Manx cats are most noted for not having tails. They are short cats with broad chests, round heads, and prominent cheeks. They come in a variety of colors and patterns including solid colors, multicolor, tabby, and color pointed.
Most Manx cats have short thick double coats but some longhaired cats exist as well. The longhaired version is known as the Cymric and its coat is silky, soft, and full. It is advisable to comb any Manx cat on a daily basis to prevent their plush fur from tangling or matting.
These cats are lively and playful indoor or outdoor pets. The love to find places to perch up high and look down on their surroundings. They have extremely powerful back legs that they use to jump to tremendous heights, run at top speed, and make quick turns. They also have an odd habit of retrieving and burying toys as a dog might do. Basically they are friendly, social, and loving cats that are very intelligent and sensitive. Some of them prefer one person to care for them while others enjoy the entire family. Each cat has its own personality much as humans do.
There are several specific health concerns Manx owners should be aware of as well. There is a high mortality rate in Manx kittens due to congenital defects that are present in the spine. The cats have no tails because the last vertebra in the spine is missing. As a result, these cats are very sore and sensitive in that area and very prone to injuries if not handled very delicately. Two Manx without tails should never breed because the kittens are not likely to survive and may have severe spinal deformities at birth. At least one cat that is to be bred should have at least a semblance of a tail.
Originally, Manx cats were found on the Isle of Man about 200 to 300 years ago. The Isle of Man is located in the Irish Sea off England’s coast and some Manx cats still live there today. Because they were isolated, it is thought that their congenital spinal defects may have resulted from inbreeding.
Purchase prices for these cats vary depending on the individual cat’s bloodline and markings. Kittens typically receive their basic vaccinations around 16 weeks and are strong enough to adapt to a new home environment by that time. The typical life expectancy of an indoor cat is around 12 years or so but then can live to be 18 years or more. The life expectancy of a Manx may be somewhat shorter depending on its health and spinal condition. Cats who live inside exclusively generally live longer than outdoor cats because they are not exposed to as many illnesses and other perils that may cause injury or premature death. Some of these may include automobiles and other animals.