Physical characteristicsThe Manx is a medium to large tailless cat breed. There are actually four varieties of the breed: the rumpy, rumpy-riser, stumpy, and longy. The last two varieties of the Manx cat are not customarily allowed to cat shows. Rumpies are entirely tailless and most favoured; they are the very type you can usually see at cat shows. They often have a dimple at the base of the spine (where the tail would begin in ordinary cats). Rumpy-risers have a short knob of tail consisting of one, two or three vertebrae. They are allowed to cat shows if the vertical rise of the tail does not stop the hand when you pat the cat. Stumpies have a short tail; it is very likely to be curved, knotted, or kinked. Longies have a tail almost as long as in ordinary cats. Breeders often dock the tail of longies because it makes it easier to find home for them (few people want to have a Manx cat with a tail). Besides, there is a chance of health problems in adult longies: the tail may become arthritic and cause great pain.
The Manx is well-boned and well muscled breed with mighty back legs. The round head with prominent cheeks and round full eyes gives an overall impression of roundness. The ears are widely set and broad at the base. Eye colour can be copper, green, hazel, blue or odd-eyed, depending on the coat colour and pattern.
TemperamentManx cats are intelligent, adaptable, sweet-tempered and affectionate. They form strong bonds with their chosen humans, and will truly enjoy sitting, purring, slumbering and sleeping on your lap. Along with that, they are not over demanding and will find a way to entertain themselves if you are not around. Good family pets. They get on well with children (if those play nicely) and other pets in the house, even canines (if properly introduced). If you are out of home a lot, consider getting another feline so that your Manx does not feel abandoned and lonely. Even though they are not extremely active, Manx cats are quite playful and curious, so cat trees and perches are a must. Unlike most other felines, Manx cats are literally fascinated by water. They particularly enjoy running water so don't be surprised if your companion begs you to turn on the faucet. Manx's love to water does not mean they enjoy bathing though.
Photo of Manx kitten by © lolagranola425
Coat and groomingManx cats have a short double coat. The undercoat is soft and cotton-like; the outer coat is slightly harder to the touch and has a glossy structure. It is not very prone to matting, but regular weekly brushing is necessary to prevent it. In shedding periods, grooming must take place more often. Manx cats come in all colours and patterns. The longhair variety of the Manx cat is known as the Cymric cat.
HealthUnfortunately, the tailless gene can cause many problems such as Manx Syndrome, Spina bifida, gaps in the vertebrae, fused vertebrae, bowel or bladder dysfunction. These problems usually occur within the first month of life, sometimes within 6 months. Sadly, they are very serious and affected kittens must be put down in most cases. This is just the nature of the Manx gene.
Other interesting factsEven though Manx cats are tailless, they are perfectly adapted to landing on their feet and other "maneuvers" ordinary cats would do. This is due to their perfect sense of equilibrium and exceptionally flexible spine.
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