The Breed And Genetics Of Your Tabby Cat
Certain breeds of tabby cats tend to have longer lifespans such as the Burmese, Siamese, Savannah, and British Shorthair. These breeds tend to have better health and suffer lesser health issues. Burmese tabbies, for instance, live for 18 to 25 years. Unfortunately, some breeds tend to have shorter lifespans such as the Selkirk Rex and the Manx tabbies that only live for an average of eight to 14 years.
Lifespans Of Popular Breeds
Are you thinking about adding a cat to your family? Here are the average lifespans of some of the most popular breeds:
- Siamese: 12 to 20 years
- Calico: 12 to 15 years
- Bengal: 14 to 16 years
- Burmese: 16 to 18 years
- Savannah: 12 to 20 years
- Ragdoll: 15 to 18 years
- Russian Blue: 15 to 20 years
- American Shorthair: 15 to 20 years
- Sphynx: 10 to 15 years
- Manx: 8 to 14 years
- Persian: 10 to 17 years
- Maine Coon: 10 to 13 years
- Munchkin: 12 to 15 years
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The Breed Has Some Interesting Variations
The Manx cat can be categorized into several subsets according to their tail length. Reminiscent of Snow Whites seven dwarves, these nicknames include:
Rumpy: completely tailless
Rumpy Riser: sports a stub on his rear
Stumpy: has a partial tail
Longy: has a nearly full-length tail
As directed by the Cat Fanciers Association, only the Rumpy and the Rumpy Riser can compete in the Manx category at cat shows. The Stumpy and Longy varieties can still participate in shows, but they need to enter a different category.
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Fun Facts About The Manx Cat
Being such a unique and fun cat breed, its no wonder that there are so many interesting facts about this friendly feline.
- On the Isle of Man, the Manx can be found on stamps, coins, and various merchandise.
- The Isle of Mans residents have some older, local nicknames for these cats, including rumpy and stubbin.
- Being a tailless cat, it may come as a surprise that the lack of a tail does not affect their balance whatsoever.
- These cats can have practically any eye color thats possible in the feline world.
- Due to their strong, slightly taller hind legs, many Manx will move about with an almost rabbit-like bounce.
- In one of the many folktales about this breed, people once believed that the tailless gene in these cats was so dominant that any other cat that even came close to a Manx would consequently have kittens without tails.
When it comes to the Manx, theres always something new to learn.
The History Of The Manx
There are lots of myths about how these cats lost their tails. One is that they were late boarding the ark and had the door slammed on the tail. Another is that Irish or Viking raiders would steal kittens because their tails were considered to be good luck charms, so the mama cats simply bit the tails off. More likely, taillessness is the result of a genetic mutation, enhanced by centuries of inbreeding on the Isle of Man, where the cats are from. Along with the taillessness may have come a recessive gene for long hair. Voila! The Cymric.
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Having Your Own Manx Cat
Manx cats are people-oriented felines. They adapt well to apartment living.
Like many pedigreed cats, these tailless cats are prone to some unique health problems like Manx Syndrome and Spina bifida, where the kitten is born with an open spine birth defect.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Maine coon facts and devon rex facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Manx Cat coloring pages.
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Choosing The Best Food For Manx Kittens
Unlike most cat breeds, the Manx doesnt reach full maturity for about 5 years. She only needs kitten food for the first year or so of her life, after which she can transition to a complete and balanced cat food for all life stages. During the first year of her life, feed her a complete and balanced kitten food to ensure she receives essential nutrients for healthy growth and development, such as Purina Kitten Chow Nuture.
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Diet Influence A Maine Coons Life Span
Because of their big-boned size, most coons can easily fall into the obese side if pet owners are not careful when it comes to feeding. Their bodies develop at a deceptively slow growth rate, only reaching their full mature size between 3-5 years old.
This is one of the reasons why they might become obese in the first place. First time cat handlers might view them as underfed so the tendency is to feed them more.
To beat obesity, it is suggested to give them a fat-free and low calorie diet. Choosing dry cat food is preferable over wet food. This is one of the easiest ways to reduce tartar buildup on their teeth since cats arenât fond of brushing them.
What Makes Some Cats Live Longer
Various factors make some cats live longer than others, including diet, genetics, disease, and exercise. However, some of the biggest contributors may be outdoor vs. indoor living and pedigree vs. crossbreed. According to a study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College, which looked at over 4,000 randomly selected deceased cats, purebred cats live shorter on average than crossbred cats, with an average lifespan of 14 years. The most common cause of death was trauma occurring from road accidents, fights with other animals, poison, and parasites, showing that indoor cats will generally live longer lives. Of course, these kinds of retrospective studies have glaring limitations, as the accuracy of causes of death cannot be independently verified.
