Welcome To Our Complete Guide To The Cymric Cat. A Tailless Breed With A Thick Luscious Coat Of Fur.
If You Are Thinking Of Bringing Home One Of These Striking Felines, Then Take A Look At What To Expect.
The Cymric, pronounced “kim’ rick,” is a long-haired Manx.
The most recognizable feature of the Manx is the lack of a tail. While that is true of the Cymric, it also distinguished by a thick, medium long coat.
While oral history suggests the Manx has been around since the 1750’s, the Cymric Manx was not bred for another 200 years!
Let’s look at some other Cymric cat facts, including Cymric cat personality, Cymric temperament and Cymric Manx health problems. Then we can answer the question, Should I buy a Cymric cat?
The Tale Of The Tail
Cymric kittens are born with one of four variations in tail length – rumpy, rumpy riser, stumpy and longie.
Let’s break it down:
Completely lacking a tailbone; instead a little dimple or hollow will be present where the tail would be.
Rumpy Riser (or Riser)
Up to seven fused vertebrae comprise the tail. Since the bones are fused, the tail just moves up and down.
A shorter tail than normal which may appear straight or kinked. It may be shorter or longer than a rumpy. Since the bones are not fused the tail can move in all directions.
This is a full length cat tail which exhibits the fluid motion common to fully-tailed cats of any other breed.
To be considered a show-worthy cat, your Cymric must be a rumpy or rumpy riser. For rumpy risers, the judge must be able to stroke down and off the back without being stopped by the riser.
If your Cymric is a rumpy, be sure not to put pressure on the “tail” indentation when grooming or carrying him as this area has sensitive nerve endings.
Children in particular should be instructed to avoid touching kitty’s sensitive rump.
While a Cymric can mate with any other cat and still produce the desired tailless kittens, these are not strictly speaking Cymric cats anymore.
Instead, the cross-breed would be a common house cat which just happens to have the Cymric traits of long fur and no tail.
There is no specified color or pattern associated with the breed. Instead, these fluffy felines may be tabby, tortoiseshell, tipped or pointed. Just as tail length may vary within a litter, so may coloration and markings.
Cymric Cat Traits
Everything about the Cymric is round. The body and head are round, shoulders are broad, and the chest is full, giving Cymrics a very robust shape.
Their large eyes are round and set a little bit close and tilted toward the ears.
The ears are wide, wide-set and rounded at the tips.
Their hair is medium length with a thick undercoat adding to the overall effect of a round ball of fur.
The back legs are large and longer than the front legs. These strong back legs give the breed an exaggerated hind end. This can lead to a hoppy gait which is another endearing trait of these sweet kitties.
Cute Cymric kittens within the same litter may exhibit variations in their coat pattern and color, and in tail length.
Cymric kittens learn to hunt at an early age. Even if they’re just hunting toy mice, they’re bred with a strong hunting instinct.
While most cats reach maturity in about one year to eighteen months, Cymric cats reach full maturity at five years! So be prepared to have a kittenish cat for some time.
Breed Or Not A Breed?
More than 50 years after successfully breeding Cymrics, The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) has not recognized this cat as a unique breed. Instead their Show Standards indicate Shorthair and Longhair as Manx variations.
The International Cat Association (TICA) assigned breed status to the Cymric in 1979 and The Fédération Internationale Félin (FIFe) came aboard in 2006. Within both TICA and FIFe standards, the Cymric and Manx possess the same attributes with the only exception being the coat.
The Manx is to have a short double coat, the Cymric is to be bred with a medium length double coat. TICA further notes that Cymrics should demonstrate tufts of hair between the toes and at the tips of the ears.
Cymric Cat Breeders
While show records include mention of the Manx as long ago as the late 1800’s, it was not until the 1960’s that Cymric cat breeders developed this special line.
The recessive gene for longhair was developed in Canada producing the first fluffy Cymric kittens. The name Cymric means “Welsh” which is a nod the Isle of Wales from where Manx cats are known to originate.
To find a Cymric breeder, look for Manx breeders and determine if they breed for the longer-haired Cymrics.
Your breeder should have membership with one or more of the cat fancier associations noted above. Those associations have strict standards for breeding catteries and care of cats.
Note that some breeders impose requirements as to the ongoing care of Cymrics after purchase. These may include restricting them to living indoors and ensuring they are not declawed. Be sure to review these specifics with your breeder.
Cymric Cat Rescue
If you are looking for a tailless cat, you may find one in your local shelter or by an internet search for tailless cat rescue. Note that it may be difficult to establish if your rescue cat is a true Cymric Manx or a mix which happened to produce a tailless cat.
Also note, some disreputable breeders will dock or cut a cat’s tail and try to pass it off as a true Manx or Cymric.
If you do not have a record of the lineage, you can look for other Cymric traits as noted above.
Remember, the true joy of rescuing a cat is not that you have a show-worthy, pedigreed champion but rather that you are saving a life and giving your kitty a forever home.
Cymric Cat Price
Adoption fees for rescue cats vary but you can expect to pay about $50, which is generally just an administrative cost.
For pedigreed Cymrics kittens the price will vary based on the lineage and demonstration of desirable traits. You can expect to pay $200 to $500 just for the kitten.
Since Cymric Manx breeders are not common, you will most likely have to have your kitten shipped. You will want to discuss the cost of this option with your breeder.
