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Manx Cat Breed:

The Manx is a breed of cat that is well known for being completely tailless.

They first originated in the Isle of Man which is where their names have been derived from. Their spines have a natural mutation that shortens the tail. This tends to result in a variety of tail lengths including being totally tailless. Some have just a stub for a tail.

But being tailless is what distinguishes the Manx cat.

They are famous for being skilled hunters to the point of even bringing down prey larger than themselves at young ages. The cat tends to be a stocky cat, with a dense coat and a short back. Ears are distinct and when viewed from the back appear to form a cradle between the two ears and the top of the head.

Another unusual feature of the Manx is that it has a depression at the base of the spine which is also called a ‘dimple’. Various legends exist explaining why the Manx have short tails. Some claim that when Noah was shutting the door of the ark during a rainstorm he accidentally cut off the tail of the Manx. Other stories claim that Manx originated from a union between a rabbit and a cat. While breeding the Manx cats, the breeder normally uses tailed Manx cats and matches them with ‘rumpy’ or short tailed Manx cats. This is done to ensure that the kittens are born strong and to avoid any genetic deformity possibilities. There are various kinds of Manx cats in various colors and differing patterns. Some of the colors are blue, brown, cream, red, white and black.

These cats are affectionate, friendly and mild tempered. The Manx syndrome is caused by the Manx gene which results in no tail and is normally fatal. The gene that causes the spine to shorten may go beyond and cause severe spinal defects. Some of these defects include fused vertebrae, spina bifida in newborns or a missing space or gap in the last few vertebrae. This syndrome is characterized by severe bladder dysfunction, sometimes accompanied by bowel dysfunction. Also the kittens have severe difficulties while walking. Breeders keep kittens till they reach four months in the cattery to ensure that this defect does not surface. Mostly breeders tend to have the tails docked for Manx kittens when they are just about a week old. This is not done for cosmetic reasons but to prevent any infections setting in or the any manifestation of Manx syndrome appearing.

  Submitted on February 12, 2010