My Manx Cat

"When mother nature saw fit to remove the tail of the Manx,
she left, in place of the tail, more cat." --Mary Stewart

"The Manx is a huggable, lovable imp with a silken purr, an almost inaudible meow and a naughty twinkle in its eye. It spends every waking moment investigating its world. A Manx will gravitate to the center of your home and insist upon being one of the family. It possesses an uncanny ability to adapt itself to the psychological needs of its people. In a home with children who have been taught gentle animal care, the Manx is often found in the children's playroom, actively supervising the movement of dump trucks and doll carriages."

-- from the WebSite of Katskans Manx, Susan Murphy is Orry's breeder from Georgia.

"A Manx will take over your life -- but you won't mind."

"The Manx breed has plush double coat of fur. The ears are medium to medium small in size and are set far to the sides of the head (viewed from behind, the ears resemble the rocker on a cradle). The head is roundish head slightly longer than it is wide, with a strong muzzle and chin, a sound, normal bite and prominent cheekbones.

All of these characteristics, combined with large eyes set so the outer corners are higher than the inner corners, give the Manx a look of gentle, serene intelligence. That look, however, disguises the cat's true mischief-making self. Manx are active, fun-loving cats that remain playful well into their later years."

-- from the WebSite of Vagary Mews Manx.
Gale Thomas-Goodman is another outstanding breeder of Manx cats in northern New Jersey.

Orry loves to look out the windows.

"Besides taillessness, the Manx is known for its robust and rounded appearance. This breed can actually be drawn with a series of circles! It has a very round head and rounded cheeks which give it a jowly appearance; even more so in the male cat than in the female. It is high in the hind quarters with the back legs much longer than the forelegs, thus causing the rump to be higher than the shoulders. The shortness of back forms a continuous arch from shoulders to rump. The eyes are rounded but set at a slight tilt toward the ear. The Manx should have a sweet expression."

-- from the WebSite of Cat Fancier's Association.


Some owners have suggested that Manx babies need to be sold with warning labels attached. The owners know firsthand that love for the Manx can be contagious. Many have been charmed by the beguiling Manx kitten. As a result, many Manx-owning households own more than one Manx. The Manx is an affectionate, outgoing and loyal companion. They are lively, entertaining, inquisitive and love to interact with their family. They are not demanding and are very soft natured and sensitive. They have soft voices with a quiet trill and purr.

The Manx is a very playful cat as a rule. They like to retrieve and carry things around in their mouth. You may tire of the retrieving game before your Manx does. Your Manx will bring their toy to you when you are in bed, reading or watching television. They have rather dog-like characteristics.

They are fascinated with water. Because of its easygoing nature and loving disposition, your Manx may follow you from room to room to observe and participate in whatever you are doing, whether you are reading a newspaper or working on the computer. Your Manx will gladly sit in your lap while you watch television or keep you company while you sleep at night. A Manx is a close companion. As a kitten, the Manx will be your best playmate. As an adult, your Manx will be your best friend.

They can jump higher than anyone could imagine, and it is not unusual to find them perching on the highest point in any room. They have extremely powerful hind quarters. It has been stated by one Manx owner that "Manx are the feline sport cars of the cat world with their acceleration and quick turns." Manx exhibit many dog-like characteristics such as retrieving and burying their toys. They will either be known as a "one person cat" or the "family cat." However, once they bond with someone, it is difficult for many Manx to be happy in a different home. On the other hand, there are those Manx that readily accept attention from any human source!

Which sometimes leads to climbing!

The Manx was one of the first breeds to be recognized for championship competition in the United States by all cat-registering bodies. Most registering associations recognize the Manx in all colors except the Burmese and Siamese hues.  However, the Manx look and personality are far more important considerations than the color.

Talk about getting all wrapped up in projects!

Tail or No Tail:

When Mother Nature gave us this unique animal with heart and beauty, soul and intelligence, she somehow found it necessary to leave up to chance the amount of tail each Manx was born with. Only those Manx who are visibly tailless can be shown in championship competition. As one might guess, this makes the visibly tailless kittens more valuable to breeders and leads to the availability of more pet-quality kittens for the public.

Since the Manx (or tailless) gene is dominant, kittens that inherit it can have a full tail ("longies"), a short tail ("stumpies"), a rise (known as a "rumpy riser"), or no tail at all ("rumpies"). Breeders have found that it is possible to have all these tail lengths in one litter! Only the rumpy or the rumpy riser are eligible for competition in the championship category at CFA shows. Many of today's top breeding females are those that had a long tail when born. Numerous Grand Champions have come from a tailed cat, either male or female. Most fully tailed Manx kittens are docked at birth. The introduction of a tailed Manx into a breeding program provides a necessary sturdiness. The Manx gene is a spontaneous mutation that occurred on the Isle of Man and spread rapidly through the resident cat population.

