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Special needs kitten – manx syndrome

Hello, I am in desperate need of any help/advice you may be able to provide.

I have a 9 week old kitten who was diagnosed by a local vet with ‘manx syndrome’. He was born w/o a tale and as a result, he has no control over his bowel movements. He walks on the sides of his back legs also. The vets only suggestion was to put him to sleep- but I refused to take that option.

He is very playful, and seems to enjoy his life- he also has a great appetite. I notice that his belly is swollen though, and he does bleed from the rear at times.

I am currently using baby socks for diapers and when I change him I apply betadine solution to keep him clean and a little antibiotic ointment as well.

I want to help this little guy have the best quality of life as possible- any help you can provide is appreciated.

Major concerns: Loose stools, bleeding, swollen tummy.

Thanks, God Bless


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101 Responses to “Special needs kitten – manx syndrome”

  1. Siri Vienola says:


    I am a vet student, and not yet a veterinarian. However, I want you to know that I have a cat with this same issue, and I can tell you of my experience as such.

    Is your kitten fecal and urinary incontinent? You should find a vet that is willing to work with you. Be frank and honest. Most vets recommend euthanizing these poor babies, but find someone you feel comfortable talking to, making it clear that you want this little guy to have as good a quality of life as possible.

    In my opinion, some of these cats can live a good quality of life, but it is typically shortened. I got one from a clinic I worked at, Margot, at about 8 weeks of age, and I manually expressed her bladder, kept her rear end shaved, and also put her in socks with panty liners until she was big enough for new born diapers. I put a harness on her and used mitten clips (or something similar) as “suspenders”, putting little diaper covers over them. She only lived to be three years old, suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections and an enlarged colon (megacolon) from lack of nerve supply/innervation. She was put on laxatives and cisapride to help with motility and did well. However, her bladder became thickened and started to slough its lining. She became gravely ill, and it was time to let her go. I worked for a vet with a couple of these cats, so she understood. But when Margot got very ill, I tried to take her to a specialist who said “she should have never been allowed to live this long” and that he “could find me a normal cat” if I wanted one. Margot has been gone a year, and where her life was short, it was a happy one. She was a sweetie.

    I got Cassie a few months before Margot’s death, from a shelter I used to work for who knows I’m a softie. She was about 8 months old. She hasn’t had the bladder issues that Margot did (all of these manx syndrome cats are very prone to megacolon, as well as chronic urinary tract infections), but I had her seen at the teaching hospital at my school, where there are amazing vets. She is missing many vertebrae, and her pelvis is quite deformed, partly accounting for how she walks (I thought it was just a nerve issue). She is about two years old now, and has severe constipation issues. She has had to be anesthetized for enemas, as her sphincter is small and they are too painful to be given awake. I am worried she won’t be around much longer, even though she is on a lot of meds to help her as well.

    I want you to know that both of my girls had very bad diarrhea as kittens, even after been tested and treated for parasites. This got better as they got older, but make sure your baby does not have parasites, as he doesn’t need anymore problems. Parasites, like roundworms, can make them appear bloated. He may also look bloated because he might not be able to empty his bladder. You can learn to do so manually, but this might not be possible with a male cat (they have long, skinny urethras). Find a sympathetic vet and keep his rear and hind legs shaved. Use diaper ointment like A & D (the zinc oxide creams aren’t as safe on cats if they ingest them) when needed, and just keep him clean. I would keep my girls in a large cage/kennel to have a break for their bums for part of a day when the diarrhea was too bad to keep them diapered.

    I think you will be able to know if he can have a good quality of life. If he is dragging his legs a lot, that is worrisome, as he will end up with rub sores and this might be painful. Maybe consider baby socks as well? Don’t be afraid to have people think you are a little nuts. People think I’m crazy, including my classmates, but they think Cassie is the most darling cat, and people just laugh when they see her in her outfit. I realize that these cats may live a shortened life (the longest I’ve known one to live was five years old), but I am very happy you are kind enough to give this little guy a chance. Feel free to write. I’d love to hear how your little boy is doing. I’m glad he has you!

  2. Ed Austin says:

    I was born and raised in the Isle of Man. All the many cats we had were Manx, with tails ranging from zero to about a third.
    The mutant gene that causes the tailessness is a feline form of spina bifida.
    Kitten with unfused spines are either still-born or are crippled and usually don’t survive very long.
    When the mutation got onto the small (220 sq mile) Island many years ago, and became common, vistors who hadn’t seen tailess cats before, called them Manx cats, and the name has stuck.
    The mutation occurs in many parts of the world. It is now becoming rare on the Isle of Man.
    Despite official recognition of Manx as a breed. It is not a breed. The mutation can occur in any breed. Breeding Manx to Manx results in almost total still-born kittins with unfused spines. Breeding Manx to Tailed results in normal litters, with a range of tail lengths, and a few with none.
    Tailess cats appear to have longer rear legs than tailed ones, and so that was considered to be a trait of “Manx” cats. A tailed cat that has lost it’s tail looks exactly the same as it arches it’s back to balance and compensate for losing its tail.
    That’s the end of my tale.

  3. Rita says:

    I need help for my Manx cat. He’s around 16-19 years old. His problem is soft stool and being mis-diagnosed by bad vets for the last 7 years. I always hope/think to have found a good vet and then it turns out to be one more with absloute no knowledge. I live in Fort Lauderdale and would like ot know if somebody knows a vet, a real good vet, with knowledge of Manx , so that I can help my baby, Bunny.
    Today, just a few hours ago, I lost my 15+ years old white tuxedo Withky aka Papottone to carcinoma and hepato lipidosis. My heart has a crevace right now, above all because the vet I used didn’t take good care of his case already months ago when I noticed there was a change in my beautiful Big Boy.
    Can someone please help suggesting a good vet for my Bunny.
    I highly appreciate your time.

  4. karen says:

    Hi I have a kitten from my domestic short haired cat that has no tail at all. One of the kittens that has been adopted had a bunny tail. I dont think it is manx as the cat next door looks tailess but dosnt look like a manx. It kind of long and lean. This one particuliar I think had severve manx syndrome. It is 7 weks old and is very palyful and gets along fine but drags its hind legs. It abdomen is very round as well and appears swollen. I have someone that wants to adopt her but may change her mind after she sees her. I just now found out about this syndrome and did not tell her about it yet. I dont know what to do. I just felt for his spine and it is about 2 inches back from where his tail should be. I notice that the mother is always cleaning his rear and the cat smells like unine a poop. I hate to put the cute little thing to sleep but I cannot care for it. I just lost my daughter and am practicially bedridden from dePression. If anyone would like to take on this challange. I am in Lutz florida, very close to tampa. I am willing to drive to meet you or pay to have her shipped. Any advice would be helpful

  5. Laura says:

    Karen, it would be best to put the kitten to sleep.

    I had two manxes/tailless cats at one time, mother and daughter. Momcat had two litters before i could get her fixed. The first litter was the above-mentioned daughter, only one kitten in that litter! The second litter, was 4 kittens, 1 stillborn, 2 died shortly afterwards and one normal tailed kitten. The kittens that died had various stages of spina bifida and paralysis. It was very sad…

    Both the momcat and daughter were rumpies. At about 2 years of age, the momcat started having symptoms of megacolon. I had to put her out of her misery as I could not afford the vet bills. About 6 months later, daughter cat started displaying the same symptoms as her mother. I also had to put her to sleep 🙁

    I had no idea about this syndrome before I was gifted with the momcat, but had I known, would never have taken her. Please don’t let the kitten suffer!

  6. Nancy Kenner says:

    Karen, I know how you feel. You lost your daughter and I did also and very emotional about my animals. I am sorry for your loss, and for your poor little kitten also. It opens the sadness drawer when something else goes wrong…take care of yourself. nancy

  7. Terry says:

    my kitten has no tail and his bottom is always slightly irritated. it looked infected for awhile but after putting some neosporin on it everynight it looks alot better but he still leaves little red spots wherever he sits. he is not incontinent what i described is the only problem he has and he doesnt act like he is in pain. could this be a less sever form of manx syndrome? and if so is there anything i can do to treat this symptom? besides the possibility of him being sick i cant keep washing all the furniture everyday and the diapers i got slide right off him.

  8. Donna says:

    I have a kitty with this disorder. He has a very tiny little squiggy tail. It curls like a small little pig tail. His name is “Squiggy”. He was born on my back porch April 10th 2009. He and his littermates (all normal tails) “Laverne, Shirley, and Lenny” are totally indoor cats, all spayed & neutered. Squiggy has a great appetite. The vet did tell me that Mega collon and bladder infections are common with these guys. I have to mannually express his bladder and bowels (2-3 times a day). He is a smart bugger. He knows when it is time to express. I just say, “It’s time to squeeze the Squigs.”
    His diet is not the same as other cats either. The vet instructed that I mix a desert spoon full of pumpkin with his canned(5-6 oz) food. This will help to put fiber in his stools and makes for a much neater expression. Before this his stools would sometimes be very runny. He does not get any dry food. Dry makes the stools too hard, and can constipate him.
    Squiggy goes with us on vacations since the expressing is a little more involved than just feeding and fresh water. He loves the camper. He gets right in his carrier looking forward to the road trip. The vet did also tell me that his life expectancy is not as long as an average cat. But I look at each day with this little guy as a blessing.

