Cymric Cat: The Tailless Wonder

Close-up image of an Cymric Cat
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

A cat’s tail is what they mostly use to communicate with. It is very expressive; every twitch could mean something different. But what about tailless cats (before you ask, yes, there is such a breed)? How would they express themselves if they don’t have their main communication tool? Why, by cuddling and tailing (excuse the pun) and generally being a lovable ball of fluff, of course! That’s the kind of attention you could expect from the wonderful Cymric cat.

Friendly and intelligent, the Cymric is the longhaired variety of the Manx cat. These cats are (you guessed it) famous for being tailless. They are also famous for being charming and affectionate. At the same time, they are calm, non-obtrusive, and quite independent. If you’re a busy guy—don’t worry; your cat can entertain themselves. Just don’t leave them alone for too long because the Cymric loves to be by your side even if they are not outright sitting in your lap. They would feel lonely if you’re away from home for too long.

Grey Cymric kitten in a cat tree

In this article, we’re going to provide you with plenty of information on this cool cat. From the cat’s extraordinary looks, how to feed your furry pet, grooming, illnesses to watch for, and much more, get ready to fall deeply in love with this amazing breed.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: High

  • Grooming: Above Average Maintenance Needs

  • Health: Average

  • All Around Friendliness: Good

  • Exercise Needs: Above Average; requires daily exercise

Cat Breed GroupLong-Haired, Natural Breed
Weight8 - 12 pounds
Lifespan9 - 14 years

The Cymric is a natural breed with a fun-loving personality. Not only will your feline pet be loyal and protective, but they are amicable with other pets in the home too, and that includes dogs.

Cymric cats are similar to Manx cats, and it was at first thought that this cat was the Longhaired Manx. The name of this cat breed came from the Welsh word ‘Cymru,’ which stands for Wales. It’s a bit misleading because the Cymric actually originated in the Isle of Man. With the cat’s lovely, round, copper/brown eyes, the round shape of their ears, and their round head, you might very well end up feeling like you’re cuddling a large rabbit.

Cymric kitten lying on a bed

The Cymric is tailless, but there are some Cymrics that have a tail. The tailless ones are referred to as rumpies or stumpies. Cymrics with tails are known as longies. An interesting aspect with these cats is that some have three vertebrae, while others have five vertebrae at the end of their spine.

Even if your Cymric comes minus a tail, it doesn’t affect his balance one bit. The rear-end of the cat is strong, and he’ll surprise you with some amazing jumping abilities. The breed has watchdog characteristics; you’ll be delighted to know that the Cymric can be taught a few tricks too. They can even be taught to fetch a ball, much the same as a dog. The Cymric isn’t an aggressive cat. As a family pet, you’ll find them gentle—which also makes them an ideal pet for children.

Cymric-cat lying down on a cat tree

The lovely Cymric is a playful cat but not demanding of your attention. What they do like very much, though, is a nice, clean litter box. So you owe it to your furry friend to uphold their good hygiene standards. Due to their high intelligence, you can also teach them to use the toilet if cleaning their litter box so often starts to feel like a bit of a chore.

When it comes to the cat’s coat, it is rather high maintenance. But even so, a good brush a few times each week will keep it in ship-shape order. Give your Cymric the attention and love they deserve, and you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful four-legged family member.

Main Highlights

  • History tells us that the Manx have been around for centuries—in fact, since the 1750’s—but the Cymric wasn’t bred for another 200 years after this date.

  • The cute kittens come into the world with one of four variations in tail length—stumpie, longie, rumpy, or rumpy riser.

  • You won’t find a specified color or pattern with this fascinating breed. If you choose one to be your friend, you get to choose from lovely silver, black, brown, tortoiseshell, blue, white, and many more. Patterns include calico, bi-color, tortoiseshell, and solid.

  • Apart from the unusual no-tail feature of the Cymric, there is another unusual factor—the larger and longer back legs. It almost gives the cat an ungainly look as they hop/walk, but it’s this highly recognizable gait which simply endears these felines further to cat lovers.

Breed History

There are some illustrious tales surrounding the origins of the Cymric, but records show that the breed originated on the Isle of Man. Before receiving their own name, however, the cats were first exhibited as Manx Mutants, while others preferred the name Longhaired Manx. The cat’s name changed to Cymric in the 1970s as popularized by Cymric breeders Blair Wright and Leslie Falteisek.

