Manx and polydactyl cat

Manx Cat Breed Profile


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At a glance   About   History   Appearance   Health

Manx cat at a glance

  • Energy: Low to medium
  • Eyes:  Green, copper, gold, blue
  • Temperament: Friendly, quiet, loyal, dog-like
  • Weight: Males 5 kg (11 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: All colours accepted
  • Grooming: Requires weekly grooming
  • Lifespan:  12-16 years


A tailless cat which originated in the Isle of Man, the Manx is an old breed of cat. This breed is sturdy, has a thick coat, and despite people recognising it as a tailless breed, they come in several categories from completely tailless to an almost full-length tail.

Manx cats are friendly, mischievous, playful, patient, calm and undemanding cats.

History of the Manx cat

Originating on the Isle of Man, a small island between the UK and Ireland, the Manx Cat is an old tailless breed of cat. There are a great many theories as to how the breed came about:

  • They are a cross between a cat and a rabbit
  • They were the last animal to enter Noah’s Ark just as Noah was closing the door when they squeezed through the door; it slammed shut on their tails, cutting them off.

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.

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 (i.e.; 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

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

A medium-sized cat with a 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 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 come 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.


The Manx cat is an intelligent and playful cat who is quite dog-like and love to play fetch. Their powerful back legs make them excellent jumpers.

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.

Manx syndrome is a group of disorders caused by a shortening of the spine, which can affect the nerves and colon of affected cats, causing paralysis and constipation.

2 thoughts on “Manx Cat Breed Profile”

  1. I have had the joy of sharing my home with several manx cats. This article reinforces the similarities I have noticed in them in physicality and temperament. I have especially enjoyed the intimate bond they have shared with me. I lost and indoor/outdoor manx after owning her 10+ years, it was devastating. Now I have a “catio” (cat patio) that allows my current boy manx to go in and out as he pleases.

    • Hi Carol,

      Yes, catios are the perfect compromise aren’t they? My cats spend a lot of time outside in their enclosure basking in the sun.

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