Known for his tail, or lack thereof, the Manx makes up for his shortcomings in the rump department with loyalty, cherubic roundness and a too-cute bunny hop!
Let’s start with the lore. In one story, the Manx was late getting onto Noah’s Ark and had his tail slammed in the door as he was boarding. In another myth, Irish and Viking raiders believed that kitten tails were good luck charms, so they would steal kittens in the night. To keep their kittens safe, mama cats would bite off their tails, making their babies undesirable to raiders.
An ancient breed, the Manx originated on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. It’s believed that the taillessness seen in the Manx is a dominant gene mutation that spread among the island cats as they mated, making it more notorious due to inbreeding over the course of centuries.
Actually, no. When talking tails, there are four levels for the Manx: Rumpies are completely tailless, often sporting a dimple at the spine’s base, exactly where the tail would be. Rumpy Risers have a knob of tail consisting of one to three vertebrae connected to the spine. Stumpies have a short stump of a tail that is typically kinked or curved. Longies possess tails that are nearly as long as that of the typical cat. In the show world, Rumpies are the most prized.
While some may strive for a chiseled contour, it’s the Manx’s all-over roundness that makes him every bit as identifiable as that tail. Round ears and round eyes are set upon a round head that leads to a rounded rear. And those cheeks? Also round. It’s a series of circular shapes that cast a cherubic touch to his look that matches his personality purrfectly.
These charming cats come in two coat lengths: shorthair and longhair (which is known as the Cymric). Manx and Cymric can appear in the same litter.
Known as the “Manx hop,” the movement refers to the Manx’s rabbit-like walk, a result of his trademark long back legs — his front legs are shorter.
The Manx’s long, powerful legs make him an excellent jumper, so be prepared to find him reposing upon shelves, desks and cabinets at any given time – no surface is too high!
A little word of warning: If you sit down to chill, he’ll take up residence in your lap. And if there’s no room? He’ll curl up somewhere close by that allows him to keep an eye on your every movement.
The Manx is an extremely sociable breed who loves to meet newbies, rubbing his cheek against them or gifting them with a head butt.
Perhaps it’s his island cat ancestry, but the Manx goes gaga over water play! Don’t be surprised to see him fishing in fountains or playing in the sink.
The Manx is very intelligent, with a knack for using his paws for a variety of things: from opening up cabinets and doors to turning on faucets. Anything you want to keep away from his paws had better be under lock and key!
The Manx is quite fond of fetch and tends to get the zoomies — speeding through the house, racing around corners and looking like a furry race car. 13. What’s not to love? The Manx is a talkative guy and loves to carry on conversations with you in a soft, trilling voice, so be ready to verbalize your affection and chat with him on a variety of topics.
Thumbnail: Photography by Tetsu Yamazaki.
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Erika Sorocco has been writing about cats for 12 years. She currently shares her home with two finicky felines (Minky and Gypsy), one crazy pup (Jake) and not enough closet space. Find her online chatting about beauty, books, fashion and furbabies at cateyesandskinnyjeans.com.