Hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun, the Japanese Bobtail is a friendly, lovable feline breed, characterized by a short “bunny” tail, either rigid or flexible, accentuated by some angles, curves, and kinks. It is a fun-loving and playful furball that makes good friends with everyone and acts more of a dog than a feline. While it is often regarded as a mere street cat in its homeland, it is a prized cat for many cat enthusiasts.
Origin of the Japanese Bobtail Cat
Many traditions and legends shroud the origins of the Japanese Bobtails cats. One renowned symbol of good luck in Japan is a tri-colored cat with a bobtail and a beckoning paw, and the breed has also been seen both in artworks and literature for approximately a thousand years.
However, it is deemed that the first bobtail cats were a Chinese Emperors’ gift to a Japanese Emperor. Since then, these furballs not only served as pets in the imperial palace but were also used as protectors of silkworms and grain supplies from infesting rodents.
Their characteristic bobbed tails were a product of natural and harmless genetic mutation, which was then expanded through breeding. In 1968, the first Japanese Bobtails reached the United States. Soon, the shorthaired bobtails were then recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1976. It took 17 years for the longhaired versions to be accepted, but today, the Japanese Bobtail is recognized by all major cat associations.
Physical Characteristics of the Japanese Bobtail Cat
- Length: up to 12 inches
- Weight: 7 to 10 pounds (Males) 5 to 7 pounds (Females)
- Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years
- Coat Color: White, red, black, cream, in different shadings and patterns
- Type of Coat: Short, Long
- Eye Color: Various shades, common are gold, blue, and odd-eyed
Japanese Bobtails is a fairish-sized cat, with a slender yet well-developed musculature. Their head is triangle-shaped, with a long nose, high cheekbones, and roundish to oval-shape eyes. Their fur is soft, silky, and comes in an array of colors. What makes this breed stand out is their stubby tail, which grows in all directions, forming a bunny-like or pompom-like tail, which is a product of a natural, harmless genetic mutation.
Japanese Bobtail Cat Personality
Japanese Bobtails are active, fun-loving, and sweet felines. They are most happy being beside their human companions, playing almost endlessly. These cats will proactively bring toys to people, ready to play fetch with their favorite plaything for extended periods.
Blessed with smarts, these furballs quickly learn their name and will respond to their owner’s call. Add their people-pleasing personality, they can grasp various tricks swiftly, agree to be walked on a leash, and even engage in conversations.
Inside their home, they are known to take over the household without showing any intimidation. If dogs or other pets are in the house, they act as if they are the boss. They are amenable to live with other feline breeds but may go along best with other Japanese Bobtails. They have a cliquey behavior, often establishing long-lasting bonds with kittens from the same litter while excluding those from other groups.
They assume the house but have a unique way of getting things they desire. The Japanese Bobtails are very vocal, with a soft, melodious voice, often singing or chirping in a vast range of tones, and asking their loving families for what they want. However, they can reward it with mischievous acts, sometimes hoarding shiny things as part of their inclination to keep themselves busy.
Caring for the Japanese Bobtail Cat
Japanese Bobtails can either have a smooth, silky coat, which can be short or long. Either way, both types are easy to maintain, only requiring weekly brushing to remove dirt, debris, and loose hair, and to keep their fur shiny and healthy.
As people-pleasers, Japanese Bobtails thrives best in homes that can provide them with daily human companionship. They will love to curl up on their owner’s nap for a cozy nap or engage in games, such as fetch or carry various stuff around the stuff, acting like the cat world’s retrievers.
These felines are also curious, bold, and alert. They require regular physical activity alongside their owners to consume their high energy. Moreover, they are high jumpers, which is why getting perches is an excellent complement in helping them exercise.
While they are a very adaptable breed, it is best to keep Japanese Bobtails an indoor-only companion. Through that, there would be less chance of them getting into fights, catching infections from other cats, getting into accidents, or having injuries.
Japanese Bobtails are purr-fect cats for families looking for an extroverted and vocal companion. They are full of personality, brimming with energy, and overflowing with love that would add color and fun to any home.