Full Information, History, and Care for Manx Cats

Standing side profile of a Manx cat

Manx cats, which are distinguished by the absence of a tail and are regarded as gregarious, friendly, and energetic cats, have long been sought after for their hunting prowess. They come from the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea that is situated between England and Ireland, and they are a working cat. The breed is particularly lively and intellectual, making them very interactive cats who are dedicated to their families. In fact, the Manx are frequently described as being "dog-like" in their devotion to their families and their enthusiasm for play.

Breed Overview

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Length: About 14 to 16 inches

Coat: Short-and long-haired varieties

Coat Color: White, blue, black, red, cream, silver, tortoiseshell, bluecream, and brown

Eye Color: Gold, copper, green, hazel, blue, or odd-eyed

Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

Characteristics of the Manx Cat

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Manx Cat

The majority of Manx cats are entirely tailless; in fact, the cats were sometimes referred to as "stubbin" in the local Manx dialect. Today, some Manx cats have a small, stubby tail. The present name for the breed in Manx is "kayt Manninagh," which means "cat of Mann" in English. Even into the late 1800s, the word "Manx" was sometimes written "Manks" in English. They currently make up a sizable, albeit dwindling, portion of the native cat population on the Isle of Man.

When the first cat exhibitions were staged in Britain, one of the initial display cats was the Manx. Since the late 1800s, Manx cats have been shown as a designated breed (and with the present spelling "Manx"), with the first recorded breed standard appearing in 1903. The Cat Fancier's Association was created in 1908 with The Manx as one of its first members. Records on the breed in North America date back to the 1920s according to the most popular pedigree cat registry in the United States.

Both the "rumpy" and the "rumpy riser" have only a very little elevation in the bone where the tail would normally start. At the Cat Fancier's Association cat exhibition, only these Manx breeds are allowed to compete in the championship divisions. The category "All Other Varieties" is open to competitors with any other tail length.

Manx cats are assumed to be descended from an unknown mainland stock, like other house cats, yet they are nonetheless related to African wildcats because European wildcats were long extinct on the island. The longhair gene was probably introduced during the Viking era, when longhaired cats who are the progenitors of modern Norwegian Forest Cats departed the Viking ships and mated with the local cats, despite the fact that the original island cats were shorthairs.

The Manx cat is the subject of several folktales, all of which center on its absence of a tail. Some biblical allusions say that when Noah closed the door of the Ark, he unintentionally severed the tail of the Manx cat. For instance, one narrative said that a tailless cat washed ashore after a shipwreck and carried the characteristic to the island. It was even thought that merely being around a Manx cat may somehow lead other breeds to have kittens without tails due to how dominant the tailless gene is. In reality, Manx cats have at least one gene that causes them to have a full tail. As a result, even two cats with the tailless gene can have a full-tailed kitten, and kittens that do inherit the gene can have tail lengths ranging from a full tail to none at all.

Other European countries with populations of tailless cats include Cornwall, which is located around 250 miles from the Isle of Man. The Black Sea peninsula of Crimea is home to similar cats. The Manx gene may possibly be connected to the recently discovered American bobtail breed's dominant tail suppression gene.

Manx Cat Care

The Manx is a sturdy breed of cat with rounded eyes, rump, and head. Its huge, stocky frame and muscular, lengthened hind legs enable it to leap to considerable heights and even open doors.

Manx have several canine-like traits, including as the ability to bury their toys and retrieve stuff. Manx cats are frequently seen sitting on shelves or tables. The family who has the time to spend interacting and playing with them will make this breed the happy.

The lovable, placid Manx cat will likely get along with everyone in your family and will provide them a lot of love and friendship throughout the years. They have historically been a favorite breed for ship cats and a recommended breed by farmers to deal with rodent problems due to their hunting prowess. Manx cats are nevertheless excellent hunters when given the chance, so a home with one will never have to worry about mice. Manx cats exist in a broad range of coat hues and patterns; long-haired varieties are occasionally regarded as a distinct breed called the Cymric, which means "Welsh."

The double coats on Manx, which occur in both longhair and shorthair variants, should be thick and plush. Longhairs have a silky, medium-length coat, whereas shorthairs have an exterior coat that is rather stiff and shiny. Owners must brush these cats once or twice a week to eliminate dead hair, despite the fact that their double coats make them feel silky and opulent to the touch.

Common Health Problems

The average Manx cat is extremely hearty and not especially prone to major health issues that impact other breeds.

The Manx breed of cat, which is shorter and rounder, may be more prone to a particularly small spine that may not properly deliver nerve and muscle ends. Sometimes, this genetic feature can lead to:

  • Spina bifida, or the open spine birth defect, where the spinal cord is left exposed at birth
  • Lack of bowel or bladder control
  • Weak hindquarters or one weak hind leg

Diet and Nutrition

The Manx cat, like the majority of cats, needs a well-balanced diet that includes fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Their cat food should contain fiber for digestion and weight management, taurine for their vision and heart health, fish oils and omega 3 fatty acids to maintain the health of their thick coat, and.

A professionally prepared cat food, whether wet or dry, should be suitable for a Manx cat. Look for meals containing meat as the first component. Wet food may need to be reheated before serving since Manx cats don't want their food to be too cold. To improve flavor, you can also combine moist and dry ingredients in cuisine.

Cow's milk shouldn't be given to Manx cats since the lactose may accumulate in the intestines and result in digestive problems. As an occasional treat, giving a pet formula milk replacement is OK, as is giving tuna snacks made from human food.

  • Active, playful, sturdy breed

  • Great mouser

  • Intelligent, highly trainable

  • Might be more predisposed to spinal problems

  • Likes high perches, might jump up to shelves, tables, or counters

  • Needs constant grooming

Where to Adopt or Buy a Manx Cat

You may be able to find a purebred Manx cat through a breeder in your area, but if you would rather adopt from a rescue organization, check out:

  • Tailless Cat Rescue
  • Petfinder
  • Adopt a Pet

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

Check with other Manx cat owners, breeders, and rescue organizations to find out more information before deciding if the Manx cat is the appropriate breed for you. You might also be interested in the following cats:

Be sure to check out these other  before you decide on a Manx cat.