Not many people are aware of this the term Manx Syndrome or entirely sure what it even means. While the term is associated with Manx cats, it can happen to any breed of cat, and almost any animal species. Tail-less cats got coined the term as it is believed to be part of improper breeding. So what the heck is Manx Syndrome?
Manx Syndrome is a genetic mutation that causes Manx cats to develop their spinal cord wrong. The term is used to describe conditions found only in a Manx cat as part of a deformity. It is believed that this is caused through bad breeding genes. Manx Syndrome is almost always spina bifida which can happen in any breed of cat. Complications include shortened or absent tail (missing vertebral), neurological diseases, nervous system diseases, incontinence, lack of feeling in hind legs, and severe sensitivity of the spinal cord. The most common issues is trouble walking, which you can see below in the video:
Manx Syndrome is still debated on. Some believe it is a type of spina bifida only found in the Manx cat breed, while others consider it normal spina bifida which happens to any and all breeds. Breeding Manx cats with tails won’t prevent this disease from happening because the gene which causes the tail to be “bobbed” is not the same gene that causes spina bifida. Inexperience breeders who breed with cats who have shorter vertebrae increase the likely hood of spina bifida, not the actual breed itself.
There is still studies that have to be done to determine why rates of spina bifida are higher in Manx cats, but the term seems to be here to stay. If you love the Manx breed and are curious about the syndrome, you will have a hard time finding a lot of information online at this time because it is still not widely recognized by veterinarian medicine.
Sadly, when a vet does deem a kitten to have this disease, it is almost always fatal or they fail to find a family willing to care for so many special needs in one animal. The more that people are learning about the issue, the more people there are willing to care for them. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence, but is certainly wont be an easy life for the cat or the cat’s owner.
This is Bebe’s story :