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Manx

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Manx

Are there cat’s with no tales, well the answer to that is YES, and it’s called the Manx. There are cats with short tails or no tails, but the Manx cat along with his sister breed the longhaired Cymric, is the only one specifically bred to be tail-free.  The tailless Manx is the result of a genetic mutation that was then intensified by the cats’ remote location on the Isle of Man, off the coast of Britain.

The cats are thought to date to 1750 or later, but whether a tailless cat was born there or arrived on a ship and then spread its genes throughout the island cat population is unknown. The island became known for tailless cats, and that is how the breed got its name of Manx. The Manx is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association, The International Cat Association, and other cat registries.

Size

This is a medium-size cat who weighs 8 to 12 pounds and feels surprisingly heavy when lifted. The Manx matures slowly and may not reach his full size until he is five years old.

Personality

The Manx began life as a mouser, and he retains his fine hunting skills and alert nature. With a Manx around the house, you don’t need a watchdog; you’ve got a “watchcat” who reacts rapidly and will growl threateningly or maybe even go on the attack at the sight or sound of anything out of the ordinary. If he sees that you aren’t alarmed, he’ll settle back down. When he’s not protecting his family and property from mice, stray dogs, or other threats, however, the Manx is a mellow fellow: an even-tempered and affectionate cat who enjoys serene surroundings. That’s not to say he is inactive. This is a happy, playful cat who likes to follow his favorite person through the house and assist with whatever he or she is doing. When you are ready to relax, though, the Manx will be in your lap, ready for a comfy nap. If no lap is available, he’ll curl up on the nearest available spot that allows him to keep an eye on you. He “speaks” in a quiet trill and will carry on a conversation if you talk to him.

The Manx has an adaptable nature if he is exposed to activity and other people as a young kitten. He will enjoy meeting new people, greeting them with a gentle head butt or cheek rub, and can adapt to a new home or family if such an upheaval in his life is necessary.

This is a smart cat who can learn tricks, including fetch and come, and is willing to walk on leash if taught early. He often likes to ride in the car, making him a great companion on long-distance trips. It’s not unusual for the Manx to enjoy playing in water—he is an island cat, after all—and you may find him turning on faucets or “fishing” in a fountain. He is also good at learning how to open doors, so be sure anything you don’t want him to have is under lock and key. Unlike most cats, the Manx is willing to accept boundaries and will usually respect your wishes if you tell him no when he jumps on the counter or scratches on your sofa. Just be sure you give him an acceptable alternative as thanks for his nice behavior.

The Manx is highly people-oriented. Choose him only if you can give him plenty of time and attention daily.

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Health

Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Manx are generally healthy, but the following diseases have been seen in the breed: Arthritis of the tailbone in cats with partial tails Corneal dystrophy, cloudiness that begins to develop when a kitten is approximately 4 months old Manx syndrome, a collection of birth defects that may include a spine that is too short, urinary tract defects, and problems with the bowels and digestion. The condition affects approximately 20 percent of Manx cats, most often rumpies, and usually shows up by the time a kitten is 4 months old, a good reason to wait until that age before bringing a Manx kitten home.

Care

The soft, short coat of the Manx is easily cared for with weekly brushing or combing to remove dead hair and distribute skin oil.  Check the rear end closely to make sure feces aren’t clinging to the fur surrounding the anus, and clean it if necessary to prevent the cat from smearing poop on carpets or furniture.

Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection. Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.

Keep the litter box spotlessly clean. Like all cats, Manx are very particular about bathroom hygiene.

It’s a good idea to keep a Manx as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Manx who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.

Coat, Color and Grooming

The Manx is known for his lack of a tail, but not every Manx is completely tailless. Some, known as “longies,” have a normal-length tail, and others, known as “stumpies,” have short tails. A Manx with no tail is called a “rumpy” and one with just a rise of bone at the end of the spine is known as a “riser.” You will see only rumpies and risers in the show ring, but cats with tails can be used in Manx breeding programs.

A Manx has other distinguishing characteristics as well, including a round head with large round eyes, a stout, powerful body with a broad chest, short back and broad, round rear end, short front legs and long hind legs with muscular thighs. The long rear legs give him the appearance of a rabbit and may be the source of the “cabbit” myth.

The Manx has two different coat lengths: a short double coat or a longhaired double coat. The longhaired Manx is called a Cymric in some cat registries, but the Cat Fanciers Association simply considers the longhair a variety of Manx. In both lengths, the coat comes in many different colors, including various solids, tabbies, tortoiseshells and calicos. Chocolate and lavender colors and the pointed Himalayan pattern are not permitted.

This is a medium-size cat who weighs 8 to 12 pounds and feels surprisingly heavy when lifted. The Manx matures slowly and may not reach his full size until he is five years old.

Children and other pets

If he is introduced to them in kittenhood, the active and social Manx is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. He lives peacefully with cats and dogs who respect his authority and can learn to leave birds and fish alone. An adult Manx may not appreciate children as readily, especially if he is used to a quiet household. Always introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.

 

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