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The Cymric Cat is Like a Manx with Longer Hair

Cymric

This kitty has no tail, but the adorable Cymric has plenty to offer in compensation. The Cymric (pronounced “kim-rick”) is actually a Manx cat with long hair. The Cymric has no tail because of a genetic mutation that occurs spontaneously, and is common in feline breeds. The Cymric, which comes from the Gaelic word for Wales, is characterized by roundness – round eyes, round head, even a round derriere.

Not all Cymrics are without tails, either. Although some are affectionately called "rumpys", others can have up to three vertebrae fused at the end of the spine (called "rumpy risers"), and some with up to five vertebrae that simply look like very short tails or stumps. Finally, "longies" have a longer appendage than the "stump" but still very short tails compared to typical cats. Most Cymrics weigh between 7 and 13 pounds, with silky, medium-length double coats that come in a variety of colors and patterns.

History
Among the oldest of the natural breed cats well-respected as great hunters of rodents, both the Cymric and the Manx are native to the Isle of Man off the coast of Britain, and probably originated around 1750. It's not quite known how these cats lost their tails, but geneticists think that this simply occurred as the result of a spontaneous mutation. The Manx came about because of the genetic nature of taillessness, and centuries of inbreeding within an isolated island environment served to make it a permanent trait. Both the Cymric and the Manx (long- and short-haired versions of the same cat, basically) were in existence on the Isle of Man before the "taillessness" gene mutation occurred. When the Cymric first appeared, with its tailless mutation, its longhair gene may also have been recessive – but part of the package that eventually became the breed.

Long recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, The International Cat Association, and other registries, the Manx was first to hit the show cat scene. The Cymric was only accepted by the CFA as a division of the Manx in 1994. While some associations call the Cymric simply a "long-haired Manx," it is called by its proper name and is considered a separate breed by others.

Appearance
Heavily muscled, the preferred appearance of the Cymric for show is without a tail altogether. These completely tailless cats have a dimple at the base of their spines where their tails would ordinarily start. "Rumpy risers" have a short knob of tail and are not disqualified from show if, when petted, the stump of tail does not stop the judge's hand. Kittens with "longies," or tails of up to five vertebrae or more in length, usually have their tails docked. This is not only for cosmetic reasons. Cymrics with longer tails can often experience arthritis due to ossification as they get older, which can cause great pain.

It should be noted that it's not possible to predict what type of tail will appear in a given litter, even when trying to breed cats of a particular tail type (rumpy to rumpy, for example). Since genetic variations often occur when types of Cymrics are bred together for three or more generations, most breeders include all four tail types in their breeding programs on purpose.

The Cymric is muscled, solid, compact and medium to large in size. Sturdy adult males weigh 9 to 13 pounds, and females weigh 7 to 11 pounds. First impressions of the Cymric cat is that it is very "round." The head is round, the cheek jowls give a round appearance to the face, the eyes are round, and the ears taper to a rounded tip.

The fur itself is dense, medium long, and well-placed throughout the entire body, further giving this cat a plush, rounded appearance. The hair gradually gets longer from shoulders to rump, with hair on the neck ruff and abdomen longer than that on the main body.

Soft, silky, and with a dense undercoat, this cat's fur will change in length along with the change in seasons. A summer coat will be shorter than a longer, dense winter coat.

All colors and patterns are accepted except those that appear to be from hybridization, like lavender, chocolate, a Himalayan pattern, or any combination with white. In TICA, all colors and patterns are accepted.

Eyes are copper, gold, hazel, green, blue, or odd eyed, depending on the color and coat pattern.

Personality
Defined by its excellent mousing abilities, this cat can be quite suspicious of any unusual movements or activity within your house. Yet, if it senses that you don’t suspect danger, this cat will follow your lead. That type of response can also be expected whether you are working, playing or relaxing. The Cymric will prefer to be at the center of participation, conversing with you every step of the way.

Best when exposed early to a variety of circumstances, the Cymric is a fun-loving, intelligent cat that gets along well with other animals in the house, including dogs. A very loyal pet, it will always seek to spend quality time with you. Gentle and playful, the Cymric is a very skilled jumper and can be taught tricks quite easily. Just like the Manx but unlike most cats, the Cymric is fascinated by water. Quite perceptive and intellectually adept, this cat will learn to open latches, doors, and cabinets, and will obey your commands whether invited to come or warned about an infraction. This cat is also a joy on a car trip and generally a bundle of love for the duration of its life.

Health
Unfortunately, the genetic mutation that gives Manx and Cymrics their tailless appearance can also be lethal. If kittens inherit two copies of tailless gene, for example, they will die before birth, often absorbed still in utero. These kittens make up about 25% of all kittens, which means that because these get reabsorbed by the uterus, litters are usually small.

Manx syndrome can occur in cats with just one copy of the gene, which can cause gaps in the vertebrae called spina bifida, resulting in vertebral dysfunction, or fused vertebrae. Cymric cats with these types of spinal deformities can sometimes hop like rabbits.

It isn't entirely possible to prevent "rumpy" tail expression, but any problems usually become apparent within the first six months of age. Reputable breeders will often keep Cymric and Manx kittens until the first six months of age or older before they make them available for adoption because of this shortcoming. With regular visits to the vet, the Cymric has a lifespan of 8 to 14 years.

Grooming
Your pet's coat is easily cared for simply by brushing or combing a couple of times a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Check your cat's bottom regularly for hygienic purposes. If possible, brush teeth daily or at least several times a week with a vet-approved toothpaste to prevent tartar and improve dental health, and wipe eyes daily with a clean, water-moistened cloth to eliminate any infection.

References
Cymric Cats.
http://cattime.com/cat-breeds/cymric-cats.
Retrieved October 24, 2014.

Cymric cat.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymric_cat.
Retrieved October 24, 2014.

Cymric Cat.
http://www.hicats.com/cymric-cat/.
Retrieved October 24, 2014.

Cymric.
http://www.iams.com/pet-health/cat-breeds/cymric-manx-longhair.
Retrieved October 24, 2014.

Cymric.
http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/cymric.
Retrieved October 24, 2014.

Cymric Cat.
https://www.petfinder.com/cat-breeds/Cymric.
Retrieved October 24, 2014.