  9. Edith says:

    I have a cat with Manx syndrome. He was born without a tail. I gave him a product called Biosil – available online. It helped his bottom fill out and he actually grew a little tail. He is a sweet cat and has made himself a nice life here. He tends to spend more time outdoors than our other cats. He has taken on the responsibility of watching out for our other cats when they are out in the yard, and he checks up on them in the house throughout the day. I found a product at Native Remedies ( called UTI. It is for treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections for cats. It can be sprinkled on his food and has no flavor, which makes it nice. I give him some whenever he appears to be experiencing discomfort. We keep puppy training pads handy for when he comes in to nap because he leaks. He leads me to the bathroom when he wants to be cleaned. I also heard the “put him to sleep” advice from the vet and from my sister. I can’t bring myself to do it. He has a purpose and appears to be happy. He isn’t in pain and is loveable. Bless everyone who is willing to give these cats a life.

  10. Christi says:

    I have two half Manx siblings that are now 3.5 years old. Lilly has her tail but her sister Bobo does not. I adopted these little darlings when they were 8 weeks of age and knew nothing about Manx Syndrome or Megacolon. I learned very quickly that these “deformed” or special needs kitties are often euthanized for “quality of life” reasons. The first vet I had with them suggested I do the same. I refused of course !

    I quickly resolved the incontinence problem with kitty diapers sewn without a tail hole and lined with maxipads. The megacolon/constipation problem is more of a problem even though Bobo is on cisapride for her colon motility and lactulose as a stool softener. Problem is, she likes hard crunchy food and is prone to dehydration which hardens her feces and makes elimination difficult (especially since she can’t feel anything or make an effort to push it out).

    Bobo spent this past weekend in the ICU recovering from a raging UTI and dehydration. She’s on the mend but I can’t afford $1300 weekend stays at the animal hospital. I really thought she was a goner – thank God she recovered !

    Follow up care for Manx Syndrome cats is vitally important. Now I must change Bobo’s diapers 4 x daily (working from home in the afternoons helps) and keep her dry food to a minimum, increasing fiber in her diet feed her as much wet, canned food – with a 1/4 teaspoon of Miralax laxative as possible.

    I found a wonderful seamstress on eBay who sews her diapers and they fit beautifully with velcro waist enclosures (Melissa Masse – I line her diapers with maxipads which are clean and absorbent and this really solves the incontinence problem. Now I simply need to prevent future UTIs by changing and bathing her more frequently. When I can, she runs around outside bottomless for a little fresh air around her nether regions and that makes her feel like a natural kitty woman !

    I trust she lives longer than 5 years of age and I will do everything I can to ensure it’s a healthy, active and enjoyable quality of life for Bobo and her sister. They are lucky to have an acre of land to run free and watch the birds, play in the yard and hunt rodents.

    Any comments or questions are welcome !


  11. Joyce says:

    I didn’t realize there were so many Manx owners out there. I know my little guy has some special needs and this site has helped me address some of them.

    Thank You

  12. Linda says:

    I am with a humane society in Georgia and have 2 Manx Syndrome kitties. They just had their 2nd birthday and I have had them since they were 7 weeks old. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but I would never give these two up for anything. I was also told it would be best to put them down but I felt I had to give them a chance. Jack did have a problem with megacolon when he was neutered but it seemed to correct it’s self about 3-4 months later. Just a couple of weeks ago he had crystals and a total blockage. I thought I was going to lose him but he made it through and is doing great. His sister Jill hasn’t had any of these problems yet but she has always had fairly loose stools. They wear pampers and baby onesies to keep the diapers on. I did try some accupunture which didn’t help the incontience but helped Jill strength her anal tone and also seemed to help internally with their digestion. I also agree that wet food is probably the best way to go at least 1/2 of the daily intake and a very high quality food such as EVO if dry is necessary.
    It is nice to know that there are other people out there taking care of these wonderful babies. I am now trying to find a place for an 8 week old kitten that sounds like it has even more severe problems and drags her back legs.
    I would love to hear more suggestions on things you have tried.

  13. Julie says:

    I am so glad to finally find out what is going on with my manx and to learn of some of the ways people deal with these. My cat has urinary incontinence and it’s very odd the way it works. She meows very loud as if she’s in pain, starts trying to lick her genital area while spinning around in a circle, bascially freaking out like she’s in terrible pain, and then urine sprays everywhere. I’ve noticed that the urine is sometimes blood-tinged. I’ve had my vet check her twice and she’s been on antibiotics twice only because I suggested it. The antibiotics seemed to help a little the first time but that was it. There was no mention of her having these problems due to her being a manx. Sounds like I (as well as her vet) have a lot to learn and I think it’s time to check out a new vet!

  14. Kate says:

    My boy has these problems and we have started using Hills prescription diet D/D which is venison and green pea and he is doing really well on it. It’s worth a try.

  15. jessalyn says:

    my kitten has almost the same problem i also need help he is about 5 weeks now and he does not have bleeding but has a swolen belly and other problems thankyou!

  16. mary says:

    I am not feeling encouraged! A litter of manx kittens was born under my house. I’ve no idea how old they are… maybe 4 weeks or so. Only knowing about them for 2 days, I am trying to devise a plan to get them to the vet. These are wild kitties, after all.

    “Tiny Tim” drags his legs. He’s sooo cute and lively. My yard is fenced, and “safe” and so I thought perhaps they could all receive veterinary care, and live right where they seem to be content. I thought I might be able to domesticate Tiny Tim. I can’t conceive putting “him” to sleep. I also don’t have a life/work style condusive to such intense care.

    And now, I have to find out what the devil “megacolon” is, although I think I can guess. I’d like to hear more from the person who said that diet seemed to make a difference. Say a prayer for the little guy.

  17. Jack Carter says:

    plain old cotton socks are still the best for babies.,`~

  18. Leslie says:

    I have a rumpy, my back yard cat’s baby. He is incontinent, can not pee by its own, and no control over his poop. Almost whatever he ate then came out.

    But, I am wondering that I am killing him slowly because of my long work hours. I have to work more than 10 hours per day and my office is 30 miles away from my home.

    I have two vets, one suggests to put him down while another one, a holistic vet, does not think so.

    Still struggling!

  19. Emily says:

    I have a rescued litter of kittens and one is displaying some of these symptoms… The kitten is half Manx and half Pixie Bob and totally tail less. When we found him his rear was covered in stool and maggots. After cleaning we found that he has a very swollen anus which tends to stay swollen and scabby. He seems to be in slight pain with bowel movements. In the begining he seemed to be incontinent, but is now using the litter box. I am so confused buy this whole thing and the vet seems to be clueless! Ugh! Any suggestions?

  20. Sandi says:

    What are you doing with the SOCKS?? I got newborn diapers (WAY too big) and a doll “onesie.” My baby can’t even stand with his “onesie” on. Are you cutting holes in the socks for his feet??


  21. Romstory says:

    I have a 2 year old Manx cat who had 3 kittens. One died of bowel obstruction at 7-8 weeks old, one is healthy, one is crippled (Nemo who is 15 weeks old). After doing some research I see there is a common problem with bowels and what not. “Nemo” not only has no control over his urine and bowel movements, he is crippled in his hind legs, paralyzed I would say from his hips on down. He is otherwise healthy, friendly, and very playful. Nemo also had a problem with obstructed bowels and was taken to a vet who told me he would never survive and they wanted to put him down. Needless to say I refused and treated it myself, that was over 6 weeks ago and he has yet to have a problem with it since. My question is if there is any sort of treatment or surgery for his legs. He either drags them along on either side of him or when running he hops on them. He climbs stairs and scales his barricade of two feet (he is limited due to his loss of bowel control). If there is no treatment for this is it wrong for me to have saved him or will he be able to live a somewhat normal life?

  22. Sandi says:

    Romstory, I certainly can’t say if you were wrong; but I can definitely applaud what you did. My little Max can’t climb with his brother and sister (he has limited use of his back legs, although he’s not paralyzed like yours), but he certainly tries. And with his diaper held on with a kitten harness and velcro, he walks around the house like he’s 50 feet tall. When you go to pick him up, his motor starts and doesn’t stop. I believe he’s getting a lot of joy from just being alive. And I bet yours is, too! Are you able to hold him and love him and does he respond? I would be the one lost if my Max were not around. I think you need to enjoy your little one for as long as you can!

  23. Gail says:

    I have a tail less kitten cant control bowels hind legs are like club feet has rubbed sores on legs any suggestion on diapers and for sore legs

  24. Marilyn Smith says:

    Where would I order Biosil and what formula of it? I looked briefly but figured I should just ask.

  25. Leslie says:

    To continue my post on 6/22/2010. The little thing is still with me. I have taken him to a holistic vet for acupuncture since then. I saw improvement at his anus.

    his anus used to wild opened with no nerves before. But recently, I saw his anus had traction. However, his stools still comes out whenever his colon full with it or has diarrhea /watery stool.

  26. Chris says:

    I recently found a Manx cat who was most likely dumped due to having Manx syndrome. She appears to have limited bowel control, but can still releive herself. She also is extremely athletic. She runs very quickly & can jump on and off things that most kittens her size wouldn’t even try. Are there variations in the severity of Manx syndrome. At this point it appears she could live a very normal life…just staying outside most of the time

  27. kim browne says:

    my angora hasn’t had her kittens yet. Its been 3 months and if they are all stillborn, will they come out?

