Cymric Cat Breed – All Information, Facts, Care and Price

One of the oldest cat breeds, the Cymric is a long-haired variety of Manx. Besides their hair length, the Cymric and Manx are virtually identical—both have rounded features and naturally short tails. These slow-to-mature breeds also share playful, kitten-like personalities that persist into adulthood. The Cymric and Manx are so genetically similar that Manx kittens may appear in Cymric litters and vice versa.

The overall appearance should be that of a medium-sized, compact, muscular cat. The Cymric has a round head with a firm muzzle and prominent cheeks, short front legs, height of hindquarters, great depth of flank, and a short back, which forms a smooth continuous arch from the shoulders to the round rump. The Manx and Cymric are essentially the same in all respects, the Cymric having a longer coat. The Cymric has a medium/semi-long coat with a silky texture, which varies with coat color. Britches, tufts of hair between the toes and full furnishings in the ears distinguish the Cymric.

The Cymric is a solid, chunky and compact cat, medium to large sized, with a semi-long coat. The most notable feature of the Cymric is the lack of tail, – they share the same ancestry as the Manx, so as a result may be a ‘rumpy’ – no tail; ‘rumpy-riser’ – 1-3 tail vertebrae; stumpy – up to 1/3 of a tail and finally; longie – full tail.

The coat is medium-long and dense, well-padded across the body, further adding to the rounded, chunky appearance of this breed.

The friendly, affectionate Cymric (pronounced kim-rick) is the longhaired variety of the tailless Manx cat. Other than coat length, the two breeds are identical, with a solid body, round head, widely spaced ears and large, round eyes. The thick coat comes in many colors and patterns, including tabby, tortoiseshell and calico. The Cymric (pronounced kim-rick) is the longhaired variety of the tailless Manx cat. Other than coat length, the two breeds are identical. The Cymric’s taillessness is the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation, a common occurrence in felines. Besides his lack of a tail, the Cymric, who takes his name from the Gaelic word for Wales, is noted for his rounded appearance: He has a round head, round eyes, even a rounded rear end. Don’t think that the Cymric is completely tailless, either; some are—they are called rumpys—but others have up to three vertebrae fused at the end of the spine (rumpy risers); some have a stump of up to five vertebrae that they can whisk around; and some, known as longys, have a tail that’s longer than the stump but shorter than the typical cat tail. The Cymric weighs seven to 13 pounds and has a silky, medium-length double coat in many colors and patterns.

The Cymric is gentle and playful. It’s not unusual to find that he enjoys playing fetch or carrying his toys around. He’s also smart and dexterous, capable of using his paws to get into cabinets or to open doors. Fond of human company, he will carry on a conversation in a sweet trilling voice. Some Cymrics give all their love to a single person while others are affectionate toward the entire family, including children.

He might lack a tail, but the Cymric has a powerful rear end and is an excellent jumper, even without a natural counterweight to aid his balance. When you see him accelerate through the house and make sharp turns and quick stops, you’ll think he’s a mini sports car in the shape of a cat.

The Cymric is well suited to any home with people who will love him, play with him and care for him. Keep him indoors to protect him from cars, diseases spread by other cats and attacks from other animals.

Property Description
Breed Name Cymric
Origin Canada
Size Medium to large
Weight 8-13 pounds (3.5-6 kg)
Coat Type Semi-longhair, thick and plush
Coat Colors Any color or pattern
Eye Colors Any color, often blue or odd-eyed
Temperament Intelligent, friendly, social, playful, affectionate
Lifespan 12-16 years
Health Issues None specific to the breed
Grooming Needs Regular brushing to prevent matting
Exercise Needs Moderate
Training Needs Easily trained, respond well to positive reinforcement
Diet High-quality cat food, with occasional treats
Housing Needs Indoor living preferred
Other Names Longhaired Manx

The need-to-know

  • Great for first-time cat owners
  • Enjoys playing games and is active at home
  • Playful and curious cat
  • Sociable and dependent cat
  • Slightly talkative cat
  • Average build cat breed
  • Requires grooming every day
  • Needs extensive outdoor space
  • Great family cat
  • Can be left alone all day
  • Can cope with a busy household

Overall Description

The Cymric is known for its rounded appearance, from its round eyes and rounded rear, to its round head. It also features short front legs and longer hind legs, along with particularly muscular thighs. It’s these long rear legs that make these kitties look a little bit like rabbits.

Even though the Cymric, like the Manx, is referred as tailless, some cats within this breed aren’t totally without a tail. The cats that don’t have a tail at all are referred to as rumpies, while other Cymrics, known as rumpy-risers, can have as many as three vertebrae that are fused at the end of their spine. Still others have up to five vertebrae that they can actually move around, so they are referred to as stumpies. And some, called longies, have a tail that is even longer than the five vertebrae stump, but still shorter than the average cat’s tail.