If you intend to show your Cymric, you should gain the rights to do so from your breeder at the time of purchase. Your breeder can advise on fees for breeding and showing rights.
You can expect to pay up to another $500 for shipping and to gain full rights to your Cymric for breeding and showing.
Cymric Cat Personality
The Cymric has a sweet and playful personality. They enjoy the company of their cat parents and are well suited for children. Introduce other pets to your Cymric slowly and they will form a lasting bond.
Due to their large, strong hind legs, they are excellent jumpers who will impress you with their leaping skills. No height is off limits to these powerul felines.
They are also fast runners who can quickly gain speed and outrun you. They’re excellent at keeping their balance when changing directions at high speeds which adds to their effectiveness as hunters.
These are intelligent cats who are noted for their loyalty to their cat family. Some even liken their loyalty to that of dogs.
The Cymric is not a loner. This fluffy feline needs company and entertainment. Of course, with his playful nature, Cymrics provide lots of entertainment for you, too.
Cymric Cat Weight
Full grown Cymric males reach a weight of nine to twelve pounds at maturity. Females are slightly smaller at just eight to ten pounds when mature.
As noted, Cymric cats are slow to develop so they will not reach their full adult weight for up to five years.
Grooming Your Cymric Cat
To maintain the beauty and health of your Cymric cat’s undercoat and fur, you will need to brush her at least three times per week. Any less maintenance can quickly result in matting and exacerbate the development of hairballs.
For top tips on brushes and brushing techniques, check out Our Favorite Cat Brushes and grooming tips.
Cymric Life Expectancy
A healthy Cymric is a long-lived breed. You can expect your Cymric to live 13 to 15 years. You can ensure a longer life by keeping your Cymric indoors. This is particularly recommended for show cats.
Now that you’ve learned all the great things about the lovable Cymric, we should caution you on some serious health concerns.
Cymric Manx Health Problems
Cymrics are essentially a product of selective inbreeding. Careful and ethical breeding practices are essential to ensure not just the health of an individual kitten but the longevity of the Cymric breed.
Being born without a tail can lead to some serious complications for the Cymric. A cat’s tail is essentially an extension of the spine. Malformations of the spine and related ailments are a great concern for Cymric parents.
Diagnosis of spinal malformations may involve costly procedures such as MRIs and X-rays. Sadly, euthanasia is generally prescribed when these ailments occur.
So common is this Cymric Manx health problem, it actually has a name: Manx Syndrome. As with other syndromes, this term refers to a set of abnormalities you should be aware of when considering keeping a Cymric as a pet.
And because these cats are so susceptible to spinal abnormalities, you should not accept a kitten less than four months old at which age most of these life-threatening health concerns will have presented themselves.
We explore the causes and warning signs of Manx Syndrome in depth in our article Manx Syndrome And The Fascinating Tailless Manx Cat. Here are some brief examples.
Spina bifida is a malformation caused by improper or incomplete fusion of the vertebrae. Kittens born with this malformation may present an open hole where the tail would normally be or the tail may be closed and the malformed segments of the vertebrae may be concealed.
Either way, this condition rapidly leads to brain damage, inability to walk, incontinence and severe pain in kittens. Once the condition is diagnosed, reputable breeders will have these kittens euthanized.
Syringomyelia is a build-up of excess spinal fluid often beginning at the base of the brain and increasing along the spinal column.
The pressure of the built-up fluid can lead to severe pain, or conversely, to loss of pain receptors. Either way, it ultimately leads to chronic suffering, incontinence and general loss of motor function.
Nature And Nurture
Litters of Cymric kittens tend to be small compared to other breeds. This is due in part to the body’s natural selection against genetic malformations. The mother cat’s body often selects the mutated embryonic kittens for reabsorption versus carrying them to live birth. This is a natural control for producing healthy offspring.
Cymric Cat Eye Problems
Another inherited trait associated with Cymrics is corneal dystrophy. This is a cloudy build-up of the outermost part of the eye – the cornea.
Corneal dystrophy can also be caused by external factors such as build-up of dirt or other irritants.
While not life -threatening, the loss or distortion of vision is not ideal for your kitty. If you notice any milky, particularly blue-tinted build-up in or around your Cymric’s eyes, seek veterinary advice immediately.
Should I Buy A Cymric Cat
Cymrics are a lovable breed that have found a loyal following.
If you have time to properly groom and entertain an intelligent and affectionate fluffy kitty, a Cymric cat could appeal to you.
But, sadly, we wouldn’t advice buying a Cymric kitten.
The plethora of very nasty health problems that they so frequently suffer from bring in a moral question when it comes to whether people should be breeding them.
Although it is of course your choice, we believe that a much better option is to choose a cat from a breed that is destined to have a happier, healthier life.
Here are some lovely alternatives that you might like to consider:
References And Further Reading
- Martin, A.H., (1971), “A Congenital Defect in the Spinal Cord of the Manx Cat”
- Hyram Kitchen, DVM, PhD, et al, (1972), “Animal Model For Spinal Malformations”
- Bistner, S.I. et al, (1976), “Hereditary corneal dystrophy in the Manx cat: a preliminary report”
- Cat Fancier’s Association
- The International Cat Association
- International Cat Care
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