Feline Breed Spotlight: Manx
The Manx cat is one of the oldest know cat breeds, they are thought to date back to 1750 or later. There are many legends and stories to how this tailless cat came about, however the Manx’s identifying characteristic is due to a genetic mutation. Either a tailless cat or possibly a Japanese corkscrewed tail cat landed on the remote location for the Isle of Man, off the coast of Britain from a trading ship. Due to the cat ending up on an island, it was easy for its genes to be spread throughout the cat population on the island. The name “Manx” comes from origin of this breed being the Isle of Man.
Manx’s are gentle, sweet and affectionate to their people and love the company of their family. This cat does best with a family that spends a significant amount of time at home. They are playful and due to their island history enjoy playing in water, turning on faucets and fishing in fountains. They are also quite dexterous and will quickly learn how to open doors and cabinets. They are mousers at heart and have held on to their hunting instincts- they love playing fetch and carrying their toys around.
Both pure-bred and mixed-breed cats have varying kinds of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Here are some health concerns that can be common in the Manx breed of cat.
Manx Syndrome is a spinal disorder. The gene mutation that causes the short or no tail, puts them at risk for lethal spinal deformities such as fused vertebrae, gaps between vertebrae, and spina bifida. Usually these deformities will be apparent by about four months of age.
Manx cats that have a partial tail commonly end up with tail arthritis. If severe, some Manx cats may need their partial tail amputated at some point in their life.
Due to their lack of tail, Manx cats can be at risk for developing megacolon. Occasionally the muscle responsible for pushing its feces towards its rectum cannot function as well without a tail which can lead to problems with constipation.