Manx Cat Breed: Discover the Fascinating Tailless Wonder

Manx Cat Breed
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If you are looking for a unique and charming cat breed, consider the Manx cat breed. This breed is famous for lacking a tail or a very short one. The Manx feline has a long history and a loyal personality, making it a great companion for many people. But where did this breed come from, and what are its characteristics? In this article from Canvas Personalized, we will answer these questions and more. Read on to discover the fascinating world of Manx kittens.

1. The History of the Manx Cat Breed

Located in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, the Isle of Man is home to the Manx people. There is no known native feline species from which the Manx may have evolved. Instead, it is believed that domestic cats were brought to the Isle by early inhabitants and explorers. Although, it is unclear who or when this happened.

The Manx Feline'S Origin
The Manx feline’s origin. (Image: Getty Images)

According to one story, the cats may have been on a ship from the Spanish Armada that ran aground on the Isle of Man in 1588. It is said that the intelligent felines swam ashore at Spanish Point. One other theory suggests that Phoenician merchants brought Manx cats to the West all the way from Japan. Another theory says that the Vikings who colonized the island brought cats to the Isle of Man.

Regardless of how the cats got there, we may assume that they all arrived with their tails still intact. Scientists believe that a random mutation among the Isle’s domestic cat population led to the taillessness of the Manx. 

Manx Cat Breed History
Manx cat breed history. (Image: Getty Images)

The Manx cat differs significantly genetically from other short-tailed housecats. A dominant gene controls the absence of a tail in the Manx. In other short-tailed breeds like the Japanese bobtail, tail length is determined by recessive genes. Due to the tiny population size and isolated nature of the Isle, the dominant gene was quickly passed on from one generation to the next.

Residents of the Isle, either ignorant of or bored with scientific explanations, created fascinating stories to explain the Manx shortfall. One contends that these felines are a cat and a rabbit crossbreed. Another says that the cats’ tails were stolen by Irish invaders and used as helmet plumes. According to a third, two Manx cats were passengers on Noah’s Ark, but because they were the last to board, Noah shut the door on their tails.

These days, Manx cats are highly sought-after due to their scarcity. Yet, adoptable kittens are relatively easy to come by at animal shelters.

Black Manx Cat
black Manx cat (Image: Vetstreet)

2. Manx Cat Breed Characteristics About Appearance


The average lifespan of these tailless cats is 10–14 years. However, every kitten is different, so your Manx’s lifespan could be either shorter or longer than usual.


The Manx cat breed size is medium, as these cats usually weigh between 8 and 14 pounds. However, they grow very slowly and may only reach their full size once they are four or five years old.

Manx Cat Characteristics
The Manx cat size (Image: Getty Images)



The Manx has a stocky build with a broad chest and well-sprung ribs. This cat has the look of great substance and durability because of the repeated curves and circles throughout its body. The short back curves at the rump to provide a round silhouette.


The large cheeks on the Manx cat emphasize its round face. It has a short head with a gentle arc from its forehead to its nose. The feline’s neck is short and thick.

A Cat Breed With No Tail
Manx cat breed with no tail. (Image: Getty Images)


The thick, double coat of the Manx not only makes them healthy shedders but also very water-resistant and cold-resistant. Although all-white or color-pointed Manx are extremely uncommon, the most prevalent coat colors and patterns for Manx cats are orange, tabby, and tortoiseshell.


The ears of a Manx cat are broader at the base and narrower at the tip. It has somewhat normal-sized ears that stick out from the sides of its head. When viewed from behind, a cat’s ears resemble the handles of a rocking chair.

Tabby Manx Cat
The large Manx cat breed. (Image: Getty Images)


The Manx cat has large, wide, and bright eyes. The outer corners of those eyes are a little higher than the inner ones, and they are angled ever-so-slightly upward toward the nose. Depending on the shade of the fur, the eyes can take on a variety of hues. They can be gold, copper, blue, green, hazel, or even different colors in each eye.


While most of the Manx breed do not have tails, this is not always the case. Some have long, healthy tails (named “longies”), while others have short, stumpy ones (dubbed “stumpies”). The Manx without tails are called “rumpies,” and a “riser” is a “rumpy” with a rise of bone at the end of their back.

Manx Cat With Tail
Manx cat black and white. (Image: Getty Images)

3. The Manx Cat Temperament

Even though Manx has many health problems, the breed is probably very famous because of its gentle personality. The Manx feline is a wonderful pet. These cats are witty, playful, and incredibly expressive despite the fact that they lack tails.

The Manx is a breed known for its extreme commitment to its chosen owner, with whom it loves to spend time either relaxing quietly or racing around the house after a tossed sponge ball or a whirling feather-tufted toy. The strong hind legs of a Manx make them excellent jumpers.

The Manx Cat Breed'S Temperament
The Manx cat breed’s temperament. (Image: Photo Images)

They enjoy playing with other cats and well-mannered dogs, with whom they get along well. Despite their jovial nature, they tend to be relatively mild-mannered. Maybe it’s because these tailless cats came from a tiny island encircled by water. However, their interest immediately wanes if you dunk them in the nasty stuff.

