The Manx is energetic and vocal; you might say it behaves more like a dog than a cat. Despite her robustness, she can have a sensitive stomach; you need to keep an eye on the condition of her coat. This is where you'll see signs of illness or nutritional problems.
A Manx kitten grows into a stocky, solid adult cat. Compared with many other cat breeds, she has a short back and her hind legs are distinctly longer than her front legs. She is also big-boned and broad-chested. Ideally a fully grown female should weigh 8 to 10 pounds and an adult male between 10 and 12 pounds. Her long, thick coat should be glossy. If it shows signs of dullness, she is either not getting the right nutrients or she has an illness, so take her to see your vet if she starts to look under the weather.
Commercial Cat Food
Your Manx is no different than other cats in that she needs a balanced diet of protein, vitamins, minerals, fats and water. One of the advantages of giving her quality commercial cat food rather than giving her homemade food is that the manufacturers have worked out the optimum proportions of these elements in the food. They also provide information about portion sizing to keep your cat at an ideal weight. There are three main types of food to choose from: wet, semi-moist and dry. Dry food has two advantages for your Manx. She will eat less of it because it has no water content -- preventing overeating -- and because chewing it keeps her teeth in good order. Your Manx would probably prefer that you feed her the much tastier wet food. If you store wet food in the refrigerator, author Karen Commings says you should warm it up before serving it, as your Manx isn't fond of chilled meals. You can, of course, mix a little wet food in with her dry to make her meals tastier.
Another point to remember is that with high-quality food you should not need to supplement your cat's diet with vitamins. In fact, as Karen Commings points out in her book "Manx Cats," while your Manx's health will suffer if she has insufficient vitamins in her diet, she may also develop health problems if she has too high a dosage of vitamins. For example, an excess of fat-soluble vitamins A and D can build up to toxic levels in your cat's fat, leading to a range of symptoms including excessive weight loss and death. Don't give her vitamin supplements unless your vet prescribes them for her.
Milk, Tuna and Human Food
Don't give your Manx cow's milk to drink. Once she is weaned she no longer needs milk. The lactose in milk may build up in her intestines and give her diarrhea. If you want to give her milk occasionally, buy a pet formula milk substitute. It's also quite tempting at times to give your Manx a tin of tuna. Tuna's magnesium content is too high for your cat, but it's alright to give her some as an occasional treat. The Manx typically has a healthy appetite so she may beg for your food. It's alright to give her some of your scraps as an occasional treat, but don't feed her your food regularly or she might become overweight. Commings suggests that if you want to cook for your Manx, buy a cat food recipe book to ensure you have balanced ingredients.
Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.