Genetics is another massive factor, and almost all animals experience biological aging. As animals grow older, they experience a gradual decline of biological functions, and until now, it has been difficult to determine how many years a specific animal can live. A recent study published in Scientific Reports looked at how DNA changes as an animal ages and found that it varies widely between species. While this has yet to be studied specifically in cats, this new mechanism of DNA analysis may help us understand the deeper reasons behind the longevity of certain breeds of cats.
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Identification Of The Manx Cat Tailess Gene
In 2013, prior to initiation of the Manx Cat Genome Project , genetic mutations in the brachyury gene were shown to be responsible for failure of tail development in the Manx cat, as well as four other tailess breeds of cat. Mutations in orthologs of this gene have been shown to cause tail-loss defects in a number of other species, notably mouse. Mutations in the human version of the brachyury gene are associated with a range of neural tube defects.
What Type Of Animal Is A Manx Cat
Manx cats are a tailless cat breed that came into existence hundreds of years ago on the remote European island in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man. Manx cat breeders did not derive this cat breed artificially through breeding programs. The lack of tail resulted from a genetic mutation. Although the taillessness happened as a natural phenomenon, local folklore said the tailless cats were brought by the Irish Sea surrounding the island.
Like all other house cat breeds, Manx cats are descended from the African wildcat or Felis lybica. The taillessness happened by chance as natural mutation or birth defects on the Isle of Man Island.
The genetic mutation and the tailless trait intensified further by the Manx cat breeds isolation on the island and inbreeding.
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Do Most Cats Die Of Old Age
First off, dying of old age isnt a thing, at least as far as vets are concerned. A cat who dies at an old age will have died from something, and that something wont be the turning of the pages on a calendar. Dying of old age usually means that they passed due to a natural ailment, like heart disease or cancer, when they were extremely old.
Even with that clarification out of the way, this question is hard to answer. It depends on the cats level of care.
If your cat spends most of their time outside, then no, they wont die of old age. Sadly, outdoor cats often die violently, usually by being hit by cars or eaten by predators.
Indoor cats have much better prospects. Most indoor cats die of something like kidney disease, heart disease, or cancer, and these usually happen toward the latter stages of their lifespan.
How Long Do Tabby Cats Live
If you are a pet parent of a tabby cat consider yourself very fortunate because tabbies are both adorable and exhibit some striking color patterns. But have you ever wondered how long do tabby cats live? Youd be surprised to know that they can live for up to 20 years if they are well-taken-care-of and kept mostly indoors.
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Where Manx Cats Came From
Theres lots of speculation about Manx cats being brought over from England or Wales, although the Isle of Man is usually where people say they originated.
The trait of having a short or missing tail became common for cats on the island. The Manx was a breed included in the rise of cat fancy in the 1800s.
The International Cat Association recognized the Manx and Cymric in 1979, and the Cat Fanciers Association added the breed in 1906.
What Is A Syndrome And Why Is This Specific To Manx Cats
A Syndrome is just a fancy word for a group of medical signs often found together. Manx syndrome is an umbrella term used to describe a number of conditions often seen in Manx cats.
These conditions are genetic, being inherited from one generation of cat to the next, and are specifically related to the Manx cats with either a very shortened or an absent tail. The Manx gene mutation which causes taillessness can negatively impact on the development of the spinal cord. This in turn leads to a number of health conditions that we will discuss now.
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There Are Different Variations Of The Manx Cat Breed
Often when we think of a Manx cat, the shortened or rumpy tail comes to mind. While these cats usually have short, stump-like tails, there are technically several variations in tail style for the breed: Rumpie, Riser, Stumpie, Stubbie, and Longie.
Although the tail names kinda sound like the names of gnomes, here is the actual breakdown of their classifications:
Rumpie: Where a cat has no tail at all but might have a little tuft of fur in place where a tail would normally be.
Riser: Where there is a bump of cartilage under the fur, though no really noticeable tail.
Stumpie: Where there is only a little stump that reaches a maximum of 1 in length.
Stubbie: Where there is a shorter-than-average tail of fused bones, up to about half the length of a regular tail.
Longie: Where a cat has a half- to almost normal-length tails.
Manx Cat Fact: The Manx is both long-haired and short-haired, although the shorthaired version is much more common.