  28. For Daunee says:

    I volunteer with a rescue organization (Animal Rescue of Anderson Valley) and we recently took in a stunning female, Manx, Lynx point Siamese, around 5-6 months old.

    She has been diagnosed with ‘Manx Syndrome’ as well.

    Original vet suggested euthanizing (killing) her. We moved her into a permanent foster home willing to work with her (me:)

    Currently, she does really well- uses the kitty box – always! but does not completely eliminate at times. I have also noticed that she ‘leaks’ at night when she sleeps/relaxes. She is fitting (mostly) into a preemie diaper- but has mastered taking them off!!!

    I like the idea from above about the onsies, I’ll have to try that- however, does anyone have photo of how you are using the diaper/halter setup?

    If so, can you email us at

    We were told that Daunee has part of her pelvis missing and we are currently awaiting a 2nd opinion with another vet. Her new vet prescribed sub-q fuilds every other day, metamucal & assisted elimination of stool – is anyone performing this by themselves? Any tips, hold techniques you can share?

    Daunee is one of the smartest cats I have ever met- very responsive, willing, even if a bit embarrassed by the diaper – she is a good sport and deserves a life free of as many stresses as possible – any ideas or input would be welcome.

    Thanks in advance,
    Daunee’s people

    ps- she is currently eating an all raw diet – NO Dry!!
    She still has room to improve, but her stools now have a coating (prior to diet change they were bone dry and difficult to pass) that allow them to pass much easier and she seems to have more time without a diaper these days.

    For all of you who are dealing with a much more challenging version of this deformity – bless you, really- thank you for taking the time – it’s people who made this issue and people who continue to make this issue….

  29. Iris says:

    I have a little manx syndrome kitten too! Reading these posts is all very helpful to me. My baby”BOB” is now 8 weeks old and seems to be doing well all things considered. We have had her since she was 3 weeks old; her mother was killed.She has no tail and her spine is a bit crooked, she uses both her back legs but the right seems to turn under if she goes to fast ( she scampers around at the speed of light it seems) she does best on a surface that isn’t too slippery. I have been using ladies ankle sox as onesies lined with a thin maxi-pad for her as every other diaper she can wriggle out of. She is healthy and happy and playful, very affectionate, she eats and drinks well and has doubled in size since we got her but she is incontinent hence the onesie. She does try to use the litter box but because of the incontinence she never seems to finish the job all at once. I bath her once a day and let her air out a bit before putting her diaper back on her, she is getting used to the routine quite well. I do find she has blood in the stool at times and her little behind gets pretty red and sore looking so I try to keep her as clean as I can and I have been giving her Vitamin E as it helps to heal hemorrhoids and such, it seems to help. If anyone has any other ideas I would love to hear them. We love her and she seems to love us as well.

  30. Corey says:

    cotton baby socks are the best, i don’t like to put nylon socks over my baby feet;;;

  31. Kady says:

    I happen to have a Manx kitten. My Kitty had the same issue. I found that bottle feeding them kitten milk and water for a few weeks drastically helped with the bottom issue.
    I also hate to inform you that kittens with Manx syndrome often wont live past 2 years. My best advice is to give him/her the best life you can.

  32. Kady says:

    Oh, and using baby wipes to rub the bottom helps the kitten use the restroom if the stool is to hard.

  33. Leslie says:

    I started to give 3-billion acidophilus twice a day to the manx cat probably 1 month ago. Now, he has no diarrhea about 3 weeks. However, his stool is good enough to a normal cat but it is kind of hard slight as he can not have any bowl movement by his own. I will try once a day to see the result.

    By the way, he is 90% raw diet. Raw diet is really help because it does reduce stool volumn but increase his immune system.

    This Manx cat can not pass out both urine and stool. He has to wait for me to take care. By using acidophilus and raw diet are the best things that I can image to use on a cat with Manx syndrome.

  34. Iris says:

    Our little “Bobra” is doing well. I stopped using sock diapers on her as any restrictions around her bottom end seem to cause her problems for a couple of days. Her back legs seem to be getting a bit stronger and she uses the litter box for the most part and she goes on her own. The only problem there is she never seems to know when she is finished the job so there are little spots here and there. She has gained weight and seems almost like a normal kitten including climbing over the baby gate on her room when she wants to come out for a visit. I have to wipe her bottom of course and baby wipes do help but she also gets a bath every couple of days (which she is still not fond of) . She does bath herself but misses a lot. We have her on canned food with added water, glucosamine and vitamin E; (this helps with the stool ) and kitten milk with the occasional little bit of crunchy bites for her teeth. I have given her raw chicken liver which she really seems to like
    I realize these “babies” don’t have a long life span but we will enjoy her while we can and hope we make her happy too.

  35. jane says:

    I just got a 6 week old Manx, and her name is Lola , She has the Manx syndrome, I took her to my vet in Amery,Wi. and she xrayed her and she has a enlaraged
    colen she put her on Cisapride and amoxcil two times a day she is doing very well
    I have to give her a bucket bath a couple times a day to clean her up, but she will go
    to the sand box . I tried doll dippers on her and she couldn’t walk in them and she fell over it was kinda funny at the time so I had to take them off. What size of sock do you use? and how far apart are the holes for the back leg? Will their stool ever get normal ?

  36. Leslie says:

    Try acidophilus!

    Last week, I boarded Mousie to my vet’s office for a week due to I had to out of town. I forgot to bring acidophilus with me that time. During the week, according to my vet, Mousie had soft stool for 2 or 3 days but no diarrhea.

    I think that acidophilus really works. I will keep him on acidophilus twice a day and raw food diet.

    However, his ability to urinate by his own is still doubtful.

  37. Leslie says:

    by the way, I have not tried to put sock on him at all because I hate to his penis got redness.

    by using acidophilus, his anus is clean due to shaped stool.

  38. Kelsey says:

    I found a one month old kitten outside my friends house about a year and a half ago. I am not sure of his breed, but he does not have a tail. When you rub down his back, it is very clear his spine cuts off early, therefore missing a few vertebrae. His spine ends about an inch early.

    I took him to the vet for shots/routine check up and my vet never mentioned this syndrome or any other sort of spinal defect. I am wondering now if he has a mild form? He had extreme diarrhea the first 6 months we had him (until we found food that his system could handle), often times very bloody. We had to wipe his bottom everytime he used the liter, or little brown/red smears ended up all over the floor. The vet was extremely unhelpful and had no suggestions for us except that maybe he’d grow out of it. He also had no information about what was wrong with his spine. I started trying every type of food I could find. Purina kitten formula (not the chow, but the more expensive blue bag) has been great for him. He occasionally still has problems, but overall, much improvement. (Still feeding it to him even those he’s full grown…adult food seems to give him more trobule again) He does still have some accidents. About once a week I have to clean up the floors and him. He has never exhibited any urinary problems though. He also doesn’t have any of the back leg problems I’ve seen mentioned. He is an absolute sweet heart and is truly like my “child”. He is very playful, and loves to be cuddled.

    It is heart warming to see so many people willing to work with their pets to give them a happy life instead of just putting them to sleep.

  39. Iris says:

    I used a Ladies size 9 short sport sock and just kind of winged it for leg holes. The only problem I had was it seemed to restricting and messed up Bobras stool for a day or so. I also tried diapers and she couldn’t walk in them, kept tipping over. Also noticed some callusing because of the hair and the fact that she has leakage so that has to be watched or their bums get sore. We find the vit E is a great help added to her food, she has had some bloody stools at times but as long as we give her the vit E she has no problems there. We give her canned food mixed with lots of water and also Whiskas pouches; she really loves the fish ones(also add water) and she gets some dry food as well just to keep her teeth and gums in good shape. I have found that some days the stool is good and some days it isn’t but so far not much problem with diarrhea. Her biggest problem is that she doesn’t have complete control over her bowels and kidneys, she does use the litter box but still has accidents. We found a litter made from corn which is awesome, the clay litter stuck to her parts and was always messy and hard to clean, this stuff just brushes off and doesn’t cause any problems. It also isn’t dusty or smelly like the clay.
    On our little girl you can actually see and feel how crooked her spine is, it takes a pretty sharp turn to the right side about half way down and then her pelvis is quite narrow too but she doesn’t seem to have any pain and is doing quite well all things considered.

  40. jane says:

    I use pelleted animal bedding for cat litter and it is made with 100% aspen wood
    the aspen controls the smell and Lola has no problem with it once you have tried
    it you won,t go back to the other litter it clumps where they pee. and its not as messy. I have looked for acidophilus in our local stores and they don,t carry it what store did you find it at I live in Wi.

