Cat Breeds: The Manx Cat

Manx CatThe Manx Cat is a native of Isle of Man, an island located between England and Ireland.  Many tales exist about how the Manx tailless appearance originated:  the Manx was the last creature to board Noah’s Ark and Noah slammed the gate shut on the cat’s tail;  another tale claims the Irish stole kittens to use their tails as good luck charms.  To save their kittens, mother cats would bite off the youngster’s tails.

Actually, scientists believe the lack of a tail is the result of genetic mutation due to inbreeding.  The gene mutation that causes lack of a tail is the same gene that causes spina bifida in humans.  As a result of this breeding mutation, some may also have spinal deformities.

Characteristics Of The Manx Cat

Manx cats are solidly built, medium sized with round, large eyes.  Although known as “tailless”, some Manx have a short, stumpy tail and others have a longer tail, but it’s still shorter than the average.

Their back legs are longer than their front legs, and their coat is very thick and glossy with a dense undercoat.  Because of their dense coats, they should be combed two or three times a week to remove loose hair.  A long haired version of the Manx is called the Cymric.

Manx Cat Personality

Manx are friendly, affectionate and relaxed which makes them good housemates.  They are good with children and love to be lap cats.  Manx are sometimes compared to dogs because they like to play fetch, often follow their human around and tend to growl at unidentified noises.  They are known for their love of shiny objects, so keep jewelry out of their reach!

Manx Health Problems

Because of the gene mutation that causes taillessness, Manx may be prone to neurological disorders and defecation problems.  They are sometimes known to hop like a rabbit, probably also a result of spinal deformity.  Spinal deformities can be detected in Manx before four months of age.

If you like smart, active and very social cats that love hanging out with their human, a Manx could be a good fit for you!


Photo Source:  Flickr User francesco.ita

Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.