Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail CatThe Japanese Bobtail is a rare cat breed, with an easily spotted defining characteristic – it has a very short, slightly curled tail. A “bobbed” tail, that looks almost as if it has been cut. This short, fluffy tail is the result of a natural genetic mutation caused by  a recessive gene. Originally found in Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia, Japanese Bobtails can come in any coat color or pattern, but the mostly white with calico coat has become the preferred and expected appearance. They are also found in both shorthaired and longhaired coats.

Japanese Bobtails are small to medium in size, usually weighing in at 6-9lbs. Unlike the other well known breed of tailless cats, the Manx cat, the bobtail’s tail is always visible – not missing, just short. Their tails have a plumey or pom-pom like appearance. At cat shows or Cat Fancier events, the appearance of the tail is quite a big deal.

While there is no factual evidence of when these cats first appeared, there is a very fanciful and exciting origin story to fill the void. Apparently a cat slept by the fire in its home, and woke to find its tail in flames. This cat then ran through the streets of the Imperial City, trying to extinguish itself, but only succeeded in setting the entire city on fire, and the whole thing burned to the ground. The Emperor ordered that all cats must have their tails cut off to ensure that this would never happen again!

Lucky CatThe Japanese Bobtail is deeply ingrained in pop culture. The “Lucky Cat”, or Maneki-Neko is a cartoon version of a bobtail. According to folklore, Maneki-Neko was a female Japanese Bobtail cat who would wave to passersby and bring them good luck. Ceramic “Lucky Cats” are found in homes and businesses all over the world. The internationally loved Hello Kitty is also a bobtail.

Japanese Bobtail cats are an intelligent and active breed. They’re strong and healthy, and seem to genuinely enjoy humans as companions. These cats are also known for being quite talkative and chatty, and for answering back when spoken to. They have a wide range of vocal tones, and as a result, they are also known as the “singing cats”.

Japanese Bobtails