Nature saw fit to remove the tail of the Manx,
she left, in place of the tail, more cat.”
-- Mary E.
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.
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
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
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
Tailed or longy - complete or near complete tail
Breeders have reported all tail lengths even within the
The ideal show Manx is the rumpy; the stumpy and tailed
Manx do not qualify to be shown.
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.
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
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.
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
The Manx was developed before the 1700s.
The breed is of medium size with an average weight of
5.5 kg (12 lb).