Japanese Bobtail


The Japanese bobtail is a medium-sized cat that comes in both the long-haired and the short-haired variant. Males are larger than females. They are elongated and slender cats with highly developed muscles that allow them to jump from great heights.


Breed Origin:
Life Span:
9 - 15+ years
Average Weight:
6 - 10 lbs
Hair quantity:
General health:


Origin and History

The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of cat with a unique, pom-pom-like tail, which is the result of a genetic mutation. This breed has been a part of Japanese culture and folklore for centuries, appearing in traditional artwork and literature. Believed to bring good luck, Japanese Bobtails are often associated with the famous “maneki-neko” or beckoning cat figurines that are a common sight in businesses and homes across Japan. The breed’s history in Japan dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868) or even earlier, with the first written evidence appearing in the 17th century. Japanese Bobtails were introduced to the United States in the late 1960s, where they quickly gained popularity for their distinctive appearance and charming personality.


Japanese Bobtails are medium-sized cats with long legs, a slender build, and an athletic appearance. They are most well-known for their short, “bunny” tails, which can be kinked, curled, or flexible, with each cat’s tail being unique. The gene responsible for their bobbed tail is dominant, so every Japanese Bobtail has this distinctive feature.

Their coat can be either short or long and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, although the “mi-ke” (pronounced mee-keh), or calico (tri-color), is particularly prized in Japan. Japanese Bobtails have high cheekbones, large upright ears, and oval eyes, giving them a distinctive, alert expression.

Personality and Temperament

Japanese Bobtails are known for their active, intelligent, and friendly nature. They are highly social cats that enjoy being part of family activities and are known to be good with children and other pets. Their vocalizations are softer and more melodious than those of many other breeds, and they often engage in “conversations” with their owners.

These cats are playful and retain their kitten-like energy and curiosity throughout their lives. They are agile and athletic, enjoying jumping and exploring their surroundings. Japanese Bobtails are also known for their strong hunting instincts, making play a crucial part of their daily routine.


The Japanese Bobtail is generally a healthy breed with no known breed-specific genetic disorders. Their unique tail does not lead to the spinal problems that can be seen in some other tailless or bobtailed breeds. Their lifespan is typically long, with many living into their late teens or early twenties with proper care.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and routine health maintenance can help ensure a Japanese Bobtail lives a healthy, active life. Their coat, whether short or long, is relatively easy to care for, requiring only occasional brushing to remove loose hair.

In summary, the Japanese Bobtail is a distinctive and ancient breed valued for its unique appearance, engaging personality, and history of bringing good fortune. Their sociable nature and playful demeanor make them excellent companions for a wide variety of households.

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