Amazing Facts You Should Know About Your Manx Cat

Posted: November 6, 2020 by Anita

manx cat breed

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There are so many cat breeds out there, and all of them are special.  However, there is something extraordinary about the Manx cat.

I first saw my daughter’s cat Gigi; I thought someone had chopped off her tail.  Gigi was my first encounter with the Manx breed.

This article will discuss the Manx cat breed, its characteristics, health issues, and how to care for your Manx cat.

Manx cat characteristics

  • Weight Range: Male -10-12+lbs, Female – 8-10 lbs
  • Shedding: very little
  • Body: compact, thick and muscular
  • Lifespan: 8-14 years
  • Coat: long or short (double coat)
  • Head: round with rocker shaped ears

What is a Manx?

Wikipedia defines Manx cat as “a breed of domestic cat originating on the Isle of Man, with a naturally occurring mutation that shortens the tail.”

So, a cat with no tail or a short tail. To be more precise; a rare breed of cat with no tail.

Everything about a Manx cat is round – round head, round body, round eyes, and round rump. They are low to the ground with stocky, compact bodies with solid muscles. The hind legs or back limbs of Manx cats sit higher up than their front end.

The Manx is a breed of cat with no tail

The Manx cat’s signature characteristic is its lack of a tail or the presence of a stubby tail.  Manx cats have varying degrees of taillessness:

  • Manx Rumpy – no tail.  Instead, a dimple where a tail should be.
  • Manx Rumpy-risers – 1-2 vertebrae (fused) at the end of their spines
  • Manx Stumpy – 3-4 vertebrae (short-tail cat breeds)
  • Manx Longy – regular long tails

My daughter’s cat Gigi is a cute, short little rump-riser.

Manx cat history

Time to get up close and personal about the Manx cat.

The history of the Manx cat breed is an interesting one.  The Manx breed has been around for at least two centuries, maybe three centuries, and it is one of the oldest known cat breeds in the world. 

The cat born without tails originated on the Isle of Man, a remote island in the Irish Sea located between Great Britain and Ireland.

The Manx, named after the Isle of Man, became very popular in England.  Manx cats were showcased in the first cat shows in the late 19th century. 

According to the Cat Fanciers Association (founded in 1906), the Manx cat was one of the first cat breeds recognized by their organization.

Are Manx cats rare?

There are many legends about how the Manx became taillessness, but the truth is that it’s due to a genetic mutation.  The dominant mutant gene causes abnormal coccygeal (tail) and sacral vertebrae abnormal development. 

All Manx have one dominant mutant gene and one normal gene.

The Manx mutant gene is lethal.  Manx kittens with both dominant mutant genes usually end up dying in utero or shortly after birth.  Thus, most Manx litters are small.

The same mutant lethal gene that gives the Manx its characteristic taillessness can also cause it.  Max Syndrome is a form of spina bifida which leads to urinary and fecal incontinence.

Isle of Man cats

The original cats from the Isle of Man were shorthair, and the long-hair version of the Manx is due to co-mingling of the Norwegian Forest Cats brought to the Isle by the Vikings.

The cool part is that all Manx cats are direct cat descendants from the tailless Isle of Man cats.

The first literary mention of the Manx was by the author Charles Lewis.  In his book, Turner’s Golden Vision, published in 1910, Lewis writes about the painter Joseph Turner who, at 35 years old, boasts about having “7 cats from the Isle of Man”.

Mr. Turner was born in 1775, which means he would have been 35 years old in 1810.  It is a strong possibility that some or all of his cats were Manx.

Manx cat types

They come in different colors, such as the tabby, tortoiseshell, solid (color), and calico Manx.  A Siamese-Manx mix breed is trendy.  Imagine a Siamese cat with no tail!

A word about the Siamese Manx Cats

Let’s talk a bit more about the Manx Siamese mix cat.  A siamese Manx ( called the Owyhee Bob) cross-breed between the Siamese cat and Manx breeds. They are considered an experimental cat breed and are only recognized as a breed by the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry.

The Siamese Manx mix’s most distinctive features (along with the tail) are its color and build.  Some of the features of the Manx Siamese cat include:

  • wide and round head
  • full checks with the pointy chin
  • slanted eyes
  • tend to have extra toes
  • big Siamese-looking ears

The Manx and Siamese personality is true to its Manx heritage – good-natured with a nod to its Siamese heritage by being very vocal.

Manx cat – black and white

Manx cat personality

I’m always telling my daughter that Gigi (see Manx cat pictures featured in this post) is her “ride or die” chick.  Manx cats are incredibly loyal to their owners. They have a sweet personality and are very smart, and you will fall in love with their sweet, trilling meow.

The Manx cat loves to snuggle and bonds well with just about anyone.  They are great pets for families with small children.

Manx are very energetic and are great jumpers even though they are short.  Their cute little run will remind you of a bunny hop, and they can turn on a dime. They are fierce warriors who love to play fetch, pounce on toy mice, and hunt the occasional random bug.

