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Manx Cat History, Character, Health, Breeding & more

The greatest peculiarity of the Manx cat is something that is not there at all: namely, the cat, which comes from the Isle of Man, is born without a tail. But what it lacks on the outside, it makes up for on the inside with a loving character.

Manx Cat History

The Manx cat is considered one of the oldest cat breeds. The creative version of its history says that Noah is to blame for the cat's taillessness. Just when he closed the doors of the ark, she was the last to save herself on the ship - but her tail got stuck in the door.

In fact, the scientific explanation for the lack of tail is a gene mutation. Originally, the cat came from the small Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, where it is believed to have been created by inbreeding within the closed cat population of predominantly British Shorthair cats. However, it is unclear how the cats originally came to the island once.

Did you know?
"Manx" is the name of the language spoken on the Isle of Man. There the cat is called "kayt Manninagh".

The Manx has been known for many centuries, appearing at cat shows as early as the late 18th century. First breeders' clubs were formed at the beginning of the 20th century in America and Great Britain, where still today the breeding emphasis is.

Manx Cat Appearance



A characteristic feature of the Manx - or Manks - is their missing tail. This particular feature is due to a spontaneous genetic mutation, which, however, is not equally pronounced in all Manx cats.

These variations occur in the Manx cat:
  • Rumpy: completely tailless
  • Stumpy: with a small stumpy tail
  • Rumpy Riser: with a stumpy tail, which the cat can even lift when you stroke its back
  • Longy/Tailed: with normally developed tail
The stubby tail of many Manx cats resembles the "flower" of the rabbit - and that's not the only thing reminiscent of the long-eared cat: Since the Manx's front legs are usually shorter than their hind legs, the cats often move about in a hobbling fashion.

The overall build of the small to a medium-sized cat is stocky. Their appearance is literally around things and is dominated by roundish shapes from head to toe. Also typical is a short, outwardly arched back, which is slightly higher than the shoulders.

The cats weigh about 3.5 kilograms, males average 5.5 kilograms. The short coat of the tailless is double laid, with the outer coat shiny and slightly longer than the dense undercoat. Almost all coat colors and patterns are represented in the cat breed. By the way, the long-haired relative of the Manx is the Cymric cat.

Manx Cat Character

Manx cats are friendly, good-natured, and calm animals. They tend to make themselves known with soft voices or ear-pleasing cooing rather than loud meowing.

Once they have gained trust in a person, they become loyal companions and do not like to be left alone. Young and old people, but also their conspecifics and other animal species, the Manx shows itself open-minded. Therefore, it is considered an ideal family cat.

As a rule, it deals calmly with its environment. However, although the cat is balanced and very adaptable, it initially prefers to examine strangers from a safe distance. With a cuddle or a new cat toy, however, the ice can be broken gently.

Manx Cat Care and attitude

Due to its physique, the tailless cat is less agile than other cat breeds and is, therefore, best kept indoors or in the house. Still, she loves to play and climb.

With a cat-proof balcony and steps to elevated places, you can give the cat enough exercise including assistance. After all, Manx is always happy to be kept busy despite her quiet nature.

You can also help your Manx with coat care. The dense coat should be brushed regularly, especially during the coat change, so that it does not knot and remains shiny. Otherwise, Manx cats are easy to care for.


Manx Cat Health

In Europe, the Manx cat is classified as a torment breed. Their genetics is not only the cause of the lack of tail. It also leads to maldevelopment of the spine and thus to impaired health, balance, and climbing ability.

Arthritis, as well as malformations and diseases of organs such as the bladder or intestines, can occur. By the way, the place where the tail would normally be located is very sensitive in the Manx cat: because many nerve endings are located here.

In good health, however, the Manx has a good life expectancy of 15 years on average. Since it tends to be overweight, you should pay attention to a balanced diet and not feed too much, so that the cat remains healthy for a long time.

Manx Cat Purchase

Maybe the hopping fur ball has conquered your heart and you want to buy a Manx cat? It is true that the keeping of a Manx is generally allowed. However, due to the health restrictions imposed on the cat by its physique, both breeding and exhibition of the tailless cat are prohibited.

Therefore Breeders do not exist only in the USA, Great Britain, or Scandinavia.

The best way to offer a Manx a nice home is adoption from the animal shelter. If you find one, you will get a loving and faithful companion. However, one prerequisite is: you do not have problems with frequent visits to the vet and the possible health effects of being tailless.

Are there any other cats without tails?

Like the Manx cat, the American Bobtail and the Japanese Bobtail do not have a tail. While the still-young American cat breed probably originated similarly to the Manx, the Japanese Bobtail is the result of selective breeding.

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