Which Breeds Live The Longest And Shortest
Surprisingly enough, theres not much reliable data on this point. Different sources will give you different answers, but the breeds that are commonly cited as living the longest include the Siamese, Burmese, Balinese, and American Shorthair.
It should be noted, however, that mixed breeds often live longer than their purebred counterparts. We wouldnt be surprised if a mix of any of the above breeds outlived them all.
On the other side of the spectrum, theres no definitive answer to the cats with shortest lifespans question either. Typically, though, Manx, Singapura, and Munchkin cats all have fairly short lives, as they rarely live past 14.
These lifespans assume that the cat is kept indoors and is well taken care of. If you let your cat roam around outside or feed them junk food and never give them any exercise, their life expectancy will plummet.
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Help Your Cat Live All Nine Lives
No matter what breed your kitty is, you can put the odds in her favor and help her live a healthy, long life. Regular visits to the vet for vaccinations, and to monitor her condition, will help ensure her health. If she does become ill, medical treatment can begin immediately.
Feed her a quality balanced diet, and provide her toys and other exercise encouragement to keep her fit and trim, as obesity can cut her life expectancy. Interact with your cat regularly and groom her frequently, and the two of you should have many happy years together.
How Do They Reproduce
Manx genes need a little understanding. Every Manx cat carries both full tail and tailless genes. That means Manx cats can produce a kitten with characteristics of a normal length long-tailed feline. Kittens that inherit the taillessness gene from both their parents usually die before they are born.
The Manx gene is an incomplete dominant, and kittens show varying tail lengths from a Manx cat with a tail to completely taillessness in a single litter.
The completely tailless kittens are called rumpy. The ones with a short tail are called rumpy risers. They have a slight rise of bone where a tail usually starts. Only the rumpy and the rumpy riser variants of Manx cats are allowed in cat shows.
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How Old Do Manx Live
Children And Other Pets
If he is introduced to them in kittenhood, the active and social Cymric is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. He lives peacefully with cats and dogs who respect his authority and can learn to leave birds and fish alone. An adult Cymric may not appreciate children as readily, especially if he is used to a quiet household. Always introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.
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Mythology And Folklore Of The Manx
Many stories of the origin of the Manx are found in cat andmythology books. In many of these tales the Manx are descended fromship’s cats who were shipwrecked on the Isle of Man when their shipswere sunk off the coast. A commonly told story is the legend from theearly 1600s of two ships from the Spanish Armada that were sunk offSpanish Point near Port Erin. The Isle of Man was the refuge for thetailless cats from these two ships. Another legend has it that thecat came from a ship wrecked in 1806 off Jurby Point, while anothersays it was a Baltic ship wrecked off Castle Rushen and Calf Island.
Early speculation considered the Annamite cats to be the beginningof the Manx, these cats having short tails. They were introduced intoBurma. Others felt the Manx may be descended from Siam andMalaya. The Malaya Archipelago cats have kinked, knotted and shorttails.
The Welsh also lay claim to the Manx in their legends and thepeople considered them sacred animals in early times.
British folklore has it that mom cats bit off their kittens’ tailsto keep humans from snatching them away.
Stumpy tailed cats in New Guinea sometimes get their tails dockedby their owners. If a cat is stolen the tail is buried with certainspells to bring misfortune on the thief.
Cat Lifestyle And Lifespan
Some cats are considered indoor pets, others are strictly outdoor pets, and others still will be indoor/outdoor pets that split their time between environments. The daily risks that outdoor cats take are much higher than those of an indoor cat, so the lifespan of an outdoor cat is often cut short. Avoiding getting hit by vehicles, hurt by wild animals and eating toxins, finding food, surviving the elements, and being exposed to various parasites and diseases may all be daily challenges for an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat. The more time a cat spends outside, the greater the risk is of an injury or illness from that environment.
Indoor cats are not exposed to as many risks since they are sheltered inside a secure home. Wild animals and vehicles pose no threats to an indoor cat, their diet is typically controlled, and toxin, parasite, and disease exposures are lessened, especially if they are vaccinated and on preventative medications.
The same is true for big cats like lions, tigers, ocelots, and other wild cats. These cats that reside in zoos often outlive their wild counterparts.
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Cat Breeds With The Longest Life Spans
Although cats can live on average between 11 to 16 years, some breeds can survive significantly longer.
Regular veterinary care, a nutritious age-appropriate diet and maintaining a loving relationship all contribute to a cat’s highest quality of comfort, but genes will play an important role in determining a feline’s lifespan.
Prospective cat owners looking for particularly long-lived cat breeds should therefore consider keeping the following varieties.