Despite its name, the Japanese Bobtail was originally from China. It was brought over to Japan by Buddhist monks to prevent the rat infestation from causing damage to the rice paper scrolls. This cat figures prominently in Japanese culture, with several paintings and other pieces of art dedicated to it.
The first Bobtail introduced to the West was imported in the 1960s, and a breeding programme undertaken by breeders Judy Crawford and Elizabeth Freret. This has resulted in a steady growth in their numbers and popularity; the Bobtail now features at 24th position in popularity the CFA recognised breeds. The shorthair Japanese Bobtail gained Championship recognition from TICA in 1979 and the CFA in 1976, whereas its longhair version was accepted for Championship in the early 1990s.
The Bobtail is an extremely human-oriented cat and responds better than most breeds at human-mediated activities like leash walking and fetch. This intelligent cat can be taught many tricks, and rarely settles down in one place for long. Because of its curious and outgoing nature, the Bobtail can be found exploring every nook and cranny in the house.
- Activity level: 3/5 (mildly active)
- Intelligence level: 3/5 (quite intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (quite curious)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly)
- Vocal: 3/5 (quite vocal)
The Bobtail is known for its distinctive pom-pom like tail. With strong musculature and graceful movement pattern, the Bobtail has long athletic body with triangular shaped head and sharp features, which make the cat appealing to judges and cat fanciers alike.
- Fur: The coat comes in both longhair and shorthair version; the colours come in a wide variety, with most prominent being mi-ke, calico, vans, solid colours and bi-colours.
- Eyes: Large, oval eyes set at a slant.
- Body structure: Slender, muscular body with well developed musculature; long slender legs, hind legs longer than front legs. The tail is short and made of one or more curved articulations.
- Facial features: Fairly broad muzzle; head shaped like an equilateral triangle.
- Weight: the male Japanese Bobtail weighs 8-10 lbs, whereas the female weighs around 5-7 lbs.
The Japanese Bobtail is easy to groom, and bi-weekly brushing are considered adequate. However, the brushing may have to be more frequent during the spring and fall shedding seasons. Moreover, regular dental care must be done to prevent gingivitis and other periodontal diseases.
Unlike the Manx, the Japanese Bobtail’s short tail is not a result of spinal shortening. This causes the Bobtail to avoid the health concerns of the Manx, such as spina bifida. It is a healthy, sturdy breed with no known genetic health issues. However, it is still susceptible to the regular cat diseases like diabetes, tapeworms and feline lower urinary tract infection. Most of these diseases can be detected through a complete blood profiling; other diagnostic techniques, such as stool examination for tapeworm and urinalysis/urine culture for FLUTD may be required.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org