Manx Syndrome in Cats: A Detailed Guide How to Identify and Treat Manx syndrome in Cats

Manx Syndrome in Cats: A Detailed Guide Photo by Davide Compagnoni:

Manx cat syndrome is a hereditary condition that affects Manx cats. We discuss the symptoms and treatment options of this syndrome in this article.

Manx Syndrome, also known as Manx cat syndrome, is a genetic disorder that has an impact on Manx cat breeds. The condition is characterized by a range of symptoms, including spinal abnormalities, skeletal malformations, and bowel and urinary tract problems. From cat to cat, the degree of the condition might vary widely, with some showing very slight signs and others perhaps being badly impacted.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Manx Syndrome, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Causes of Manx Syndrome In Cats

Manx Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects cats with the Manx gene, which is responsible for the lack of a tail or a shortened tail. Various signs of the condition include anomalies of the spinal cord, skeletal deformities, and bowel and urine incontinence. The back legs may become paralyzed in the most severe situations. Manx Syndrome is brought on by a genetic mutation that affects how the tail and spinal cord develop. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive way, which means that for the disorder to manifest, a cat needs to inherit the defective gene from both parents. Cats with one carrier copy of the mutant gene are thought to be asymptomatic carriers.


Manx Syndrome symptoms in cats can vary greatly depending on the degree of the cat’s genetic mutation. Some typical signs include:

  • Spinal cord abnormalities: Cats with Manx Syndrome may have a shortened or malformed spinal cord, which can lead to nerve damage and paralysis of the hind legs.

  • Skeletal malformations: Cats with Manx Syndrome may have shortened or malformed vertebrae, which can result in a hunched posture or a "bunny hop" gait.

  • Bowel and urinary incontinence: Cats with Manx Syndrome may have difficulty controlling their bowel and bladder function, resulting in incontinence.

  • Pain or discomfort: Cats with Manx Syndrome may be in pain or discomfort due to spinal cord abnormalities or skeletal malformations.

  • Loss of tail or shortened tail

It's important to note that some cats may be carriers of the Manx gene but may not show any symptoms, while other cats may have mild symptoms. In severe cases, Manx Syndrome can lead to chronic pain, paralysis, and even death.

Clinical Diagnosis

Manx Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects cats that have the Manx gene, which is responsible for the cat’s short or absent tails. The illness can produce a wide range of symptoms, including spinal cord disorders, joint and bone abnormalities, and digestive and urinary system issues.

A veterinarian can diagnose Manx Syndrome through a physical examination, X-rays, and other diagnostic tests such as blood work and urinalysis. The symptoms can vary from cat to cat, and the severity of the condition can also vary. Some cats may have mild symptoms, while others may have severe symptoms that affect their quality of life.

Treatment Options

Depending on the particular symptoms and seriousness of the disorder, many treatments are available for cats with Manx Syndrome. Typical forms of therapy include:

  • Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to correct joint and bone abnormalities or to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.

  • Medication: Pain medications like methocarbamol and Onsior can be prescribed depending on the severity of the pain. Also, anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisolone and Metacam can be prescribed based on the extent of inflammation.

  • Special care: Special care may be needed to address issues related to digestion, elimination, and mobility. This may include gastrointestinal medications, dietary changes, physical therapy, and the use of assistive devices such as wheelchairs.

  • Regular checkups: Regular checkups with a veterinarian are important to monitor the cat's condition and adjust treatment as necessary.

While some cats may respond well to treatment and have a good quality of life, others may have a poor prognosis and may require humane euthanasia.

How To Prevent Manx Syndrome In Cats

As mentioned earlier, Manx Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is caused by the Manx gene, which is responsible for the cat’s short or absent tails. Since it is a hereditary illness, there is no way to completely avoid it. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of passing the gene on to future generations.

  • Responsible breeding: Cats that carry the Manx gene should not be bred, as this increases the chances of passing the gene onto their offspring.

  • Genetic testing: Cats that are going to be used for breeding should be genetically tested to determine if they carry the Manx gene.

  • Adopting: Consider adopting a cat from a rescue organization or shelter rather than purchasing one from a breeder.

  • Spay/neuter: Spaying or neutering your cat can prevent them from reproducing and passing on the gene.

However, even if you take these steps, there is still a chance that a cat with the Manx gene could be adopted or purchased.

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