All about Manx cats
A very old breed of cat which has no tail.
From the Isle of Man, a famous and much-loved cat breed, this cat even has its likeness minted on a coin. The Isle of Man is a small island found in the Irish sea, situated between Britain and Ireland.
The legends about Manx cats
There are many ‘tails’ and legends describing the origins of this unique and iconic tailless cat from the Isle of Man.
One of the more likely explanations is that the Manx cat is descended from rat control cats on board ships such as the Spanish Armada galleons, which sunk off the coast and then the ‘rat’ cats may have made their way ashore onto the Isle of Man. Other stories link back to Noah and the Ark and the cat being a latecomer on board and losing its tail in the door of the Ark. Others tell tales of seafaring merchants bringing a tailless cat via the Far East and then this cat breeding on the Ise of Man, resulting in a genetic mutation being carried on and eventually becoming a unique breed. It is impossible at this time to be completely sure of how the breed came to be. What is true is that it is a genetic mutation which has caused the loss of the tail or the appearance of a short stumpy tail.
The Manx cat – appearance and characteristics
A sturdy, muscular cat with strong legs, no tail, or a stumpy, short tail. They are excellent mousers, with speedy reflexes and enjoy hunting and are quite capable of climbing trees. They are also known for their home-loving tendencies and enjoy being inside and in comfort. The Manx cat is an intelligent and friendly breed, making it an excellent cat for individuals and families with children.
The Manx cat has a double coat, with a coarser topcoat and a nice silky undercoat which only requires a weekly brushing. This breed has no special dietary requirements and needs no specialist care. They are long-living cats. Manx cats have attractive broad, egg-shaped heads with rounded cheeks, beautiful round eyes and a cute broad nose, with rounded ears.
The Manx hop
Because the Manx cat has longer hind legs than front legs it has a hopping gait – a bit like a rabbit. This gait is also known as the Manx hop.
What is a Rumpy?
A rumpy is a true completely tail-less cat from the Isle of Man. You will often find a little tuft of hair at the point of where the tail should start from. The Rumpy is the true exhibition cat.
What is a Rumpy-riser?
These Manx cats have a small number of tail vertebrae which forms a little bump or knob at the postion where a tail would be.
What is a Stumpy?
A stumpy is a Manx cat with the residual of a tail- a stumpy short tail, sometimes also known as ‘Stubbin’. This tail stump is moveable and has a curve or kink in it.
What is are Longies?
Longies are Manx cats with an almost normal tail. The tail is truncated and you will need to look carefully to see the difference between this and a normal tailed cat.
The personality of the Manx cat
Even-tempered, friendly, easy to train and home-loving the Manx cat makes an affectionate companion as well as an ideal cat for families with young children. Lovely cats with great personalities who enjoy playing. They get on well with people and are not shy cats.
Breeding Manx cats
Breeding can be a problem with this cat. Mating two tailless cats can result in kittens who are malformed. The tail-less trait is a dominant gene and pure Manx cats can die in the womb due to excessive shortening of the spine and the homozygous Max (a cat which inherits the Manx gene from both parents) often dies in the womb in the early stages of development.
A Rumpy can be bred with a Manx cat with a tail as the Manx gene is dominant.
Litters are usually small in Manx cats, only two kittens may be born. Due to the Manx gene and small litters, the Manx cat is quite rare.
Health problems in Manx cats
Spina bifida can be an issue – increasing the amount of vitamin B in the diet of breeding females (queens) is recommended to help prevent this.
Rumpies (no tail Manx cats) can have a deficient nerve supply to the base of the spine and can suffer from varying degrees of paralysis of the back legs and also urinary incontinence.
The ‘Ren and Stimpy’ show on television based the cat ‘Stimpy’ on a Manx Cat.
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