The most distinctive characteristic of the Manx cat is their lack or near-absence of a tail. It is believed the reason for the Manx cat’s lack of tail is a mutant dominant gene. The degree of “tail-lessness” varies and the varieties have been divided into four groups – Rumpy, Rumpy-riser, Stumpy and Longy. A Rumpy Manx is the ideal exhibition animal, with no hint of a tail. A Rumpy-riser has a small knob of a tail, a Stumpy has a definite tail stump and Longy are hard to distinguish from normal cats.
The Manx is a rounded cat with a round head, round eyes and rounded whisker pads. Their hindlegs are thicker, longer and stronger than the ordinary cat, and they run like a rabbit, making them exceptional jumpers. Either short-haired or long-haired, the Manx cat has a distinct double coat with soft under hair and a glossier coarser top coat that comes in a range of colours.