Manx Cat Breeders
The Manx cat / m / ks/ is an exotic breed of domestic cat (Felis catus), originally born on the Isle of Man. Originally the ‘tailless’ variety was developed to be a companion cat for seamen, since the breed was able to swim and dive for long distances. In recent times, the Manx cat / m has become popular as a fashionable breed (though it did not gain popularity as a pet cat until the mid-twentieth century), with increasing interest from the pet trade due to its distinct personality, patterns and colours. Today, the Manx cat / m is recognized by the American Animal Breeders Association and the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The origin of the Manx cat is shrouded in folklore and unclear. Some stories relate that the cat was named after a princess who was strown by her own groom while trying to escape from an engagement! Other tales relate that the name Manx came about because of the striped tail Manx animals that sailors would slap across their ships’ hulls – though the scratching and biting action was said to be unbecoming to the princess! Whatever the story is, the Manx cat has a colorful history in the Manx folklore and is one of only a few felines that are depicted as human babies in old Manx prints and drawings.
Because of its striped tail and curious meandering habits, the Manx cat is also known as “the curious cat”. Though the Manx is not actually native to the US, it is commonly raised and bred here. Many people also choose to incorporate the Manx into their native British breeds (including the Shetland pony and the Miniature Schnauzer) because of its gentle, maternal behavior and fondness for children. The Manx is also believed to have come from the Isle of Man.
Much of the Manx’s distinctive physical attribute is attributed to the tailless cats of the island’s earlier history, which led to the short leg span that characterizes the modern day Manx. The geneticists believe that the short legs originated as a result of an accident during the breeding of two different types of feral domestic cat. The first, or wildcat, was introduced into the island via travelers and later returned to rear its kittens, which were born with defective eyes and hind legs. The second, or hybrid offspring, were unable to stand or walk and became the physically shortened tailless cats we know today.
The most likely place to find the purebred Manx is in the Manx breed Standard of Dermatology, but stray and outdoor cats can be found all over the island. These cats tend to be calm, clean-cut, and affectionate and are not very demanding. They have somewhat heavy hair, though it varies from one cat to another. Their coats are long and silky, but they can have long, bushy coats as well. The mane is usually oiled and permed, and the color is typically mottled with dark brown.
All eight breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Association (AKA the Association of American Cat Breeders or AAC Breeders), and all but one are recognized by the American Association of Orthopedic Cats or A.C.O.C. The shorthair varieties have only recently been recognized by the A.C.O.C., and they include the Maine Coon, the Ragdoll, and the Rex. The shorthair manx is now considered a subspecies of the Maine Coon. In fact, the Maine Coon has even filed a suit against the AKC for infringing on its intellectual rights. Because of their popularity, there are now more manx breeds than there is Maine Coons.