Manx Cat: Breed, Origin & More Information

Manx cats are distinctly recognized by their shortened tails due to a genetic mutation. They range from only a tuft of fur to a half-length tail.

They are sweet-natured and easy-going. They have a strong independent streak but don’t enjoy being alone. They are extremely loyal to their family unit.

Manx cats are gentle, affectionate, and unassuming. This makes them great with families, seniors, and other cats.

Manx
Manx

Quick facts about the Manx

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds Height: 7 to 11 inches
Life span: 8 to 14 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: affectionate
Playfulness: medium Activity level: active
Vocalness: when necessary Coat length: short
Shedding amount: normal
Good with: families | seniors | other cats
Traits: The Manx cat is a breed that requires lots of grooming. They are very friendly toward humans and can tolerate being alone. They have a high prey drive, which means they like to catch mice, bugs, and other small animals. They also have a high potential for weight gain.

They are social and love to play. Manx cats can be easily trained to play fetch. They respond to voice commands and are often likened to dogs. 

Multi-pet owners will find the Manx cat to fit in well. They do need to be introduced slowly. It is best to let the cat go to children and other pets in their own time. Manx cats are highly intelligent and active. These cats respond well to positive reinforcement. 

It is important to keep toys around that they are able to hunt. A scratch post is helpful to stop them from being bored.

They have a high prey drive. Often they will go out on the hunt but do not go and explore too far. Manx cats have always been a favorite amongst sailors and farmers as they hunt larger prey. 

With their rounded eyes and heads, they also sport rounded ears. Their hind legs are longer than the front, which gives them a rounded appearance. 

Manx

Manx cats move their hind legs at the same time, which gives them a bunny-hopping movement. 

They have thick double-coated fur. This means they need to be brushed daily to keep shedding to a minimum. They come in every color and pattern. 

Because of their thick fur, they tolerate cold weather well. 

Their nails need to be trimmed regularly. And their litter box needs to be kept extra clean.

One health problem is Manx syndrome. This is due to their shortened tail. If the tail shortens too much, it shortens the whole spine. This can lead to damage to the spinal cord nerves. 

This creates issues with the bowels, bladder, and gastrointestinal tract. They often have incontinence and constipation. The GI tract can be affected. 

Partial-tailed Manx cats are prone to arthritis in the tail. Where Stubby-tailed Manx cats are prone to bacterial infections in the tail fold. 
Manx cats are prone to a genetic condition called corneal dystrophy (cornea develops abnormally). 

They can also have megacolon which is a recurring condition. They will have a dilated or flaccid colon. This causes constipation and can be life-threatening if left untreated. 

The Manx cat origins date back to the Isle of Man, where short-tailed cats were introduced by Nordic or Spanish sailors. Due to the isolation, they became the dominant species.

Origin

the Isle of Man

Health

Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

Well known for its hunting and vermin chasing abilities, the Manx cat is a domestic cat that originated from the Isle of Man, off the British coast.

With a roundish appearance and distinguishing characteristics of having very short tails or no tails ass result of mutations, Manx cats enjoy a fair amount of good health and a life expectancy of 9-14 years.

Because of their mutated genetic components, Manx cats face some health issues, especially if the cat is from a cross of tailless parents. 

Some of the inherited medical conditions seen in the Manx cats include; Corneal dystrophy affecting the cat’s eyes and Manx syndrome.

Corneal dystrophy is an inherited condition affecting the cornea of the Manx eyes. This condition starts as early as four months of age. The cornea is a thin transparent layer covering the anterior part of the eye, pupil, and iris.

There are various types of corneal dystrophy in the Manx cats, affecting multiple parts of the cornea.

Stromal corneal dystrophy is due to abnormal deposition of fats in the cornea’s middle, making the cornea have a cloudy appearance. 

Epithelial corneal dystrophy is due to abnormal cell formation in the cornea. The endothelial corneal dystrophy in the Manx cats is due to a breakdown of the cells present in the cornea linings.

In all forms of corneal dystrophy in the Manx cats, vision is temporarily affected or fully affected, leading to blindness.

Some common signs to watch for in Manx cats with corneal dystrophy include;

● Gray or whitish opacities on the cornea

● Ulceration of the cornea

● Cats having difficulty with vision

● The cornea may look swollen with fluid pockets

Once one or more of these signs have been observed in the Manx cats, it’s best to report them to your veterinarian, who would diagnose this condition by carrying out physics exams and an ophthalmic examination to reach a diagnosis.

Although this condition has no known treatment, early detection can help with management in affected Manx cats.

Because Corneal dystrophy is an inherited condition, Manx cats with this medical condition should discontinue breeding activities.

Another inherited condition the Manx cats have been associated with is Manx syndrome, which is characterized by a range of symptoms. This is a genetic medical condition, especially in the tailless Manx cats, where the defective gene (M gene) causes a shortening of the spine and the spinal cord.

This shortening eventually causes a spina bifida to form in the affected Manx cats and other neurological conditions. (spinal cord fails to develop and close properly).

Some neurological conditions that might be observed include;

● Abnormal gaits in the affected Manx cat.

● There could be paralysis and/or loss of feeling in the hind limb.

Other signs observed in the Manx cat as a result of the defective gene include,

● An abnormally small bladder.

● Urinary incontinence.

● Fecal incontinence in affected Manx.

● Digestive issues and constipation, leading to megacolon.

It is essential to avoid breeding tailless Manx cats as they could cause the kittens to carry double defective M genes.

If any of these signs have been found in the Manx cat, it is best to report to your veterinarian, who would know how to handle and manage the condition. 

Although there might be little or no option but to carry euthanize the affected Manx cat in some cases.

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