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Is the Manx right for you?

The basics:
Short in tail but big in personality, the Manx is a playful and easy-going cat with a strong loyalty and devotion to the family. The Manx is generally a mellow fellow, but can make a surprisingly good watchcat, even growling when a threatening situation presents itself. The Manx is probably best known for their unusual appearance, and though it’s possible for a Manx to have a full length tail, they more commonly have little to no tail.

The Manx was originally a working cat, a breed that evolved naturally on the Isle of Man, and they were prized from farmland to shipyard for their rodent-hunting prowess. The taillessness was a natural mutation, though folklore about their origin abounds. Their powerful hindquarters make them impressively athletic, and they’ll impress you with their speed and maneuverability when playing.

Appearance / health:
The Manx is a small to medium sized cat whose most notable characteristic is a short tail. They’re broad-chested, muscular yet lean, with a short body. The powerful back legs are longer than the front legs, which raises the rump higher than the shoulders, giving their back a rounded or humped appearance. The legs are sturdy and strong, and the feet are medium and round. The Manx’s head is medium-sized and rounded with prominent cheeks, and sits atop a short and thick neck. The muzzle is longer than it is broad with prominent whisker pads. The forehead is rounded extending to a gently dipped nose. The eyes are large and rounded and may come in all possible colors.

The Manx’s tail can come in a variety of lengths and are classified by length:

  • Rumpy – no tail at all, though there may be a tuft of hair present
  • Riser – a small bump of cartilage
  • Stumpy – partial tail up to about 3cm, with fused vertebrae
  • Stubby – a short, non-fused tail that may go up to about half the length of an average cat’s tail
  • Longy – half to normal length tail

The Manx is the shorthaired variety of the breed, with the longhaired variety being classified as a Cymric. The coat is thick and double layered. The texture can vary, but the coat should have a somewhat plush feel due to the dense undercoat. The Manx can come in all varieties of colors and patterns, though the most common are tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, and solid colors. Solid white Manx are possible but rare.

Unfortunately the breed is prone to some very serious health conditions, many of which are directly related to the genes that cause their unique tail. Manx Syndrome is a condition that results when the tailless gene causes the spine to shorten too much. This can cause damage to the spinal cord and nerves, and result in a variety of health problems. Manx Syndrome can usually be identified by the time a kitten is 4 months of age. Some tailless cats, including the Manx, develop a condition called megacolon, in which the smooth muscles that would normally contract to move stool to the rectum lose their ability to do so, resulting in severe and potentially life-threatening constipation. Finally, some partial tails are prone to painful arthritis, and many Manx will experience extreme sensitivity at the ends of their tails.

Behavior / temperament:
The Manx is a gregarious and people-loving cat, though they may be shy of strangers at first. Affectionate and loyal to their owners, they’ll follow their favorite person through the house and are eager to help in daily activities. While not an inactive cat, the Manx is quite fond of lap time, and will enjoy snuggling up to you on the couch for a nap.

Smart and fun-loving, the Manx will eagerly play games or learn tricks. The breed developed to hunt mice, and has retained many of those skills. The Manx is good at manipulating his environment, and you may catch him opening doors or turning on faucets – especially given that the Manx seems to enjoy playing in water. They have a reputation for being good travel-buddies, and especially if started early, may enjoy road trips. While not overly chatty, the Manx will happily carry on a conversation with you if you talk to her, speaking in a quiet chirps and squeaks. The Manx is generally even-tempered and patient with children, but because the ends of a Manx’s tail may be particularly sensitive, children should be taught to handle them carefully.


wonderful companion, keen intelligence, inside/outside cats, stubbedoff tail, fabulous temperament


elimination problems, bladder infection


hair lengths, little braver, expert mouser skills, dog lover, athletic abilities

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