The absence of a tail distinguishes the Manx. The Isle of Man is thought to be the origin of this natural mutation, hence the name Manx. The breed thrived on the island due to its relative isolation. The first documented image is from an 1810 painting; while no one knows how long tailless cats have been on the Isle of Man, linguistic evidence suggests they were introduced after 1750.
The “Manx gene” results in cats with varying tail lengths, ranging from “longie” (normal tail) to “stumpy” (short tail) to “rumpy” (no tail). Manx cats have stocky, rounded bodies, short backs, and long hind legs that give them a rabbit-like appearance.
Although taillessness is a Manx characteristic, not all tailless cats are Manx pedigrees. Only paperwork issued by a legitimate registry certifies a true Manx.
The thick coat can be short or semi-long, though longhairs are known as Cymrics in some associations. Manx come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Most associations have accepted the Manx shorthaired variety for many years; longhaired Manx have taken a little longer. In 1994, CFA accepted the longhaired Manx as a division of the Manx.
nInteresting fact: A popular urban legend revolves around the “Cabbit,” a crossbreed between a rabbit and a cat. Cabbits are almost certainly Manx or cats with Manx characteristics. Cross-breeding between rabbits and cats is genetically impossible; these are two different species are too distantly related.
The Korat (pronounced ko-RAHT, not KO-rat) is a small cat with a silvery blue coat, a heart-shaped face, and peridot green eyes.
Korats originated in Thailand and are known as “good luck” or “si-sawat” cats. This is a very old breed, with records dating back to at least the 14th century. All pedigreed, registered Korats can trace their ancestors back to Thailand.
The first Korat to enter a show may have been shown in England in 1896 as a Siamese cat, but it was disqualified because it did not have the recognized buff color of the “Siamese” cat. Because those genes were present in the Siamese cat population, this cat could have been a Korat or simply a self-blue Siamese cat. The first Korats were imported into the United States in 1959, and the breed was accepted for championship status in CFA in 1967.
Korats are vivacious, intelligent, and loving companions. They are a bit clannish and prefer to be with their own kind. They were never outcrossed to other breeds, nor was any other breed used in their development as a pedigreed breed. Korats are not related to any other breed.
Korats depicted in paintings hundreds of years old look startlingly similar to Korats living today.
The Oriental Shorthair Semi-Longhair is a semi-longhaired variety of the Oriental Shorthair. It has the slender body and active, people-oriented temperament of the Siamese, as do the other Oriental breeds. It, like the Oriental Shorthair, comes in a variety of solid and tabby colors.
In the United States, the Oriental Longhair is the most recent of the Siamese-derived breeds of the Oriental body type, resulting from an unintentional mating of a Balinese and an Oriental Shorthair in the 1980s. CFA accepted it as a division of the Oriental breed in 1995.
This breed is known as the Angora in the United Kingdom, not the Turkish Angora, which is a separate breed. Oriental Longhairs are known as Javanese or, if brown, longhaired Havana Browns in Europe. These cats do not all have the same origins, which can lead to a lot of confusion.
Oriental Shorthairs have the same body type and personality as Siamese. They have long, fine-boned legs and tails, a tubular body, a wedge-shaped head, and large ears in common.
The breed was developed in the 1970s in order to create a Siamese-type cat with a wider range of colors and patterns that were not limited to colorpoint patterns. There are some Oriental Shorthairs that are pointed. These pointed cats are not allowed to be shown in all associations; in some, pointed Orientals are shown as Siamese. CFA approved it for championship status in 1977.
The Oriental Shorthair, like the Siamese, is an outgoing, people-oriented breed. They are chatty, playful, acrobatic, and full of energy.
Interesting breed fact: The Oriental breed has the most color and pattern variations of any breed. Orientals are sometimes referred to as “Ornamentals” because they can be bred in over three hundred different color and pattern combinations.
The Ocicat appears to be a small wild spotted cat, but it is a fully domestic breed created by combining the Siamese, Abyssinian, and American Shorthair breeds. It has no wild blood in its ancestors.
In 1964, an attempt to create a Siamese-style cat with Abyssinian-colored pointing resulted in the first Ocicat. The experiment was successful, and by 1966, the breed had been accepted for registration by the CFA, though it was not until 1987 that the breed was promoted to championship status in that organization. It wasn’t exported to Europe until the late 1980s, and it wasn’t accepted by FIFe until 1992.
“Ocis” are active, affectionate, and gregarious.
They are only accepted for show in the spotted pattern, but in a variety of colors. They are also available in a variety of other patterns, including classic, mackerel, and ticked tabby, but these are classified as AOVs (any other variety) and are not showable.
Despite their wild appearance, these cats are friendly, outgoing, and people-oriented without being clingy or obnoxious. They are devoted, intelligent, and adaptable companions.
The Havana Brown is named after the warm, chocolate brown color of a Havana cigar, which reminded an early breeder of one. However, the breed did not originate in Cuba; rather, it was developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1950s. Brown cats resembling this breed were present in the United Kingdom as early as the 1890s, but breed development did not begin in earnest until sixty years later. They first appeared in the United States in the mid-1950s. The Chestnut Foreign Shorthair was first accepted by the GCCF in 1958.
The British shorthaired breed with this name is a brown variation of the Oriental Shorthair, whereas the American version is a distinct breed with a distinct body and head type.
Though originally named for the brown color, some associations allow a lavender frost color as well.
The Havana is an outgoing breed that enjoys following its owners around. It is a very rare breed; according to one article, there are less than 1,000 Havana Browns left in the world.