A cat without tail may seem like a contradiction in terms, but the Manx has long been established as a breed. Resembling a British Shorthair in some respects, a “true’ or “Rumpy”, Manx should have only a small hollow where a tail would have been, although cats with residual tails are also born – these are known as “Risers”, “Stumpies” or “Stubbies”, and “Longies”’ depending on the tail length. The lack of a tail is not simply a quaint anomaly; the mutant gene responsible has been implicated in skeletal defects as like-to-like matings of completely tail-less Manx usually results in the kittens dying before, or shortly after, birth.
Legend relates how this unfortunate cat lost its tail when Noah closed the door to the Ark a little too hastily; its more modern history is no less intriguing. One school of thought holds that tail-less cats swam ashore to the Isle of Man, off the west coast of England, in 1588 from galleons of the shattered Spanish Armada; another that the cats arrived on merchant ships traveling from the Far East. Either way, the isolation of the island allowed the tail-less trait to be perpetuated.
The Manx is good natured and friendly – very much a family cat.
Most recognized colours, coat patterns, and colour combinations are permitted for the Manx.
Tortoiseshell-and-White Rumpy Manx
Although Manx cats are still very much associated with the Isle of Man, where they are depicted on tourist souvenirs, coins, and stamp, examples of the breed, including the ever-popular Tortie-and-White, are now more widely distributed around the world.
A strong muscular, stocky type. Rump should be rounded and higher than the shoulders.
A double type, comprising of a short, very thick, undercoat that has been described as having a “cottony” feel, and a slightly longer topcoat. The appearance is glossy.
- Clearly defined patches of red, cream, black, and white.
Non-existing. It should be possible to detect a hollow at the end of the backbone.
The forelegs are short and set well apart, the hind legs are longer with heavy, muscular, things that give the cat a characteristic “bunny-rabbit” gait, although this is considered a fault in the US.
The paws are large and round, the colour of the pads should correspond to that of the coat.
Round and broad, with a short to medium-length nose that is straight in Britain and more curved in the US. The colour of the nose pad should conform to the coat.
- Rounded whisker pads and well-developed chin.
Large, round, and set at a slight angle toward the nose with copper coloured eyes. The colour should conform to that of the coat.
Medium in size, with slightly rounded tips.
Tortoiseshell-and-White Rumpy Manx.
Red Tabby Stumpy Manx
A very rounded side-view when sitting is a characteristic of the breed, caused by forelegs that are considerably shorter than the hind legs.
Blue-Cream Stumpy Manx
Although "Stumpies" may be thought to resemble Japanese Bobtail, the two breeds are genetically very different: the tail-lessness of the former is caused by a dominant gene, whereas in the latter it is a recessive genetic condition.