Manx cat breed

Manx breed of cats

The absence of a tail, as well as curly hair or folded ears, are mutations occuring in the domestic cat. They whould have remained a mere curiosity if man would not have intervened to make them the main feature of a breed.

In the case of the Manx breed of cats, the mutation spread spontatneously and only later it became the subject of selection. Cats with no tail are the pride Man Isle's inhabitants, which even immortalized its image on a coin.

Cat type: Great Britain

Origin: 17th century

Origin date: Great Britain

Nationality: 1900

Official recognition: 1900

Cat's temperament: balanced, peaceful, affectionate

Lifespan: approximately 18 years

Varieties of Manx: semilong hair: Cymric

Color patterns:

Breed's standard

Manx breed of cat

Medium sized cat, the Manx has a solid, compact, short and muscular body. Its characteristic feature, besides the lack of tail, is the roundness.

The head is round, a bit longer than wide; the profile has a little pronounced stop and the forehead is slightly round, the muzzle is strong and the cheeks proeminent. The ears are properly sized, slightly round and spaced out; the eyes are round and large, slightly oblique, of a color related to that of the coat.

The neck is short and thick, the forelimbs' calfs are shorter than the hindlimbs', the skeleton is solid.

The croup is taller than the shoulders, wide and round; the hips are wider than in other breeds, contributing to the overall compact, cobby look. The hindlegs are longer than the forelegs and cause the cat to have a hoppy walking style, which, in the United States, is considered a defect.

The paws are wide and round; the color of the pads must match that of the coat. The coat is of medium length, soft due to the presence of longer superficial hair and thick fluff.

The tail is absent; the presence of some bone or cartilage is not penalized, as long as they don't prevent the hand of the judge from sliding smoothly along the back of the cat as he strokes it to the croup. Breeders wish to obtain specimens of salientia cats, which are totally missing caudal vertebrae, called rumpy. The finest specimens only have a notch at the end of their spinal cord, where the tail would have started.

Breed's character

Manx breed of cat

The Manx breed of cats has a balanced character, moderately active and reactive. It doesn't usually cause damage in the house and can be left alone for several hours; it handles the presence of cats and other animals well. Peaceful, it has an affectionate and sociable temperament, without being pesky.

It isn't noisy and seeks human company. It has no problems living in an appartment, but it will certainly not refuse open spaces and access to a garden.

Modest and longevous, the Manx is a cat breed not well enough known, which knows how to make itself valued as a pet.

Manx cat breed's colors

Manx breed of cat

All colors are accepted, except those resulting from an obvious hybridization with other breeds such as the Siamese, chocolate and lilac and their combinations with white.

Among the recognized colors are white, black, blue, red and cream, the so-called shaded: chinchilla, silver shaded, silber tabby and smoke, with tipping, in all colors allowed.

Manx bicolored, tricolored and tortoiseshell black and red, blue and cream and each of these combinations with white, specimes are particularry common and in addition, mackerel tabby blotched and spotted.

Grooming the Manx

Manx breed of cat

It seems that the absence of the tail doesn't create any problems, either of balance, nor of communication for specimens of the Manx breed; they are easy to groom and particulary longevous.

Inbreeding of the Manx cats stops the development of homozygous embrions, carriers of the two Manx genes "MM" and an obvious increase of mortality in newborn kittens. Even in heterozygous specimens (holding a single Manx gene "Mm"), inbreeding can lead to certain skeletal abnormalities.

Manx pictures

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Manx breed of cat picture #1
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Manx's old history

According to the legend, Manx was the last animal to board the Ark before the Flood. In the haste of departure, Noah closed the gate of the boat without noticing the little cat and cut its tail.

Another legend puts the loss of the cat's tail on account of the barbaric custom of the soldiers of Philip the 2nd of Spain, who used to cut cats' tails to decorate their helms. In order to spare its young of this cruel ritual, a cat started to cut their tails herself, as soon as they were born, using her teeth and thus, the first generation of tail-less kitten appeared.

A third story tells that the Manx breed are descendents of the cats that were survivors of the shipwreck of a Spanish galleon in 1588, which saved themselves by swimming to the Isle of Man, off the western coast of Britain.

Manx's modern history

The Manx cat breed is the symbol of the Isle of Man. On this British island, cats with no tail have been around for at least 400 years. This feature is the result of a genetic mutation, which spread among the few indigenous cats, as a result of isolation. The Manx passed beyond the islands' shores at the end of the 19th century, when english breeders descovered the breed.

Reaching the United States in the 30's, the breed won unanimous appreciacion overseas; in Europe, Manx is not recognized in some states, where the lack of tail is considered to be the result of a "birth defect".

To breed Manx cats on a large scale, solid knowledge of genetics are required, because crossing specimens with no tails can result in serious malformations in kittens and a significant increase of the risk of intrauterine death.