Manx at a Glance
The Manx is a medium-sized round, heavy cat resembling a bowling ball. Most are known for their lack of a tail, however not all kittens are born tailless. These even-tempered cats have a lot of affection to share and prefer not to be left alone for long periods of time. They get along well with children and other family pets. Together the Manx and Cymric comprise the Manx breed group. They differ only in coat length with the shorthair known as the Manx. The medium to short coat is easy to maintain. Find out more about this breed and if the Manx is right for you and your family.
Temperament: Loyal, Inventive, Clownlike
Size: Medium-sized cat with heavy boning and a compact body. The shortness of body may cause one to mistakenly think they are overweight. While altered cats do often carry a bit of extra weight, they should not be obese.
Colors: The Manx can be found in any color and pattern. They can be any pattern in black, brown, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac, fawn, red, and cream, with or without white, as well as silver and smoke.
Life Expectancy: 16+ years
About the Manx
These even-tempered, calm cats have a lot of affection to share and prefer not be on their own for long periods of time. The friendly, loving Manx is best known for their taillessness and have been known to carry on a conversation in a sweet trilling voice. They generally will bond most closely with the person who feeds them yet are great family cats. They are able to entertain themselves, are trustworthy if left alone for work hours, and so happy when family returns.
Some Manx cats give all their love to a single person while others are affectionate toward the entire family, including children..
Often compared to a mini race car driver, they tend to accelerate through the house, making sharp turns and quick stops. Gentle and playful, Manx cats are excellent jumpers and have the ability to get to the highest corner to investigate something that has sparked their interest. Given that ability, the mature Manx is often a floor model. Manx cats are highly intelligent. Challenge their brain by teaching them tricks and providing puzzle toys that will reward with kibble or treats. It’s not unusual to find a Manx playing fetch or carrying their toys around. The are known to drown their toys in their water dish, so be prepared for water changes!
Some Manx give all their love to a single person while others are affectionate toward the entire family, including children.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
Find a Kitten: Manx TICA Breeders
The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
It is always ideal to comb cats regularly starting as a kitten. Be sure eyes, nose, and ears are clear and clean. Clean with a warm damp cloth, if needed. Start young with bathing, however many cats never really need a bath.
Start nail trims early, with a treat of baby food meat, to help them accept it. Be sure to not clip them too short and ‘quick’ the nail and cause it to bleed. Brush their teeth regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.
Manx cats are best fed wet meals. Twice, daily meals are preferable, although some may only want to eat once a day. Meal feeding also keeps you aware of their health, if someone does not show for a meal, you know to go looking. These obligate carnivores should be fed a meat-based diet, grain free and veg free, too. They really have no way to use those foods, given the short gut and gut flora they have, which can cause gut issues and even excessive dental tartar.
Their desert origins have made them get most of their liquid from their prey. The mouth is not adapted for taking in water well enough to counter a dry diet. The brain is not “hard-wired” to even drink often, however, as with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.
Manx are considered an overall healthy breed. However, the gene that can make these cats tailless can also create some health issues, however, responsible breeders typically identify and address that in kittenhood, before placement.
Several colorful tales surround the origin of the Manx including the one where Noah cut off its tail as he closed the Ark door as the rain began. The records show the breed originated on the Isle of Man. The first cats may have come from nearby England and Wales or they may have come from further afield, however, the initial population arrived by ship on the Manx shores. At some point, a mutation occurred so kittens were born without the vertebrae of a normal tail. The first picture of one appears in a painting from 1810 however linguistic evidence suggests an earlier date around 1750 as the English word 'stubbin' is used for the Manx whereas prior to 1750 only the Manx language was used. A small island, the Isle of Man is an isolated area so inbreeding of the island population resulted in the lack of a tail becoming a common trait. Manx were among the original breeds at the dawn of the cat fancy in the late 1800s as we find them in the show records from that era. Tailless longhairs also appeared on the Isle of Man, however, they did not achieve mainstream recognition until later. Today, the longhair is known as the Cymric with an identical standard to the Manx.
TICA recognized both the Cymric and the Manx for championship competition in June 1979.
The Japanese Bobtail, Kurilian Bobtail, American Bobtail and Pixiebob, are all similar breeds due to their shortened tails. However, all of these breeds differ considerably in body type, and earset.
Breeds similar in body and head type are the Persian breed group and American and British Shorthairs.
Maine Coon, Ragdoll and the Siamese/Oriental breed group are easy examples.
Did You Know?
- They are one of the oldest known cat breeds.
- They hail from the Isle of Man.
- Their hind legs are longer than the front, so the rump is raised in the air.
- In days gone by, some people thought they saw the breed with a hopping gait and this, combined with the longer hind legs and lack of tail, gave rise to the moniker of 'bunny cat'.
- Koko, the gorilla that learned American Sign Language, chose a Manx for a pet and named him All Ball.
- A Manx should look like a bear from the side and like a bulldog coming toward you.
The Breed Standard
The overall appearance should be that of a medium-sized, compact, muscular cat. The Manx and Cymric have a round head with a firm muzzle and prominent cheeks, short front legs, height of hindquarters, great depth of flank, and a short back which forms a smooth continuous arch from the shoulders to the round rump. Manx and Cymric are slow in maturing and allowance should be made for young cats in judging depth of flank, stud jowls in the male, and overall lack of maturity. The Manx and Cymric should appear tailless. There is no penalty for a rise of bone or cartilage which does not stop the judges hand when the palm is stroked down the back and over the rump. The rump of the Manx and Cymric is felt with the palm of the hand ONLY. The flank should have greater depth than any other breed, adding much to the short, cobby appearance.
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979