The Manx cat comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. However, their most famous characteristic is their lack of a tail, though to be perfectly accurate, there are exceptions to this rule that possess a stub of a tail. Regardless, the Manx cat is similar to other breeds in that it has a number of health concerns associated with it, some of which are related to its famous lack of a tail.
Here are five health concerns for the manx cat:
1. Manx Syndrome
The same mutation responsible for the lack of a tail in Manx cats is responsible for a potential spinal disorder called Manx Syndrome. In brief, the mutation causes the tail to become too short, resulting in lethal spinal deformities such as fused vertebrae, gaps between vertebrae, and spina bifida that appear at some point between birth and four months of age. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Manx Syndrome, which is why reputable breeders tend to refuse to place their Manx cats until after they have reached four months of age.
On a related note, the mutation responsible for the lack of a tail in Manx cats can also increase the chance of arthritis in those with a stub rather than nothing at all, which is problematic because it is a particularly painful condition. This is the reason that some breeders choose to dock the tails on their cats, though it is important to note that docking is done as often for aesthetic purposes as it is for something related to health.
3. Corneal Dystrophy
Corneal dystrophy is when substances such as lipids and cholesterol crystals are deposited in the cornea in an abnormal manner. It is not caused by a single disorder but rather a number of different disorders that are inherited rather than acquired. As a result, it can have a wide range of effects on the cat’s eye-sight, which are united by nothing save the fact that their symptoms are gradual, meaning that they worsen over time.
Once again, the mutation responsible for providing Manx cats with their most characteristic feature is responsible for this particular problem. In brief, megacolon increases the cat’s chances of becoming constipated because the muscle responsible for pushing its feces towards its rectum cannot function as well without a tail. In extreme cases, this can lead to death when the feces become hard masses in the cat’s colon, which will have to be removed via surgery or lead to the animal’s death.
For people who are unfamiliar with the term, intertrigo is the inflammation of a body fold. In most cases, it happens because of the chafing of warm, moist areas of skin, which results in a bacterial, fungal, or even viral infection. In Manx cats, this problem is most common when it comes to their rump fold, meaning that cat owners will have to watch out for it.