What Is a Manx Cat?
What Is a Manx Cat? The Manx cat, is a breed of domestic cat (Felis catus), a tailless cat found principally upon the Isle of Man, a lozenge-shaped island about 30 miles long and 20 miles wide, which is situated in the Irish Sea, at roughly the same distance from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The Manx cat is a common household pet on the Isle of Man and is easily recognized by its lack of tail, the pronounced hollow at the end of its backbone, and it’s very thick, or double, coat.
Its back legs are longer than those in front and it therefore runs with a peculiar and very characteristic hopping motion. A Manx cat may be of any color and its fur is short. It has the reputation of being an excellent mouser. The only other tail-less breed is found in Japan.
These cats are thought to date to 1750 or later, but whether a tailless cat was born there or arrived on a ship and then spread its genes throughout the island cat population is unknown.
The island became known for tailless cats, and that is how the breed got its name of Manx. The Manx is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association, The International Cat Association, and other cat registries.
Many Manx have a small stub of a tail, but Manx cats are best known as being entirely tailless; this is the most distinguishing characteristic of the breed. Manx cats come in all coat colors and patterns, though all-white specimens are rare.
There are lots of cats with short tails or no tails, but the Manx (and his sister breed the longhaired Cymric) is the only one specifically bred to be tail-free.
Long-haired variants are sometimes considered a separate breed, the Cymric. Manx are prized as skilled hunters, and thus have often been sought by farmers with rodent problems, and been a preferred ship’s cat breed. They are said to be social, tame and active.
An old local term for the cats on their home island is stubbin. Manx have been exhibited in cat shows since the 1800’s, with the first known breed standard published in 1903.