The Manx cat

implications of a short tail mutation

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History

  • The Manx cat is an ancient working breed that originated on the Isle of Man in the Irish sea.
  • The Manx taillessness is caused by a mutation that most likely originated among the islands native snort hair cat population.
  • Because it is a dominant gene the Manx taillessness spread to the other cats on the island.
  • Manx were originally short hair, however, the long hair gene was most likely introduced during the long rule of the Vikings.
  • The Manx were one of the original show cats represented in Great Britain.
  • This continued when the Cat Fanciers Association was founded in 1906; Manx was one of the founding breeds.

Why can this be problem?

as kittens grow older they may show signs of urinary and fecal incontinence and many show loco motor problems involving the hind limbs. most cats that show clinical problems and developmental defects are the complete taillessness Manx.
Some cants may develop the "Manx syndrome". In this case the cats spine does not form properly and do not often survive past 4 months old.

What is a Manx?

  • Manx is a particular breed of cat that has a naturally occurring mutation of the spine.
  • This mutation shortens the tail, resulting in short tail mutation.
  • To our knowledge, all Manx have at least one gene for a full tail. Due to this, even two cats carrying the Manx gene can produce a full-tailed kitten.
  • The Manx gene is incomplete dominant, so kittens that inherit it can show varying tail lengths.
Cats 101: Manx

Tail lengths

When the kittens are born they are classified by tail length
  • Dimple rumpy or rumpy - no tail at all
  • Riser or rumpy riser - stub of cartilage or several vertebrae under the fur
  • Stumpy - partial tail (in rare cases kittens are born with kinked tails because of incomplete growth of the tail during development)
  • Tailed or longy - complete or near complete tail
The ideal show Manx is the rumpy; the stumpy and tailed Manx do not qualify to be shown.

Coat length

Manx cats can be either short hair or longhair (Cymric). The short hair's double coat is glossy and padded, while the long hair has a silky and plush double coat that is medium in length, with breeches, abdomen, and neck ruff being longer than the coat on the main body. Some color variations include; white, black, brown spotted, silver tabby, and black tipped.
The long hair gene is believed to introduced during the rule of the Vikings, when the long haired Manx that are the ancestors of today's Norwegian Forest Cats left the Vikings ships and commingled with the native cats.
Figure 1: long haired Manx
Figure 2: Short haired Manx
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Typical appearance of a Manx

In most cases the hind legs of a Manx are longer than the front legs. This creates a continuous arch from their shoulders to rump giving the cat a rounded look.
due to the length of the Manx's limbs, the Manx has a rabbit-like gait, appearing to hop around rather than walk.

Opinion

In my opinion the Manx breed makes a great loving and loyal pet, I have one now and there are no real serious health issues that go with the breed. We have not specifically bred for them to be like this, the breed came about on its own so I believe we should do what we can to keep them around. Just like many other breeds there are always some health issues, in this case it is mostly with the cats spine but for the most part they are all typically healthy.

Text references

  1. Cats 101: Manx- YouTube.http://youtu.be/N58qXWEdznY. Web. 3rd May. 2013
  2. CFA. "About This Breed". http://www.cfainc.org/Breeds/BreedsKthruR/Manx.aspx. 1995-2013-Cat Fanciers Association. Web. 30th April. 2013.
  3. A.H. Martin. "A congenital Defect in the Spinal Cord of the Manx Cat". Veterinary Pathology Online.Vet, Path. 8: 232-238 (1971) http://vet.sagepub.com/content/8/3/232. Web. 24th April. 2013
  4. M.E. Deforest, P.K. Basrur. "Malformations and the Manx Syndrome in cats". Department of Clinical Studies (DeForest) and Department of Biomedical Sciences (Basrur). Ontario Veterinary College. Can. vet. J. 20: 304-314 (Nov. 1979). Web. 24th April. 2013
  5. B. E. Tomlinson. "Abnormalities of the lower spine and spinal cord in Manx Cats."JCP. J Clin Pathol 1971 24:480. Web. 24th April. 2013
  6. Havlicek, Martin., et al. "Surgical management of vertebral malformation in a Manx cat". Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2009 11:514. http://jfm.sagepub.com/content/11/6/514. Web. 24th April. 2013.

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