Manx cats are known to be an ancient breed where its roots are from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. Their lack of tail is produced by a mutation that possibly originated among the island’s native shorthair cat population. Because this is a dominant gene, it spreads to other cats on the island. While the original island cat dwellers were shorthairs, their longhair counterpart we know today was introduced during the long rule of the Vikings. The longhaired variety is the ancestors of today’s Norwegian Forest Cats that were left by the Viking ships and interacted with the native cats. Known as the working cat on the Isle of Man, they have great intelligence, strong composition and a playful personality.
Manx cats are medium-sized round, hefty cats mirroring a bowling ball. Most are recognized for their lack of a tail; however, not all kittens are born tailless. These calm cats have a lot of love to share and choose not to be left alone for long periods of time. They get along great with children and other family pets. Together with the Manx and Cymric comprises the Manx breed group. They vary only in their coat length, with the shorthair recognized as the Manx.
The approachable, affectionate Manx cat is well-known for its taillessness and has been recognized to carry on a chat in a sweet, thrilling voice. They generally will bond most deeply with the person who feeds them. But all in all, they are great family cats. They can entertain themselves, are dependable if left alone for work hours, and are so pleased when their family returns.
Manx cats tend to accelerate throughout the house, doing quick stops and sharp turns. That’s why they are frequently compared to a mini race car driver. Both playful and gentle, these active cats are excellent leapers and skilled to be in the highest corner of the house to survey the thing that captured their interest.
Because of their intelligence, Manx cats need to be stimulated by teaching them tricks and giving them interactive and puzzle toys to play with. They can play a game of fetch and can be seen carrying toys around using their mouth. They are known to soak their toys in their water dish, so be ready to monitor this regularly.
This cat breed was one of the original show cats exhibited in Great Britain. When the Cat Fancy Association was founded in 1906, Manx cats were one of the founding cat breeds.
- Grooming: Once a Week 2/10
- Shedding: Medium 6/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: Medium 6/10
- Playfulness: High 10/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: Low 2/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: Medium 6/10
Many colourful tales surround the Manx cats' origin as comical as the story where Noah – yes, from the Bible! – cut off their tail as he closed the Ark door when the rain began. Records show that the Manx cats originated on the Isle of Man. The first feline is believed to have come from the nearby Wales and England or much further, but the beginning population arrived by ship on the Manx shores.
At some point, a mutation happens, and kittens were born without a tail. They first appeared in a painting in 1810, but linguistic evidence shows an earlier date which is around 1750, as the English word ‘stubbin’ is used for this cat breed. However, before 1750, only the Manx language was used. The Isle of Man is a small, isolated island, so inbreeding of the island population lead to the lack of tail. The Manx were one of the original breeds at the beginning of the cat fancy in the late 1800s. The tailless longhairs appeared on the Isle of Man as well; however, they did not attain popular recognition until later. Now, the longhair variety is known as the Cymric with the same standard as the Manx.
The International Cat Association recognized both the Cymric and the Manx for championship competition in June 1979.
The Manx and the Cymric are part of the Manx breed group. The only difference is their coat lengths, Manx being the shorthairs and the Cymrics being the longhairs. They both come in various traditional colours and patterns with bold colours and dramatic markings often seen. They also have thick coats that give them a padded feel to their body and adds to their rounded look. Manx has a double coat and some hard guard hairs that tend to have some shimmer in appearance. While the Cymric they have a silky texture to the plush, medium in length with fluffy breeches and neck ruff.
Apart from being tailless, Manx is recognized for their strong and rounded appearance with great edge depth. This cat breed can be drawn with a series of circles. They have a round head with rounded cheeks that give its jowly appearance, especially in male cats. They have high hindquarters with their back legs much longer than their forelegs, causing their rump to be higher than their shoulders. The shortness of their back forms a continuous arch from their shoulders to the rump. Their large eyes are rounded, set at a slight tilt towards their ear. Their ears are wide at the base, narrowing to a rounded tip.
Their round eyes are set on a slight tilt, and their ear looks like the cradles of a rocking chair, which gives them their sweet expression. Manx takes about five years to reach their full maturity. The male Max weighs around 4.5 to 5.4 kilograms, and the smaller females weighs about 3.6 to 4.5 kilograms.
