Cymric Cat: Cat Breed Profile

Characteristics, History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Cymric cat (longhaired Manx)
The Cymric cat is the longhaired variety of the Manx cat.

Juan Ignacio Calcagno / Getty Images 

One of the oldest cat breeds, the Cymric cat is the longhaired version of the Manx cat. The trademark feature of both the Cymric and the Manx is tailless. In the ideal specimen, the lack of tail appears to be absolute, although some cats may have a slight rise of bone at the end the spine. Some kittens are born with stubby tails and even full-length tails, although this is a disqualification in the show ring. Other than length of hair, the Cymric cat and Manx cat are virtually identical in appearance and personality. Manx kittens may appear in Cymric litters and Cymric kittens may appear in Manx litters. 

The Cymric cat is a medium-sized cat with overwhelmingly rounded features: a round head with round cheeks and muzzle, round eyes, and a short and round body, with an arched back and even a rounded rump thanks to the lack of tail. When picked up, the well-muscled Cymric feels heavy for its size. The sweet Cymric is slow to mature, acting playful and kitten-like well into adulthood. It is a friendly cat that generally gets along well with people, including well-behaved children who are taught to handle the cat respectfully. 

Breed Overview

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Length: About 14 to 18 inches

Coat: Long 

Coat Color: Any color or pattern other than chocolate, lavender, the Himalayan pattern, or these combinations with white

Eye Color: Color conforms to coat color

Life Expectancy: 15 years

Cymric cat (longhaired Manx)
Erich Schmidt / Getty Images
Calico Cymric (longhaired Manx)
Erich Schmidt / Getty Images 
Cymric cat (longhaired Manx)
cgbaldauf / Getty Images

Characteristics of the Cymric Cat

Characteristics of the Cymric Cat
Affection Level  High
Friendliness  High
Kid-Friendly  High
Pet-Friendly  High
Exercise Needs  Medium
Playfulness  High
Energy Level  Medium
Intelligence  High
Tendency to Vocalize Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Cymric Cat

The Cymric’s background is that of the Manx cat, a tailless cat that originated on the Isle of Man, an island located in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. It’s not known whether the cats that eventually became the ancestors of the Manx and Cymric came to the island from England, Ireland, Wales or some far away country, but cats arrived on the island via ship, where they stayed and procreated. No one knows exactly when, but at some point (before 1810 but possibly as far back as 1750), a spontaneous mutation led to a litter of kittens born without tails. With a limited feline gene pool on the small island, the genetic mutation was passed on to more and more cats, until the Manx (and Cymric) breed was well-established. 

Cat shows became popular in the late 1800s, and Manx were part of the earliest cat shows. During this time, tailless cats on the Isle of Man came in both longhaired and shorthaired varieties, but the longhaired Manx was not as well-known. Later, the longhaired variety became known as the Cymric, which means “having to do with Wales,” where many of the longhaired tailless cats were found. 

Various cat registries recognize the Cymric differently. For instance, the Cat Fanciers’ Association considers the breed to be a longhaired variety of the Manx breed. With the CFA, the breed is called Longhair Manx and it follows the Manx breed standard, which specifies both Shorthair Manx and Longhair Manx. The International Cat Association and the Canadian Cat Association both recognize the Cymric as an entirely separate breed from the Manx. With both TICA and the CCA, the Cymric has its own breed standard. 

Cymric Cat Care

The Cymric cat’s medium-length, dense, double coat is longer on the shoulders, chest, neck, belly and backs of the legs. The full, plush coat feels soft and silky to the touch. The Cyrmic cat sheds moderately. To keep the coat glossy, brush two or three times a week and bathe occasionally if the coat feels greasy or starts to look clumpy. Keep your Cymric’s nails trimmed short and check the ears frequently, cleaning with a cotton ball and pet-safe cleanser if you see dirt or debris. Never stick a cotton swab or any other small item down into the delicate ear canal. If the ears look red and inflamed or excessively dirty, or is your Cymric is shaking her head or scratching her ears, schedule a visit to your veterinarian.

Cymric cats are highly intelligent and playful. Some are even known to chase after and retrieve toys. Help your Cymric get enough exercise by encouraging play with a variety of fun and stimulating toys and climbing opportunities, including feather wands to chase and cat towers to climb. Cymric cats are people-oriented, so they don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time.

Common Health Problems

Cymric cats and Manx share the same health concerns. The gene that causes the Cymric and Manx to be tailless carries other health concerns. Called Manx syndrome, Cymric and Manx cats can be born with spinal defects (typically spina bifida) that can cause neurological issues, difficulty standing or walking, or problems with urinating or defecating. Such problems are typically noticed early (before six months of age). Depending on the severity of the condition, the kitten may be humanely euthanized. 

Diet and Nutrition

With cat obesity at an all-time high, it’s important not to overfeed your Cymric. Staying lean will help prevent weight-related health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Feed measured amounts of cat food at regular meal times two to three times a day. Leaving food out all day (free feeding) might be easy, but it can lead to continuous snacking, which can contribute to an overweight cat. Ask your veterinarian or breeder about the best food to feed your Cymric cat.

Pros

  • Friendly and affectionate cats that get along well with family members

  • Playful and engaging companions

  • Unique, tailless appearance

Cons

  • Some are born with Manx syndrome (typically spina bifida)

  • Don’t do well if left alone for long periods of time

  • Requires regular brushing

Where to Adopt or Buy a Cymric Cat

If you’re thinking about buying a Cymric kitten, a great place to meet local breeders is a cat show. Cat shows are a fun place to see many different cat breeds all under one roof. To find a cat show in your area, do an internet search for “cat show near me” or visit http://www.catshows.us.  Some Cymric or Cymric mix cats, usually adults, might end up in rescue. Check with local cat-specific rescue groups or even local shelters.

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you like the Cymric cat, you might also like these cat breeds:

Otherwise, check out all of our other cat breed articles to help you find the perfect cat for you and your family.