Japanese Bobtail – Cat Breeds

by catfood

The Japanese Bobtail appears to be a medium-sized cat with clean lines and bone structure, well-muscled but straight and slim in shape rather than enormous. The peculiar set of eyes on this cat, combined with high cheekbones and a long parallel nose, give the face a distinct Japanese character. The short tail resembles a rabbit tail, with the hair fanning out to give a pom-pom appearance that successfully conceals the tail’s underlying bone structure. The core of the Japanese Bobtail breed is its overall type, which is formed of balance, elegance, and refinement.



Japanese Bobtails, with their sculptured bodies, pert bobbed tails, attentive ears, and huge window-to-the-soul eyes, are living works of art as graceful and brilliant as a Haiku. They aren’t only for gazing; they have a personality that will make you purr. Bobs make excellent companions. Fearless and strong as samurai warriors when on the search for a roving rat or catnip mouse, Japanese Bobtails adore their human families and spend the most of their waking hours by their favorite human’s side, chirping discreet enquiries and poking their curious noses into everyone’s business.

They are brave, bright, and energetic, and they adapt quickly to new people, settings, and animals, making them excellent exhibition cats. Tama, venerated for delivering such good fortune, lived out her days in luxury and was buried in the temple cemetery with honors. They are ever-present buddies who aren’t too clingy. They want to be a part of their human partners’ lives and are more than happy to provide a helping hand when you need it—and even when you don’t. Bobtails like a good chat as well; their chirping voices produce a wide spectrum of tones, which some breeders refer to as “singing.”

Because of their great intellect, Bobtails rapidly learn canine-only skills such as fetching and learning to walk on a leash. But be careful what you teach them; if jumping on your stomach at three a.m. gets you up to feed them once, they’ll jump on your stomach in the small hours forevermore. Because they are good at opening drawers and getting into off-limit rooms—and getting out of closed off rooms—their intellect can lead them astray. They are, however, a lot of fun to watch when they are being mischievous. There is no better excuse for ignoring cleaning than watching your Japanese Bobtail at play.



No one knows for certain when or where the Japanese Bobtail cat evolved, although it is thought that progenitors of today’s Japanese Bobtail cats moved from Korea and China to Japan around the beginning of the sixth century. They were most likely maintained aboard ships to secure valuable silk items and documents as they traveled from port to port. It is unknown if these seafaring cats had bobbed tails or not, and the cause of their bobbed tail mutation is unlikely to be discovered.

However, it is apparent that the breed has been circling the Far East for ages, as early Japanese folklore contains multiple references to short-tailed cats. Bobtailed cats can be found in Japanese woodcut prints and silkscreen paintings from the Edo period (1603-1867), indicating that they were not only well known in Japan, but were prized for their grace and beauty by the fifteenth century, and were kept in the temples and homes of the Imperial Japanese families for many years. The Japanese Bobtail is one of the oldest cat breeds, with a history as rich in mythology and folklore as the land where it originated.

Mi-Ke (pronounced mee-kay, meaning “three fur” in Japanese) bobtailed cats born with a specific pattern of red, black, and white markings were considered lucky; such cats were especially prized. The narrative of Maneki Neko, which means “beckoning cat” in Japanese, is the most renowned story concerning the Mi-Ke. Tama, a bobtailed, tri-colored cat, was said to live at the destitute Kotoku temple in Setagaya, Tokyo. To ensure that his pet cat had enough to eat, the monk frequently divided his limited food with her. Lord Ii Natotaka got caught in a rainstorm near the temple one day.

While seeking refuge beneath a nearby tree, he spotted Tama calling to him from the temple gate. For more information about a specific pet, please contact the adoption group. Lord Ii Natotaka claimed the temple for his family when Tama saved his life, bringing it immense riches. The lord renamed the temple Gotokuji and constructed a vast new temple structure. Other traditions about Maneki Neko abound, but they all equate the cat with good luck and fortune. During the Edo period, Maneki Neko silkscreen prints and other artwork were especially popular.

