Manx cat of the Isle of Man

The tailless Manx is a native cat of the Isle of Man, also simply known simply as Mann, an self-governing island steeped in ancient Celtic folklore and located on the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland.

Legend has it that invaders of the island, despite of nasty cat scratches, cut off the tails of the Manx cats to decorate their armoured helmets. Mother cats, desperate to save their kittens from harm, bit off their tails at birth until eventually, the kittens were born tailless. Many Manx cats are completely tailless. The Manx also has elongated hind legs and a rounded head.

Some believe the Manx were transported from Japan to the British Isles by Phoenician traders. The most likely origin of this cat breed is that in 1558, a ship from the Spanish Armada was shipwrecked off the coast of the Isle of Man and tailless cats on board swam ashore to become the ancestors of the present day Manx.

The Manx cats have three stages of ‘taillessness’. The ‘rumpy’, completely tailless; the ‘stumpy’ and the ‘longie’ each show residual tails of varying lengths. The ‘rumpy’ possesses a lethal factor in that the kittens of two ‘rumpy’ parents are often stillborn.