  41. Peg says:

    Thanks to all of you who are caring for your special manx’s instead of deciding they should die! When I first looked for Manx syndrome info last year there was only one entry on this site! Luckily I have the best vet on earth and two little manxes – Haskell (15 months old) and Daphne (5 months old). They’re both very active and happy, with varying degrees of impairment. I took Haskell to the vet school in Ft. Collins to see if surgery could help him – it can’t. They advised medication, frequent bathing, and expression of bladder and colon. The vet internist there said there was no reason why he couldn’t otherwise live a normal lifespan. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY PEOPLE SAY THEY ONLY LIVE A FEW YEARS? Both Daphne and Haskell get Cysparide and Lactulose, kibble (their preference) first soaked in water, 3 or 4 baths a day and “urine scald cream” from the vet school. They both need to have their bladders expressed and be tested every few months for UTI’s. They both leak somewhat, so my furniture has coverings and I have no rugs. Haskell and Daphne have taught me that manx syndrome kittens need to be identified as early as possible in life and treatment begun so that they don’t develop megacolon, which can kill them. I foster for the local shelter so I watch out for the manx’s (and other disabled cats), which is how we got both of ours. We fortunately adopted Daphne at 8 weeks just as it was almost too late to remove her rock-hard colon obstruction. And at only 13 ounces she had a bladder the size of an egg, filled with rusty concentrated urine. PLEASE all of you who have written about your kittens with “big bellies” – don’t wait, take them to a vet ASAP. With proper care, these little guys can live high quality lives. Now if only we could just convince manx breeders to stop perpetuating the gene . . .

  42. Peg says:

    P.S. Haskell also has “biting episodes” where he whips around and bites the toes of his rear legs for maybe 5 – 10 seconds, then stops. My vet thinks its all connected to the neurological disability. Daphne doesn’t do this. Do any of your cats do this?

  43. Iris says:

    Apparently the 2 year life span is because of the problems these cats have. But I would imagine these would be the worst case ones. Our little “Bob” who now weighs 2 lbs., is doing very well considering her little problems. I think she probably has one of the milder ranges of this problem and expect her to live a long life. She does need regular baths of course due to leakage and she gets them from us and her “daddy” our bishon-shitzu who adopted her from day one. He takes very good care of her and they play well together too.

  44. Julia says:

    I would first like to say I am so happy to see there are so many people out there willing to go so far to care for their beloved pets. I have a cat with a lowered immune system due to exposure to FIP in the womb and she has a large range of issues. People always tell me I am crazy for putting up with it and going so far to care for her. But I can’t imagine doing anything else. And I am so glad there are others out there like me.

    I have a manx cat and he is the love of my life. That is why I wanted to post a bit of a clarification here. There really is no such thing as “manx syndrome”. The birth defects you are describing can happen to any cat of any breed and is usually due to inbreeding. I feel your pain and acknowledge that each of your cats have a very real problem and are suffering (less so due to all your love and caring) but it hurts me to hear the manx breed associated with this sort of birth defect. Please view the site for more information.

    And again, thank you for brightening my life and making me feel like I am not alone in being to giving and loving to your special needs cats.

    PS. My special needs cat mentioned above had a large amount of gastrointestinal issues and I found using the cat food before grain really helped alleviate her symptoms. It is based on a mostly meat diet and works best when using both the wet and dry food. Also, be careful for bacterial infection, overuse of antibiotics can run havoc on the normal “good” bacteria in their stomachs. Yogurt is a good way to fight this, but if the stool becomes very runny I would suggest asking your vet for flagil or another medication like it. Good luck!

  45. Becky says:

    I took in a female manx kitten, her little bum is always sore and swollen! i clean her, put salves on her, it must hurt when I clean her off, she meows loudly, but after leaves and acts like nothing happened! Is very playful with my other cats! She eats very well-no appetite loss! She has no urine problems, just the butt-swollen and red and it puts out a nasty odor! She goes poo with no problems! uses the litter box! What can I do to help the swelling and redness go down?

  46. Liz says:

    Dear Readers,

    Oh dear–where to start… First, Julia, while you are entitled to your opinion, the reality of Manx Syndrome is honestly not a good topic for debate. The genetics and problems associated with this gene are so well documented they are considered a model for understanding spina bifuda in humans. That Manx breeders would have us all believe otherwise, is a tragedy, an insult to the intelligence of potential owners, and, finally, a testament to blind greed. (By the way, it is common practice for Manx breeders to hold back kittens for some amount of weeks to ensure they don’t have any serious problems.) Don’t believe me? I strongly suggest all persons owning a “Manx” cat do research on their own to get information on this to help them better deal with problems they may encounter. Check out the Messy Beast website.

    That being said, I currently own a 5 year old orange tabby tuxedo male rumpie who has megacolon and an enlarged bladder. He is a spina bifuda kitty with his spine ending in soft tissue about an inch and a half from his anus. He has full use of all his limbs and is a very active and intrepid kitty (loves to climb) He has had a couple of bladder infections this last year and I’ve had to bring him to the vet 3 times over the last 4 years for impaction. He is incontinent when he falls into a deep sleep — probably 6 to 7 times a day. If I’m lucky, he is able to poop every 3-5 days, and will strain to pass at least a foot or more of soft feces. So goes my life!! He is an indoor only kitty and even at the old age of 5 loves to play like crazy.

    Here are some things I’ve learned in dealing with this:

    1) Never never feed a megacolon kitty dry food as their main source of nutrition–the only time my kitty gets dry food is in tiny amounts of treats. Dry food is a recipe for impaction disaster–feed wet food only!!!!!

    2) If you’re lucky and your kitty is willing, do add pumpkin (canned unsweetened) to their food if they’ll eat it. If they won’t eat canned pumpkin, add at least 1 teaspoonful of psyllium fiber (get at a natural foods store), or if you can’t get that, then use unflavored Metamucil. I found my cat preferred the psyillium fiber to the Metamucil which was good for me since it’s way way cheaper.

    3) My kitty is on 8 ml a day of lactulose which is 2 ml over max dose but my vet recommended this and assured me this is do him no harm. There are reports on the web on the kitty megacolon blog that Miralax has been used instead with better results. I need to investigate this further to discuss with my vet.

    4)Cisapride is needed in many cases of megacolon to help gut motility. My kitty is not currently on it but we may need to use in the future.

    5) Unless your kitty is a big water drinker, it probably is good to add some (couple of teaspoonsful) of water to their food. This really has made a difference to my kitty’s regularity. The vet had wanted me to cut back on the water in his food but when I did, he got very impacted. Here is the devil if you do and the same if you don’t.

    6) To the best of your ability, try to make sure he gets 20 minutes of serious play–running after balls, jumping whatever. The activity helps their gut motility and really does help move things along besides which they love the play!

    7) Be an advocate and have realistic conversations with your vet. I know that my guy, because of his medical problems, will have a shortened life span because even if we got the megacolon surgery, we would still be dealing with the enlarged bladder, for which the long-term prognosis is poor. Learn to enjoy every moment of their life and yours.

    8)Watch for vomiting!!!!! If your kitty has vomited and is not eating their food, most likely he/she is impacted and needs vet attention as soon as possible.

    9) If your kitty is crying and has blood in his/her urine, you need to seek vet treatment imediately!!!

    I adopted my manx kitty as an 18 mo old from a local rescue who was not aware of the megacolon and bladder problems, which actually became evident to me a few days after being with him. My roommate at the time suggested I take him back and I declined to do that believing as I still do we are meant to take on tasks in life some which are full of joy and others that are bittersweet. He is my second manx kitty, my first lived to 10 and had to be put to sleep after suffering from hepatic lipadosis (I try to tell people about no fat kittys!)

    I write all of this now recovering from the flu with my good and loving companion, Da Schmooze, enjoying our Saturday afternoon. Best of luck to all of us who are dealing with this–(The rescue said I earned an “extra” angel mommy from them). With Love & Light,


  47. jane says:

    Dear Readers,

    Lola is back to normal pooping but there is a problem ,she is pooping
    every where but the litter box I get after her and take her to it and put her nose in it and tell her no and then put her in one of the 3 litter boxes that i have in the house i even put one in the bathroom. got any ideas? thanks Jane

  48. Magemu says:

    I had a solid white kitten show up on my back porch in early september. He was a nuetered male with a stumpy little tail and my children fell in love. We took him to the vet and had him checked out and they put his age at 12 weeks. He weighed almost 5 lbs. He was and still is very intellegent and energetic. Two days before christmas his hind legs gave out after he jumped over the baby gate. We took him to the vet who diagnosed him wth manx syndrome and said that it was common in cats with little or no tail. He does not however have the bowl or urine problems that others are describing that is associated with manx syndrome. The vet said that he may or may not encounter these problem. He is now really lazy he just picks a spot to sleep and stays there most of the day. He does get up and eat and he still uses the litter box. He is starting to waddle like a duck or if he is in a hurry he runs like a bunny. Now my question would be should I expect the bladder and bowl problems associoated with this disease or could he have been misdiagnosed. Is there something I could do to help prevent them from occuring. He is now 6 months old, and they said that manx syndrome appears by 4 months. I would like to help him and make his life as easy as possible, I just wanted another opinion on wether or not that was what he really had. Thanks for any help. Im also thinking about getting him a harness and a leash and training him to walk.

  49. Iris says:

    It is interesting to hear what everyone has to say about their cats here, I am learning a lot. Our little “BoB” is still very active and uses her back legs as much as they will let her. She mostly hops like a rabbit but keeps up to and sometimes passes all our other animals. She loves to play and still uses her litter box but also is still incontinent to some extent. The only real issue is that she has a constant “diaper rash” on her little behind; I’m guessing from the urine leakage; which has caused some scarring and it is a constant battle to keep it under control. She gets a bath twice a day and I use a variety of different salves etc. to try and control it. So far I haven’t found one that works totally. She doesn’t seem bothered by her “rash” except when having her bath as I sometimes have to remove dead skin etc. but she is very good about it and once we are done all she wants to do is play. She eats well and I have followed the “add water to her wet food rule” as she does have a few issues with dry food plugging her up a bit. She loves the dry food too but only gets it occasionally for this reason. I also found adding a bit of olive oil to her food helps a lot to keep her regular, we are having less and less of this problem now though because of the water and oil additions.
    All I can say is we love her and glad there are other “crazy” people out there who feel the same.

