Manx cat breed – The tailless cat

Cats Human Classroom

A cat breed whose origin is based on some fables or myths about the reason and justification for the Manx cat not having a tail. Many people usually confuse it with the Japanese Bobtail cat which is another cat that besides being an ancient tailless breed, lacks a tail just like the Manx. Another thing this Manx breed shares with the Bobtail is its affinity and social need, so they are cats that are made for a family environment, where their owner together with the rest of the people in the home can give them love, affection, dedicate the time and care that every pet deserves. They have a good temperament in general and they are usually given to other pets that accept other species as well. Before adopting a Manx cat just for not having a tail, or having a short tail, the best thing is that you learn everything about this breed, and you get to know in-depth what you are getting into, to avoid any problems later on when you cannot deal with their personality. Even if it is a cat known for so many years, is it worth keeping this breed despite its genetic alteration? 

I hope you have an answer to this question at the end of this article where you take into account everything I am about to teach you about this particular cat breed.


As I already mentioned, the Manx is a cat breed that has been present for many years, where the little legends that speak of its origin go back to the times of Noah’s ark. It is said that at that time the cat that is known today as Manx arrived late to the ark because he had fallen asleep and Noah closed the door without realizing that the cat’s tail was still outside. Another story goes back to the era of the Vikings, where they would cut off the tail of the Cats for having the belief that it gave them good luck, so the mother cat would eat the tail of her kittens to protect them. A more feasible theory is that the origin of this breed comes from a British island called Isle of Man, where some people believe that these cats were part of Japanese ships where they were taken in because of their rodent control skills and not because they had a preference for a particular breed of cat. 

Despite their origin in England, they have not been accepted by the British Cat shows officials due to the theory that their anatomical change is due to a genetic alteration caused by so many crosses between cats that were made on their island of origin. These associations are based on the quality of life of the animal as it is the case of the Scottish Fold or the Munchkin cat. It was part of one of the founder breeds of Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in the year 1906, and it was not until 1979 that The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized this breed that until today has been gaining both competition and acceptance from other associations worldwide.


Although this breed is known mostly for its lack of a tail, some Manx cats do have some vertebrae that may be fused giving a bumped end look, and some have been seen that have up to 5 vertebrae. Even though they don’t have a tail like a normal cat, some can have something very close to it. Each of these versions has a nickname to identify them and establish some differences because some are not accepted in certain competitions, being the “Rumpies” or “Risers”. These versions are the one completely tailless Manx and the one without a tail but with a small bone elevation at the end of their cat’s spine respectively. Those with a tail are called “Longies” and those with a stump or numbs are known as “Stumpies”. There is also a version of this breed called Cymric, which is the longhaired Manx version and like the shorthaired Manx version, its coat is double-layered and thick. The composition of his body is round in a great proportion, being the head, eyes, and rear end. The ears, despite being wide at the base, tend to become a little wavy at the end, resembling the rest of the body.

The Manx cat is considered a medium to large size breed, weighing between 9 and 13 pounds, but usually, the male weighs more than the female. The coat as I mentioned, there is a version of long hair and another of short hair, where the hair is dense, soft, shiny, woolly in general. Among the coloring of the hair, there is a certain variety having as options cream, white, black, silver, tortoiseshell, brown, red, and among the patterns is tortoiseshell, solid color, bicolor, tricolor or calico, tabby, smoke, and shaded. In the eyes, there is also a variety in its tonality having between gold, amber, orange, yellow, hazel, and copper. 

Thanks to the great variety of options you have available with this breed, the handling, and care of the coat of your tailless Manx will depend on the version or kitten you decide to adopt. They tend to shed their hair regularly and the requirements for grooming are usually moderate to high. In addition to this, it is common that long-haired of normal cats are more prone to suffer from obesity when their owners are first confident about their size and also about their appearance. You must be very careful not to neglect this aspect of your pet, as some owners are trusted for their appearance, either for their weight or their height, but they are usually heavier than people think. On average, they have a lifespan between 15 and 18 years, but they may well live longer if given proper care and handling. Stress, whatever its cause, can end up being a very determining factor throughout your pet’s life, that’s why I place so much emphasis on the pet’s coexistence, always looking for the pet that best suits the lifestyle of your family.


