Manx kitten breed on a sofa.

Manx Cat Breed

Best known of the tailless cats, this breed is popular for its quiet charm and makes a great family companion.

Few breeds have as many stories about their origins as the tailless Manx. Among the more colorful legends, this cat is supposed to have lost its tail in an accident on Noah’s Ark. In reality, it is native to the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea, and its lack of tail is a natural mutation.

Another legend has it that the Manx is a hybrid between a cat and a rabbit. The Manx has interested cat fanciers since the early 20th century and, together with its longhaired relation, the Cymric, is known worldwide.

Both tailless and partial or full-tailed cats can occur, even in the same litter, although only the tailless ones are eligible for showing. Breeding is carefully controlled to avoid the spinal problems sometimes associated with tailless cats.

The Manx is gentle, calm, intelligent, and loyal to its owners. It can be trained to play “fetch” or walk on a leash. Traditionally kept as a working cat, the Manx is still an efficient hunter when given the chance.

The “Cabbit” Myth

It was once thought that Manx cats were  “cabbits,” the result of matings between cats and rabbits. It is not difficult to see how the misconception arose in the days before such crossbreeding was known to be biologically impossible.

With its rounded rump, long back legs, and stumpy tail, a Manx has distinctly rabbitlike traits. Astonishingly, animals identified as “cabbits” are still occasionally reported in the 21st century.

Origin: UK, pre-18th century

Breed registries: CFA, FIFe, GCCF, TICA

Weight range: 8–12lb (3.5–5.5kg)

Grooming: Weekly

Colors and patterns: All colors, shades, and patterns, including tabby and tortie.