Beautiful White Cymric cat

The United Cymric Association was formed to promote the breed in 1976, and in the same year, the Canadian Cat Association granted the breed Championship Status. Today, long-haired kittens born to Manx parents can be registered as Cymrics in most major associations, except the CFA. It was in 1979 that TICA—The International Cat Association—recognized the Cymric and the Manx as championship competitions.


The Cymric is a medium-sized cat. Both males and females can reach weights of between 8 and 12 pounds when fully grown. Cymric cats don’t develop quickly, and this means it will take a number of years for the cat to reach their adult weight.

Personality and Character

The Cymric cat is friendly and playful, but cats like these also like to have some independence. You can, essentially, keep them as indoors-only cats, but you’ll have to keep them occupied with lots of toys and exercise gadgets.

Cymrics are powerful jumpers, too, and this is attributed to the breed’s muscular build and their longer back legs. If your Cymric is an indoor cat, you will need to ensure that there are perches and maybe an indoor cat tree for your pet to jump onto. Otherwise, you may just find that your furry friend wants to jump onto your shoulder to perch there!

cute orange and white Cymric cat sitting in the garden

The Cymric is a gentle, intelligent cat. While they aren’t quite as talkative and demanding as some other breeds, they use a unique trilling sound to ‘talk’ to you. They love their human family and are known to form strong bonds—often selecting one ‘favorite’ human family member to form a particularly strong bond with. They are gentle, calm cats who prefer not to be left alone for long periods of time.

Health and Potential Problems

The Cymric isn’t a cat that suffers many health problems, but the tailless cat does have some problems surrounding this unusual feature. Let’s take a look at some typical health problems that you might want to be aware of with your Cymric:

  • Manx Syndrome is a genetic mutation that brings about tailless cats. It can also cause other diseases because of its effects on the development of the spine. It could lead to spina bifida, which could then lead to painful infections for your cat—causing incontinence and even partial paralysis. The good news is that breeders are jacking up their breeding. Thanks to this, there has been a decrease in the Manx Syndrome.

  • Upper Respiratory Infections are common in cats; the nose and sinus area are susceptible to infections from viruses and bacteria. Feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus account for 80 to 90% of all contagious upper respiratory problems. Symptoms of this infection include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, drooling, rapid breathing, and fever.

  • Worms are internal parasites that can infect your cat. Some of these parasitic worms can actually jeopardize the health of humans too. If your Cymric likes to run and play outdoors, then your cat will be more vulnerable to worm infestations. Roundworms are the most common internal parasites in cats. Hook- and Tapeworms are other parasites. Hookworm, in particular, can cause anemia which can be life-threatening.

  • Feline Leukemia is a cat disease that spreads through urine, mucous, and saliva. Even sharing water bowls can pass the disease from one cat to the next. While some cats become immediately ill when contracting the virus, with other cats it will be weeks before the symptoms show up. Feline leukemia can then lead to a host of other unpleasant conditions such as eye disease, bladder infections, diarrhea, anemia, and more.

  • Obesity is something that you will have to watch with the Cymric. Obesity is a nutritional disease brought about by an excess of body fat and not enough exercise. Obesity can result in seriously adverse health effects such as breathing problems and diabetes. Indoor cats and those who have been spayed or neutered are also more prone to picking up weight.

  • Dental problems are a common disease with cats, and it happens when bacteria accumulate on the cat’s gums—forming plaque and calculus. This ultimately leads to an inflammatory condition known as gingivitis. There are a number of pet toothpaste and brushes that your vet can recommend to keep your pet’s pearly whites dazzlingly clean.

When you’ve got children in the home, or you’re handling your Cymric, you need to be gentle. This is because the nerve endings aren’t protected, and the tail area can be regarded as sensitive. Pressure in the tail area of the cat can produce some pain.

Black and white cute Cymric cat lying down

Because of the strange build of the cat—with longer back legs than front legs—take care when you pick your Cymric up to ensure the hindquarters are supported so as to not put any pressure on the spine. By taking good care of your Cymric and keeping them healthy and loved, who knows, you may have your furry friend around for far longer than their allotted 14 years. 

Care Features

The Cymric cat doesn’t require a lot of fussy care. They do need more frequent grooming compared to other cat breeds that don’t have an undercoat, but three times a week should more than suffice. Apart from brushing their teeth, brushing their coat to remove loose hair, and stimulating circulation, the Cymric doesn’t ask for much more.  Remember that this cat breed loves a clean, well-maintained litter box. Also, always check your pet’s ears, eyes, and skin for any signs of illness or infection.

