Friday, January 5, 2018

Everything about your Manx Cat

  The friendly, affectionate Manx, who hails from the Isle of Man, is best known for his taillessness. He has a solid body, round head, widely spaced ears, large, round eyes and a thick coat that comes in many colors and patterns, including tabby, tortoiseshell and calico.    The Cymric (pronounced kim-rick) is the longhaired variety of the Manx. Other than coat length, the two breeds are identical.

Overview
  The Manx is a powerfully-built, medium-sized, tailless feline. Its hind legs are markedly longer than its front legs, creating a continuous arch from shoulders to rump that gives the cat a uniquely rounded appearance when viewed in profile. Its conformation also gives it a hopping, rabbit-like gait. The Manx is stocky and has a broad chest and a short back. It has strong facial features - full jowly cheeks, large eyes, prominent ears and a wide, straight muzzle – all of which contribute to the impression of roundness in this breed.
  The Manx is gentle and playful. It’s not unusual to find that he enjoys playing fetch or carrying his toys around. He’s also smart and dexterous, capable of using his paws to get into cabinets or to open doors. Fond of human company, he will carry on a conversation in a sweet trilling voice. Some Manx give all their love to a single person while others are affectionate toward the entire family, including children. The Manx is highly intelligent.    
  Challenge his brain and keep him interested in life by teaching him tricks and providing him with puzzle toys that will reward him with kibble or treats when he learns how to manipulate them. Always choose a kitten from a breeder who raises litters in the home and handles them from an early age. Meet at least one and ideally both of the parents to ensure that they have nice temperaments.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Manx is notable for his round contours, from his round head to his rounded rear end. The ears are wide at the base and taper to a rounded tip. Large round eyes are set at a slight angle toward the nose with the outer corners a bit higher than the inner corners.
  • The Manx coat comes in many colors and patterns with the exceptions of chocolate, lavender, pointed, or any of these colors or patterns with white.
Breed standards

Other names: Manks, Stubbin, Rumpy
Lap Cat: Yes
Physique: Small/medium, short body
Average lifespan: 12-14 years
Average size: 7-13 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Short, Silky, Soft, and Undercoat
Coloration: Blue, Brown, Cream, Silver, and Tortoise Shell
Pattern: Bi-color and Tabby
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children and pets. Loves attention.
Temperament: Playful, social, intelligent

  Purebred Manx kittens are classified according to their tail length as follows:
Rumpy or Dimple Rumpy: Rumpies are considered to be the “true” Manx, with not even a trace of a tail. Instead, there is a dimple, or a slight hollow, where their tail normally would start at the end of the spine. Rumpies are highly desirable in this breed and are the only competitive variety in the Manx show ring.
Riser or Rumpy Riser: Risers have only a very few discernable vertebrae and/or a stub of cartilage where their tails otherwise would be. This is most noticeable when the cat is happy and “raising” its tail. Some Rumpy Risers, especially those with only a trace of a tail, can be shown. The Riser’s tail bones, to the extent they exist, are almost always fused.
Stumpy: The Stumpy Manx has a partial tail that is longer than that of a Riser but still shorter than that of a Longy. Stumpies can move their tails, because their terminal spinal vertebrae are not necessarily fused. They are not acceptable in the Manx show ring but are important to well-thought-out Manx breeding programs.
Longy or Tailed: Longies, although born to two pedigreed Manx parents, have tails that are normal or nearly-normal in length. Longies are not permitted in the Manx show ring but, like the Stumpies, can be shown in AOV (which stands for Any Other Variety) classes. Longies are extremely valuable contributors to Manx breeding programs.

History
Tabby, rumpy Manx male champion
 show cat named Silverwing (UK, 1902)
  Several colorful tales surround the origin of the Manx including the one where Noah cut off its tail as he closed the Ark door as the rain began. The records show the breed originated on the Isle of Man. The first cats may have come from nearby England and Wales or they may have come from further afield however the initial population arrived by ship on the Manx shores. At some point, a mutation occurred so kittens were born without the vertebrae of a normal tail. 
  The first picture of one appears in a painting from 1810 however linguistic evidence suggests an earlier date around 1750 as the English word 'stubbin' is used for the Manx whereas prior to 1750 only the Manx language was used. A small island, the Isle of Man is an isolated area so inbreeding of the island population resulted in the lack of a tail becoming a common trait. Manx were among the original breeds at the dawn of the cat fancy in the late 1800s as we find them in the show records from that era.
  Tailless longhairs also appeared on the Isle of Man, however they did not achieve mainstream recognition until later. Today, the longhair is known as the Cymric with an identical standard to the Manx.
  TICA recognized both the Cymric and the Manx for championship competition in June 1979.