The technical stuff - the biology:
The Manx is the result of a natural mutation, a mistake of nature, that alters one or more of the nucleotides in a piece of DNA, the genetic composition of which restricts the length of the cat's spinal column. The result is complete taillessness or tails with lengths in between total absence of a tail and one that is full length. The Manx gene for taillessness is an incomplete dominant gene. It will show up even if only one parent carries it. Incomplete dominant means the heterozygote exhibits the effects of both members of a pair of genes called alleles. The Manx is heterozygous, which means it possesses one gene for taillessness and one for a tail. Where there is a copy of the dominant tailless allele in the gene pair, there may be various lengths other than full length of the tail in the phenotype. As a result, there is a probability that cats with different tail lengths will be born in any given litter of Manx kittens. Fetuses that inherit the tailless gene from both parents fail to develop.

Manx breeders customarily dock the tails of kittens born with full tails to help prevent certain health and behavior problems. The gene is a tail modifier gene and it may cause vertebrae in the tail to fuse and become immobile. Docking removes any potential long-term health problems arising from fused vertebrae in the tail. Sometimes painful arthritis in tailed Manx cats causes the entire tail to stiffen. The Manx is built to be balanced without a tail and the presence of a tail destroys that balance. Removing the tail allows the Manx to stand with its hind legs raised and walk with a beautiful gate, the way the Manx should stand and walk.

Interestingly, there are also behavioral and psychological reasons to dock the tail. In a household of Manx cats without tails, the tailed kitten is often teased by the cats with no tails. Cats of all breeds often play with each others' tails. So, a tailed cat in a household of tailless cats may be the target of the other cats' pranks and amusement. This experience inhibits proper development of the Manx kitten's personality.

Notice Orry's stumpy tail.

"The American-bred Manx of today is little changed from the natural mutation of yesterday.  Beneath the dense, short double coat of the most magnificent of today's grand champion Manx beats the heart of the original mousetrap!  Yet this cat, with its lovely eyes, its wide-set ears and its serene, intelligent look, is capable of extreme gentleness  and will serve as a loving companion to young and old alike.  The Manx is both a pleasure to the eye and a comfort to the soul.  What else could you ask of a companion animal?"          
                                                                                        --Mary E. Stewart

It is a joy to be owned by a Manx. A well-loved, well-cared for Manx will become an important part of the family for many years. Once they have entered your heart, you'll find it hard to ever be without a Manx.

He loves to sleep on his back.

Origin of the Manx breed:

The Manx cat is believed to have originated hundreds of years ago on the Isle of Man, off the coast of England. Since many trade ships docked on the Isle, and all had ship cats, it is hard to tell just what the parent cat really was. Obviously, both longhair and shorthair were represented in the original mutation. Many longhairs were seen on the Isle along with the shorthairs.

Records have been found on the Isle of Man that describe the cat as a mutation of the island's domestic cats. It is believed that the island cats were involved. However, did some of the island cats come off the ships? We will never really know.

The Isle of Man:

The Isle of Man, reputedly the birthplace of the Manx breed, is in the middle of the Irish Sea, midway between Liverpool, England and Belfast, Ireland. The Isle of Man is 227 square miles in size. It is primarily a rural countryside. It is lush with a green coastline, craggy cliffs and medieval fortresses. Its major cities are along the coastline, which is 100 miles long. The island is 32 miles long at its longest point and 13 miles wide at its widest point. The major activity on the Isle of Man is tourism, and in addition to the Manx cat, the Isle is famous for its Tourist Trophy Motorcycle races that are held each May and June. The Isle of Man is also the birthplace of the Bee Gees rock group.

The Manx Silver Proof Coin from the Isle of Man.

Orry as a little kitten.

Name - Katskans Orry.
Sex - Male.
Born - February 23, 2001.
Breed - Manx.
Color - Red Tabby-White Shorthair

Owner - Anthony G. Mollo
Breeders - Susan Murphy (dame); Gale Thomas-Goodman (sire)


There is an excellent book on Manx cats that you can buy. I believe it to be the best book on the Manx breed available today. Much of the information contained on this website is from this book. It has a wealth of information much more extensive that what is contained on this website.

Manx Cats - A Complete Pet Owner's Manual
by Karen Commings

You can buy the book on Amazon.com for $6.95.
The book has 104 pages and many many high quality photos.

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