Other Quick Facts

  • The Cymric is notable for his round contours, from his round head to his rounded rear end. The ears are wide at the base and taper to a rounded tip. Large round eyes are set at a slight angle toward the nose with the outer corners a bit higher than the inner corners.
  • The Cymric has a double coat that gradually lengthens from the shoulders to the rear.
  • Some of the cats have tufts of hair on the ears and toes, which is especially desirable among breeders.

The Cymric comes in many colors and patterns with the exceptions of chocolate, lavender, ticked tabby, pointed, or any of these colors or patterns with white.

Personality

These cats originated as mousers, and whether shorthaired or longhaired they retain their fine hunting skills and alert nature. With a Cymric around the house, you don’t need a watchdog; you’ve got a “watchcat” who reacts rapidly and will growl threateningly or maybe even go on the attack at the sight or sound of anything out of the ordinary. If he sees that you aren’t alarmed, he’ll settle back down.

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When he’s not protecting his family and property from mice, stray dogs, or other threats, however, the Cymric is a mellow fellow: an even-tempered and affectionate cat who enjoys serene surroundings. That’s not to say he is inactive. This is a happy, playful cat who likes to follow his favorite person through the house and assist with whatever he or she is doing. When you are ready to relax, though, the Cymric will be in your lap, ready for a comfy nap. If no lap is available, he’ll curl up on the nearest available spot that allows him to keep an eye on you. He “speaks” in a quiet trill and will carry on a conversation if you talk to him.

The Cymric has an adaptable nature if he is exposed to activity and plenty of people as a young kitten. He will enjoy meeting new people, greeting them with a gentle head butt or cheek rub, and can adapt to a new home or family if such an upheaval in his life is necessary.

This is a smart cat who can learn tricks, including fetch and come, and is willing to walk on leash if taught early. He often likes to ride in the car, making him a great companion on long-distance trips. He is also good at learning how to open doors, so be sure anything you don’t want him to have is under lock and key. Unlike most cats, the Cymric is willing to accept boundaries and will usually respect your wishes if you tell him no when he jumps on the counter or scratches on your sofa. Just be sure you give him an acceptable alternative as thanks for his nice behavior.

The Cymric is highly people-oriented. Choose him only if you can give him plenty of time and attention daily.

What You Need to Know About Cymric Health

All cats have the potential to develop health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit diseases. Any breeder who claims that her breed has no health or genetic problems is either lying or is not knowledgeable about the breed. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.

The Cymric’s lack of a tail isn’t always benign. Some have spinal defects that result in neurological signs, such as problems defecating or urinating. Most Cymric kittens with these problems are identified by six months of age and must be euthanized.  It doesn’t hurt to wait to take your kitten home until you’re sure he doesn’t suffer from any of these problems. Avoid kittens who have trouble walking or walk with a stiff or hopping gait, and do not buy from a breeder who does not provide a written health guarantee.

Remember that after you’ve taken a new kitten into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Cymric at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to protect his overall health. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier cat for life.

Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Cymric are generally healthy, but the following diseases have been seen in the breed:

  • Arthritis of the tailbone in cats with partial tails
  • Corneal dystrophy, cloudiness that begins to develop when a kitten is approximately 4 months old
  • Manx syndrome, a collection of birth defects that may include a spine that is too short, urinary tract defects, and problems with the bowels and digestion. The condition affects approximately 20 percent of Manx cats, most often rumpies, and usually shows up by the time a kitten is 4 months old, a good reason to wait until that age before bringing a Manx kitten home.

Care

The Cymric’s coat is easily cared for with brushing or combing a couple of times a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oil.  Check the rear end closely to make sure feces aren’t clinging to the fur surrounding the anus, and clean it if necessary to prevent the cat from smearing poop on carpets or furniture.

Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection. Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.

Keep the litter box spotlessly clean. Like all cats, Cymrics are very particular about bathroom hygiene.

It’s a good idea to keep a Cymric as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Cymrics who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.

Physical Attributes

Body

Compact; well-balanced; solidly muscled; medium size; sturdy bone structure; broad chest; short back forming smooth, continuous arch from shoulders to rump; rump extremely broad and round.

Head

Rounded and slightly longer than broad. Medium size. Cheeks are prominent and stud jowls in the mature stud cat. Chin strong. Muzzle slightly longer than broad with definite muzzle break. Round whisker pads. In profile gentle nose dip with a moderately rounded forehead. Neck short and thick.

Ears

Rather wide at base, tapering to rounded tip. Medium sized, set wide apart; when viewed from behind, they resemble the rocker of a cradle. Hair may be tufted with full furnishings in the Cymric.

