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Another genetically impossible account claimed that the Manx was the hybrid offspring of a cat and a rabbit, purporting to explain why it has no or little tail, long hind legs and a sometimes hopping gait. A population on the small, isolated Danish peninsula (former island) of Reersø in the Great Belt may be due to the arrival on the island of cats of Manx origin, by ship.
a near-island peninsula in the Black Sea, though whether they are genetically related to maritime Manx cats or are a coincidentally similar result of insular genetic diversity limitations, like the unrelated Kuril Islands Bobtail, Karelian Bobtail, Japanese Bobtail, and Indonesian Lombok cats, is unknown.
Attempting to force the tailless trait to breed true by continually breeding tailless Manx cats to tailless Manx cats has led to increased negative, even fatal genetic disorders (see below).
Since Manx kittens are naturally born with any tail length, from none to long, it was formerly common to surgically dock the longer tails a few days after birth.
Although illegal in many jurisdictions today (including much of Europe), the practice was formerly recommended, although with the caveat that the commonness of the practice meant that many spurious Manx cats – i.e., random British cats – were altered to resemble the Manx, to defraud unwary buyers.
Over the years a number of cartoons have appeared on postcards from the Isle of Man showing scenes in which a cat's tail is being run over and severed by a variety of means including a motorcycle, a reference to motorcycle racing being popular on the island, and an update of the Noah story.
Because the gene is so dominant and "invades" other breeds when crossed (often without owner knowledge) with the Manx, there was a folk belief that simply being in the proximity of a Manx cat could cause other breeds to somehow produce tailless kittens.
The Manx gene may be related to the similarly dominant tail suppression gene of the recent American Bobtail breed, but Manx, Japanese Bobtails and other short-tailed cats are not used in its breeding program, and the mutation seems to have appeared in the breed spontaneously.
Possible relation to the Pixie-bob breed, which also ranges from rumpy to fully tailed, is unknown.Manx cats come in all coat colours and patterns, though all-white specimens are rare, and the coat range of the original stock was more limited.Long-haired variants are sometimes considered a separate breed, the Cymric.The Japanese Bobtail has a markedly different appearance from the Manx, and is characterized by almond-shaped eyes, a triangular face, long ears, and lean body, like many other Asian breeds.The gene responsible for the bobbed or kinked tail in that breed is recessive and unrelated to the dominant Manx tail-suppression gene; the bobtail gene is not connected to any serious deformities, while the tail-suppression gene can, under certain conditions, give rise to a pattern of sometimes lethal health problems.Although these longer tail types are of purebred Manx ancestry, they do not possess the dominant gene so cannot pass it on.