VCA Animal Hospitals

Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail

Basic Japanese Bobtail Information

  • Lifespan: 15 - 18 years
  • Weight: 5 - 10 pounds

Japanese Bobtail Traits

  • Lap Cat
  • Intelligence
  • Ease of Training
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Good with Children
  • Good with Dogs
  • Chattiness

Japanese Bobtail History

  • Believed to originate in the Far East, specifically China, about 1,000 years ago.
  • In the 7th Century, the Emperor of China presented the Emperor of Japan with Japanese Bobtails as gifts.
  • The Japanese revered this breed until the early 1600s when rodents were destroying silkworms and the country's lucrative silk industry. So, all Japanese Bobtails were booted out of the castles and into the streets to deal with the rodent problem.
  • The first three Japanese Bobtails to reach American soil were imported by Elizabeth Freret from Japan in 1968.
  • The shorthaired Japanese Bobtail earned championship status by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1976 and the longhaired version achieved this status in 1993.

Japanese Bobtail Behavior Concerns

  • Smart, devoted, affectionate and confident.
  • Like to carry objects in their mouths and ride on people's shoulders.
  • Enjoys interacting with people and conversing in a song-like tone that includes soft meows and chirp sounds.
  • Best suited when paired with other pets and living in an active household. They don't like being left home alone and tend to be the leader among the family pets.
  • Natural athletes and strong-willed, they need to play daily and unleash their energy to keep out of trouble. They know how to open doors and steal food off plates or counters.
  • They welcome learning commands and tricks and are fond of playing fetch and chasing feather wand toys.

Look of Japanese Bobtails

  • The most noticeable feature on a Japanese Bobtail is the lack of a tail - or a stumpy one. This abbreviated tail is a genetic mutation caused by the expression of a recessive gene and is not regarded as a genetic disorder.
  • The back end looks like a fluffy pompon.
  • The medium-sized body is long, lean and elegant with refined boning. Look carefully and you will notice that the front legs are shorter than the back ones.
  • The head is triangular-shaped and the eyes are oval-shaped and can come in green, golden, blue and odd-eyed.
  • The coat comes in short or long hair and feels silky to the touch. It comes in many colors and patterns, but the most popular look is called Mi-ke ("three fur"), a tri-colored coat of white with red and black splotches.

Grooming Japanese Bobtail Cats

  • Grooming requirements depend on if your Japanese Bobtail has a short or long coat. Fortunately, both are single-coated that benefit by brushing every few days to remove dead hair.

Suggested Nutritional Needs for Japanese Bobtails

  • Prone to begging and overeating, so you need to measure food portions and control caloric intake to prevent behavior problems or obesity.

Fun Facts of Japanese Bobtails

  • The Japanese Bobtail represents the traditional Japanese symbol of good luck. Known as the maneki-neko ("beckoning cat"), statues of a Japanese Bobtail seated with one paw raised is commonly found inside Japanese stores and restaurants.
  • This breed yields small litters, no more than four kittens.

Did you know?

  • A decrease in cat grooming behavior may indicate they are in pain.
  • Some cat parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your cat.

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