Let's talk Manx Cats

The Manx is a tailless cat of medium size originating from the Isle of Man. Originally bred to hunt vermin, they are very devoted to their humans, often slipping into the role of watchdog. Or ,“watchcat”. Once they’ve secured all perimeters, the Manx cat enjoys playing, following you around the house, or coming for a cuddle in your lap. Young Manx cats who are socialised will fit well with a household that includes respectful cat-friendly dogs and children, whereas their older counterparts tend to be more settled in their ways. 

Official name: Manx

Other names: Manks

Origins: Isle of Man

Black and white portrait of a sitting Manx

 

Shedding level

Low

Warm weather? Medium
Physical activity needs Moderate Family pet? * High
Compatibility with other pets
High


* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.
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Illustration of a Manx cat
Male
35 - 40 cm Height
3 - 5 kg Weight
Female
35 - 40 cm Height
3 - 5 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to one month
 Kitten age  1-12 months
 Adult age  1-7 years
 Mature age  7-12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

White, black and ginger Manx lying on a wood floor

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Get to know the Manx

All you need to know about the breed

It is important to know that a Manx cat prefers to have their human(s) around as much as possible. Other than that, not much will fluster this easy-going feline. In fact, the Manx is so laid-back, they are suited to both first-time cat owners and older owners who may live on their own.

The Manx is playful by nature but they are also content with life as an indoor cat. Early socialisation and training will ensure that your Manx is comfortable around children, cat-friendly dogs, and any family friends. Their devoted nature does mean that the Manx is often “on guard”, a bit like a dog, and ready to defend you at all costs. Another dog-like quality of the Manx cat is their penchant for playing fetch.

About that tail, or lack thereof. This is believed to have been caused by a genetic mutation, most likely from inbreeding amongst British Shorthair breeds from the Isle of Man. On top of their tailless appearance, the overall physical look of the Manx cat is, well, ever so round. This only adds to the breed’s adorable personality. If you don’t feel overwhelmed by their need for attention, you can expect to be rewarded with a loving lap cat who is always game for a play session.

Manx kitten reaching towards another kitten over a small metal barrier

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2 facts about Manx Cats

1. Tail or no tail

Not every Manx cat is tailless. Certain Manx cats can actually have normal-length tails, while others have stumps. Totally tailless Manx cats are referred to as “rumpies”. There are also many folklore stories as to why the Manx often doesn’t have a tail, but inbreeding is the more likely reason.

2. Wobble wobble

Contrary to common belief, the Manx has no issues with balance, even though the breed is predominantly tailless. Part of it is to do with the fact they’ve always been tailless, so you can’t miss what you’ve never had, right? Despite this potential physical setback, the Manx will land on its feet every time.

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History of the breed

The Manx is a seasoned cat breed with ancestors believed to have arrived on The Isle of Man via Viking ships. They were one of several founding breeds of the Cat Fancier’s Association (1908) and records of their presence in North America date back to the 1920s.

Much folklore surrounds how the Manx cat lost its tail, but the reality is believed to be inbreeding that led to this genetic mutation. The breed originated on the Isle of Man, a rather remote location, so it’s hard to pin down their ancestry precisely, but the Manx is often traced back to the Norwegian Forest cat.

The International Cat Association recognised the breed in 1979. The Manx remains a relatively popular breed today, especially in North America and parts of the UK, and has garnered a solid reputation as a show cat. What an all-rounder of a breed!

Black and white portrait of a Manx from the side

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Manx Cats

1. Ears

Small to medium-sized ears that are wider at the base.

2. Body

Body is round-shaped, muscular, compact and powerful.

3. Coat

A short haired, double coat that comes in all colours.

Black, white and ginger Manx sat in the middle of a pavement

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Manx
Two Manx cats sat opposite each other looking up

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Caring for your Manx

Grooming, training and exercise tips

A Manx does most of the work when it comes to grooming. Their double coat requires just one weekly brush, to keep it nice and soft. A daily brush of the teeth will help maintain good oral hygiene. Nails must be kept trim and ears should be checked frequently to prevent any infections. The Manx is a playful cat by nature, so 30-60 minutes of exercise per day is not beyond the breed. They can be trained to walk on leash, so if you live in a quiet neighbourhood that is another way to keep them trim. The Manx is eager to please and devoted to their humans, so training shouldn’t be much of a challenge. They will chase after a ball or play fetch with you, and enjoy the mental stimulation of learning new tricks with their toys.

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All about Manx Cats

Manx cats can get on very well with dogs, once both animals have benefited from proper socialisation and training. They will make great playmates as the Manx displays several dog-like characteristics, such as playing fetch. As to who becomes the family watch-dog/cat, well that’s between your Manx cat and the canines of the household! 

The Manx cat prefers to use her melodic trill when communicating with humans or kittens, as opposed to the traditional “meow”. While they are definitely one of the more vocal cat breeds, the Manx will always use their inside voice. 

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book