The suspected origin of the Manx cat is from the Isle of Man, off the British coast, and their most recognizable characteristic is the fact that they have little to no tail. Legend has it that this breed began when it was late getting to the ark and Noah cut off its tail when he closed the door. In reality the tailless characteristic is created by a genetic defect that shortens the spine of the breed. It is thought that the breed came from ships that wrecked as far back as the 1600s. The cats were relatively isolated on the island, which allowed the gene defect to flourish. Manx cats come in all different colors and color combinations and can have short or long hair. They are stocky with long back legs and ears that create the shape of the bottom of a rocking chair, which lends to the legend they may be a cross between a cat and a rabbit. Their gate is different because of the back legs and resembles a slight hopping motion. Manx cats normally weigh from 12 to 8 pounds and bodies are slightly rounded. Some Manx actually do have normal sized tails while others may have a stump or no tail at all. The genetic defect is dominated and can lead to many problems if two tailless cats mate. It is necessary to breed a tailless type with one that has some tail in order to prevent Manx Syndrome, a fatal disease to kittens. This problem demonstrates itself by a shortened spine, gaps or fusing of vertebrae and Spina Bifida, all of which may show up four months after birth. The Manx is often referred to as the dog of the cat world. This breed loves its human companions and will fetch and follow them all around the house. They are a great breed for homes with children as they are very tolerant. They love to sit in their human’s lap and make the perfect house cat. Manx cats are prized for their hunting abilities. Farmers kept them around as mousers and they are known for bringing down prey larger than themselves. The breed is very protective and may attack intruders or at least alert their human owners of a problem within the house. Their voice is usually very soft and they tend to talk to their owners with a special trill. Manx are good show cats with the best having no tail at all. They love the attention they get from being shown, are far from shy and reciprocate affection from anyone giving them attention. The breed matures slowly making them good show candidates for many years.
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