passes. Was hoping for advice on special dietary needs, to help keep him from having really wet stool or becoming impacted. I know he is going to be a lot of work, just hope he is healthy. He has long dark black hair with a white mustache and chest. He sounds like a human baby when he meows. He does seem more aware of my facial expressions and tone than any other cat I’ve had. Left on my door step at 6 weeks old nearly frozen and starving to death. We made it through that now hopefully he can get through this. He has no name yet but I call him kitty witty.

      • LaoiseM April 10, 2021, 2:03 pm

        I have 2 manx cats that were littermates. One is tailless and one has a full tail. The tailless one had diarrhea so bad when we got him that we just couldn’t keep up! The other littermates were fine, just him. So we played with his food quite a bit and discovered if we give him anything other than chicken he seems to have loose stools. Other then that, we feed them both high quality dry food for digestive tracts issues. There are a couple sites you can use to research the food too. I was SHOCKED that some of the foods that cost a fortune are actually horrible!

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