Image Virginia Hill, Flickr
History of the Manx cat:
Originating on the Isle of Man, a small island between the UK and Ireland, the Manx Cat is an extremely old breed of cat who is known for being tailless. There are a great many theories as to how the breed came about, including that a cat bred with a rabbit. However, the most logical explanation is that it is a spontaneous mutation which occurred around 300 years ago and the mutation was passed on to future generations due in part to the fact that the gene pool in such a small area would have been somewhat limited.
The Manx gene is dominant (M) and in its homozygous form, where the cat has two of the manx gene (MM), it is prenatal lethal (ie; the offspring die in utero). Therefore you can not breed a Manx to a Manx.
In his book "Our Cats And All About them" dated 1889, Harrison Weir makes mention of the Manx cat.
Appearance of the Manx cat:
Image BEV Norton, Flickr
The most obvious feature of the Manx is the tail or lack of. There are four types of taillessness in the Manx;
- Rumpy (true manx) have no tail at all
- Rumpy riser where a small number of tail vertebrae can be seen or felt
- Stumpy where the tail is longer, but deformed.
- Longie the tail is longer than the previous three but shorter than the average tail on a cat
The Manx is a medium sized cat with solid and sturdy body. The hind legs are noticeably longer than the front legs making it have a gait not unlike that of a rabbit, which could possibly have added to the speculation the breed came about by a rabbit x cat mating.
The head is round with ears which are not set too high. The eyes are round and large.
Manx cats have a double coat, and comes in long hair and short hair. The long haired Manx is sometimes known as the "Cymric" (pronounced kym-ric). All colour forms and patterns are accepted with the Manx cat.
Temperament of the Manx cat:
The Manx cat is an intelligent and playful cat. They are said to be quite dog- like and many like to play fetch wit you.
Their powerful back legs make them excellent jumpers and they can often be found perched up high.
Manx form close bonds with their human companions and some Manx will form an especially close bond with one particular member of the household. They get along with people, including children and most also live happily with dogs.
Manx are generally a hardy breed of cat however some Manx can be prone to arthritis and leg stiffness. Occasionally Manx can develop megacolon.