Choosing a Cymric

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Also known as the longhaired Manx, the Cymric is a plush, huggable breed with the unique qualities of the Manx plus a dense, semi-long coat. Like the Manx, the Cymric is one tail short – the defining characteristic of the breed. While some unenlightened souls think that a cat is ill-dressed indeed without an elegant tail, Cymric fanciers believe a cat should not be defined by its tail any more than humans should be defined by the style of their clothes or the color of their skin. And Cymrics get their feelings across just fine without a tail to lash.

History and Origin of Cymric Cats

The ultimate survivor, the Cymric developed on the Isle of Man, a small island located in the middle of the Irish Sea midway between Liverpool, England, and Belfast, Ireland. The Isle’s records indicate that the breed first began as a mutation among the island’s domestic cat population, although some believe that the mutation may have occurred elsewhere and was transported onto the island by trading ships. However, since this happened hundreds of years ago, we’ll never know for sure.

Since both long and shorthaired cats were present on the island, both longhaired and shorthaired varieties developed on the Isle. Presumably, the gene for long hair passed around the island’s closed environment, just as did the dominant gene for taillessness. Unlike the Manx gene, however, long hair is a recessive trait, and the gene can be carried without manifesting for generations.

While the Cymric was shown in America as early as 1963, the breed didn’t really begin to become popular until the mid 1970s. The breed’s name was derived from the word “Cymru,” the Welsh word for Wales. Pioneer Cymric breeder Blair Wright had heard her grandmother tell tales of the longhaired tailless cats she’d seen in that area during her childhood, so the name seemed appropriate. Today, most cat associations accept the Cymric as a breed in its own right.

Appearance of a Cymric

Short on tail, the Cymric is long on fur. It’s the luxurious coat that sets the Cymric apart from the Manx. The heavy, glossy coat is medium long, dense and full. A thick undercoat gives the coat density and a well-padded appearance and adds to the Cymric’s illusion of size and heft. The breeches, abdomen and neck-ruff are usually longer than the fur on the main body. Tufts decorate the ears and toes, and the cheeks sport full, thick sprouts of hair, giving the face a broad appearance. Like the Manx, the Cymric comes in all colors and patterns except those that suggest hybridization, such as the Siamese pointed pattern.

The body and head style is the same as the Manx’s. The overall impression is that of roundness: round head, firm, round muzzle, prominent cheeks, broad chest, and a rump as round as a grapefruit. The legs are short and substantial and the hind legs are strong and longer than the front, giving the cat spring power.

Tail Types

The “Manx gene” produces a variety of tail lengths, and any given litter can have all four types. Predicting how many pet-quality and show-quality Cymrics one is likely to get in a single litter is difficult indeed. Tail types are separated into four varieties:

  • Rumpy Cymric are highly prized since this tail type is favored in the show ring. Rumpies are completely tailless and often have a dimple at the base of the spine where the tail would ordinarily begin.
  • Rumpy-risers have a short knob of tail which consists of one to three vertebrae connected to the last bone of the spine. Risers can be shown if the vertical rise of the tail doesn’t stop the judge’s hand when the cat is stroked.
  • Stumpies have a short tail stump that is often curved or kinked and cats with this tail type are usually pet quality.
  • Longies have tails that are almost as long as an average cat’s. Many breeders dock the tails of these pet-quality kittens to make them easier to place and to avoid a manifestation of the Manx gene, which causes the tail vertebrae to ossify in later years, causing great pain.
  • Cymric Cat’s Personality

    The Cymric shares the Manx’s pleasant personality. Cymrics are even-tempered, calm, intelligent and adaptable, and generally form strong bonds with their human companions. While they ordinarily bond with one special person, they enjoy the company of all family members. Cymrics generally make good family pets, and get along with other companion animals, even dogs. Cymrics are playful, and if given the opportunity become talented mousers. Like the Manx, Cymrics are fascinated by water. Cymrics are remarkable jumpers because of their powerful back legs and can usually be found perched on the highest shelf.

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