Feeding Schedule

The Cymric are not that much different compared to any other kitty cats when it comes to food. Your cat will want a balanced diet of protein, minerals, and vitamins to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

While your cat will love a little bit of your own homemade food such as cooked chicken and fish, chat with your vet about a high-quality, age-appropriate commercial food for your cat. The best brands make sure that your cat will get all the right nutrients they need and in the right proportions.

White and orange Cymric Cat in a studio

You’ve got options with these commercial foods, and you’ll have to try your pet with different foods to settle on his favorite. Choose between wet, semi-moist, and dry foods. You can also mix them all. Check your cat’s coat. You’ll know that you’re providing the best food when you see your cat’s shiny, glossy coat, and the thankfulness in his shiny eyes.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

The Cymric’s fur is a coat of many colors and patterns. The longish hair, unfortunately, is prone to shedding, so cat lovers may very well have to invest their money in a vacuum cleaner and their time in brushing the cat at least three times a week.

The undercoat is the part that needs frequent brushing. While the silky, glossy coat isn’t prone to matting, you still want to be 100% sure that you’re doing your part to maintain your Cymric’s stylish looks.

Cymric cat lying down in the yard

If you intend to turn your Cymric into a show cat, the double coat should be of medium length (½ – 2 ½ inches) over your pet’s main body. The ruff’s length should be in tandem with the cat’s overall coat length.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

The gentle, affable Cymric cat is a firm favorite and has found their way into the homes and hearts of cat lovers worldwide. This is, after all, the beloved cat of the Isle of Man—where the government put up a picture of the cat on one of their coins and on a stamp.

The Cymric loves the company of their human family. They’re gentle with children and will get on well with other pets, especially dogs. Although, as always, introductions to other pets should be done slowly and with caution.

studio image of an cymric-kitten

The one time you’ll need to watch out when it comes to your Cymric is when introducing them to a stranger. People who appreciate the ‘watch-dog’ qualities of dogs but don’t want to keep one will agree that the beautiful Cymric cat can perform this role too.

Anyone entering your home that is looked upon as unwelcome by your Cymric will witness the wrath of your four-legged, furry companion. This unusual no-tail cat will growl threateningly at someone unfamiliar and may even, if provoked, go on the offensive. It’s not as if the cat is in any way aggressive; they just want to protect what they love.

Wrap Up

The Cymric cat, pronounced ‘kim-rik,’ is still considered to be a fairly new breed by cat fanciers. Historians tell us that long-haired Manx cats have been on the Isle of Man for centuries and that the Cymric has been around almost as long as the Manx. The Cymric is still sometimes referred to as the longhaired Manx, but the breed then got their name from breeders Wright and Falteisek, who wanted the breed to have a Welsh-sounding name.

Today the Cymric is recognized as a breed of their own by many cat associations, while others such as the Cat Fanciers’ Association have decided to group them with the Manx cat as a longhair variety. The wonderful breed can be born with a host of colors and patterns. The furry feline can display a variety of eye colors too—such as hazel, green, blue or copper. While the cat is medium-sized, their dense fur can actually make the tabby appear to be larger.

Brown Cymric cat with blue eyes sitting in the yard

The cat is considered to be highly intelligent, and in spite of the breed loving human company, they don’t mind entertaining themselves with their toys and even other pets. Surprisingly, this cat can also sometimes be found playing with water.

As previously suggested, your Cymric is a healthy cat, but you will need to beware the Manx Syndrome. The absence of a tail in this fascinating breed is caused by a mutation which is similar to the one causing spina bifida in humans. Some of the kittens may later develop spina bifida.

Orange Cymric cat sitting on a road in the sun

While this medical condition is uncommon, you need to know that it can occur. Make sure that when you select a Cymric, you choose a reputable breeder so as to minimize the risks. Always consult your veterinarian for routine care as well as sound medical advice.

Do you think the fascinating tailless Cymric is for you? If completely tailless isn’t your thing and you’re more of a bobtail type of person, we’ve got just the breed to recommend to you. Do you own a Cymric or do you intend to? Why not share your thoughts and opinions in the section below? We’d simply love to hear about your experiences too!

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.