Manx cat

A Manx cat sitting

Size: Medium I Average lifespan: 9 to 13 years I Temperament: Even-tempered and affectionate I Coat: Short I Origin: United Kingdom.

To begin with, the Manx cat is a friendly, affectionate, and tailless cat breed.

The origins of the Manx cat

British origins

This cat breed is also known as the cat from the Isle of Man. This name comes from a British island of the same name, Isle of Man, which is located in the Irish Sea. Because these cats were confined to an island, they developed strong genetic physical characteristics, which have become the standard of the breed. This makes the Manx cat breed a unique and original cat breed.

The Manx cat’s history

We can trace back the origins of the breeds to merchant ships that sailed from Phoenicia to Japan in the 18th century. These merchant ships brought on board with them Japanese cats with unique tails. These cats were used for hunting mice during long voyages. Some of the cats that escaped during the stopovers found refuge on the Isle of Man, resulting in a new breed.

The beginning of Manx cat breeding

The first traces of Manx cat breeding farms date back to the 1930s, in the United States.

The character of the Manx cat

As this cat is friendly, affectionate, and intelligent, the Manx cat is perfect for homes with families.

The Manx cat’s qualities

Manx cats are very friendly and loyal cats. This is not a cat who will run away. Furthermore, they are not very sensitive to changes in their environment, which makes them easy to live with. They also truly enjoy the company of humans and other animals. Because they have a need for contact and company, they can adapt to life with other cats or dogs. In addition, these cats are playful and enjoy spending time with children. They are very expressive and know how to make themselves understood.

Another advantage of having a Manx cat is the fact that they are easy to groom and do not require a specific diet. Therefore, these cats are the perfect choice for a pleasant and loyal pet.

Lastly, these cats easily adapt to the evolutions of their environment. If you give them the attention that they need to blossom and live happily, they will be an endearing companion that is not too demanding.

Are there any downsides to having a Manx cat?

There are very few downsides to having a Manx cat. With that being said, it is important to keep an eye on how much a Manx cat eats. These cats are prone to obesity. In addition, these cats are very protective cats with those that they consider family. With strangers, they can be a bit aggressive.

Additionally, this cat breed is very active, needing to be able to expend their energy daily to keep them balanced and happy. For this reason, these cats need an environment with enough room for them to play and run as much as they want. They appreciate having access to a garden. If you do not have a garden where your cat can play, consider buying a cat tree and toys for them to play with.

The physical characteristics of the Manx cat

Because of the environment of where this cat originated, the Manx cat has very distinct genetic characteristics that are now an integral part of the breed.


The Manx cat has a physiognomy that is rather stocky. In addition, this cat has a thick bone structure. Because of this, this cat can appear to be larger than they actually are. This cat is characterized by a general roundness—all the parts of their body are round. These are large cats that are also very muscular and strong. When it comes to their legs, their hind legs are slightly longer than their front ones, which makes this cat look like a rabbit when they run. Lastly, their absence of a tail, a genetic particularity which is characteristic of the breed, makes this cat unique.


Like the rest of this cat’s morphology, the head of the Manx cat is rounded. In addition, the ears are small and curved, their nose is short and not very defined, and their eyes are round, spread out and very big. These features make this cat look very expressive. When it comes to the coat color, it varies depending on the coat. Their cheeks are full and their chin is rounded as well.


This cat measures 35 to 40 cm and weighs 3 to 5 kg (≈ 6.6 to 11 lb). The length of the coat can vary from short to medium-long, with an undercoat that makes them look like a teddy bear. The hind legs are slightly higher than the front legs. This stocky cat is also very muscular.

Their tail—or rather absence of a tail—is characteristic of the breed. Depending on the size of the tail, several categories of the Manx cat exist within the breed.

  • Rumpy: this subcategory refers to a complete absence of a tail. 
  • Stumpy: in this case, the cat has a short tail (3 to 5 cm), made up of 2 to 3 vertebrae.
  • Rumpy Riser: these cats also have a small tail, but their tail has the particularity of rising when they are petted. This characteristic fades with age. 
  • Longy: these cats are born with an almost complete tail. With that being said, their tails are than that of other breeds. 

Coat, colors, and grooming


The coat of the Manx is made up of two layers: an undercoat and a top layer that is stiff and shiny. The undercoat has a tendency to be less dense in the summer and the top layer more soft for Manx cats with lighter coats.

Some Manx cats have a coat that is longer. These cats are called Cymric cats.


The standards of the breed are not complicated. All of the coat colors and color combinations are accepted. We can find cats with a tabby coat, black, white, and ginger but also cats with a tortoise shell or two-tone coat. 


The Manx cat is a cat that is easy to groom. With that being said, the fur is made up of two layers that need to be brushed regularly, at least 2 times per week, especially during seasonal molting periods to get rid of dead hair and keep the coat shiny. 

Did you know?

Many legends are associated with the origin of the Manx cat. The most intriguing (and the least plausible when it come to the genetic makeup) is that at the dawn of the flood, the Manx cat did not hear the very late call from Noah. This cat tried to hurry up to reach the ark but the door closed violently while it was running, cutting off the cat’s tail. 

The inhabitants of the Isle of Man are very proud of their unique cat breed. It is depicted on their coins, stamps on post cards, and on badges.

Another surprising unique quality of this breed: it is a rare occurrence in cats, but the Manx cat respects equality. Male Manx cats take care of kittens as much as the females do.

The Manx cat at a glance

Size: Medium. 35 to 40 cm.

Weight: Between 3 and 5 kg (≈ 6.6 and 11 lb).

Health: This cat breed is not too sensitive when it comes to their health. With that being said, if you have a Manx cat, it is important to keep an eye on their weight gain because they are prone to obesity.

Average lifespan: 9 to 13 years.

Is the Manx cat good with children? Yes, without a doubt. Manx cats love to play and receive a lot of affection and attention. This makes them the ideal cats for families with children. In addition, they are even-tempered and affectionate.