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Manx Breed Description

This Manx Breed Description Article is Listed in Manx Cat Breed Information

Manx Breed Description

Manx Cat | Breed History | Breed Profile | Breed Description

A spontaneous mutation occurred at some point several hundred years ago, which created kittens born without the vertebrae that form the tail of normal cats. With the passage of centuries and due to the isolation of the cats from outside breeding, the taillessness eventually became a common characteristic among the Isle of Man cats, because the mutated gene is a dominant trait.

The Manx cat is believed to have originated hundreds of years ago on the Isle of Man, off the coast of England. Since many trade ships docked on the Isle, and all had ship cats, it is hard to tell just what the parent cat really was. Obviously, both longhair and shorthair were represented in the original mutation. Many longhairs were seen on the Isle along with the shorthairs.


Records have been found on the Isle of Man that describe the cat as a mutation of the island’s domestic cats. It is believed that the island cats were involved, however, did some of the island cats come off the ships? We will never really know.CFA has recognized the Manx as a breed for many years. The oldest stud book on hand, Vol. #19, list Manx as one of the breeds that CFA recognized back in the 1920s.

Since the Manx (or tailless) gene is dominant, kittens that inherit it can have a full tail, a short tail, a rise (known as a “rumpy riser”), or no tail (“rumpies”) at all. Breeders have found that it is possible to have all these tail lengths in one litter! Only the rumpy or the rumpy riser are eligible for competition in the championship category at CFA shows. All other tail lengths are eligible for the AOV (any other variety) Class. Many of today’s top breeding females are those that had a long tail when born. Numerous Grand Champions have come from a tailed cat, either male or female.

The introduction of a tailed Manx into a breeding program provides a necessary sturdiness.Besides taillessness, the Manx is known for its robust and rounded appearance. This breed can actually be drawn with a series of circles! It has a very round head and rounded cheeks which give it a jowly appearance; even more so in the male cat than in the female.

It is high in the hind quarters with the back legs much longer than the forelegs, thus causing the rump to be higher than the shoulders. The shortness of back forms a continuous arch from shoulders to rump. The eyes are rounded but set at a slight tilt toward the ear. The Manx should have a sweet expression.

There are two types of Manx coats, shorthair and longhair (formerly Cymric). The coat length is the only difference between the longhair and shorthair Manx. The shorthair has a double coat, the outer guardhairs are somewhat hard, appearance is glossy. A softer coat may occur in whites and dilutes due to color texture gene link. The longhair has a silky texture to its coat. The coat will be of medium length, with breeches, abdomen and neck ruff being longer than the coat on the main body. The silky texture is soft, and falls smoothly on the body yet being full and plush due to the double coat.

The Manx is a very playful cat as a rule. They can jump higher than anyone could imagine, and it is not unusual to find them perching on the highest point in any room. They have extremely powerful hind quarters. It has been stated by one Manx owner that “Manx are the feline sport cars of the car world with their acceleration and quick turns.” Manx exhibit many dog-like characteristics such as retrieving and burying their toys. They will either be known as a “one person cat” or the “family cat.” However, once they bond with someone, it is difficult for many Manx to be happy in a different home. On the other hand, there are those Manx that readily accept attention from any human source! ~ Barbara St. Georges