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Long tailed Manx

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Just curious, I know that Manx come in long tails. I was browsing breeder sites looking to see what a long tailed Manx would be like. They sound like they have good personalities, and I figured that long tails would be cheaper.

However, it seems the longies get docked! I found a couple websites that suggested this was just an American thing and for cosmetic reasons only, but there were also Eurpoean breeders that did this. (One breeder actually had a paragraph saying that it was cosmetic only, and then listed 3 kittens with docked tails?)

I found a couple places that said the docking is necessary to prevent arthritis, and a couple saying that it was a complete myth. So, which is it? Is it possible to get a longie Manx?
post #2 of 4
We learned in class that the tailess Manx phenotype is due to a dominant allele of a gene - that means only one copy of it is needed to cause the tailless trait than the usual two. In fact, having two copies of the gene is lethal due to too much shortening in the spine. So a long-tailed cat born to two Manx parents is actually a normal cat as far as the Manx gene goes. The arthritis that is supposed in Manx cats is due to the fact that their vertebrae are more compacted than in a normal cat - they have just as many vertebrae (including tails) as a cat with a long tail, its just all squished together. So I wouldn't imagine that a long-tailed Manx would have arthritis problems, but maybe someone more familiar with the breed can correct me.

It would seem to me that the long-tailed offspring of two Manx cats (or an allowable outcross since I'm not sure how they handle the lethal aspect of the gene) would sell for a lower price as it would not be show-quality, and therefore would be pet quality. But once again, maybe someone more familiar with breeding and the breed can provide more information.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
What I read said that even the long tails had missing vertebrae, just so few that it's not as noticeable. The trait can't be a simple dominance, otherwise there wouldn't be variable length tails in Manx (rumpy, riser, stumpy, and longy).

I would think they would be cheaper, which is why I was curious. Yet everyone seems to dock their tails and sell them for quite a bit.
post #4 of 4
Its possible, but people think of manx as being tailless and therefore, some breeders will dock the tails if those cats are not being used in a breeding program.

Tailed and partially tailed manx are used as breeding stock to complete tailless manx. You HAVE to have some for breeding as you cannot breed tailless to tailless.

So any tailed manx you might see are usually breeders - you might get one of those when the breeder is done with them - they would be adults and if you really want one, you could request the breeder not to dock the tail.

Those tailed manx not being used in a program (have other faults that are not show quality; e.g. too long of body, or head shape not right) would be docked to sell as kittens.

Tailed manx would not necessarily be cheaper as they are quite valuable in breeding programs.
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