Manx

The Manx cat is truly tailless. Unfortunately, the tailless gene is a shifty one and Manx cannot breed true. Therefore, four different tail types are produced. Rumpy are the tailless and are favored in the show ring. They often sport a dimple at the base of the spine where the tail should start. Rumpy-risers have a short knob of a tail that have one to three vertebrae connected to the last bone of the spine. Stumpy are household pets. They have a short tail stump often curved, knotted or kinked. Longie have tails almost as long as a regular cat’s tail. Most breeders will dock a longie’s tail at four to six days of age in order to help a longie find a home. (No one wants a supposed-to-be tailless cat that has a tail.) Apparently, the Manx gene can cause problems for longies when they reach five years of age. The intact tail can become ossified or arthritic and cause the Manx a lot of pain. It’s impossible to predict the tail type in a litter, therefore, all four tail types are found in all breeding programs.

Manx are solid, muscular, compact, medium to large cats. Males weigh 9 to 13 pounds while females come in at 7 to 11 pounds. Manx have a round appearance: the head and eyes — even the ears are rounded at the tip.

The Manx has a double, short, dense coat. The undercoat is cottony. The coat tends to thin in the spring after shedding season. A softer coat is found in white or dilute Manx. Manx come in all colors and patterns.

The Manx developed on the Isle of Man in England. The isle has no natural wildcats, meaning Manx were brought in and introduced by human settlers. The who, where and from is unknown. Many believe the Manx descended from British cats, though it’s possible that the Manx descended from a number of different breeds. The taillessness was a spontaneous mutation, though some believe the mutation happened elsewhere and was introduced to the Isle of Man cats. What is known is that the Manx is a very old breed. Due to the island environment, the dominant Manx gene spread like wildfire. The Cymric is classified by some cat fancy associations as a Longhaired Manx.

Manx are intelligent, playful, adaptable and even-tempered. Manx form strong loving bonds. They are the quintessential lap cat. They aren’t overly demanding of your attention. They tend to bond mostly to just one person, but make excellent family pets. They even get along with cat-friendly dogs. If you spend long periods of time away from home, you should get your Manx a companion.

Thanks to their powerful back legs, Manx are great jumpers. Their natural curiosity will keep your Manx off the floor. You should give him a tall, sturdy cat tree. Manx also have an affinity for water — especially running water. They don’t enjoy being in the water while it’s running though.

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Cymric

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Cymrics are tailless. But taillessness comes in different forms. A “Rumpy” Cymric is absolutely tailless (this is the gold standard in the breed). Rumpies end up with a dimple where the tail should be. “Rumpy-Riser” Cymrics have a short knob of one to three vertebrae connected to the spine. “Stumpy” Cymrics are given away by breeders as pets. They have short tail stumps that are curved, knotted or kinked. “Longy” Cymrics are also given away as pets because their tails are almost as long as a normal cat’s tail. Most of these cats will have their tails docked at four to six days old in order to carry on the breed’s name in pet circles. Few Cymric cat parents want the cat with any kind of tail (re-read the first sentence again). Breeders say that an intact longy tail will cause problems once a Cymric reaches age 5. The tail will become ossified and arthritic, causing the cat great pain. (Beware if you are ever offered a true “longy” Cymric.)

The reason why the four tail types is it’s impossible to predict what tail will be produced. Rumpy to Rumpy breeding doesn’t always produce more Rumpy kittens. In fact, other genetic defects occur when Rumpies copulate. True Cymric breeders must include all four tail types in their breeding programs.

The name of the game with Cymric cats is “round.” Round Cymric heads have round eyes with ears that round at the tip. The medium-long, dense coat provides extra padding around the body which make the cat look (you guessed it) round. Abdomen and neck hair is usually longer than the hair on the body. Toes and ears have tufts. The coat is silky soft, shorter in the summer and denser in the winter.

Cymrics are all muscle. Adult males weigh 10 to 13 pounds, female check in at 7 to 11 pounds. All colors and patterns occur.

The beautiful Cymric cat developed on the Isle of Man. With no natural wild cats on the island, domestic cats were introduced to the island by humans. This would also mean the lack of a tail developed as a naturally occurring genetic mutation. The small gene pool laser focused this dominant gene and easily passed it on to the island’s cats. Breeders have yet to identify exactly which gene is responsible, hence the four tail types. Cymrics are closely related to the Manx breed. Manx also originated from the Isle of Man.

Cymrics are intelligent, even-tempered and playful. They build deep, strong bonds that manifest as extra affectionate to their humans and they are a true lap cat. Their plush coats turn Cymric human parents into cuddly, I-want-to-hug-you-all-the-time puddles of mush.┬áBut a Cymric knows his place, they don’t beg for attention and they don’t require excessive attention.

A great family pet, Cymrics do tend to bond to one special person, but they do share their love. They take to other felines and even dogs. If you live alone in a single animal dwelling, a Cymric won’t be your ideal kitty companion if you spend extended stays away from home. Cymrics do not do well when they get lonely.

Their powerful hind legs make Cymrics great jumpers. A cat tree will keep your Cymric out of trouble. They enjoy running water. A water fountain will keep them from bothering you when you need to run some water. (A word of caution: A Cymric’s love of water does not translate into a love of bathing.)