  50. Peg says:

    I’ve had excellent results with a prescription “urine scald cream” from the vet school at the University of Colorado at Fort Collins. When I took Haskell there for examination (a good 7 hour drive from home) he had no fur around his anus, lower belly and inside back legs, and angry red skin, all from leaking urine and feces. After using this cream for a few weeks and bathing several times a day his fur grew back and the irritation subsided. No problems since. A 2 oz jar costs about $22.00 and lasts about three months. The pharmacy will mail it. But a vet has to first prescribe it. I dont’ know if ethically they can prescribe without examining the animal, but it’s worth a phone call to ask. Haskell’s cream was prescribed by Dr. Smeak at 970-297-5000.

  51. Now on Feb. 16, 2011, will be one year since my male Manx, Lelu, died in my arms at approx. 8:00 A.M. He was almost 12. To give you an idea how similar our love for these angels is I’ll write part of my experience here in hope that some will find consolation. It was in August 1997 when I adopted Lelu from a shelter. He was a 4 month old black and white rumpy riser, so very cute, yet so covered in dust and very, very sick. He was rescued from a ravine just prior to my visit to the shelter. I adopted him on the spot and I took him home. Lelu adopted me back instantly, as his best friend for life. After some treatment with antibiotics, eye drops, and some detailed washing and brushing, Lelu turned into a glorious elegant and proud Manx. He was healthy all his life, even during seniority. The only year of discomfort was the geriatric stage, approx. one year before his death. Due to his size (17 lb.) he had “some problems,” mainly constipation and sensitivity to heat. Being senior, he also was on soft food, home made food, pumpkin, etc. Lelu had a wonderful life and he was very healthy and loved. He also had Mitzy, a Chocolate Point Siamese, the love of his life. So in love were these two that it would be difficult to describe in a few lines. But I can tell you that when Lelu died, we were devastated. Mitzy … refused to eat, etc. In my grief I started writing the book “Forever Loved,” now all over the world from: , etc. What I was shocked to discover after Lelu’s death, was the enormity of photography I had about every step of his life, from adoption to the day he died. Crying, I took some pictures of him as I waited for Mitzy to recover from the devastation and the shock of experiencing his death. Then, the last view before cremation. Poor Mitzy … Lelu with his great love, intelligence and charming nature, forever changed my belief system. Look how we do everything we can to help. We sacrifice enormously for love. Often we minimize the parts that would scare others from adopting or loving the animals. I see that many of you developed expertise in every sense, as I did. If prior I read informative books, after Lelu died, I wanted to read sincere experiences from Manx lovers. I too went on internet and searched for everything I could find in regards to Manx and Siamese cats. I wanted to know, to verify my skills. It is true that some Manx cats are lucky and healthy, like Lelu. I was also consoled to find even on: that the life expectancy in Manx is between 10-12. Lelu lived the maximum, thank God. On you can search inside the printed book “Forever Loved,” and see some of the 84 pages in full colour. The book is also available in electronic format. In fact I realized Lelu’s presence in “The Mind of a Poetess” my memoir (written long before he died) and in “Oprah! Before You Leave …” (novel) as I was describing the time when I lost my dog, Lelu, from whom my Manx inherited his name. Also I tell how my Manx Lelu took care to keep me up all night long after my vagus nerve collapsed and I nearly died. Cats and dogs can be angels. I know Lelu was. Here I just have to say thank you for sharing your stories of love. Because I understand and care, I stop and read. I wish you all well and success in solving everything that is important. I also believe that the photographed story of my Lelu will positively inspire others who have not yet meet their friends, the Manx of the future. Elysse Poetis, Award Winning Canadian author. Find Elysse Poetis on: Twitter TwitPic Facebook Google etc. (most of my books available on every continent).

  52. Leslie says:

    has anyone tried Feline PU Surgery on your manx syndrome cat?

    Does that surgery really improve life quality of a cat with manx syndrome?

  53. LeaAnn says:

    We recently lost our manx Syndrome kitten after two years. He lived a short but happy life. He played outside, climbed trees but his favorite thing was sleeping in front of the fire with his big dog friend. When we discovered he had this problem we decided to keep him as long as he was happy and healthy. He had crippled back legs and was incontinent. It was a great decision. Now I have several of the little diapers I made for him to wear while he was in the house to give away. They are washable, durable, seemed to be comfortable, but not a fashion statement. I would be glad to mail these to anyone who has one of these little guys in their home. He didn’t have a tail so they would need a little alteration for a cat with a tail.

  54. Renee says:

    LeaAnn, I have a kitten with severe Manx syndrome, also incontinent and crippled in the back legs. We are having touble finding a diet that works for her. I was wondering if you had any suggestions? I would love to hear any tips you have or any of your stories. Feel free to e-mail me at rbridget_2007@ Hope to hear from you.

  55. Shelly says:

    LeaAnn –

    I also have a kitten (around 8 months) with Manx Syndrome who is just the sweetest little boy – I do not want to have him “euthanized” because other than his incontinence, he seems to be very playful and content. I would be glad to use the little diapers that your sweet boy used if you still have them. Just let me know at wilsonhoot82 at AOL, OK? I hope to hear from you soon – It breaks my heart that there is nothing really that can be done for these big-hearted no-tailed kitties…..

  56. Candy says:

    Someone recently dumped four kittens on my daughter. One of them was a little female with manx syndrome. The vet wanted to put her down but I took her. She is very cute and I would love to have the diapers. I want to make some for her and would love to have one for a pattern. There is NO WAY I am going to take this happy little girls life away as long as she is happy and not in pain. Send me an email and I will send you a photo.

  57. LeaAnn says:

    Hi Renee,

    Tried to send you an email today but it wouldn’t go. Do you have a different address I could send it to?


  58. LeaAnn says:

    Hi Candy,

    I would be glad to send you a one for a pattern. Send me an email at: to let me know where to send it.

    Good luck!


  59. Tegan says:

    Hi I have a 6 month old female manx kitten that suffers from Manx sydrome. She has no strength in her lower back n legs which has left her unable to use her legs properly n as a result she drags herself around, especially when tired. Due to bad incontinence she is bathed regularly throughout the day – more so when she was a younger kitten. As she got bigger n more resistant to the baths, i started filling up the bath tub an washing her that way. This proved to be a good idea as while having a bath she would TRY n swim. Although very cute it proved to be good physiotherapy for her n over the last three months since bathing her this way i have noticed signicant improvement in the strength of her back n legs. Yes she still does drag herself – again especially when tired, but she is starting to hop around like a little rabbit.
    I got her at a week old when I saw her owners trying to feed her to a dog just becuase she was ‘crippled’.
    My kitten is hard work but very enjoyable an valued member to our family. Everyone in my street knows of my kitten n most people have positive feedback but few are nasty n say she should die.
    She is an extremely happy cat loves attention, very playful n adventurous n loves my dogs…. to the point i sometimes think she believes she is a dog as she will often run to the door an growl wen someone is there just like the three dogs.
    No way would i ever euthanise my little girl as was suggested by the vets. I was told she would have no quality of life but she seems to be loving every minute of it.
    She is a very special member of my family an i wanted to let everyone who has a manx kitten that suffers this syndrome know that whilst it is hard work it is extremely rewarding.
    Also if anyone has any ideas on how to make a diaper for her (no tail at all) i would be appreciated. I am in no way s sewer.

  60. Heather says:

    I work at a shelter and we just got in a kitten with Manx Syndrome. He is super playful and healthy. Does anyone know of a rescure that would take him on? He is not that bad, he gets around well and can urinate and defecate on his own, but does not use a litter box cause I don’t think he knows when it is happening. He loves other cats a lot. Please help! He deserves a life full of love and compassion.

  61. Jolie says:


    Try contacting Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. They have much experience with Manx syndrome kitties. OR (435) 644-2001.

  62. Stephanie says:

    I just adopted a manx kitten at a local shelter. She had full function of her back legs but is completely incontinent. I live in austin texas. I cannot take care if her due to my work schedule. She is happy and playful and I don’t want to put her down. HELP!!

  63. Linda says:

    I have a Manx syndrome cat that is 3 1/2 years old. His sister who was also incontinent passed away 3 months ago due to mega colon that wasn’t treatable. Jack has had problems with bladder blockage and I did have the PU surgery. We are still working on some issues with the blockage but it does seem better. I am now also having problems with his stools being very large and hard. He is on Cisapride and Lactalose which so far haven’t seemed to help. I am also looking at adding Pumpkin and or mineral oil. Does anyone have any natural remedies they have tried? What foods are you using?
    Jack has worn pampers since he was 7 weeks old along with an altered baby onesie. I love this guy so much and wouldn’t trade him for any perfect cat. I miss his sister Jill so much and wouldn’t change my decision to let these two have the best life I could give them for as long as possible.

