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.