The Manx cat has a naturally occurring mutation of the spine which shortens the tail, resulting in a range of tail lengths from normal to tailless. Many Manx have a small 'stub' of a tail, but Manx cats are best known as being entirely tailless. In the Manx language they are commonly known as the Stubbin, and in English the Rumpy.
Types of Manx Cats
- Dimple rumpy or rumpy - Completely tailess
- Riser or rumpy riser - Bit of stump at base of spine
- Stumpy - A short stump of a tail
- Tailed or Longy - A visible short tail
The breed it thought to have been introduced to the Island in the 1700's. The first printed description of the cat appeared in 1810 which referred to some tailless cats owned by Turner (the famous English painter) which were said to be from the Island. A further reference in 1834 Magazine of Natural History says that the author saw several in the huts of the peasantry among the mountains between Ramsey and Peel and that he was told they had come from a wreck of a vessel from Prussia or some Baltic port many years ago.
The common name 'Stubbin' would indicate that the cat was a relatively recent introduction to the Island as before 1750 the majority spoke Manx yet 'stubbin' is obviously derived from the English. "Stub'bin s.m. a cat without a tail" appears in Cregeen's Manx Dictionary of 1835 - as does runtey for round,circular.
Source: Francis Coakley - An Electronic Compendium of Matters Past and Present Connected with the Isle of Man