5 Things to Know About Manx Cats

If you’re looking for a playful, affectionate cat who loves children, family life and other animals, look no further than the Manx.

Not all Manx cats are without tails. Photo: Sandra Potere

1. Key Characteristics of Manx Cats

  • Weight: Males are 10–12 pounds; females are 8–10 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 8–14 years

The Manx is a medium-sized, rounded cat known for having hind legs that are longer than their front legs.

The double coat can be 2 different lengths: The shorter-coated cat is called the Manx, and the longhaired version is called the Cymric.

The tail of either can be full, short, stubby or missing. An incomplete dominant gene is responsible for the natural genetic mutation. Although the gene affecting the tail length may be present, it’s not a guarantee of tail length in the offspring.

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The eyes are large and rounded, and the wide ears taper to a rounded tip. Manx cats reach full maturity around 5 years of age.

2. Where Manx Cats Came From

There’s lots of speculation about Manx cats being brought over from England or Wales, although the Isle of Man is usually where people say they originated.

The trait of having a short or missing tail became common for cats on the island. The Manx was a breed included in the rise of cat fancy in the 1800s.

The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized the Manx and Cymric in 1979, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association added the breed in 1906.

Here’s a 1-year-old Manx cat. Photo: Michelle Weigold

3. How Friendly Are Manx Cats?

Manx cats are affectionate, intelligent and great for families.

They are loyal and devoted to their family members in a dog-like way. They enjoy kids and other household pets, and their devotion makes them susceptible to separation anxiety.

Generally protective of the home, Manx cats are usually good hunters. They like to play fetch and bury their toys, and they can also be real talkers.

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4. Is This the Right Cat for You?

Exercise Needs

LOW: Manx cats don’t have specific exercise needs in addition to those of regular cats.

Keep yours indoors to avoid injury or straying away from home — Manx cats are very people-oriented.

Because of their longer, powerful hind legs, Manx cats can jump high, turn and accelerate quickly when running.

Grooming Needs

LOW: Both coat varieties of the Manx are double coats, and they’re pretty easy to maintain.

Brush your Manx cat a few times a week, and bathe only occasionally.

When you’ve put in place a regular grooming routine, you’ll find that the coat is less likely to tangle or create mats.

Spring and fall seasons may bring an increase in shedding, so plan on additional grooming during those times.

Give these cats scratching surfaces to keep the nails maintained between trimmings.

Check the eyes and ears for discharge or buildup, and clean the teeth regularly to prevent periodontal disease.

Health Problems

MEDIUM: The Manx is a pretty healthy cat breed, but the spine and longer hind legs can cause health concerns, such as:

  • Tail area sensitivity
  • Spinal defects
  • Neurological problems

Support your cat’s spine when transporting them or picking them up — you don’t want to injure them.

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This video shows a Manx cat playing fetch and exhibiting the breed’s fast movements:

5. Where to Adopt a Manx Cat

Purebred cats can and do end up in shelters and rescues. Start with our adoptable pet search or check your local rescues and shelters.

If you decide to check out breeders, get to know them, make sure they’re not operating a kitten mill, and get a health certificate for your Manx because of the potential for spinal problems.

Additional Resources

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