While they are known for their taillessness, Manx can appear in one of the five categories:
- Stumpy (stumpie) – These are cats born with partial tail of fused vertebrae, vestigial generally around an inch in length.
- Rumpy (rumpie) – These are cats with no tail at all, but a tuft of hair where the tail should be is not uncommon.
- Riser or rumpy riser – These are cats that have a bump of cartilage under their fur. When they are happy, or their rumps are being petter, this bump usually rises.
- Stubby (stubbie), short-tailed or shorty – These are Manx cats having a short tail of non-fused bones, up to approximately half an average cat tail. Aside from the length, their tails can move and function exactly like a regular tail.
- Longy (longie) or taily (tailie) – These Manx cats have a half to normal-length tail.
Only rumpies to stumpies are eligible in competition to exhibit under the Manx category. While in CFA, stubbies and longies are still eligible but under the “any other” category. However, they are both vital in breeding stock as mating these two rumpies may lead to health problems.
These calm cats are commonly playful, and their powerful hind legs make them outstanding jumpers able to get to the highest area of the house to investigate something that has caught their interest. They are brilliant cats who can quickly learn how to use their paws to open a door handle. Manx and Cymric cats can quickly learn to retrieve and sometimes hide their toys like a dog.
While they have a moderately quiet voice, they can be rather chatty and frequently use a unique trilling sound. Manx cats are people-oriented who form deep bonds with their families. They get on well with children and other pets when correctly introduced. These placid, calm cats have a lot of love to share and choose not to be on their own for long periods of time.
Manx is a very trainable cat. Aside from being intelligent, they are eager to learn and crave human interaction. Whether it is following commands, playing a puzzle game, or learning a new trick, this fun-loving Manx will be involved and attentive. Challenge their intelligent minds and keep them busy. Provide them with many puzzles and interactive toys that they can play with alternately. You can also invest in cat trees or a perch on the window where they could watch the world pass by while they are resting.
These social and good-natured cats are outgoing and affectionate and will do everything to get their human attention and interaction. When a Manx is correctly socialized and trained at an early stage, they will thrive into a well-rounded, well-bred and well-mannered feline companion.
Their soft, short coat is easily cared for and maintained with weekly combing to eliminate dead hair and distribute their skin oil.
Examine your Manx’s ear weekly for any dirt, debris or wax buildup. Wipe it away with clean cotton balls moistened with a vet-approved ear cleaner. Remember not to use cotton swabs as it can harm your cat’s delicate inner ear structure. Check for any foul odour, as well as this may be an indication of infection. Should there be any, immediately call your vet for care and treatment.
Weekly brushing is enough to keep your Manx’s teeth away from tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. Use a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth and mouth effectively. Safeguard not only your skin but also your furniture by trimming their nails regularly. Check their paws, too, if it is healthy, injury and dirt-free.
Check their eyes often for any dirt, stain or discharge. If their eyes are left with stain or dirt, it can result in an eye infection that can be uncomfortable for your Manx. Use a clean and soft cloth to clean their eyes. Make sure to use a different part of the fabric for each eye to avoid the spread of the risk of eye infection.
Lastly, it is best to keep your Manx as an indoor cat because of their friendliness, inquisitive and approachable nature. If you allow them to stroll outside, make sure you oversee it. Letting them roam around unsupervised may result in getting feline diseases from other cats. Besides, it will prevent any animal attacks and other accidents that your cat may come across outdoors.
Manx cats are considered an overall healthy cat breed. However, the gene that can make these beautiful cats tailless can also generate some health problems. So, it is recommended to have an annual visit to your vet for vaccinations and regular checkups.
Manx is known to be gentle yet playful. This is one of the reasons why many families with families and other pets choose this cat breed to be their family pet. They are outgoing, friendly and intelligent. They are also affectionate but not really needy, which makes them perfect for a busy household. However, make sure to oversee any interaction between your children and your cat because they need to learn how to handle a Manx cat carefully. Let them know that any pressure on their tail can cause pain to their cat. Moreover, they should also be careful in petting the cat and not poke at the missing tail area and support the cat’s hindquarters when picked up or carried.
Manx cats can live peacefully and harmoniously with other pets such as cats and cat-friendly dogs. In fact, they are delighted to live with another cat as they will have a playmate even their human companion is not around. But still, it is recommended to introduce your pets slowly and in a controlled area to make sure that they learn to get along together.