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Eyes

Rounded and large angled, slightly higher at the outer edge of the eye. Color conforms to coat color but should only be considered if all other points are equal.

Legs & Paws

Legs sturdy boning and well-muscled. Forelegs shorter than hind legs. Hind legs with substantial musculature, should be straight when viewed from behind. Feet round shape of medium size. Suggestion of toe tufts in the Cymric.

Tail

Appears tail-less.

Coat

Medium double coat. Texture silky. Texture can vary with the coat color. The coat should have a well-padded quality due to the open outer coat and thick close under coat. Seasonal changes in coat length and texture are allowed.

Color

Any color or pattern.

Coat Color And Grooming

The Cymric is known for his lack of a tail, but not every Cymric is completely tailless. Some, known as “longies,” have a normal-length tail, and others, known as “stumpies,” have short tails. A Cymric with no tail is called a “rumpy” and one with just a rise of bone at the end of the spine is known as a “riser.” You will see only rumpies and risers in the show ring, but cats with tails can be used in Cymric breeding programs.

A Cymric has other distinguishing characteristics as well, including a round head with large round eyes, a stout, powerful body with a broad chest, short back and broad, round rear end, short front legs and long hind legs with muscular thighs. The long rear legs give him the appearance of a rabbit and may be the source of the “cabbit” myth.

The Cymric has a long, soft, silky double coat that comes in many different colors, including various solids, tabbies, tortoiseshells and calicos. Chocolate and lavender colors and the pointed Himalayan pattern are not permitted. The coat gradually lengthens from the shoulders, and the fur on the neck ruff, upper rear legs (known as breeches) and belly is usually longer than that on the rest of the body. The neck ruff goes around the shoulders and forms what looks like a bib on the chest. Many Cymrics have tufts of furn on the toes and ears as well. Because of the long hair, especially over the rear, the Cymric sometimes looks longer than the Manx, but it’s merely an optical illusion.

The Cymric matures slowly and may not reach his full size until he is five years old.

Living With:

Cymrics must have their nutrition strictly controlled in order to keep them in good condition. They tend to have a wonderful appetite and can become overweight rather quickly.

Despite being rather placid, Cymrics love to run and play. They have a peculiar gait and look like bowling balls running around the room.

The double coat must be groomed daily. A good brushing will keep the coat in smooth condition as the undercoat will build up over time if brushing is neglected. Special attention should be paid to grooming during the shedding season because of the coat’s thickness.

Choosing a Cymric Breeder

You want your Cymric to be happy and healthy so you can enjoy your time with him, so do your homework before you bring him home. For more information on the history, personality and looks of the Cymric, or to find breeders, visit the websites of the Cat Fanciers Association, Cats Center Stage, the Fanciers Breeder Referral List, and The International Cat Association. Keep in mind that because a Cymric is essentially a longhaired Manx, the breed information for the Manx will apply to the Cymric.

A reputable breeder will abide by a code of ethics that prohibits sales to pet stores and wholesalers and outlines the breeder’s responsibilities to their cats and to buyers. Choose a breeder who has performed the health certifications necessary to screen out genetic health problems to the extent that is possible, as well as one who raises kittens in her home. Kittens who are isolated can become fearful and skittish and may be difficult to socialize later in life.

Lots of reputable breeders have websites, so how can you tell who’s good and who’s not? Red flags include kittens always being available, multiple litters on the premises, having your choice of any kitten, and the ability to pay online with a credit card. Those things are convenient, but they are almost never associated with reputable breeders.

Whether you’re planning to get your feline friend from a breeder, a pet store, or another source, don’t forget that old adage “let the buyer beware”. Disreputable breeders and unhealthy catteries can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations. There’s no 100% guaranteed way to make sure you’ll never purchase a sick kitten, but researching the breed (so you know what to expect), checking out the facility (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals), and asking the right questions can reduce the chances of heading into a disastrous situation. And don’t forget to ask your veterinarian, who can often refer you to a reputable breeder, breed rescue organization, or other reliable source for healthy kittens.

Put at least as much effort into researching your kitten as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long run.

Be patient. Depending on what you are looking for, you may have to wait six months or more for the right kitten to be available. Many breeders won’t release kittens to new homes until they are between 12 and 16 weeks of age.

Before you buy a kitten, consider whether an adult Cymric might be a better choice for your lifestyle. Kittens are loads of fun, but they’re also a lot of work and can be destructive until they reach a somewhat more sedate adulthood. With an adult, you know more about what you’re getting in terms of personality and health. If you are interested in acquiring an adult cat instead of a kitten, ask breeders about purchasing a retired show or breeding cat or if they know of an adult cat who needs a new home.

