Manx (cat)

From ArticleWorld

The Manx breed of cat is known for its naturally occurring mutation of the spine, resulting in tail lengths from normal to no tail at all. The distinguishing characteristic of the breed, many Manx have a small stub of a tail, but are best known for being entirely tailless.


There are many legends to explain why the Manx has no tail, but the true reason for the mutation is still unknown. One legend claims Noah accidentally shut the door of the Ark on the tail of a Manx, as it was entering, cutting it off. Another legend attributes the Manx’ taillessness to an injury during a shipwreck.

Originating several hundred years ago on the Isle of Man, the Manx is a very old breed. The breed was popular in England as far back as the 1870’s and they have been recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association since the 1920’s.


First, and foremost, the Manx cat is known for being tailless. Still, some do have short, or even full length, tails. Manx kittens are classified based on the length of their tail, the breed ideal being the Rumpy.

  • Dimple rumpy or rumpy - no tail whatsoever
  • Riser or rumpy riser - stub of cartilage or several vertebrae under the fur, most noticeable when kitten is happy and raising its 'tail'
  • Stumpy - partial tail, more than a 'riser' but less than 'tailed'
  • Tailed or longy - complete or near complete tail

The Manx used to be prone to many health issues related to their taillessness. Thanks to modern breeding practices, these days, Manx Syndrome is rare. It occurred when the mutation has a negative effect. Spina Bifida, bowel and bladder problems and digestive issues were some of the possible results. Since it is a naturally occuring mutation, any negative effects usually show up early in the cats’ life. For this reason, most breeders do not place kittens into homes until they are approximately four months old. Highly intelligent and playful, some say their personality resembles that of a dog. Easilly trained and very social they make great pets. Unlike many other breeds of cat, the Manx tends to like water. Some will even play in it. Some Manx can even be taken into the shower for easy bathing, a practice not usually recommended for cats.