Manx cat<<<< Back to cat breeds
- Country: Isle of man
- Origin: Natural/mutation
- Scientific name: Felis catus
- Colors: All colors
- Coat: Long / Short
- Temperament: affectionate, make little noise
- Litter size: 5 puppies
- Lifespan: 8 - 14 years
- Price: ~ 300$
The Manx breed originated on the Isle of Man, in the British Isles. Place of origin gives them the name and the first specimens were described in the eighteenth century. The islanders say that Manx cats come from the ships of the Spanish Armada, which were close to the shores of Britain more than 300 years ago. According to local legend, cats arrived on Spanish ships in the Far East. There are many stories about the origin of these cats mutation. One of them says that when Noah closed the Ark’s door, he caught the tail of a Manx that was late for boarding. Another story puts the lack of tail on the account of interbreeding cats and rabbits on the island. That would explain the difference in length between the hind and front legs of the cat.
This gene that causes tail mutation in Manx cats can be observed since birth, when the kittens are brought into the world without tails. Crossing two cats without tails can be lethal. Manx breeders are very careful in avoiding such problems and they breed tailless cats with some who don’t have this specific genetic mutation of Manx cats. These methods have led to reducing spine problems, specific to the breed. Manx cats have been recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association since 1920. Manx cat appeared in exhibitions since 1800. The first breed standard was published in 1903.
Aspect Manx cat
Manx cats look very much like the British Shorthair breed. Manx cats hind legs are longer than the front, giving the body a round shape. The Manx is a medium sized cat, with round head and big eyes. The ears are placed high on the head and slightly bent outwards.
The fur is soft and thick, every color and design are accepted. The main feature of these cats is the short tail or total lack thereof. Specimens without tail are most successful among breeders and, unfortunately, there were cases when cats tails were cut, to fit better the demands of the competition organizers.
Behavior Manx cat
Manx cats are very affectionate. They get along well with children and other animals, usually even with dogs. They are ideal pets, easily adapting to family life. They lead a very happy life as indoor pets and make very little noise.
The short hair doesn’t require excessive care, the cats are able to care for it on their own. The coat has a double quality, featuring two layers, one short and thick and another one longer. The double coat is by far more important than the color or markings on it. Any combinations of colors and markings are allowed, except for the Siamese pattern. Exhibition cats are more appreciated for their coat texture than for color or markings.
The Manx cats tail absence is a characteristic known for centuries and many stories about their exact origin circulate. Perhaps the oldest legend is the one telling that Noah , when closing the door of the Ark, in haste, caught the tail of the Manx , leaving it with only a stump. Another legend talks about the cat wondering the Spanish Army ships on the Man Island in 1588. There is no doubt that it was an isolated island that allowed the perpetuation of the Manx characteristic, but the cats with stub tail are the result of gene mutations suffered after mating with British Shorthair cats. This gene could be resposible for this cats’ skeletal defects.
Features Manx cat
The Manx is a playful cat, affectionate and intelligent. It loves to climb everywhere and can be taught simple commands. It gets along well with children and other pets, including dogs. They make very little noise and manage to adapt well to apartment life rules. The short coat care does not require much time.
A Manx cat can live up to 15 years, and, as the British Shorthair relatives, it is predisposed to obesity. Despite the lack of tail, Manx cats have no problems with maintaining balance.
Diseases Manx cat
Spine mutation can seriously affect the health of Manx cats. The most common of these feline health problem affects its spinal cord and bladder. Also, the anal tract can be narrow causing intestinal blockage. Manx cats are given up for adoption at the age of four months, after most health problems are identified, and eventually removed.
The famous feline expert Roger Tabor, said that the only thing that prevents him from criticising the keeping of this genetic mutation so dangerous for cats, is that this breed is very old.
Life Span: 8 to 14 years.