  64. tabinmt says:

    Was glad to find out I wasn’t the only one with a kitten like this. My family is saying I’m nuts for keeping Daisy Duke, especially when trying to make diapers that will fit a 1.5lbs kitten. The one thing that I noticed is the smell, any suggestion on tricks to help with that or raising her & keeping her healthy would be greatly appreciated. thanks

  65. Amanda says:

    I have a wee girl, Kallie, now about 14weeks, a Manx Rumpie.
    I found some info that said “a diet that is highly digestible and will result in less fecal material should be used instead of the fiber-supplemented diet. High fiber diets should not be used in cats with chronic constipation or megacolon; instead all-meat diets are recommended. ” article at :

    my experience so far is that is best NOT to feed any fibre, – i tried pumpkin – not a good idea as it was too heavy on her system.
    Kallie has already had three constipation buildups, first at 5 weeks!, the second one heading towards a Megacolon…. at 6-7 weeks. In order to get the mass broken down, i used a mix of AloeVera products (Georges for the constipation and one i found at the health store called “Herbal Aloe Force” which I now use for good minerals vitamins enzymes etc, and it has no Aloin in it- so a bit gentler on the system) I actually mixed up both – but if there was just constipation i would use more of the Georges. Once we were over the constipation – i dropped the Georges and just use the Herbal Aloe Force- 0.3ml before each meal 3 x per day at the moment.

    The vet did give me some stool softener (Lactulose) – but after reading more about this medication, and wanting to go a more natural way!

    As for food options with low fibre (AND no grain , no flax seed, no pumpkin etc):
    1.Gerbers baby food – turkey and turkey gravy – feed her this to begin with when trying to clear the megacolon…kept her blood sugar up…but not good to rely on this long term- as not enough of what a cat needs in it.

    2. Hills perscription a/d (from a vet)- has only 0.5% fibre and no carbs, grains in it. Started bringing this in to her diet soon after. worked well.

    3. I found a wet food called “Life Abundance”Instinctive choice 3oz cans – only has 1% fibre – AND no grains, fillers, carbs or even veges fruit – it isn’t raw, but is ok for now. healthier than the a/d as some organic in it.

    I have been slowly moving from the gerbers and hills mixed together, to all 3 in the mix plus extra water. Am now trying to include a raw based mix by “Feline Instincts”. I basically think that a raw natural diet would be better for her health in the long run…. so will head i that direction.

    To actually move the constipation we had to do some wee enemas (Poor Kallie wasn’t keen) but they helped…when stuff was slow to move. I even put a small amount of the Herbal Aloe Force in the warm water mix to syringe in there….(the vet showed us how to do these- with CARE!)
    Originally she also developed a bloated bladder too , on top of the constipation…things weren’t looking good…before we started down the aloe vera etc path. Vet offered to put her down. We just couldn’t do that, so we kept trying.
    I also turned to both Jin Shin Jyutsu for animals – is easy to do – and really helped too – go to : and get her book.
    And homeopathy.
    Seemed that the colon thing/ possible nerves effected in spine had some role in this. I am not certain that she has the “Manx Syndrome”
    and to be honest – i didn’t get her fully checked to determine this… it was a possibility.

    As for the Homeopathy:
    When the Bladder was all bloated, and only a dribble coming out now and then..
    my interest in Homeopathy, led me to have a go at trying out a couple of things – firstly thinking that it is looking like nerve damage is causing the weakness in her elimination process… so I gave her a dose of hypericum 30c. the next day – her bladder had come down and she was eliminating urine when she wanted to (in the litter box) Yay! Phew…

    Then we were in contact with a homeopathic holistic vet by phone for a consultation.
    (Jonathan Wright, DVM in Valleyford, WA) Aiming to deal with the fact that even with some of Kallies poop moving – she was unable to finish the job herself – we were wiping up and having to wash her every time…
    So the holistic vet gave us a combination, to work more from a cause point of view – not just about the constipation. Well it really helped!!! She know has well formed poop and it lands in the litter box without us helping!!! what a relief. She is a pretty normal cat now. Just got to continue to monitor her put and out put. and make any changes VERY SLOWLY!
    I have also added an Animal Essentials EFAs (Omega 3+6) supplement to her diet.
    I tried some plant enzymes and probiotic – but this made her throw up….her system is too sensitive it seems for that ..yet?.

    Hope that helps any Manx cat lover out there…. ! They sure are wee angels…we LOVE our Kallie kitty.

  66. Betty Grammer says:

    This is for Amanda, You stated that you have given your kitty hypericum 30 cc. I have a manx kitten named Trouble, I took him to the vet and was told that he had Manx syndrome and that he would eventually need to be put to sleep and I just cannot do that right now. He is so playful and full of life and the only problem he has right now is that he is not urinating all the way and that has caused a UTI infection. The vet gave him a shot of antibiotic and some to give him every day for 14 days. I read your comment and wanted to see if you could give move information about hypericum and where to get it. My email is: If you could please contact me I would be very grateful!

  67. Peg says:

    Thanks to all you dedicated manx syndrome owners out there! They are just great cats. For those of you whose cats have the bladder problems often associated with manx syndrome i.e. being unable to urinate at will and/or urine building up in the bladder an spilling out. A compassionate vet can show you how to express the bladder to keep it from stretching too much and leaking. We have three manx syndrome cats. I manually express their bladders twice a day. It’s not hard and not a bother. It keeps their bladders from getting too big, which is can damage the bladder and eventually destroy any control over it they might have had. You can express the colon too, but my cats generally don’t need that even though their defecation is not normal. I feed them soaked kitten kibble (even though two are adults, for the extra nutrient boost to compensate for their inability to digest nutrients well due to the manx syndrome damage) and give them the juice from tuna cans for extra fluids.

  68. Holly says:

    Thank you all so very much for all the education on these sweet angelic babies. I am fostering a little girl, 3 months old with Manx Syndrome. This is the second week and I finally got the knack of emptying her colon with the help of our wonderful, patient and loving vet, Dr. Vergel. I named her Angel and she is such a sweet and smart little girl. Working on getting a routine established where I feel completely comfortable knowing I am taking the best care of her. Great advice on the diet. God Bless all who so generously shared their experiences, I feel so much more hopeful I can give this baby a good quality of life.

  69. Holly says:

    Does anyone know if diapers for premature babies will work on little Manx kittens if they have no tail? My little foster baby is 3 months old, weighs 3.5 lbs. Bought some
    for pets at Petsmart but they prevent her from walking and also have an opening for a tail, which allows seepage of urine and fecal matter. Also other than bathing her and dabbing her little butt with a bit of antibiotic ointment, does anyone know what would be good to help soothe her skin in that area? She is sore from the seepage and I was kinda wondering if I could use a little Desitin cream like I used on my babies for diaper rash….

  70. Cat says:

    Hello everyone,

    I was happy to find this Q & A, although I see more Qs than As. I am wondering if anyone has any info on signs of spina Bifida or manx syndrome for newborn kittens. Four days ago I had a kitten born with a tiny hole at the base of its spine. She does have a tiny bone of a tail, but might be a rumpy. She seems normal so far, having movement of her hind legs. My friend told be to euthanize her right when she was born, but I cannot do that without being sure and I dont trust any vets near me as the hospitals are going through them like flies around here. I came home today from work and she had a wet strip from the tiny hole to about 3/4 inch up her back. The hole is looking better, but still not healed. Mom is still causing her to go potty and poopies so I will not know about incontinence for a while. I read it takes 4 weeks to 4 months to really know what you are dealing with.

    I am not sure if I should euthanzise her. She will be a dark mink/sepia Highland Lynx (curled back ears) and I would hope that if she does develop problems that I could find her a special needs home that would adore her. She will definately be cute!

    So is there anyone with info on newborn kittens and a hole in the skin at the base of the spine? Also, it sounds like its the general consensious that people would like to know more about diapers and ideas for them. I would be happy to post them on my Facebook if someone would like to send pictures to me.

  71. TexasCityKitty says:

    Hello, I have several single and double vertebra manx kitties and one half-tail. They are all approx. 4 months old, and one sibling (fully tailed, barn cat/feral) apparently got toxic megacolon and died from the syndrome. Of the 3 in the house, Cotton was constipated with prolapsing rectal tissue when my son found him to be friendly, so my son “squeezed it out of him like toothpaste from a tube” according to my husband. Bob and Lefty are still incontinent, but try valiantly to get to the box before the most of their mess is evacuated…small but smart. Lefty is sort of smallish, and has long hair over the right side of his nasal bridge and fur on the right side of his nose where it should be leather…this all suggests underlying anomalies.
    If a baby is born with an open area on the base of the spine it is kept as sterile as possible and closed as soon after birth as is possible. This is to keep from getting meningitis or encephalitis, central nervous system infections from the openness of the spinal tissues to the outside world. I would see if there’s a vet who would do a rudimentary closure of the hole for you, acknowledging that you know that the cat is at high risk for infection despite the treatment. Someplace such as Texas A&M University’s vet school is a reference point for unusual problems in animals of all kinds, and they do have veterinary care available there. I guess I would prep it up and sew it up myself with a 5-0 absorbable suture if I had to face it myself as an animal owner. I’ve had to take pot luck on so many veterinary issues on the farm that I have had to learn to survive. Of course, do NOT use betadine directly on the hole as it is considered neurotoxic…I would hesitate to use any type of bacteriocidal agent directly on the hole if it communicates with the spinal canal and is leaking spinal fluid. If it’s just serous fluid (no glucose in it-borrow a diabetic test strip from someone) then it’s still at risk for infection but you’ve bought yourself a thin chance better of this kitten’s doing well…still needs antibiotics by mouth and a closing of the hole.
    Hope your kittie does well, and remember, God does amazing things with healing little animals…but I know He has more kitties in His house than I do in mine…I also have a cat who at an early age rolled off of the rear axle of a truck which was going 70 mph down the road…and he rolled for maybe 30 yards. It took 3 days of looking for him before we could bring him in out of the South Texas rain. He’s strong and welll now, living proof of how miracles do happen.

