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Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail

Japanese bobtail is an aboriginal cat from the Land of the Rising Sun with a short pompon–shaped tail.

Brief information

  • Breed Name: Japanese Bobtail
  • Country of origin: Japan
  • Weight: 4 – 7 kg
  • Life expectancy: 14 – 16 years old


  • The breed exists in two varieties: short-haired (more preferred) and long-haired.
  • Japanese bobtails are creatures with fantastic curiosity and super–jumping, so perfectionists who dream of an imposing sofa cat are likely to be disappointed in them.
  • Despite the fact that Japan is considered the birthplace of the breed, it received its official name from American felinologists.
  • It was the Japanese bobtails that served as the prototype for the famous mascots maneki-neko (literally from Japanese – "inviting cat"), designed to bring good luck in trade transactions and attract customers. Traditional figurines represent a well-fed purr with a raised paw in greeting, which makes some sense. The fact is that in a relaxed state, Japanese bobtails like to hold one of their front legs in the air and freeze in this position for a long time.
  • Almost three centuries of freedom and uncontrolled crossing with street cats have benefited Japanese bobtails. In particular, modern representatives of the breed are distinguished by enviable health and do not suffer from genetic ailments.
  • The short fluffy tails of Japanese bobtails are very sensitive, so any careless touch to this part of the body causes the animal pain and discomfort.
  • Japanese bobtails are one of the few cat breeds that do not perceive water procedures as a catastrophe of universal scale.
  • Tricolor bobtails were especially revered in the Land of the Rising Sun. Usually these were white cats with randomly scattered black and red spots on the coat – the so-called mi-ke coloring.
  • Japanese bobtails still have strong hunting instincts, so they like to catch insects and small animals. For animals living in urban apartments, such gambling is fraught with injuries: a cat who is carried away can easily jump out of the window or fall off the balcony.
  • The breed is not very friendly to strangers, so do not expect that the Japanese bobtail will rub against the legs of a random guest who came to you for a cup of tea.

Japanese bobtail is a surprise cat, a friendly, albeit slightly unpredictable "Asian", masterfully coloring monochrome everyday life in all the colors of the rainbow. Yes, he is a bit of a scamp and a fidget, but at the same time he is an excellent psychotherapist and storyteller. In Russia, the Japanese bobtail breed remains relatively rare, so having its representative is already a great success. In addition, the character and habits of these mustachioed "islanders" are absolutely original, so that you can study and comprehend the secrets of the cat's soul for years, or even for decades. Japanese bobtails are very stubborn and active, you will not get bored with them. According to an ancient Japanese belief, all evil accumulates in the tail of a cat, so the shorter the tail, the less bad things in the animal and the more luck the owner has.

Breed characteristics

Activity ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Affectionate ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Molt ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Need for care ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Health ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
Sociability ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Playfulness ?
Very playful ( Rating 5/5)
Friendliness ?
Very friendly ( Rating 5/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
*Characteristics of the Japanese Bobtail breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of cat owners.

History of the Japanese Bobtail breed

Japanese bobtails are over a thousand years old. It is assumed that the first moustached mousers arrived on the islands from China, but they looked different then, and the tails initially had a normal length. Subsequently, as a result of a gene mutation, this part of the body lost the appearance to which we are accustomed. So, the classic tail was replaced by a short "squiggle" disguised by an airy fur under a "pompom". Mired in folk signs and superstitions, the Japanese considered such a change a good sign: long tails in this part of Asia were never welcomed and identified with a dark, evil entity. Well, since the ancestors of bobtails had this part of the spine of insignificant size, the cats were given the "green light" for reproduction.

In the national culture, traces of Japanese bobtails can be traced back to the XVI century, when Asian artists discovered ideal sitters in koteyki and began to depict them on their canvases. By this time, bobtails manage not only to ingratiate themselves with the Japanese rulers, but also to completely occupy the palace chambers and country residences of the emperor, as well as his entourage.

It is unknown how long the breed would have managed to maintain its privileged status if not for the large-scale invasion of rodents that flooded the Land of the Rising Sun in 1602. Driven by hunger, the rats ruthlessly dealt with the food supplies of the townspeople, mulberry trees and even silkworm larvae. To stop the mouse lawlessness, the emperor made an extraordinary decision: the ruler issued an urgent decree ordering the owners of cats to release their furry wards on the city streets. Thanks to this, Japanese bobtails received complete freedom of action in terms of reproduction and "pumping" the genotype.

The breed owes its move to the USA and European countries to the American breeder Abyssinian cats and part-time leading CFA specialist Elizabeth Freret. Despite the fact that Japan's self-isolation had sunk into oblivion by that time, Asians were clearly in no hurry to share their short-tailed mousers with the rest of the world. Nevertheless, in 1967, a woman managed to buy three Japanese bobtails and deliver them to America. Subsequently, several more short-tailed purrs, almost smuggled out of Japan, joined Mrs. Freret's mustachioed "troika". They subsequently became the main producers of the American breed line.

In 1968, shorthair Japanese bobtails were standardized, receiving CFA registration. This was a serious progress, since in the homeland of cats they were not fond of keeping documentation, preferring to breed animals without any paper formalities. As for long-haired individuals, their path to recognition by felinological associations turned out to be several decades longer. At first, overly fluffy kittens that skipped through the litters of bobtails with short fur coats were mercilessly culled. However, after referring to historical sources, it turned out that at the court of the Japanese emperor, long-haired bobtails were bred on a par with their short-haired counterparts. As a result, the variety received the right to exist only in 1991, and then after persistent requests from breeders.

Video: Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail breed standard

Japanese bobtail is a long–legged muscular cute guy with an oriental face and a funny pompom instead of the usual tail. Males look the most advantageous from an aesthetic point of view: they are usually larger and heavier than kitties. However, at exhibitions, the "girls" of the Japanese bobtail are also not deprived of attention, which allows them to periodically acquire champion diplomas. The weight of Japanese bobtails should be 5-7 kg for cats and 4-5 kg for cats.


The skull of the Japanese bobtail resembles an equilateral triangle in outline. In general, the animal's head is distinguished by its cheekbones and sculptural contours. The pads of the vibrissae clearly protrude.


Wide, long enough, with a shallow transition to the forehead.


The wide-open, but not protruding eyes of the Japanese bobtail are set slightly obliquely and have the shape of a regular oval.


Large, erect, widely spaced. It is desirable that the inner surface of the ear cloth is well pubescent, and there are brushes on the ear itself.


Japanese bobtails are stacked quite harmoniously. The cat's body is long, but not massive and not too fragile. In general, the animal looks slightly lean, but not emaciated.


The high legs of Japanese bobtails have different lengths (the rear ones are longer than the front ones), but this does not "break" the top line, that is, the back of a standing cat remains in an emphatically horizontal position, without a pronounced tilt. The animal's paws are oval, well assembled.


Japanese bobtails have a twisted tail resembling a fur ball, the length of which in the straightened position should not exceed 7.6 cm. Usually, the "configuration" of this part of the body is unique for each individual cat. Nevertheless, there are several common breed types of tails, among which are twisted, knotted, corkscrew-shaped and curved variants. Depending on the direction of the curl, the tails of Japanese bobtails are divided into chrysanthemums and spirals. In the first case, the vertebrae of the tail are arranged in a circle, forming a regular ring, and in the second case, the bend has an open shape.


The fur coats of shorthair Japanese bobtails look very neat due to the soft semi-long hair and the almost complete absence of undercoat. Long-haired cats have the same silky hair, but longer. In addition, the "clothes" of representatives of the second variety are often heterogeneous. For example, a relatively short coat in the shoulder area can gradually lengthen towards the tail and paws, forming light "pantaloons" on the hips.


Japanese bobtail can have wool of any color, except for obvious hybrid variations like color point, chocolate, purple and ticked tabby.

Disqualifying vices

The vast majority of Japanese bobtails are deprived of the right to participate in exhibitions due to tail malformations. In particular, if the tail is absent as such, slightly pubescent and does not look like a pompom, it makes no sense to show the animal to the breeding commission. An exhibition career will not work out for cats with the so-called bobtail effect, when the pompom is removed from the back at a distance of 2.5 cm.

Character of the Japanese bobtail

If you hope to find a sedate in a Japanese bobtail oriental , condescendingly allowing you to love yourself in exchange for treats and respectful attitude, then you are at the wrong address. The Asian mentality of the breed, of course, is present, but in such a muted form that it often begins to seem as if it never existed at all. Hot temperament, irrepressible curiosity and passion for adventures – these are the main qualities that have provided Japanese bobtails with the reputation of the most unpredictable pets. Moreover, cats are especially uncontrollable in childhood: overcome by a thirst for new knowledge and impressions, kittens sometimes go to such tricks, which you can not expect from them.

A Japanese bobtail can truly love the owner, but this does not oblige him to watch TV series with him for company and work as a caretaker of the owner's knees. And all because fluffy "samurai" always have a couple of interesting activities in stock that require immediate intervention. What kind of TV is there when such prospects loom on the horizon! Of course, periodically the cat is not averse to cling to the owner's side and talk heart to heart, but it is unlikely to be possible to keep him next to himself against his will.

In an informal setting, Japanese bobtails like to try on the role of fluffy whistleblowers, so don't even try to close the interior doors tightly and slam the lockers shut: they will open anyway, they will conduct an audit, and they will also be dissatisfied. Get used to the fact that purrs will not ask for permission for another leprosy either. If a Japanese bobtail likes a butterfly fluttering on the dresser, he will get it, and he doesn't care that somewhere in the background you make scary eyes and wave something there.

In general, the Japanese bobtail is an incredibly talkative breed, and cats prefer to share their impressions not with their fellow tribesmen, but with a person. Are you ready to listen to oriental legends in the evenings, told in a low, husky voice? However, even if you are not ready, the Japanese bobtail does not care: he decided – he will tell, and you decide for yourself what to do with the information received. Representatives of this breed do not suffer from loneliness from the word "at all", so feel free to go to the office or to visit – the pet is fine, and most importantly, will spend time usefully without you. However, it is possible that then you will have to eliminate the consequences of cat entertainment, although it is difficult to expect outright crime from Japanese bobtails – except when the kitten is very small and desperately misses you.

Japanese bobtails are friendly cats that willingly accept other purrs into their circle. Preference is always given to natives of the Land of the Rising Sun. By the way, if two "Asians" have settled in the house at once, get ready for a conspiracy, because group crimes for these furry "Yakuza" are an incomparable thrill. Cats usually do not conflict with dogs, so you can take a Japanese bobtail to the company of a dog already at home without unnecessary fears, of course, provided that your second pet is not a desperate cat hater.

Education and training

On the one hand, Japanese bobtails are stubborn, which to look for. And on the other hand, they are terribly smart and reach unprecedented heights in training. So, if you want to teach a cat a couple of tricks, catch the right moment when the pet will be in a good mood. You will be able to arouse the interest of the purr and intrigue him with classes – consider that the most difficult part of the work is done.

As for the selection of exercises, most of all Japanese bobtails like to aport rubber toys, catch an imaginary fly on command and do a stand on their hind legs. Jumping through a gymnastic hoop or barrier is easy for the breed. Since cats often "fly" from the closet to the sofa and back in their free time, it will not be difficult to work out this skill on any sports equipment, including the same hula hoop.

On the street, Japanese bobtails are walked almost like dogs, that is, on a harness. However, provided that you have introduced the cat to this subject in advance. Usually, in order to teach a "Japanese" to walk on a leash, a traditional technique common to all cat breeds is enough. To begin with, show your pet a harness, give it a sniff. Then leave the strap near the cat's bed so that the animal gets used to it. For the first time, wear a harness at home and only for a few minutes. If the Japanese bobtail shows suspicion and does not want to climb into the collar, it can be appeased with a piece of some yummy.

Maintenance and care

Japanese bobtails have practically no undercoat. For a breeder, such a feature is one solid plus: a minimum of hair on carpets during the molting period, which cannot be said about the cats themselves. Deprived of a protective down layer that isolates the body from the effects of the environment, the "Japanese" are very sensitive to any temperature drops and drafts. For this reason, find a really warm and protected place for the cat basket. Just without fanaticism: a couch right next to the heating battery is a serious bust.


As for the care of Japanese bobtails, it all depends on which of the varieties of the breed you are. If a shorthair bobtail lives in the house, you can relax, because a representative of this family will need to comb the "fur coat" no more than once a week. Long-haired "Japanese" will have to pay more attention, because it is necessary to walk over their muscular bodies with a comb every day. In addition, molting in long-haired cats is always more pronounced and mainly in the spring.

Japanese bobtails are bathed only in situations when it is really impossible to do without washing. These "Asians" are not afraid of water, but they will have to tinker in the process, at least because the breed's wool has a strong water-repellent effect. Accordingly, attempts to wet the cat's "fur coat" will take much more time than the washing process itself. Cleaning the ears of the Japanese bobtail takes place according to the classic scenario: once a week, look into the cat's ear canal. If it's dirty and smells, walk along the inside of the ear cloth with a napkin soaked in alcohol-free veterinary lotion.

In particularly severe cases, ear drops for cats will help, softening dried sulfur and dirt. Just do not go to extremes, trying to penetrate into the very depths of the passage – you risk damaging your hearing organs. Cutting the claws of the Japanese bobtail is an optional event. If the pet is accustomed to the scratching post and uses it regularly, this is enough. But rubbing the cat's eyes in the morning with phyto-lotions or herbal infusions should become a tradition.


Japanese bobtails are not supposed to have any special "Asian" menu. Short-tailed purrs eat everything that other breeds do, that is, lean meat, fillets of boiled sea fish and liver, which are recommended to be "enhanced" with viscous porridge based on hercules flakes and buckwheat. However, like true Japanese, bobtails often prefer seafood than sliced meat. Once a week, the cat's diet must be additionally "fortified" with chicken yolk, quail egg, fresh herbs or wheat sprouts. Low-fat dairy products are also beneficial to the breed, as are fruit and vegetable chips.

The simplest and easiest way to feed a Japanese bobtail is to transfer it to industrial "drying". However, most kittens from nurseries by the time they move to a new house are already tightly "sitting" on it. Therefore, the only thing that is required in such a situation from the new owner is to fill the plate with dry croquettes in a timely manner and pour fresh water into the bowl.

Health and diseases of Japanese bobtails

Like most native breeds, Japanese bobtails are quite healthy cats with good immunity. Hereditary diseases are not found for representatives of this family, so if you properly take care of the animal, vaccinate it in a timely manner, pay due attention to the balance of the diet, and also do not allow the cat to catch a cold (remember about the poorly warming wool), you will not have to go to veterinary offices with it.

How to choose a kitten

Unlike the Kuril relatives, Japanese bobtails in Russia still remain exotic, and the nurseries engaged in their breeding can be counted on the fingers of one hand. For example, for this period of time, only one organization with WCF and CFA registration, as well as an official website on the Internet, is confidently leading – this is the Innosima nursery.

By the way, don't expect the Japanese bobtail to be sold to you right away. Firstly, due to the comparative rarity of the breed of kittens, it is necessary to book long before birth. Secondly, in most nurseries they prefer to give promising babies to professional breeders and felinologists, leaving individuals with defects in appearance to ordinary buyers.

General rules for choosing a Japanese bobtail:

  • do not be surprised by the unusually large dimensions of kittens. Japanese bobtails grow and gain weight faster than most of their relatives;
  • evaluate the appearance of a potential pet by checking with the breed standard. Pay special attention to the tail configuration, which is the defining breed characteristic of Japanese bobtails;
  • do not neglect the opportunity to get acquainted with the litter producers. So it will be easier to understand what exactly awaits you when the pet reaches full physical maturity;.
  • veterinary passport, Japanese bobtail kitten metric, pedigrees of his parents – all these documents must be carefully studied during his stay in the kennel.

Price of Japanese bobtail

The cost of Japanese bobtail kittens traditionally depends on the class of the animal (breed, show, pet) and the championship titles of their parents. The average price for a club kitten from a certified couple – $350 - $450. Cheaper options, as a rule, have a more modest pedigree, and sometimes, in addition, external defects.

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