A loving, friendly, gentle, intelligent, and playful cat who loves to be surrounded by his loved ones. The type of games or toys of predilection of this breed, according to some owners, is hunting or fetch more than climbing. Certainly, these are aspects that favor many pets but a cat with these qualities, you as owners, must be alert since they are usually curious and may well learn to open doors or cabinets. Besides this, because they are so attached to people and their need for company, they do not usually deal well with loneliness, so you should provide them with as much time as possible or a life companion in your absence. Something you can take advantage of with their energy and intelligence is everything that can be related to training. You can combine certain aspects of his personality to allow him to stay by your side, for example when it is time to leave the house, a Manx cat is an excellent travel companion and they usually deal well with cars. You can also teach it to walk with a leash just like a dog, even if it is uncommon it does not mean that it can be impossible to do. A pet with manners in the house gives a lot to say about the atmosphere at home and the quality of the company that a Manx cat can give you.

The most important thing in these cases is that you live as much time as possible with your Manx cat, not only because it is something that the breed itself demands, but also because this way you will be able to know in depth the personality of your new feline pet since not all of them comply or are the way they are described in this article or any other you may read. Although it is a standard within the breed this does not mean that they are all going to behave in this way. For example, some are usually one-person cats while others maybe together with the whole family. They will follow you everywhere in the house, so privacy will have as an addition a bit of hair and purring, which is very common from a cat but in the case of the Manx, it is usually a bit more accentuated. Sharing and socializing with your cat from an early age is very important for its overall management in order to be a domestic cat. Cats are a completely different world from a dog, which is usually a common household pet. While the Manx cat is known to be so calm, friendly, and sociable, this could change if he or she is traumatized or does not come into contact with other people or pets from an early age. Fear changes anyone and abruptly exposing your pet to an environment or scenario that is not common to him may not result in good terms. Take advantage of your Manx Kitten from the very beginning as it is a critical stage for your pet to learn how to deal with strangers, whether they are people or pets, and to get used to the vet so that it is not difficult to handle by him when needed.


Although they are considered a relatively healthy cat breed, they have certain predispositions in addition to a pathology that goes along with the genetic mutation that makes them have this change in the anatomy of their tail. Even if they don’t have a tail, the Manx cat keeps the nerve endings in this area that despite being pure bone is still a very sensitive area of their body. Among the most common pathologies are corneal dystrophy, arthritis in the tailbone, periodontal disease, diabetes, and obesity. Just like any other pet, some are linked to its genetics so, at the time of adopting your Manx kitten, the person who has it under their care must provide you with all the necessary information and as complete as possible, so that you can know which are the possible risks to which your new kitten may be exposed. A reputable breeder will tell you everything that happens in her litter. Those who care about their pets, even if they have to let them go, trusting that they will be in a good home and good hands, will seek to be in contact with you to find out about the pet that was part of their litter, as this will help all the people who go in the future for the medical history and good reputation that they deserve. Anyone who tells you that all is well with their kitten pack should first of all thank them for their time and get out of there as quickly as possible.

The reason for this is thanks to the problem that this tailless cat has due to their genetic alteration that sadly is not benign in all cases. Some reports are indicating that 20% (approximately) of Manx cats are prone to anatomical alterations that manifest themselves at a young age where their spinal cord is altered by being shorter or deformed, as well as a malformation in their urinary tract. When there are problems in the spinal cord they are reflected in neurological problems, so that the control of their sphincters and digestion will be quite compromised. These changes create conditions that are usually not compatible with the animal’s life and are not reversible, so the only alternative in these cases is euthanasia. Like the Scottish Fold, this alteration gives a very painful result for the cat and a rather tragic end. If it is worth keeping this breed, as well as the Scottish or the Munchkin, it is up to your criteria. These pathologies referring to their genetics are known as the Manx syndrome and they usually manifest themselves around the 4 months of age of the Manx kittens. So I would recommend that before you adopt one, you make sure it has completed or passed this stage to avoid any traumatic events at home if there are children.

As far as the management is concerned, you must control the feeding of your Manx cat, as they are not usually easily satiated and are likely to gain weight very easily. This may well end up complicating with a liver failure that may well be fulminating for your pet even if it has an ideal quality of life and this is the only aspect that is left unattended. To help control this, regular visits to the vet will help you keep your cat at an optimal weight to avoid this type of problem and if any abnormality is detected it will be reported to you in due course. Take advantage of these visits to consult any doubts you may have, as the vet is and will be your best source of information for everything concerning the care and attention of your Manx cat.


A cat that is made for the family environment, that excels in the company and will always seek to stay in playtime. Remember to socialize at an early age and teach him everything you want him to learn so that your experience and that of your new Manx cat is as pleasant as possible. After knowing what can cause his genetic alteration in his body, do you still consider that this is the ideal pet for you? One illness is not enough to overshadow all the virtues you will find in this breed? These are answers that depend on each person and what they are looking for.

I hope this article about the Manx cat has been helpful to you and has helped you make your decision to adopt a new pet. If you think I have left something for something or if you have any doubt please let me know in the comment section down below. 

Professor Whiskers

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