The Manx breed originated on the Isle of Man (hence the name), where they are common. They are called stubbin in the Manx language. They are an old breed, and tailless cats were common on the island as long as three hundred years ago. The taillessness arises from a genetic mutation that became common on the island (an example of the Founder effect). The Manx tailless gene is dominant and highly penetrant; kittens from Manx parents are generally born without any tail. Having two copies of the gene is lethal and kittens are usually spontaneously aborted before birth. This means that tailless cats can carry only one copy of the gene. Because of the danger of having two copies of the tailess gene, breeders have to be careful about breeding two tailess Manxes together. Problems can be avoided by breeding tailess cats with tailed ones and this breeding practice is responsible for the decreasing occurrence of spinal problems in recent years. There are various legends that seek to explain why the Manx has no tail. In one of them, Noah closed the door of the ark when it began to rain and accidentally cut off the Manx's tail, who'd been playing and almost got left behind. Another legend claims that the Manx is the offspring of a cat and a rabbit which is why it has no tail and rather long hind legs. In addition, they move with more of a hop than a stride, like a rabbit. This legend was further reinforced by the Cabbit myth. Recent postcards on the Isle of Man depict a cartoon scene of a cat's tail being run over and removed by a motorbike, because motorbike racing is popular on the Island.

The Manx is a breed of cats with a naturally occurring mutation of the spine. This mutation shortens the tail, resulting in a range of tail lengths from normal to tailless. Many Manx have a small 'stub' of a tail, but Manx cats are best known as being entirely tailless and it is the distinguishing characteristic of the breed and a cat body type genetic mutation.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Manx".