Also known as the tail-less Manx, the Cymric is a striking looking cat with a luxuriant double fur coat and a solid, muscular body that will always catch the eye. Pronounced ‘kim-rik’, the lack of tail doesn’t detract from this handsome cat, and the breed is something that is widely admired.
Known to be an excellent guard cat for your home, the Cymric is playful, active and incredibly loyal with a dog-like habit of growling to alert you to any sight or sound that is a little out of the ordinary. But while he likes to be on the go and having fun, he also likes nothing better than to spend quality time with his favorite human.
The Cymric is actually a variation of the short-haired Manx cat and it is not unknown for both types to appear in the same litter. We take an in-depth look at the Cymric to discover exactly why this tailless, furry feline can make a really special pet.
History of the Cymric Cat
The gorgeous and unusual Cymric is actually a long-haired version of one of the world’s oldest known cat breeds, the Manx.
The Manx cat dates back to the 17th Century and originates from the Isle of Man – where the islanders are known as Manx – just off the English north west coast. While there are numerous legends as to how the breed came about and what happened to its tail – including it getting caught in the closing door of Noah’s Ark – the likelihood is that it is simply the result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation.
The isolated Irish Sea location of the Isle of Man is probably a contributing factor to the development of the breed, although it is not clear whether the first tailless cat was from the island or was brought ashore via a trading ship. Wherever that first cat came from, its mutated gene spread amongst the Island’s native short-haired cat population, resulting in the popular short-haired Manx cat we know today. The Manx cat has been bred in the US since the 1930s but the first Cymrics were not reported until the 1960s in Canada where breeders started to focus on the long-haired variant. Originally known as the Long-Haired Manx, the name of the breed was eventually changed to Cymric in the 70s, after the Celtic name for Wales, ‘Cymru’ and was recognized as a breed in its own right.
The Cymric breed was officially acknowledged by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979, followed by The Fédération Internationale Félin (FIFe) in 2006. Both the Manx and the Cymric are recognized to possess the same attributes, with the only exception being the Cymric’s long double fur coat.
Quick Facts About the Cymric Cat
With its lux long-haired coat and tailless appearance, the Cymric is a very special cat that demands attention. Medium-sized and of a stocky build, the Cymric is robust and adventurous and although the coat needs daily grooming, the Cymric makes a very loyal and playful pet. But he is a pedigree, so you can expect to pay $500+ to bring a Cymric kitten into your family home.
We take a look at some more quick facts about the Cymric Cat:
Size and build – a medium-sized cat, the Cymric has a strong and muscular build and thanks to his big bones, can actually feel a bit of a chunk to lift! An adult male will weigh in at around 11 pounds while a healthy female will be somewhere between seven and 11 pounds. The shape of the Cymric Cat is somewhat ‘spherical’ – with a round head, eyes, whisker pads and rump, all adding to that stocky look. His tail end is also higher than his front, which is more apparent when he is standing. His longer back legs also give him a bit of a rabbit look – the Cymric has also been called the cabbit!
Not all Cymrics are completely tailless – while there is clearly a tail missing on the Cymric, not all are totally tailless. Where no protuberance at the base can be felt, these Cymrics are called ‘rumpies’. However, on some Cymrics a small stump of a tail can be felt, hence their name ‘stumpies’. It can get even stranger with some Cymric ‘rumpies’ – if you run your hand down their rump, you may feel a tiny tail start to rise. If so, you’ve got a ‘rumpy riser’! However, as a rumpy riser ages, fat accumulates over the bump to create a pad of fat and the tail will no longer stand to attention if petted.
When it comes to showing the Cymric Cat, only the rumpy or rumpy riser is considering show worthy. And with rumpy risers, the judge must be able to stroke the back without being halted by the cat’s riser. Now you know!
He’s a late developer – the Cymric kitten is certainly in no hurry to grow up! While most cats reach maturity between the ages of one year and 18 months, the Cymric Cat only reaches full maturity by the age of five so you could well have a kitten-like cat for quite some time.
That coat – the Cymric cat has gorgeous long hair and a double-layered coat that feels silky, thick and dense. The coat can come in a variety of colors and patterns, including solids, blues, tabbies, tortoiseshells and calicos, often with dramatic markings. The fur lengthens from the shoulders, down to the upper rear legs (they look like breeches) to the belly, where the fur is usually at its longest. The neck ruff is magnificent and forms a bib on the chest. Many Cymrics are really hirsute and also display luxuriant tuffs of fur between their toes and in their ears. While gorgeous to look at and to pet, all this fur needs careful looking after and it also has quite a high shedding rate.
Great with families – if introduced as a kitten, the highly sociable Cymric is a great choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will love to play – he can think he is a dog – and will learn to play fetch as well as a host of other tricks. The Cymric loves attention and is happy around dogs as well as other cats who will respect his authority and can even learn to leave fish and birds alone.
He’s a water baby! Just like his Manx cousin, the Cymric is fascinated by water and will play splash with their water bowl or try to turn on your faucets. Swimming may not be a total skill or desire of a Cymric, but they will happily play by ponds and birdbaths so supervised water-based playtime could well be a good way to bond with your water-loving Cymric.
Things You Should Know
Super-furry, tailless and wide-eyed, the Cymric is a gorgeous-looking cat that has a gorgeous personality to match. Not as widely owned as the Manx, the Cymric is an unusual cat to own and their pedigree means that buying one is not cheap. With all that fur, they also need careful grooming so before you decide on a Cymric Cat, we take a look at all the essential things about the breed you should know.
The Cymric Cat has a relatively long life-expectancy, typically around 10 to 13 years and is a pretty hard and generally healthy animal to own. However, as he is a pedigree breed, there are a few health issues the Cymric Cat can be prone to and you should be aware of before you buy.
