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Everything You Need to Know About The Cymric Cat

If you've ever seen a heavy, long-haired, tailless cat that looks more like a bowling ball on legs, odds are it was a Cymric (pronounced kim-rick). These lovable furballs, also known as long-haired Manx cats, are playful, outgoing, and the purrfect companion for the pet owner who wants a unique cat with dog-like loyalty and a taste for adventure.

Cymric Cat Appearance

The most striking aspect of the Cymric is her short or completely missing tail. Like her Manx siblings (or cousins, depending on whether you believe the two breeds are separate or only vary by coat length), the Cymric typically has either no tailbone at all or a short stump where another cat's tail would be. Some, called stumpy risers, have a short tail with up to five vertebrae. Some even have longer tails (creatively called "longies") that can swish about, though these tails are still shorter than the average cat tail.

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The second thing you're likely to notice immediately about the Cymric is how large and round her overall body is. From head to stomach to rear, Cymrics have a rounded shape complemented by large, round eyes. Combined with her heavy frame, she has a very sweet (if also somewhat amusing) appearance.
What especially distinguishes a Cymric from a Manx is her long, thick double coat, which presents in a variety of colors and patterns. Although not particularly difficult to maintain, the coat needs regular combing or brushing, usually about two to three times a week, to help remove loose hair and prevent matting. During the fall and spring shedding seasons, more frequent combing is necessary.

Cymric Cat Personality

cymric kitten
Each cat is unique, but on the whole, Cymrics are easygoing, friendly, and highly intelligent. They learn tricks easily, so they make great partners in a game of fetch. They also have very nimble paws, meaning you shouldn't be surprised to find this curious critter opening your cabinets and peeking inside.
While some cats are aloof and prefer to keep their distance, Cymrics tend to develop strong bonds with their adoptive families, including children and other pets. They love a good play session, particularly one with puzzles to challenge their minds and hurdles to indulge their nature as powerful jumpers.
Like the Manx, Cymric cats are also fascinated by water. Pet parents often report finding their Cymric splashing in the water bowl, investigating sinks and faucets, and playing near outdoor ponds and birdbaths. While this doesn't necessarily mean you should expect your Cymric to become an enthusiastic swimmer, it does mean you might consider giving her some quality supervised play time with a water dish or a dripping faucet.

The Cymric/Manx Debate

To understand the Cymric, you first have to understand the Manx. Manx cats, named for their first recorded appearance being on the Isle of Man, were likely introduced by Phoenician traders, Viking settlers, or even crews aboard the Spanish Armada.
Regardless, records indicate that the new inhabitants likely did not have shortened or nonexistent tails and that the Manx's characteristic bob is the result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation. As years passed and the trait spread, the tail-less variation became dominant in the breed.
While Manx cats are classified as having short hair, long-haired variants are known as Cymrics, but there is still debate about whether Cymrics should be considered an entirely different breed. Some believe Cymrics originated in the 1960s after Canadian breeders purposefully began breeding the long-haired Manx, while others maintain that Cymrics are simply a Manx cat expressing the recessive trait for long hair.
Regardless of how exactly the breed came to be, it only acquired its name in the mid-1970s. Prominent breeders Blair Wright and Leslie Falteisek chose the name "Cymric," the Welsh name for "Wales," as a nod to the cat's roots on the Isle of Man.

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