Personality
  The Manx is known as a cat with a very loveable personality, sometimes nicknamed the 'dog cat' because of it endearing loyalty to its human companions, although it can be quite shy with strangers. The devoted owners of Manx cats claim that they can be trained to understand simple commands in much the same way as a dog can, and quite often the Manx will attach themselves to one particular human in the household. It is a very intelligent, playful breed that loves retrieving objects thrown for it and will often follow its owners wherever they go. 
  Like most other breeds of cat, the Manx will appreciate feline company, but ideally with another Manx or cat of similar calm temperament such as a British Shorthair. They generally get on with cat-tolerant dogs, and make ideal family pets. They have a quite unique voice unlike a traditional meow, which can sound like a long grunt or sometimes more of a chirrup, although they are not particularly vocal cats.

Health
  All cats have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit diseases. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.
  The Manx’s lack of a tail isn’t always benign. Some have spinal defects that result in neurological signs such as problems defecating or urinating. Most Manx kittens with these problems are identified by 6 months of age and must be euthanized.  It doesn’t hurt to wait to take your kitten home until you’re sure he doesn’t suffer from any of these problems.    Avoid kittens who have trouble walking or walk with a stiff or hopping gait, and do not buy from a breeder who does not provide a written health guarantee.
  Remember that after you’ve taken a new kitten into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Manx at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to protect his overall health. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier cat for life.

Care
  The soft, short coat of the Manx is easily cared for with weekly brushing or combing to remove dead hair and distribute skin oil.  Check the rear end closely to make sure feces aren’t clinging to the fur surrounding the anus, and clean it if necessary to prevent the cat from smearing poop on carpets or furniture.
  Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection. Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
  Keep the litter box spotlessly clean. Like all cats, Manx are very particular about bathroom hygiene.
  It’s a good idea to keep a Manx as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Manx who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.

Behavioral Traits
  The playful and intelligent Manx is a devoted family member. They are known for tearing off in a rapid run, executing sharp turns flawlessly thanks to their strong hindquarters. These cats are highly interactive and reputed to have a distinct sense of humor, even playing jokes on their humans. This breed gets along famously with other pets and with children, and they have something of a protective streak. 
  Their hunting heritage is never far from their minds, so a Manx will willingly kill insects for their humans, and go after any rodent silly enough to cross their path. A mother will teach her young to hunt efficiently even if the only prey available to her for demonstration purposes is a catnip mouse.

Activity Level
  Ragdolls are not high energy cats, preferring to lead a quiet and peaceful life following their owners around the house. With this said, they do enjoy playing a game or two when they mood takes them, but they usually do so at their own pace and in their own time. With this said, cats kept as indoor pets need to be given lots of things to do and places to hide when they want to. They also need to have lots of places they can snuggle up for a snooze when the mood takes them because if there is one thing Ragdolls enjoy it's cat napping during the day.

Grooming
  The Manx coat is easy to groom. Comb or brush it once or twice a week to remove dead hair. You’ll need to brush him more often during the spring and fall shedding seasons. Trim the nails weekly and clean the ears occasionally if they look dirty. Brush the teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall good health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  If he is introduced to them in kittenhood, the active and social Manx is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. He lives peacefully with cats and dogs who respect his authority and can learn to leave birds and fish alone. An adult Manx may not appreciate children as readily, especially if he is used to a quiet household. Always introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.

Is the Manx the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is advised to keep its coat in good shape. It stimulates circulation, massages the skin, and removes debris and loose hair. Frequency should be once a week.
Moderate Shedding: Expect this cat to shed moderately. By providing it proper nutrition, regular grooming, and keeping the shedding contained to a small area, like a pet bed, will minimize shedding and make it more manageable.
Generally Healthy: It doesn't have as many known illnesses and conditions as other cats. Best for owners who do not want to worry about long-term medical costs.
Moderate Vocalization: Its vocal behavior can be tolerable. Eliminating stimuli that cause the vocalization or modifying the cat's behavior, such as keeping it occupied and content, can reduce vocalization.
Moderate Attention: This breed needs a moderate level of attention. It provides the appropriate balance for owners who like involving their cats in activities but are also able to be independent. Time alone spent can be more than 8 hours a day.
Somewhat Active: Some regular exercise is always good to prevent sloth and obesity. Spending 10-15 minutes a few times a day will keep this breed satisfied.
Good With Others: It is usually good with everyone and can be very affectionate towards them.

Did You Know?
Stimpy of "The Ren & Stimpy Show" is a Manx cat.