Japanese Bobtail Cat
- Size: Small-Medium, 5 to 10 lbs
- Energy Level: 4/5
- Talkative: 3/5
- Coat: Short to medium-long and can be very thick and silky
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Seeking: Friendly yet independent, I get on with most everyone
- Child Friendly: Yes
- Personality Snapshot: Highly confident and adaptable, intelligent and sociable, but also enjoys solitude
The very first thing you’ll notice about me is my truly unique “bobbed” tail. It’s simply unlike any other feline tail you’ve ever laid eyes on and yes, it draws stares.
In fact, most people can’t take their eyes off my rear end.
You see, my tail’s significantly shorter than most cat breeds but while short, it’s very clearly visible with a combination of kinks, angles and curves that’s just as expressive – if not more – than the long, switching tail of the Egyptian Mau or the dramatic feather boa tail of the Persian.
But my tail can’t really be compared with other feline tails. In fact, if you caught just a glimpse of my backside, you’d probably be expecting to see a rabbit attached to the tail – that’s how fluffy and un-cat-like it is. Thus the reason for my nickname, pom-pom.
And the coolest thing about it is that us Japanese Bobtails don’t all share the exact same tail. Akin to human fingerprints, each tail is unique to the Bobtail in question.
But before you start thinking my behind is all I have going for me, I should mention I also have a very inviting face that’s every bit as special as my backside.
Let’s start at the top. I have a distinct triangular head endowed with facial features that all my friends say express the perfect combination of friendliness and inquisitiveness. I think it’s because ‘though my cheeks and chin are well-developed, they don’t have the sharp angles that you usually find in other breeds, which gives me a more welcoming, comfortable-to-be-around look.
As for the inquisitiveness, it all comes down to my prominent, almond-shaped eyes. They’re normally blue, but can also be odd-colored. Whatever color they are – one thing’s for sure: my eyes are very expressive and considered by avid enthusiasts as one of my most unique physical attributes.
Further adding to my look are my tall, straight ears. They have a slight forward slant to them, as if I’m straining to hear what you have to say.
And the rest of me is quite perfect, too. My body is well-developed, being neither too big nor too small. I am not as muscular as other breeds, but I still have an athletic physique with long, wiry legs that allow me to jump high, dash quickly, and climb proficiently.
So be prepared to have you space explored quickly and constantly.
The last thing I want to mention is my coat, which is as unique as the rest of me.
My fur’s soft and silky – but that’s a given – and I wear it either short or medium-long in length. The interesting thing is that my breed tends to sport tufts of fur on the belly and along the neckline, giving me a slightly tousled, effortlessly cool kind of look.
Oh, my coat comes in white, red, black, tabby, tortoiseshell and even sepia, but the most popular among fanciers is the tricolor variety.
I’m active and playful, but unlike other breeds with similar dispositions, I am extremely low maintenance when it comes to attention simply ’cause I can easily entertain myself by playing games on my own. So don’t be surprised if you see me playing tag or hide and seek with imaginary companions.
But it’s not only imaginary friends I get on well with. I’m super people-oriented and have no problems bonding with my human companions.
Occasionally, I’ll even lounge by the front door, ready to charm your guests as soon as the doorbell rings.
I am known for my sing-song coo when I try to get the attention of my human companions.
Unlike other cat breeds, I don’t break into a caterwaul when I need something, like having my food or water bowl refilled.
This is the biggest reason why I am so popular among cat fanciers who live in pet-friendly apartments and similar establishments.
What’s really interesting about me is my very confident attitude. Most fanciers share that I am extremely easy to train for shows since I am friendlier and more amiable compared to other breeds. I enjoy socializing with other felines, especially with my fellow Japanese Bobtails, and I have no issue being the one to initiate play.
I love pouncing and climbing so you’ll often catch me relaxing on top of cabinets and other high spots around the house when I am not in the mood for games.
On top of my sparkling personality, I also have brains. Being of high intelligence, I am an avid fan of puzzles and other toys that stimulate brain power. And I certainly don’t have trouble mastering basic and intermediate tricks. I can be even taught how to fetch stuff like slippers and balls – if you remain regular and persistent with the training.
My Ideal Human
I am regarded by enthusiasts as an all-around cat that’s perfect for any individual and home. I can easily warm up to a variety of human companions, from single cat fanciers to parents with young kids, as well as seniors looking for a feline that’s easy to take care of. I am also ideal for multi-pet households since I can easily get along with other animals.
Now while I am one of those awesome cat breeds that can entertain oneself by playing and scampering up high spots in and around the house, I also require a bit of daily bonding time with my human companions.
Nothing complicated, really. Simply making it a daily habit to vigorously rub my belly or stroke my coat for a few minutes should do the trick.
My breed has been around for at least a thousand years. According to Japanese traditions and legends, my ancestors were given as a present by the emperor of China ? some accounts say Korea ? to the rulers of Japan. There are even antique paintings and woodcuts displayed in the Niko and Gotokuji Temples that depict the time my forefathers arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun, estimated to be sometime in the 6th century.
It is said that aside from being prized for our friendliness and calm disposition, Japanese Bobtails were also admired for our abilities as very meticulous mousers.
Thanks to these natural talents, we became very popular in Japan during the 1600’s when serious rodent infestation in silkworm barns in and around Japan threatened the silk trade.
Legend has it that a worried silkworm barn owner accidentally let his Japanese Bobtail slip inside his barn one evening. Amazingly, he discovered the next day that it decimated most of the rodents. It didn’t take long for other silkworm barn owners to start adopting the same tactic. The strategy proved so effective that it was also adopted by owners of granaries and makers of rice paper scrolls – pretty much anyone for whom rodents posed a problem.
And our popularity has not died out since.The tri-colored specimen of our breed is locally called Mi-Ke and is believed to bring luck to its owners. Figurines and illustrations of this cat called “Maneki Neko” – literally translated to beckoning cat – have even become symbols of fortune and prosperity in Japanese folklore. You can easily see these illustrations and figurines when you step inside business establishments in the country like noodle shops and tea gardens.
Our beautiful breed was first imported to the United Stated in 1968 and was officially accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1976. The long-haired variety of the Japanese Bobtail was recognized by the CFA in 1993.
How to Keep Me Healthy and Happy
I am a hardy cat that is fairly resilient to disease and health issues. My achilles heel? Obesity. Especially if my diet is not closely kept an eye on by my human companions.
Keeping my weight in check through proper diet and regular exercise is the best-est way of keeping me healthy and happy.
- I don’t mean to brag, but my breed has always been very highly regarded. I mean, Japanese emperors used adorn us with red silk leashes and parade us around when receiving visitors in the Imperial gardens.
- Did you know that most Mi-Ke Japanese Bobtails are females? Interestingly, we can produce very big litters when we breed.
- According to Japanese folklore, placing a Maneki Neko statue in a conspicuous spot in your home or store will attract good people. It is also believed to bring in lots and lots of money.