Manx Cat Breed: Get to Know This Tailless Cat Breed

One of the oldest breeds of cats on record, the Manx, is an incredibly intelligent cat that has stories of origin that date all the way back to the time of the Great Flood and Noah’s Ark. As exciting as their history and personality sound, the thing that makes this breed of cat most unique is their lack of a tail. Some have stumps for tails, while others are entirely tailless.

Origin Story

One of the more common stories told about this unique breed of tailless cats is that they were present at the time of the Great Flood when Noah had built his ark and was taking animals in pairs onto his mighty boat. The story goes that the Manx cat was late to board the great ship and had its tail caught in the closing door. 

Another far-fetched story about this tailless cat is that raiders of Irish or Viking descent began stealing the tails of kittens because they believed that it would bring them good luck. To prevent these raiders from getting their kittens' tails for their own selfish desires, the momma cats began to bite the kittens' tails off before anyone else could get them. So says the legend at least.


This cat with long legs and a large bone structure has exactly the personality to match its unique look. The Manx has an adorably sweet demeanor while possessing a high intelligence level. The Manx loves interacting with its human owners. These interactions include carrying on simple conversations with them and even playing games such as fetch.

Because of their high intelligence levels, it's sometimes a struggle to keep the Manx entertained and mentally stimulated. This is why it's so important to provide your Manx with lots of cat toys that will challenge their minds and keep them occupied for hours. 

The Manx is also incredibly dexterous, meaning they may get themselves into trouble more often than not. The Manx cat has been known to be able to figure out how to open cabinet doors and even sometimes bedroom doors if they want to get into a room badly enough. If you also want a dog-like cat, the Manx may be the right breed for you.


These short-tail cats don’t have too many more health problems than the next species may. However, one health problem that is unique to this breed is neurological problems related to their short to non-existent tail. These neurological deficits tend to present themselves as early as the kitten turning 6 months old. This is when you may begin to notice them experiencing trouble with urinating or defecating. 

Keep this in mind when adopting a Manx from a breeder, especially if you feel uncertain whether the breeder is telling you the whole truth about their cat’s health history. In these cases, it's a good idea to choose not to bring home your new kitten until they are at least 6 months old or older. That way you can see whether they are going to face these neurological problems or not. 

Care Needs

An important thing to keep in mind about caring for a Manx cat is that they can easily become obese, as they have an excellent appetite. Their diets must be closely monitored so that your Manx doesn’t end up overeating and gaining excessive amounts of weight.

As far as diet goes, you should always feed your cat high-quality food. If you're unsure what to feed and how much to feed your cat, check these vet-recommended cat food options.

As far as their grooming needs go, the Manx is a simple cat with a short yet fluffy fur coat. It’s especially good to keep up on their brushing in the spring and fall times of the year. This is when cats tend to shed the most. Keeping up with their grooming will help to prevent excessive shedding in your home. The Manx has a double coat of fur, which is why keeping up on their brushing regularly is important. 

Some vets will even recommend keeping special attention set on their dental hygiene as well. All domestic cats and dogs are at risk for dental problems at some point in their life due to their lack of dental hygiene practices. There are actually toothbrushes and toothpaste out there for dogs and cats specifically. 


The Manx cat is a special breed, not just because of its tailless appearance. The Manx has a special personality too that will always keep you and your family on your toes. From being smarter and more dexterous than your average cat, the Manx will be a handful in a good way. 

The Manx is also a relatively easy pet to care for as well. The most tedious part of their care is brushing their fur coat on a regular basis. The Manx cat has a double coat of fur, meaning be prepared for every square inch of your home to have fur on it. Especially in the Spring and in the Fall, when they tend to shed a little extra. All in all, the Manx makes an amazing family pet for anyone who is looking to adopt a smart and loving feline companion.

Why do cats have tails?

The primary and most important reason that most breeds of cats have tails is as a counterbalance. Their tails work to keep them balanced when they are walking, jumping, and climbing. All of which are activities that cats take part in on a regular basis. A cat's tail is also helpful with communication. Other cats as well as humans can usually get a sense of how a cat is feeling just by watching how their tail is behaving. 

What is a Manx cat?

A Manx cat is a breed of feline that is completely tailless, and easily distinguishable according to their physical features. The features of a Manx are generally rounded, from their ears and head shape to the general form of the rest of their body. A Manx’s behind stands taller than their front end when they are standing upright.

Are Manx cats rare?

Manx cats are in fact a rare breed to come across outside of breeders of Manxes specifically. Especially Manx cats that are sporting a white coat of fur. They can be found, however, with some breeders who focus on breeding Manxes specifically.

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Written by Leo Roux

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