What makes the Manx cat the perfect companion for the extreme cat lover is:

  • loyal – I mean ride or die loyal
  • loving and affectionate
  • tolerant
  • cool, calm and collected
  • perky
  • low maintenance (perfect for the busy cat lover – this cat knows how to chill and give you space)

Manx cat breed – the perfect family pet

The Manx cat’s personality is a gentle, loving snuggle buddy.  They make perfect pets for families with small kids.   I’ve seen this in action with Gigi and her ability to be patient with my rough and tumble, 2-year old grandson.

In my opinion, the Manx cat’s behavior is more canine-like because they love to play catch, are fiercely loyal, and will follow you around the house from room to room, just like a dog.

The Manx are playful little rascals that are very skilled with their paws.  So, don’t be surprised if you find your Manx cat hiding in your kitchen cabinets.  Be sure to store toxic household cleaners on upper shelves and install child locks on your lower cabinets.  Click here for more information.

manx cat

Manx cat health issues

There are some health conditions that the Manx can suffer from.  Some of the conditions are due to their mutant gene.

  • Manx Syndrome – feline Spinal Bifida due to lack of tail/spinal cord development.
  • Arthritis 
  • Corneal Dystrophy – occurs when lipids and cholesterol crystals are deposited in the cornea.
  • Megacolon – due to constipation and the Manx lacking the appropriate muscles (the tail) to push fecal matter out from the rectum.  This results in the fecal hardening and extending the colon.  This problem can only be solved through surgery.
  • Intertrigo – bacterial, viral, or fungal infection involving the rump fold of the Manx.
  • Obesity – the Manx short, stocky bodies make them predispose to obesity and diabetes.
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease – can cause bladder stones.
  • Mast Cell Tumors – abnormal growths, lumps, or bumps of the skin.
  • Genetic Nerve Deafness

Does your Manx have cat health insurance?  I love the plans through Pets Best!  Monthly premiums are affordable, offer routine care coverage and Vet Direct Pay.  For more information, click here.

manx cat

Manx cat is my patronus

First off, I’m not sure ” Manx cat is my Patronus” is even the proper usage of the word “Patronus” in a sentence.

I think the word is supposed to be capitalized and has something to do with Harry Potter.

Please forgive my ignorance.

But if Manx cat Patronus means I’m into cats with no tail and that I wish there were a way to clone Gigi so I can enjoy her calm, loving cat persona 24-7.

Then count me in.

Manx Cat Care

Feeding

Manx cats have tendencies towards being overweight.  As a Manx owner, you will need to be strict regarding your cat’s nutrition. Your Manx cat needs high-quality cat food that includes the essential amino acid – taurine. Taurine is key to your cat’s heart and eye health.

Make sure your Manx gets plenty of freshwaters to combat any constipation issues.  Cat treats should only be 5-10% of your Manx’s diet.

Is your Manx cat overweight?  Try Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care; click here for more information on prices from Amazon.

Click here to read my article on what to feed your cat.

Exercise

Despite their little stubbie legs, they like to run and play, so keep your Manx cat well exercised. Regular exercise is essential in keeping your Manx at a healthy weight.

Click here to view Gigi’s favorite cat toy.

Manx cat poop problems

Don’t get upset with your Manx cat if she leaves a tiny deposit of cat poop on your floor or carpet every once in a while.  The tail is essential in the feces elimination process, and the tail helps push the poop out of the cat’s poop shoot. So the Manx cat being tailless gives them some difficulty with eliminating.

Like all cats, the Manx appreciates a clean litter box.  Ensure the litter box is cleaned daily or more if you have a multiple cat household.

Grooming

Manx cats have a short, double coat, making their coats very thick.  Keep them well-groomed by brushing daily, so their undercoat doesn’t build up over time.

Manx cat price

The Manx cat breed is rare, so getting one of these beauties from a good breeder is expensive. Be ready to pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a Manx kitten with no tail or a rumpy-riser.

Conclusion

Provide a safe, warm environment for your Manx, and I recommend keeping them inside the house.  It has been proven that inside cats live longer, healthier, and safer lives than outside cats.

Ensure your Manx visits the Vet once a year with visits in between if you suspect any health issues. Despite their little stubbie legs, they like to run and play, so keep your Manx cat well exercised.

If you have the chance to adopt or purchase a Manx cat, look forward to a lifetime of loving companionship.



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2 Comments

  • Alice August 8, 2019 at 12:07 am

    Thanks for the information. I have a short hair black manx cat named Abby. She has had a lot of problems with her stomach & not being able to digest normal cat food & was getting a lot of diarrhea. The vet had put her on a chicken & rice diet twice due to these problems. She is now able to tolerate normal cat food. I had no idea my manx cat would have some of these health issues in this article. She loves to play & hates being left alone.

    • Anita Monson September 3, 2019 at 7:50 pm

      Hey Alice,
      Sorry for the late response – your comment got lost in the spam folder but I found it! Is the chicken and rice diet a type of dry food? The reason why I asked is that GiGi has diarrhea whenever she eats wet food. So what we do is give her a mix of both dry and wet food (mostly dry) and that keeps the dreaded diarrhea away. I’m glad Abby is doing better. She’s a special cat.

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