Medical Curiosities - Page 1: Myths
& Genetics | 2:
The Manx As A Cabbit | 3:
Twisty & Winged Cats |
4: Historic Cabbit Claims | 5: Cabbits In Japanese Anime
A number of abnormalities occur in cats which can give them a rabbit-like appearance or hop, but this is nothing to do with having a hybrid parentage; it is from years of specialised cat breeding.
The most common of these is the manx which has hindquarters resembling those of a rabbit. These cats can be distinguished through their lack of a tail (or a bobtail), a short rounded back, a rump which is higher than the shoulders and long hind legs. The coat varies in colour and pattern, and may be short or long (long-coated versions are sometimes called Cymrics).
Their bone structure can cause some members of this breed to walk with a hopping motion. This is recognised and loosely termed the 'manx hop'. It also occasionally occurs in other breeds like the munchkin. Breeders do not normally use cats that have these problems and the manx hop is considered undesirable in show animals.
In very severe cases the abnormality can be crippling, resulting in spina bifida, or bowel and bladder problems. The severity of the problems is directly in proportion to the shortness of the spine.
Further adding to the cabbit 'look' is a genetic mutation which pulls the skin around the hindquarters up tight instead of allowing it to hang loosely. This emphasises the extra length in the hindquarters.
Ironically, one legend to explain the appearance of the manx says it was the result of a once-only mating between a cat and a rabbit. The scientific explanation is that the lack of a tail is caused through nothing more interesting than a mutant gene.
The manx breed
has probably been responsible for most of the cabbit reports
dating back for over a century; this breed is that old and has
always displayed severe genetic defects.
With Thanks To Lillian Weber