Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to Identify a Manx Cat

Manxes come from the Isle of Man, which is how they inherit their name. Anybody coming from the Isle of Man may be referred to as a Manx. They are a very energetic and intelligent cat and are quite striking as many of them carry a genetic mutation which results in a stubby tail or a lack of one all together! This genetic mutation unfortunately makes the Manx predisposed to birth defects, bowel, bladder, and spinal problems. Manxes are often classified based on the lengths of their tails. The Dimple or Rumpy is the cat with no tail at all and is most often sought after in showcats of that breed. Because not all Manxes are missing their tails, this is not an effective indicator of the breed. This guide will show you how to recognize a Manx cat.

How To Recognize a Manx
Step 1:
Look at the body type. Manxes have short bodies, arched backs, and rounded hindquarters. All Manxes have hind legs that are longer than their forelegs, giving them a permanent arched look. They should also be no more than twelve pounds, being a medium sized cat.

Step 2:
Look at the cat's coat. The Manx cat exhibits two coat lengths. The short-haired Manx cat has a double coat with a thick, short under-layer and a longer, coarse outer-layer with guard hairs.
Step 3:
Watch the way the cat walks. Manxes don't walk so much as hop like a rabbit. This is the result of a mutation in their genetics which results in a shortened spine. Even the spines of Manxes possessing normal tails are shorter than they should be.

Step 4:
Study the cat's head. Their ears are medium to medium small in size and are set far to the sides of the head. The head itself is rounded and slightly longer than it is wide. If the cat meets this criteria than you're looking at a Manx.

Tips & Warnings
Manxes often display odd dog-like behavior they will often retrieve a small object if thrown and some even bark. Manxes come in both long and short haired varieties. The long haired is less common and genetically submissive to the short haired. At one time such kittens were euthanized as the long haired gene was unwanted in show cats. These cats take a very long time to mature and it is not until they are five years old that they are fully grown. Manxes are very skilled hunters and are highly sought after by farmers and the like because there are many accounts of Manxes successfully bringing down animals much larger than itself. Manxes are very friendly and affectionate cats when indoors, though they are far from a lap cat. They'll cuddle and then run off to do something else. They also enjoy playing in water, though will still hate taking baths as much as any cat.
Two Manxes that are completely tailless should not be breed together as this will result in birth complications and birth defects. Often such kittens are stillborn. Pedigree Manxes appear in a wide range of colors and fur patterns, so trying to identify them by this is useless.

No comments: