Facts About Japanese Bobtail Cats

Japanese Bobtail Cat

Japanese Bobtail cats are a bit different from other cat breeds. Learn what makes these felines so unusual and why some even think they bring good luck.

About Japanese Bobtails Cats

Japanese Bobtail cats are quite an ancient breed, having been depicted in Asian art for centuries. There is no sure way to say they originated in their namesake country, and some records indicate the breed may actually be Korean or Chinese. Where ever they come from, they have a distinctly Oriental look.


Bobtails are medium sized cats that should have a well defined bone and muscle structure without appearing bulky. The face looks distinctly Asian with slanted eyes and high cheek bones set on a triangular head.

The Bobtail's legs are just long enough to give these cats a square appearance.

The Bobtail's most distinctive feature, and the one that gives the breed its name, is its short stub of a tail. It looks similar to a rabbit's tail and should puff out like a pom-pom. Under the hair, each tail is as unique as a snowflake, consisting of just a few joints limited to three inches in total length. These joints are often fused with a series of curves and kinks, so care should be taken when handling the tail to avoid causing injury.

It should be noted that the bobtail is completely natural in occurrence, and is not the result of surgical manipulation or removal.


Bobtails may be either short or semi-long haired. The longer coat variety appears a bit shaggy around the shoulders and belly, although not as full coated as a Maine Coon Cat.These Japanese cats come in the average solid colors, although bi-colors and tri-colors seem to be especially popular. Bold color combinations and patterns are highly desirable, as are specimens that display two different eye colors.


Japanese Bobtail cats are affectionate, fearless and adventurous, and require a good deal of attention from their owners or else they will find ways of entertaining themselves. Sometimes this results in destructive behavior, although it is certainly not the Bobtail's intention to misbehave. He is simply capable of thinking for himself to achieve his goals, he just doesn't work within the same framework of right and wrong as humans do.If you find you just don't have enough free time to meet your Bobtail's needs, you may find that adding an additional Bobtail to family will offer your pet enough companionship to keep it happy. You should be aware that adult females may occasionally squabble for dominance, so it might be a good idea to choose companions of the opposite sex and have them spayed or neutered if you have no desire to breed them in the future.

These Japanese cats are also talkers, meaning they will respond to you with a wide range of vocalizations.

Health Concerns

Happily, Japanese Bobtail cats do not seem to suffer from any genetic conditions or other health problems. They are quite hardy, and the average kitten is larger in size than kittens of the same age in many other breeds. The breed is very disease resistant and providing your pet with basic care should keep it healthy for many years to come.

Similar Breeds

Japanese bobtail cats are not the only felines that have abbreviated or missing tails.

The Manx cat is another somewhat "tail-less" breed, although kittens from the same litter may vary from having no tails at all, to full ones. Because the original breeding population of these cats was quite limited, the gene mutation that causes the abbreviated tails is also responsible for a number of health problems, including spina bifida and pelvic malformations.

The American Bobtail cat is still being developed, and breeders are striving to establish felines with tails half the length of ordinary cats.

Japanese Good Luck Cats

In Japanese culture, bobtails are thought to bring good luck, and so porcelain cats referred to as maneki-neko may be found in many homes and businesses throughout that country. Maneki-neko typically have one arm raised in a welcoming gesture.


Bottom line, if you're looking for a quiet, retiring feline then you should pass Japanese Bobtail cats by. They are definitely not a cat for spectators. However, if you are adventuresome by nature, then you will likely find quite a lot to appreciate about these amazing creatures. Be prepared to share your life with a furry companion who will be as interested in you as you are in him!

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Facts About Japanese Bobtail Cats