  72. Windi says:

    Hi, I have a 10 month old kitten with Manx syndrome that I found at a little under 5 weeks old. She was crying in the hedges outside of my apartment, dirty, her tummy waa very swollen, and her rear end was covered in poop. We thought she just had a parasite infection causing diarrhea and that the diarrhea was causing irritation to her little butt, however, the vet confirmed that she had Manx syndrome with atresia anii and the early stages of megacolon. He told us that the liquid leaking out was what was escaping around tennis ball-sized mass of feces inside her colon. He recommended that we take her home and keep her comfortable, and that in a week or two when she showed signs of Wong unwell we take her in and he euthanize her for us. I went home and cried myself to sleep, as I had already fallen in love with Kali. The next day I scoured the Internet, and ended up giving her a 3 ml oral dose of mineral oil, 5 ml of olive oil, and a 3 ml dose of turkey baby food mixed with water and a drop (literally, a tiny drop) of liquid from inside of a ducolax gelcap. This was a last ditch effort after feeding her nothing but baby food and Hill’s A/D diet, giving her mineral oil, and attempting to give her an enema (she didn’t comply, Kali is very feisty). The next morning I awoke to loudly mewing Kali with a normal-sized tummy in her cat carrier with a very large, very dark and smelly pile of poop. She continued to poop that day.i immediately called the vet, who wa pleasantly surprised that I had gotten hr to pass the fecal mass without surgery, and he suggested I continue the soft food diet.

    As time went on and Kali gained more bowel control and awareness (but still no real bladder control) I learned that she has trouble knowing when she needs to poip if it isn’t firm enough, but can’t pass them if they are too firm. I feed her Authority (the petsmart brand) due to the low corn content and higher protein content than most other brands. I would feed Blue Wilderness if I could afford it, but I have 3 other cats that need to eat too, and I’m disabled as well. Kali initially wore diapers made of panty-liners held on by soft terry hair ties. I tried liner in a sock method, but she bit and scratched too much. That’s actually how she got her name. After 2 weeks we started using maxi pads instead of just liners. As soon as she made 3 lbs we managed to fit her into Pampers preemies. She’s almost 5 lbs and I’m about to size her up to Luvs size 1, she’s getting a little long for the preemies, and she’s escaping them more easily (I still use a hair tie to hold them on, she’s too small for suspenders).

    Despite her feistiness at diaper change time or when she needs some ointment or a bath, Kali is the sweetest cat I have ever known. My brother once said that all the cuddles in the world would never be enough for Kali. She burrows under the covers at night to sleep with us, and she doesn’t budge, other than to maybe move to my pillow, until we get up in the morning. She doesn’t have mobility issues, but she does walk with a bit of a rolling step in her left hind leg. She runs like a rabbit, and can jump very long distances compared to my other cats, and climbs more than they do. She also perches more. I’m very glad I didn’t give up on my “Itty Bitty Shitty Kitty” as my husband calls her – he claims he dislikes her but I’ve caught him snuggling her on more than one occasion. I’ve never seen a more loving or trusting cat.

  73. tiffany says:

    We have a 2 yr old male,Achilles, he has MXS,he bunnyhops and has bowel and bladder issues.We took him to our vet 2 days ago for an enema;its only the 2nd one since we took him from a neighbor that was going to leave him behind cos of his problems;he took his other pets,the jerk was just going to leave him.We already had 3 indoor and any number of abandoned outdoors we were feeding so we said whats 1 more,the MOST HIGH made sure we had enough food for all of them but Achilles has his special diet. We give him pumpkin, tuna fish oil and wet food with less grain that our natural food store orders for him. He doesnt wear diapers; we just follow him around w/baby wipes and we use alot of carpet cleaner and enzyme cleaner too. As far as any advice on food; you just have to try until you find what works best for yours. Ive read alot of info on manx and that seems to be what everyone does, but whatever you do, unless yours is suffering terribly; dont let the vet talk you into putting them down; if you are unable to care for it try to find someone who can .I know they need alot of special care and are not for the faint of heart but they are worth it

  74. Darlene says:

    My manx cat has 3 kittens. They are now 4 weeks old. 1 stumpy 1 long tail and 1 rumpy. I think that the rumpy has manx syndrome. She was born her spine was exposed with skin instead of fur. She is the smallest weighing 1/2 lb while her brothers weigh 1 1/2 lbs each. I feed her because she doesn’t have good suckle skills. She doesn’t seem to get around well and rolls end over end when she tries to walk. She still doesnt have fur around the tail section and instead has a sort of scaby healing wound. She is the sweetest thing and purrs when I hold her or when she knows I’m there. I am concerned for her quality of life and I would like to know if anyone else kitten was born this way.

  75. Mory says:

    I have a been blessed to have two half manx brothers join my kitty family. One of them has a very long tail, but has the other appearances and traits of a manx. Then other, has no tail and manx syndrome. They are both my sweet boys who love to play fetch and chirp and mew at everyone.

    The one with manx syndrome first only wattled a little as a kitten. Not ever having manxes before, we just assumed this was because of his lack of a tail.

    When he moved in with the rest of my cats after a few months at a different home, he started having more and more problems walking. In fear of a broken bone we rushed him to the vet. The vet told us that there was nothing wrong with his xray and nothing to be done.

    We moved all of our kitties to a new home about two months later. There I started to notice his difficulty to jump on the bed and couches, and that’s when he stopped using the litter box. He was falling a lot just when walking from one room to the next. Also his tesicles haven’t grown in a while and he shows no signs of wanting to pro-create, unlike his brother with the tail.

    It took us a while to find ways to help him with his problems. It started with us just carrying him around more and placing him on beds and such so he didn’t fall when he tried to jump.

    I put a mat in front of the litter boxes to collect loose litter, but soon it became his personal business mat, he has two total now.

    I bought this old almost shagish chair to go in the living room, and now he uses it as climbing practice and he really loves going crazy on it. I think it is helping him build up skills and muscles.

    He recently taught himself to climb up and down our hardwood stairs.

    He is improving, but I still don’t want to let him outside, because when he gets scared that’s when his back legs are the worst. He has good days and bad days, I’m grateful that there are more good than bad lately.

    Reading that some Manx’s like mine only live to be two years old made me cry my eyes out, then share this story that they can lead happy and normal to them lives.

    My manx syndrome cat is loved by my other cats, and is everyone’s favorite. He is a sweetie and a snuggler with cats and humans. I want him to live as long as he can, but I worry because he is the smallest of my cats and so skinny.

    My special kitty’s name is, Bogart and he will always have a special place in my heart and soul. Don’t give up on these special kitties, they just might be the best cat you’ve ever known.

  76. Katie says:

    I have a 1 year old manx syndrome cat! I love her to death but she is also a rumpy..and incontinant of bowel and bladder. The most loveable cat ever but she spends a lot of time in the kitchen! I have tried diapers but had to hold them on with onsies and she seems SO unhappy! I would appreciate any help with patterns for diapers or diets? Thanks

  77. Katie says:

    My manx also only weighs 4.5 lbs full grown..the vet says she is healthy! other than her manx syndrome!

  78. Raynell says:

    Have a sweet rumpy with incontinence. she is six mo. and only two pounds. Have any of these kitties grown out of the incontinence? she gets in the litter box. (so cute with a diaper on) Her smell is awful so I’m going to add chlorophyll to her food.

    any thoughts on the subject welcome.

  79. Ella says:

    im looking to addopt a half tortise-shell/ half manx kitten. she is nine months old and has mild to moderate manx syndrome. the people at the shelter say that she has no control over her bowel movements. i know that, but what else is manx syndrome?

  80. Candy says:

    My Manx Stink Bug is over a year old now and has brought nothing but JOY to me and everyone she has touched. She is a Rumpy with all the issues that come with it but enjoys life so much we gladly make adjustments for her. My daughter brought her to me as a kitten after her vet said to put her down. I have not had many problems with her, she is getting over a UTI at present but nothing serious. (1st one) She has the muscle spasms but not that often and they do not seem to bother her. She has unbelievable upper body strength, climbs the stairs, cat tree and runs as fast or faster than any of my other four cats.

  81. Becca says:

    I have a young male cat, I would like to know how to make diaper

  82. Dee Anna says:

    i rescued a 8 week old kitten that had been dropped off in the parking lot of my work he is a minx he had been bitten by some type of animal so i took him too the vet got antibiotics and stool softener because he wouldn’t poop but now he seems tho be havinf trouble using his back legs

  83. Françoise says:

    I rescued 2 days ago a small 3 months-old kitty with no tail (Rumpy) and incontinence.She too has deformed back legs.She looks like a one-month old kitten. Her first owner did not take care of her. I only knom there was another kitten in the litter who was deformed and died.
    I tried to put on her baby diapers but they are too large.
    I have an appointment with my vet on next monday.

