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Manx Cat Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

black smoke manx cat
Image Credit: Edi Libedinsky, Shutterstock
Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team
Height:10–12 inches
Weight:8–12 pounds
Lifespan:14–16 years
Colors:Blue, White, Black, Cream, Tabby, Torti, Bi-Color, Calico
Suitable for:Families and singles
Temperament:Affectionate, Gentle, Playful

Manx cats are an older breed. They have been in cat shows since the 1800s and were likely around for a bit before that. They originated on the Isle of Man and have a gene that causes them to be born without a tail. Many Manx have stubs for a tail, but others are tailless. They also have elongated hind legs and rounded heads. These cats come in all coats and colors, but their distinguishing feature is their tailless face divider 2

Manx Cat Kittens – Before You Welcome One Into Your Family…

manx cat kitten
Image Credit: Dixon Photography, Shutterstock

Not all Manx cats are tailless. This is an important consideration when you’re looking to purchase one of these unique cats. They can have long tails, partial tails, and no tails.

While most people want a tailless Manx, the tailless gene can cause health problems. For this reason, cats with tails are valuable in the breeding population to keep the breed healthy and strong. This is why not all Manx are tailless; it would result in a very unhealthy breed! Generally, Manx cats are quite active and very playful and intelligent. They can climb to unreasonable heights,  jump extraordinarily high and run at incredible speeds.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Manx Cats

1. They can have long tails.

Not all Manx cats are tailless. Some can have full-sized tails, while others may have tails anywhere in the middle. Kittens in the same litter often have varying length tails.

2. Kittens in the same litter can have varying tail lengths.

Because of how the genes work, kittens in the same litter can have varying lengths of tails. Some may have full tails, while others may have stubs.

3. Manx cats can come in nearly every shade.

Manx cats come in varying shades and colors. It varies depending on the genetics and parents.

Manx Cat
Image Credit: spicetree687, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Manx Cat

Manx cats are considered to be very social cats and friendly to just about everyone. They are usually very attached to their people. However, they can be a bit aloof and shy with strangers.

They are brilliant and even trainable cats. They are decently playful as well and tend to stay kitten-like for an extended period into adulthood. Manx cats are often said to behave similarly to dogs. They like to play fetch on many occasions, which is a great way to meet their exercise needs. They tend to follow their people around like puppies, so be prepared to deal with a heavily affectionate cat!

They are also excellent hunters and can even take down huge prey, like adult rats and large rabbits. Manx cats are great farm cats for this reason and were once used on ships for this reason.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

Yes, these cats are quite suitable for families. They are playful and attention-hogs, so they do well in a house with lots of people to ensure they get plenty of attention. However, some prefer to bond with a single person, which may be problematic in some families. This makes them suitable for couples and singles as well, though.

These cats are decently patient, so they are suitable for smaller children as well. They can be a bit shy around louder children, though. Don’t be surprised if they flee when children get a bit rowdy.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Typically, yes. They get along with other cats and dogs just fine. However, they are not particularly good with smaller animals. These cats have a significantly high prey drive and will hunt and harm smaller animals, including rabbits. You should watch them with other, smaller animals.

They do require a bit of socialization, though. They can be a bit skittish around dogs and cats if they aren’t used to them. Introducing them to other cats and dogs early in their life can help this.

tabby and white manx cat
Image Credit: esdeem, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Manx Cat

Food & Diet Requirements

The Manx has the same dietary requirements as every other cat. They require a balanced amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.  Water should always be available. To keep their coat healthy, they should eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids to keep their coat thick and healthy. Taurine is also essential for their heart health as well.

Any high-protein cat food should be suitable.


These cats are quite energetic. They like playtime and will probably get into plenty of trouble. However, besides playing with them, they don’t necessarily need much human involvement in their exercise. We recommend having plenty of toys around the house so that they can play as they need to.

These are not lap cats, so don’t expect them to lay around all hours of the day. If you’re looking for an active cat to play with, though, this may be the perfect cat for you.


Manx cats are quite smart. Because of this, they can be taught many commands. However, they can be very independent and may not listen to you every time you say a command. They may need a bit of encouragement and are not as people-pleasing as some other cat breeds.

They do like to play games like fetch and can be trained to do them rather quickly. This is a great way to help them get some exercise as well.

Grooming ✂️

These cats do not need much grooming in the least. Longer-haired cats may need to be groomed occasionally to avoid mats. However, this depends mostly on the particular cat.

Overall, they are incredibly low-maintenance. If you don’t want to spend much time brushing your feline, then this may be a good option for you.

They do a pretty good job of keeping themselves clean and do not typically need baths.

Image Credit: BiancaMariani, Pixabay

Health and Conditions

These cats are not the healthiest, but they aren’t the unhealthiest either. Their short tail gene can affect kittens in utero. Two tailless cats bred together will typically result in smaller litters, as cats with two tail defects will not survive through development. This gene can be lethal in utero.

Cats with full tails and partial tails seem to be prone to arthritis in their tails. Sometimes they do not grow correctly, which can cause all sorts of problems and some breeders dock cat’s tails for this reason.

“Manx syndrome” is another common condition. This condition involves the spine being too short and is caused by the same defective gene that causes the tail to be missing. It can cause spinal damage, which can cause problems with the bowels, bladder, and digestion.

There are also other problems these cats are prone to. Some of these are listed below.

Minor Conditions
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Intertrigo
  • Arthritis
Serious Conditions
  • Manx syndrome
  • Megacolon

cat + line dividerMale vs Female

Male Manx cats generally weigh 2–3 pounds more than female cats and stand a few inches taller. Temperament-wise, both male and female personalities will be partially determined by spaying or neutering. Most cats tend to have calmer personalities after being spayed or neutered. Unless you plan on breeding, having your cat “fixed” will help ward off any anti-social behavior.

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Final Thoughts

Their lack of a tail instantly recognizes Manx cats. However, not all of these cats are lacking a tail. Some even have full-sized tails, while others can have partial tails. Cats without a tail are usually a bit more expensive than those with a tail.

Besides these tails, these cats can come in all different patterns and colors and they can have long hair or short hair. It just depends on the coloration of their parents and the genes they inherit.

They are somewhat prone to some unique health problems because of their shorter tails. Their spines can be affected, which can cause damage and underhand some of their organ functions. Luckily, many of these cats are health tested before being placed in homes, which prevents some of the problems from forming later in adulthood.

These cats are surprisingly not very expensive and are relatively cheap when compared to other purebred cats.

See also:

Image Credit: Edi Libedinsky, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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