The first area to be aware of is the lack of a tail, which can lead to arthritis in the tailbone as well as spinal abnormalities. Spina Bifida and a spinal condition called Syringomyelia, which causes a build-up of fluid in the spine, are two such issues that a young Cymric Cat can be prone to. Around twenty per cent of Manx Cats, including the Cymric, can be susceptible to a condition called Manx Syndrome, which is a collection of problems relating to a shortened spine, including urinary tract defects and issues with the bowels and digestion. With the potential for spinal problems, it’s advised not to get a Cymric kitten that is younger than four months old so that any issues have time to present themselves.
As there is no physical tail on a Cymric, the nerve ends are still there so the rump and lower spine of a Cymric Cat can also be sensitive to touch and pain. This means you need to be careful when picking up or carrying your Cymric so as to not aggravate the area too much.
Another potential health problem with the Cymric breed is Corneal Dystrophy, which causes cloudiness in the eyes, which tends to develop in kittens from around four months old.
The Cymric Cat is a hearty eater and loves their food, so a controlled diet is needed, especially if they are kept indoors, to keep their weight in check. The plus side is that the Cymric is active and muscular and so good at metabolizing their food, so choose the best quality food you can buy, and make sure it includes a natural source of animal protein.
With their long coat and their lack of a tail, additional supplements in their food to keep their fur, bones and nervous system healthy are also a good idea, so look for a quality cat food that includes taurine, minerals such as zinc and magnesium as well as omega oils and antioxidants. Also, to keep their weight down, only feed twice a day and limit their treats in-between. And always make sure they have easy access to fresh, clean water so they can keep nice and hydrated.
As active cats, the day-to-day care of your Cymric should be relatively easy, particularly if you can get into a regular routine. His ideal living environment is where he is not left alone for long periods as he is a highly sociable cat that loves being with his humans and fellow pet companions.
The Cymric is particularly fastidious about his hygiene so it’s important to keep the cat litter box spotlessly clean as well as ensuring he is able to keep clean himself too. More on grooming that magnificent coat shortly, but you also need to care for the rest of his ‘bits’. Check his butt for feces or anything else that may be hanging on to that long hair and clean away if necessary, so he doesn’t spread the muck around your home. His lovely large eyes will regularly need a gentle clean, especially if they are getting a bit gunked up, so carefully wipe the corners each day with a soft damp cloth to keep them sparkling. Also check his ears weekly and if they look mucky, they can be wiped out with a cotton ball, moistened warm water. Head over to our review of the best cat ear cleaners for more choices.
Your Cymric Cat may suffer from periodontal or gum disease if his teeth are not adequately maintained, so help him with his dental hygiene by feeding him the right diet and include some dry kibble which can sweep any plaque from his teeth as he eats. If necessary, a weekly brush with a soft cat toothbrush can work wonders.
Ah, now to the Cymric’s long, double coat! His fur will be constantly shedding and is prone to matting so for the sake of both your Cymric Cat and your home, a daily grooming routine is a must.
A good daily brushing will help manage that shedding and also keep the coat in a lovely, smooth condition as it will help to remove the undercoat, that will build up over time if left. You will also need to up the grooming during the key shedding season. Removing excess fur and managing his shedding will also help prevent hairballs developing – just don’t forget to clean his brushes after every grooming session. And be extra gentle when grooming around his tailless rump as you don’t want to aggravate the delicate nerve endings that still remain.
Regular grooming of his long coat will definitely benefit his skin, as it will stimulate circulation, massage the skin and remove any dirt or debris. Grooming also helps to spread the natural oils in the skin, enabling his lux coat to stay glossy and healthy. The occasional bath is also recommended, which won’t be too much of a hardship for a water-loving kit such as the Cymric Cat. Use a mild cat shampoo and make sure you thoroughly rinse the coat in clean water before mopping up excess water with an absorbent, chamois-type cloth.
The plus-side to all this daily grooming and pampering is the quality time you get to spend with your Cymric. And, as he is such a loyal cat who loves his human, it can only help to strengthen the bond between you both!
Despite his stocky and muscular appearance, the Cymric is actually a very sweet, gentle and generally placid, happy cat. Very little seems to faze them and as long as they get the respect they deserve from other pets or little humans in the household, they really are no trouble. Extremely sociable, they love to be at the center of the domestic action and love being with their people.
However, this is a cat that can really mix it up when it comes to playtime, making them a lovely and entertaining pet, especially if there are children around. They love to run and play, which can have a bit of a comical twist as they do have a unique lollop to their gait, making them look like they are bowling around the room! And, thanks to their powerful back legs they make super jumpers, so watch out for your tall furniture and drapes.
The Cymric Cat mirrors a dog in many ways, and can be taught tricks such as fetch, which they will play for as long as you are willing to throw their toy. They are also known to be ‘watch cats’ as they are quick to alert you to any suspicious noise or movement – their deep, dog-like growl will certainly capture your attention! But the Cymric isn’t really a nervy type of cat and will quickly settle back when he sees everything is ok. And his protective behavior towards his human family is rather endearing.
What is particularly notable about the Cymric Cat’s temperament is its adaptability, meaning that they can take most changes or new faces in their stride. If they need to get your attention, they are happy to get talkative, and have a cute, shrilling sound to their ‘voice’. They really do like company and will follow you around the house as you go about your business, ready to help, play or just sit back and watch. And when it is time to relax, the Cyrmic Cat loves a good lap, and will curl up on or beside you to nap.
In short, fun, playful, sociable, unflappable, adaptable and loyal, the tailless fluff ball that is the Cymric Cat can really make a wonderful, if not unusual family pet.
- Cymric – international cat care