  84. Katie F. says:

    Today I would out my 10 week old kitten has manx syndrome. She runs and jumps and does not act sick in any way except for the fact she can’t control her bowel movements and bladder. Since she can walk/run/jump now does that mean she will be able to for the rest of her life or can she lose control of her back legs as she grows up??

  85. Alyssa c says:

    I have a 8 week old kitten with Manx syndrome from a litter of a cat we found. He is so happy playful and loving. I’m not sure what the best way to care for him would be. We have made the decision that the best place for him is to stay with us so we can make sure he gets the care he needs. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated. We are currently having issues with incontence which has been the first hurdle to overcome. He also doesn’t have very good use of his back legs but can get around fine. He plays with his siblings like nothing’s wrong with him. We love him very much and want to give him the best life possible no matter how long or short it may be.

  86. firewolf3251 says:

    i have a rumpie manx cat 6 years old she was doing fine until she fell off the bed, she is a little over weight, she was limping on her right leg,but started getting better, the next day,but now she doesn’t go to the box to pee, she does to poop, does anyone think this will get better too? thank you in advance

  87. sue36105 says:

    I have a beautiful 6 month old female kitten, she has manx syndrome and would sometimes wet herself while sleeping. I took her to the vet who prescribed PROIN DROPS for her but he made no promises, there are side effects.
    Happy to report the medicine is a miracle for her & me! She does hate the liquid medicine but a dry kitty makes a happy house.
    Hopefully it would help other kittens affected.

  88. Gail says:

    we just lost our manx at 16 yrs old he died of cancer.He developed kidney stones at a young age.after getting that taken care of at 10 yrs old developed stones again this time no matter what the vet did he kept getting blocked up so they took his male part off reattached so he went like a girl,did great but this yr about 3 weeks ago had blader infection thats when vet felt a lump did test only to find cancer.He past Nov15,2012 at 3:30 pm at vets.He was my friend talked to me all the time said hi when I came home,good night when I came home.said hi to my hubby when he called.Now its too quiet & his female cat friend is also mourning his death as am I

  89. Jan says:

    I fostered a mommy cat and her 8 kittens since their birth, including one female with Manx syndrome (spina bifida). She started out with the hole in the spine and fluid leaking out, but with mommy cleaning her as a kitten I didn’t realize that she was completely incontinent until she was about two months old. She has trouble with her back legs (walks on the whole foot instead of the toes), and actually just “three-legs” it when she goes up and down stairs. She gets around very well anyway. I am overwhelmed with the incontinence – I have 8 other cats, including two others that are incontinent from tail injuries. I do express her urine but there is always a sludge of urine and feces mixed on her butt. I wash her daily and apply Vasoline or AD ointment, but her skin gets sore and it is now changing texture – getting rough and bumpy. My vet suggested an MRI, but too expensive. I’ve been in contact with a rescue that said their Manx syndrome kittens’ urethra and colon are attached – just one hole. I’m sure that is the case with “Deb.” She is a beautiful kitten, quite small, very affectionate and smart. Any chance any of you would take on another Manx syndrome kitten? I live in Virginia but would drive quite a length to find her a good home. So far no luck with any rescues, including “Best Friends” in Utah.

  90. Ash says:

    Hi, I have a 8 week old Manx kitten named Jim! He was from my sisters cat,
    He was one of five and all other kittens have no issues! He drags his back legs and I have helped strengthen them a lot, I noticed he had the problem from birth but from the moment he could get up and move he started hopping like a bunny! He has not seen a vet due to that I am a student and have been saving my money to take him and no vet will see me unless I have full payment. In the mean time I’ve been giving him Metamucil powder in his food and that seems to help a lot, he has a swollen belly and doesn’t have much control over his bladder, he has a lot of trouble pooping, it’s as if he has trouble pushing, I’ve also found that his bum bleeds a tiny bit when he’s really struggling! I’ve called every vet in my area and not one said they will see him because I can’t pay the full amount. I was just curious if anyone else has had a problem like this? Any input would be greatly appreciated!!! I love this little man like he was my actual son, so I’m willing to try anything!!! P.s: he will be seeing a vet in five days, I will have the money by then but I was just wondering if there’s anything I can do in the mean time to help him??

  91. Janet says:

    if the kitten can walk at all even if its side ways they will lots of times grow out of the incontinance or at least its livable. Our cats are allowed outside when they want so this is easier for us .we make sure they’re parasite free, good food, and lots of healthy exercise .I always keep an eye on them but they usualy live healthy happy lives.

  92. Joe Sullivan says:

    I have a manx cat that turned up one day on my farm. We took her in and fell in love with her. We noticrd she had severe Manx syndram. She was also deformed in the rear and walked like a rabbit. she gets around and is faster than most cats and dogs.She was using the litter box but it doesnt always make it directly in. i put a plastic sheet under it and that took care of that. then i noticed she sometimes didnt make it to the litterbox. i then put it in the area she was going and now she goes in the box. the next problem was very smelly diharea which stayed on her rear. very unsanitary.We couldnt keep her under those cercumstances.I changed her diet to a dry natural diet. it started to take shape and be well formed. most of the time her rear is clean and dry. I made the mistake of givlng her treats . bad move instint diharea. so dont make the same mistake. believe me its hard but in the long run everyone will be happier. I give Katy chicken and vegitables with no grain or corn fillers. Remember, DRY. I hope this helps you

  93. jeanette says:

    I have a Manx syndrome cat . He lost the use of his back legs 3 months after I got him . He was also unable to deficate or urinate . What worked with him was giving him physical therapy . I did this myself . He now runs walks jumps ( only 2 ft ) and uses the potty on his own . Don’t let your cat drag their legs . Balance them don’t give up !

  94. VetLocator Staff says:

    Jeanette, your cat is very lucky to have you as his mom. Most would have given up on him…and you didn’t. We applaud you and thank you for helping other Manx owners.

  95. eleanor says:

    I have a manx with syndrome and he will be 5 yrs old april 1, 2013. I found him under shrub and took him to animal emergency, he was barely breathing. after 3 days the drs literally brought him back to life. He is the most fun loving sweet thing ever. He is now 14 lbs. I do have to express him several times a day I also found out how to POD poop on demand. He gets cisparide twice a day and lactaluse 3 times a day. . Sometimes it is tough going but Im happy that I kept him. It can be expensive in the long run, but you cant replace the love he has in his eyes. I try to keep him confined at night to a bathroom, my other cat doesnt like him shes is jealous and older. I have heard that manx with the syndrome doesnt live very long,because of infections, but so far so good. I intend to break the record that I read of 5 1/2 yrs. good luck to everyone who takes in a manx with syndrome . they are a great cat.

  96. Jo says:

    Go to facebook and check out Sheldon, the Special Needs Kitten. Perhaps they can help you out. Sheldon also has severe manx syndrome and is the most loveable little guy. He wasn’t expected to make it to 6 months. Today he is celebrating his 1st birthday.

  97. Cas says:

    I just adopted a rumpy manx kitten from the humane society yesterday. He seems just fine, but now I am worried. How likely is it that he will develop manx syndrome? I have never heard of it, and him and his littermates were very strange when I was visiting with them. They were stiff and not moving. The one I brought home was the only one who stood up and started playing with me. I am scared to take a chance at keeping him. This will be the third cat I’ve adopted from the humane society that has some strange disorder. I just had my 3 year old cat put to sleep 3 weeks ago because she had pancreatic cancer. The one before her had FIP (feline infectious paritonitis) and had to be put to sleep after having her for only 1 month.. 🙁 Please someone tell me what you think.. It seems like all rumpy tailed cats are at high risk for this disorder.

  98. Laura says:

    It sounds to me like the humane society steered you wrong with the cat that had FIP, that they should have known. I am terribly sorry that you had to go through both of those experiences. I just recently lost a cat to pancreatic cancer and know how horrible that is. As for the manx, please give him a chance. I was in the same position, had various losses before adopting a manx and was very terrified of going through yet another loss. Mine has issues, no doubt, but when the house is quiet, the cats aren’t trying to play rough with him, he is just fine. Stress will cause constipation and sometimes a tiny bit of urine leakage, but they are the sweetest cats. I can’t look at his face without smiling because you can see his sweet soul. You may have to deal with more vet bills and living where you watch him closer than you normally would, i.e., watching to ensure he doesn’t get constipated, but if you have a good vet, they can help you to use Miralax and fiber to help him to be regular. It mixes right in and they don’t even notice it. You are obviously chosen in this life to help cats in need. Take your role with an open heart. There are never guarantees in life. He may be fine, or you could return him for what you think is a healthy cat, and they won’t be. Just give the love to the cat and let life run its course. He deserves a good life.

  99. Tina says:

    I would love to have a pattern for diapers for a female with incontinence and no poop control. She does not get constipated very often. Would also like information on any natural medications and also diet information that would be helpful. She does have a bit of a tail and hops around like a bunny—she can really move fast. She is truly a joy to have. Any help would be appreciated.

  100. cecilia says:

    I would love the pattern as well please. We Rescue a kitten with the same problem. Thank you.

  101. Jeannie says:

    I have a three week old Rumpy who uses his bags legs in tandem as though he is doing the breast stroke. I would like to do physical therapy with him in the hopes that he could learn to be stable on all 4 legs – I have searched and searched to try and find what this therapy might be to no avail. Some one here mentioned water and that makes sense but would love to hear all and any suggestions please.

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