I remember when we first brought my cat Tink home, we were incredibly happy of course, but we were perplexed by her lack of tail, and her extremely long back legs. We were not entirely sure why this was and were interested in her breeding and background.
It wasn’t until my dad looked up the history of Manx cats that we had any sort of idea as to why she looked the way she did. Hopefully this article can inform you on the background of your beloved Manx, and if you don’t have one, hopefully it can just quench your curiosity.
The defining feature of the Manx is its missing tail. The lack of tail in the Manx cat is the result of a natural genetic mutation that was then intensified by the cats’ remote location on the Isle of Man, off the coast of Britain. It is a mutation of the spine that shortens the tail. It is unknown how this mutation occurred but it has been suggested that a tailless cat could have arrived on the island by ship and spread its genes through the population of cats on the island. They are thought to date back to 1750 or perhaps later.
Cats will usually have up to 20 vertebrae in their tail, whereas the Manx can have just three. However, despite their lack of tail the Manx like all cats still has incredible balance and jumping abilities. This is due to their elongated rear legs which they naturally developed due to their lack of tail.
The island of Man became known for tailless cats, which is how they got their name of Manx, there is still a large population of them there today. People embrace the Island of Man as the native home of the Manx cat with them even appearing on stamps in the region.
All in all, Manx cats are very interesting cats to have, they are still as lovable as any other breed of cat, they just look a little different to the rest.
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