4. How To Care

Grooming and Nail Trimming

Manx cats have a double coat that needs to be brushed frequently. Brushing can assist in maintaining a healthy coat by removing dead hair. You may notice that your kitten sheds more during the spring and fall. This could mean you need to brush them a couple extra times a week.

Nail trimming is another part of being a responsible cat owner. Every cat is different, but in general, they need to be trimmed every few weeks. Provide your Manx with a scratching post to encourage natural nail wear.

How To Care For Manx Kittens
How to care for Manx kittens (Image: Getty Images)


Even though these cat types do not need a lot of exercise, they do need 30–60 minutes of activity every day to satisfy their naturally lively temperament. The Manx, like many felines, enjoys running and climbing, so keeping them active with plenty of play options is essential. Manx kittens are innate hunters, so toys that simulate trapping and retrieving will keep them occupied.

Diet and Nutrition

You can ensure your Manx’s health and happiness by feeding it only high-quality cat food. You should also measure food and adjust serving sizes as needed to keep your furbaby at a beneficial weight. Remember to factor in snacks; a single ounce of cheese can provide as much as half of a cat’s daily calorie needs. In addition to a healthy diet, all felines need constant access to clean water.

Manx Cat Breed Diet And Nutrition
Manx cat breed diet and nutrition (Image: Getty Images)

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5. Common Manx Cat Breed ​​Health Problems

Spinal bifida is a common cause of illness in Manx felines and is sometimes referred to as “Manx Syndrome.” Spinal bifida, when the spinal cord fails to grow entirely in the cat’s back, is caused by the same genetic defect that renders Manx kittens tailless.

Although some Manx cats are unaffected by spinal bifida, it can lead to some complications in others, notably those born without a tail, including: 

  • Incontinence: This happens when these Manx have little control over when and where they defecate.
  • Arthritis (degeneration of joint cartilage): is common in the poorly formed joints of the tail bones of Manx cats with short tails.
  • Partial Paralysis: Due to the partial paralysis of their hind legs, Manx felines may have an unusual, off-kilter stride.
Are Manx Cats Healthy
The Manx cat health issues (Image: Getty Images)

While spinal surgery can help alleviate pain for some affected cats, spinal bifida remains incurable. This problem will not go away very soon because it is linked to the genetic abnormality that causes the cats to lack complete tails.

6. Are they suitable for your family?

The Manx, a breed native to the Isle of Man, is full of energy and loyalty and is another excellent option for families with young children. These medium-sized, round, tailless felines are typical of the active kitten breed without being hyperactive. 

This breed’s propensity for liveliness and loyalty has earned them the comparison to dogs, and its muscular hind legs help them launch to tremendous heights as they whizz around the house. In general, the cat breed with no tail is highly sociable and enjoys spending time with members of the family as well as guests.

Do Manx Cats Like Dogs
Do Manx cats like dogs (Image: Getty Images)

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7. Adopting or Buying a Manx

What you pay for a Manx kitten depends on where you get it. Adopting a cat is the most popular option for cat owners. Alternatively, you could go through a trusted breeder. We will explain both of these things in more detail below.

Manx Kittens For Adoption
Manx kittens for adoption. (Image: Getty Images)

Manx Rescue or Shelter

The best way to find a cheap Manx kitten is at a shelter or rescue organization that is attempting to find a new home for the cat. You can search for Manx rescue groups online or visit a local shelter. The overall cost of a shelter or rescue operation might range from $0 to $400.

Manx Cat Breeder

However, if you go to a reputed breeder, you can expect to pay more for your new Manx kitten. Kitten breeders take great care to prevent the spread of potentially harmful genes by closely monitoring their kittens’ health. Finding a reliable breeder is crucial for a satisfying experience. Your total cost may range from $500 to $1,500 on average.

Manx Cat For Sale
Manx cat breeders. (Image: Getty Images)

Where is a reputable place to adopt or buy a Manx kitten? Check out our table below.

Deydream ManxEastampton, New Jersey, USA[email protected]

A CFA-registered cattery that has been breeding and showing Manx cats since 2001. They produce 2-3 litters of both shorthair and longhair Manx kittens each year from national and breed-winning lines. They test all of their breeding cats for health problems and offer a health guarantee for their kittens.
Karello Manx CatteryUSA[email protected]

A CFA or TICA-registered cattery that has been working exclusively with Manx and Cymric cats since 1996. They have a waiting list for their kittens, which come in a variety of colors and patterns. They offer free, private courier service for delivering their kittens to their new owners. They also have some available adults for adoption.
Manx Station Farm and CatteryUpstate New York, USA[email protected]

A farm and cattery that raises heritage breeds of animals, including Manx cats, curly horses, and belted Galloway cattle. They pasture raise their animals in a natural environment and produce healthy food. They have a website showcasing their animals and sharing their love of their breeds.
Reputable places to adopt or buy Manx cats in the USA

>> Further Reading:

In conclusion, the Manx cat breed is a fascinating option for people interested in felines because of its special appearance and personality. Canvas Personalized has introduced these Manx, which are both rare and endearing because of their unique gene that affects their tail development. If you are curious about other interesting feline breeds, check out our website now.

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