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Digestive Problems for Manx Cats

This is a solution to Manx diarrhea and their digestive problems. This is very common with the breed. Many vets do not see a Manx in their practice and when they do they are not certain how to deal with it.


They are known to have bowel problems and it stems from their shortened vertebrae. They can be sensitive to some foods and I do not recommend giving them milk.

I have had a lot of rescue experience with this breed and came across an old country vet who used Tylan powder in the very small caplets. This is by prescription only. But there are vet and pet pharmacies that will mix a dose for your cat's weight and even flavor it so the cat will accept it more readily.

It is tried and true. You may have to give it to your cat for a long period, or it may clear up in a couple of weeks. Depends on your cat. Be patient. And change vets if they have no experience with this breed. They are one of the most fascinating cats you will ever own or be owned by!

Source: Old time vet in Florida who had a lot of farm experience.

By LML from TX

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

I don't have a Manx, but thanks for the tip. Isn't it wonderful how the little fuzzballs take over our homes and our hearts? :-)

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March 20, 20090 found this helpful

We have been owned by a stumpy Manx tuxedo cat named Stumpy(obvious I know) for 16.5 years, and he has had none of the health problems sometimes associated with the breed. He is a one man cat, and will only sit on my husband's lap, althogh he comes to everyone for petting and ear scratching. He is a very vocal cat, coming and meowing when the water or food dishes are low.

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March 21, 20090 found this helpful

The following is taken from http://fanciers  qs/manx-faq.html I hope that this will be of some help for you.

Special Medical Problems
Manx Syndrome is a normally fatal defect caused by the so-called Manx gene, which causes the taillessness. The gene's action in shortening the spine may go too far, resulting in severe spinal defects--a gap in the last few vertebrae, fused vertebrae, or spina bifida in newborns. If there is no obvious problem with a Manx Syndrome kitten at birth, the difficulties will show up in the first few weeks or months of the cat's life, usually in the first four weeks, but sometimes as late as four months. It is often characterized by severe bowel and/or bladder dysfunction, or by extreme difficulty in walking.


Breeders of Manx will generally not let kittens leave the cattery until they have reached four months of age because of the possibility of Manx Syndrome appearing. In most cases, however, experience will point to a problem in a kitten long before the kit is four months old. Rarely will a breeder have no suspicion of anything wrong and have the Manx Syndrome appear.

Manx Syndrome may occur even in a carefully bred litter, but is more likely in the instance when a rumpy is bred to a rumpy in or beyond the third generation. For this reason, the breeder carefully tracks rumpy to rumpy breedings, and uses tailed Manx regularly in the breeding program. Generally speaking, a sound breeding between a tailed Manx and a rumpy Manx should produce a litter that is 50% tailed and 50% rumpy, but as we know, what should happen and what does happen are many times two different things. Usually, however, one may rely on this percentage. As long as litters are produced in which all tail lengths appear, the breeder may feel that the breeding program is on track.

Manx litters tend toward the small side in numbers, both because of Manx Syndrome and because of the short back of the queen, which leaves less room for large numbers of kittens. A typical Manx litter will be 3 or 4 kittens--more than that could crowd the kits and a female who has a history of large litters needs careful observation during pregnancy to see that all goes well. A sensible precaution with expectant Manx queens is to have the vet x-ray or ultra-sound her a couple of weeks before the due date, to determine the number of kits to expect.


Most breeders will have the tails of Manx kits docked at 4-6 days of age. This is not so much for cosmetic reasons as it is to stave off another manifestation of the Manx gene. In adult cats of around 5 years, the tail vertebrae may become ossified and arthritic, resulting in pain for the cat. The pain may grow so severe that amputation is necessary--a difficult operation for an adult cat. It is much less painful and recovery is much swifter for a very young kitten to have its tail docked.

If your cat has Manx Syndrome, his or her medical bills could get really expensive. Consider getting pet insurance to cut down on the cost.

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March 23, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know much about manx cats, but I've raised many kittens. Plain yogurt works wonderfully. It doesn't cause the diarrhea that regular milk causes. Be sure to use the plain nonflavored kind.Yogurt has a good bacteria in it that helps cats (and us) digest their food better. Hope this helps.

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