Maneki Neko sculptures are now available in many Japanese shops, restaurants, and other enterprises as good luck and success charms. The bobbing tail, tri-colored pattern, and uplifted beckoning paw are all plainly visible on these sculptures. If it hadn’t been for the Japanese silk industry, Japanese Bobtails would have remained pampered royal cats. When expanding rodent populations threatened to ruin the silkworms and their cocoons from which the priceless silk was obtained in the fifteenth century, the Japanese government ordered that cats be released to defend the silk industry.

After that, Japanese Bobtails became street and farm cats, and natural selection transformed the Japanese Bobtail into a tough, clever, adaptable cat after many years of survival on Japan’s streets and fields. Until recently, the Japanese Bobtail was thought to be a common worker cat in its home area.


The Japanese Bobtail first arrived in North America in 1968. CFA recognized Japanese Bobtails for registration in 1969. The Japanese Bobtail was accorded preliminary status in 1971, and CFA championship status in 1976. Today, the breed is accepted for championship by all North American organisations.

Physical Attributes


Medium in size, with a long, slim, and graceful torso that is not tubular and has well-developed muscular strength without coarseness. There is no tendency toward flabbiness or cobbiness. The overall balance is critical. In proportion to the length of the body, the neck should be neither excessively long nor too short.


The nose is long and well-defined by two parallel lines from tip to brow with a gentle dip at, or just below, eye level; the head is long and finely chiseled, forming almost a perfect equilateral triangle (does not include the ears) with gentle curving lines, high cheekbones, and a noticeable whisker break; The muzzle is broad and rounding into the whisker break; it is neither pointed nor blunt. Full chin, neither undershot nor overshot



Large, upright, and expressive, set wide apart but at right angles to the head rather than flaring outward, and appearing to be inclined forward in repose.


Large, oval rather than round, but broad and alert; set into the skull with a perceptible slope when viewed in profile. The eyeball has a modest curve and should not protrude past the cheekbone or the brow.


Legs that are proportionate to the torso, long, slim, and tall, but neither dainty or frail in appearance. The hind legs are notably longer than the forelegs, but are deeply angulated to bend when the cat is standing relaxed, allowing the torso to remain almost level rather than tilting to the rear. When upright, the cat’s forelegs and shoulders form two parallel straight lines. Oval paws Five in front and four in behind.


The tail is distinct not just to the breed, but also to each individual cat. This is meant to be a guideline rather than advocating one specific style of tail among the many that exist within the breed. The tail must be plainly visible and consist of one or more curves, angles, kinks, or any combination of these. The distance between your tailbone and your body should be no more than three inches. It makes no difference which way the tail is carried. The tail can become flexible or rigid, and it should be the same size and shape as the body of the cat.



There is no recommended color or pattern. Any hue may predominate in the dominant colored bi-colors and tri-colors (Ml-KE), with preference given to bold, dramatic marks and starkly contrasting colors. Any hue may prevail in dilute colored bi-colors and tri-colors (MI-KE), with preference given to delicate, muted markings and gently contrasting colors.

The coat color of a solid-colored cat should be uniform from the tip to the root of each hair and from the cat’s nose to the tail. The nose leather, paw pads, and eye color should all complement the coat color. Blue and unusual eyes are permitted. All hues save those with indications of hybridization, which resulted in the colors chocolate, lavender, point limited (i.e., pointed pattern) or unpatterned agouti (i.e., Abyssinian coloring), or those with white.


Longhair: medium-long to lengthy length, soft and silky texture, with no discernible undercoat in mature adults. Frontal ruff is desired. The coat may be shorter and closer to the shoulders, gradually expanding toward the rump, with longer hair on the tail and rear britches. Ear and toe tufts are common.


Shorthair: medium length, smooth and silky, no visible undercoat.


While the qualities listed below are common for this breed, cats are individuals with unique personalities and appearances. For more information about a specific pet, please contact the adoption group.

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By catfoodsite.com

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