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“When Mother Nature saw fit to remove the tail of the Manx,  she left, in place of the tail,  more cat.”

-- Mary E. Stewart

What is a Manx cat?

The Manx is a breed of cat with a naturally occurring mutation of the spine. This mutation shortens the tail, resulting in a range of tail lengths from normal to tailless. Many Manx have a small 'stub' of a tail, but Manx cats are best known as being entirely tailless and it is the distinguishing characteristic of the breed.

Origin

The Manx breed originated on the Isle of Man, hence the name, where it is called stubbin or kayt Manninagh in the Manx language. They are an old breed, and tailless cats were common on the island as long as two or three hundred years ago. The taillessness arises from a genetic mutation that became common on the island.

There are various legends that seek to explain why the Manx has no tail. In one of them, Noah closed the door of the ark when it began to rain and accidentally cut off the Manx's tail.  Another legend claims that the Manx is the offspring of a cat and a rabbit which is why it has no tail and rather long hind legs. In addition, they move with more of a hop than a stride, like a rabbit. This legend was further reinforced by the Cabbit myth.

Appearance

The hind legs of a Manx are longer than the front legs, creating a continuous arch from shoulders to rump giving the cat a rounded appearance.

Tail length
Manx kittens are classified according to tail length:

Dimple rumpy or rumpy - no tail whatsoever
Riser or rumpy riser - stub of cartilage or several vertebrae under the fur, most noticeable when kitten is happy and raising its 'tail'
Stumpy - partial tail, more than a 'riser' but less than 'tailed' (in rare cases kittens are born with kinked tails because of incomplete growth of the tail during development)
Tailed or longy - complete or near complete tail
Breeders have reported all tail lengths even within the same litter.

The ideal show Manx is the rumpy; the stumpy and tailed Manx do not qualify to be shown.

Coat

Manx cats exhibit two coat lengths. The short-haired Manx has a double coat with a thick, short under-layer and a longer, coarse outer-layer with guard hairs. The long-haired Manx, known to some cat registries as the Cymric, has a silky-textured double coat of medium length, with britches, belly and neck ruff, tufts of fur between the toes and full ear furnishings. The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) considers the Cymric to be a variety of Manx and judges it in the short-hair division, while The International Cat Association (TICA) judges it in the long-hair division. Short- or long-haired, all Manx have a thick double-layered coat.

Health


Manx cats today are much healthier and have fewer health issues related to their genetics than the Manx of years ago. This is due in part to the careful selection of breeding stock, and knowledgeable, dedicated breeders. Manx have been known to live into their mid- to high-teens and are no less healthy than other cat breeds. Like any other cat, keeping Manx cats indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces for the cat's normal scratching behavior are vital to lengthen the life of any cat.

Personality

The Manx breed is a highly intelligent cat breed, it is playful, and in its behaviour, bizarre, but very reminiscent of dogs; for example, some Manx cats will fetch small objects that are thrown. It is considered a social feline, and the breed loves humans. This attribute makes them an ideal breed for families with young children and people who prefer a companion. Some members of this breed tend to like water, many times even playing with it. This trait makes it very easy to give some Manx cats a shower for hygiene purposes, unlike most other cats. Although not as trainable as dogs, Manx cats can learn simple commands. Other cat breeds that share similar personality traits are Bengal and Ocicat. If there are multiple Manx cats in a household, an owner might notice that they chase each other frequently. This is common behaviour for Manx cats; they like to chase anything, be it an animal or leaf caught in the wind. Their 'meow' often resembles a long, monotone grunt or rapid chirping. However, Manx cats are usually very quiet.


Trivia

The Manx breed, in spite of the absence of tail, has no problems with balance.
The Isle of Man has adopted the Manx cat as a symbol of its native origins. On the Isle of Man, Manx cats appear on the 1988 "cat" crown and stamps.
Even though Manx cats cease to be kittens after one year, it takes up to five years for any Manx cat to be fully grown.
The Manx was developed before the 1700s.
The breed is of medium size with an average weight of 5.5 kg (12 lb).