Children And Other Pets

If he is introduced to them in kittenhood, the active and social Cymric is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. He lives peacefully with cats and dogs who respect his authority and can learn to leave birds and fish alone. An adult Cymric may not appreciate children as readily, especially if he is used to a quiet household. Always introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.

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Adopting a Cat from Cymric Rescue or a Shelter

The Cymric is an unusual and uncommon breed. It is unlikely that you will find one in a shelter or through a rescue group, but it doesn’t hurt to look. Sometimes pedigreed cats end up at the shelter after losing their home to an owner’s death, divorce or change in economic situation. Check the listings on Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet.com  to find available Cymrics, search for Manx instead; a Cymric is a longhaired Manx.

Wherever you acquire your Cymric, make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “pet lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the cat from both understand your rights and recourses.

Kitten or adult, take your Cymric to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.

History

Presumed by researchers to have been introduced to the Isle of Man by human settlers and explorers, the Manx has existed there for many centuries. The Isle, located in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, has no indigenous domestic cat species, and several theories exist about the introduction of domestic cats. Speculated sources include arrival with the Spanish Armada, Phoenician traders, or Viking settlers who colonized the Isle of Man. Many fanciers believe the British Shorthair was later added to the Manx mix. Given the proximity of the regions and the similarity in body styles, that’s not an unreasonable theory.

Records have been found that describe the cat as a mutation among the island’s domestic cats, rather than a cat that arrived with its tail already absent. In this case, the lack of tail is governed by a dominant gene, unlike most other breeds with short tails. This indicates that the Manx and the Cymric (KIM-ric) are not related to breeds such as the Japanese Bobtail whose tails are governed by recessive genes.

Wherever they came from and whatever their genetic makeup, fanciers took note of the Manx and it soon became a popular breed in the earliest days of the cat fancy. Manx cats are noted in early American cat registry records as well.

Although a relative newcomer to the cat fancy, the Cymric apparently has been around as long as the Manx itself. Fanciers insist that the Cymric is not a human-made hybrid as has been suggested (Manx to Persian outcrossing apparently occurred in the 1930s and 1940s), but rather a variation of the Manx breed with a history as long and rich as that of the Manx. Since the Isle of Man possessed both shorthaired and longhaired cats, it’s presumed that the longhair gene passed around by inbreeding on the Isle itself, just as was the Manx gene. Unlike the Manx gene, however, long hair is a recessive trait, and the gene could be carried unnoticed through generations of Manx.

While the Cymric was shown in ACA as early as 1963, the breed didn’t really begin to take hold until the mid-1970s. First shown under the name Longhaired Manx, the name was changed to Cymric during this period. The word is the Welsh name for Wales and was chosen by pioneer Cymric breeders Blair Wright and Leslie Falteisek.

In 1976 CCA was the first to accept the Cymric for Championship status; it now has full Championship standing in most associations. CFF is the only association that does not accept the Cymric; however, the reason they have not done so is that no group of fanciers has campaigned for acceptance.

In May 1994 the CFA changed the name from Cymric to Longhaired Manx because the CFA breeders thought the Cymric should be considered part of the Manx breed. Longhaired kittens born to Manx parents (possible when both parents carry the gene for long hair) can be registered as Cymric cats in all associations except CFF. This eliminates status problems with the “split litters” in which both hair lengths are present.

The Cymric and the Manx are two of the most challenging to breed because of the Manx gene. Cymric embryos that are homozygous (inheriting the Manx gene from both parents) die in the womb. Homozygous kittens comprise roughly one fourth of the kittens conceived; therefore, Cymric litters are usually small. Even heterozygous kittens can have deformities such as spina bifida, fusions of the spine, and defects of the colon. Careful breeding helps minimize the defects.

Cymric Information

Cymric Basics

Where Are Cymric Cats From?

The Cymric did not originate on the Isle of Man (between England and Ireland), but that’s where they’ve lived alongside the Manx, whom they are a different-coated variation of, for centuries. No one is quite sure how they got there — tall tales of Spanish Armada wreckages and cats swimming ashore abound, but they inhabited the island for centuries before being brought over to the mainland. The Cymric was developed beginning in earnest in the 1970s.

Were Cymric Cats Bred for a Reason?

Breeding is a challenge for this unique breed, but fanciers and breeders persevere due to Cymric’s stellar personality, unique look, and gentle nature.

How Many Types of Cymric Pedigrees Are There?

Cymrics are classified according to tail type: rumpy, riser, stumpy, stubby, and longy.

Are Cymric Cats Polydactyl?

This breed is not known for being polydactyl though the mutation can spontaneously occur in any cat breed.

Cymric Lifespan

The lifespan of a Cymric is around 8-14 years.

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