Japanese Bobtail - General Features, Temperament, Health problems

Japanese Bobtail face

Weight: males 8-10 lb, females 5-7 lb Origin: Japan.

Grooming&Shedding: Low/Medium Coat: Short and soft (there is a long-haired variety).

Color: Any colors are allowed, except for color-point and copper-red.

Span of life: 13-16 years.

Breed: Japanese Bobtail is a breed of native short-tailed cats, that were living in the Japanese islands since the immemorial times. Because of the ancient legends it is believed that generally cats were brought to the Japanese islands from China in 999, but actually it happened a few centuries earlier. Among those cats there were also the short-tailed ones. These cats were quite hardy and used to bring pretty large litters. And so the Japanese Bobtail has kept his tail in the form of a fluffy ball - pom-pon.

The first officially documented feline nickname is Mebu-no Otodo - "The first lady of the Inner Palace" and we are talking here, of course, of the Imperial cat. Mebu-no Otodo "served" at the court of Emperor Itidze (980-1011 gg.) and she was wearing a red collar with the small label on it. Japanese people all over the country revered the short-tailed cat as a messenger of happiness, and particularly respected was a cat, which had a three-color color of the coat. This form of the Japanese Bobtail has a separate name in his homeland (Japan) "mi-ke" (in the Western world later this color was called "Calico"). Cat "mi-ke" is always white with the red and black different shaped markings on the coat.

Affenpinscher dog breeds

Keeping in mind the isolation of Japan for a long time, it is easy to understand, that the Japanese Bobtail was developed in the natural conditions, was never crossed with other breeds, so it is a "pure" breed of cat. After Japan dropped the "iron curtain", the Japanese Bobtail has begun to attract foreigners, that came to visit the country. The first who fell in love with this breed were the Americans. And it was the American felinologists, who have taken the representatives of the breed Japanese Bobtail, brought them to America and began to develop this breed there. And to this day the greatest number of the catteries, that are breeding the Japanese Bobtails are situated in America. In Europe, these cats are still quite few in number. American Feline Association officially recognized the Japanese Bobtail as a breed in 1976 and today this breed is also recognized by all major U.S. and Canadian associations. FIFe officially registered the Japanese Bobtail in 1990. Cross-breeding of a Japanese Bobtail with other breeds is strictly prohibited.

General Features: Externally, the Japanese Bobtail cat is completely charming. Small (Japanese Bobtail males weighs three to four kilograms, and the females of this breed are really tiny - they are two times smaller than males), with a shiny fluffy coat - usually short (though there are also the long-haired Japanese Bobtails, but very rarely), with long hind legs and not fully retractable claws. The silhouette of a Japanese Bobtail cat is very similar to the small lynx. His tail is resembling a chrysanthemum, or a tiny rod-like tail of a Fox Terrier, but no longer than four centimeters. The Japanese Bobtail cat can have any color, but not a color-point (like in Siamese) and not copper-red (like in Abyssinian). And the hallmark color of the Japanese Bobtail is of course a tricolor - red, white and black: it is considered that it is exactly the Japanese Bobtail was a prototype for the famous Maneki-neko, and they are able to provide your home with the greatest luck and wealth.

Temperament: They look small and fragile, but in fact, the Japanese Bobtails differ with incredible strength, agility and determination of their character. No wonder the Japanese (as it is rumored) have used these cats for hunting pheasants - a small cat, weighing no more than her prey, rushed courageously at the bird, and it is not enough that the cat was able to catch the bird, but also she was retrieving the game to her owner. And also there are some stories about the relationship between the Japanese Bobtail and samurai. The samurai were taking these cats as their secret weapon - Bobtail fearlessly attacked the master's enemies, and enemies were not at all amused. It seems like the Japanese Bobtail did not lose his fighting qualities through the centuries of his history, and here's a cautionary tale in the proof. 

Once the robber came to the summer residence of the couple, that was lucky to own two Japanese Bobtails. There was no people in the house, and the robber decided, that a "small kitties" are not a big deal. And how he was wrong! When the owner returned, he found the cottage door cracked, blood spattered the walls and two Japanese Bobtail cats - very happy and very proud of themselves. Scratched and bitten the robber fled ignominiously, leaving all goods for the small proud cats - in short, a couple of the Japanese Bobtails is fully capable to replace a serious watchdog. By the way, they generally can replace a dog in many ways - so they are able willingly and on their own initiative bring slippers and a newspaper to their owner. Indeed, after retrieving the pheasants, some silly slippers are such an easy job!

Affenpinscher breed photo

And also the Japanese Bobtail can walk without a leash - they run around the owner and willingly come to the owner's call, and they respond to their name, and not to some vulgar "kitty, kitty." They are easy to learn the commands (like "come here" or "go to your place") - a couple of lessons, and the clever Japanese Bobtail will perform the tasks zealously - even better, than a good Shepherd. With the Japanese Bobtail you can walk in the woods (they will never get lost, and it is not excluded, that they will bring their owner something useful), and go to the pond - these cats love to swim, so even washing in the bathroom they do not perceive so tragically, as it usually do most of the other cats. Although too frequent bathing is not necessary for these cats - they are quite capable of cleaning themselves, and their relatively short hair does not need a constant brushing. It is much better to stroke these cats, than to brush them. They appreciate kindness very much, and after stroking their hair become especially shining. In addition, the Japanese Bobtail, when he feels happy and relaxed, is able to make a very funny sounds - often the purr of this cat's sounds more like a song or a very soft harp music.

Most of the Japanese Bobtails are energetic, lively and cheerful always: to run, to play, to jump over the cupboards - that's how they spend their days. However, making their exiting trips over the cupboards and shelves, they usually do not drop anything - the same nature, that confiscated their tail, compensated for the lack of such a feature with the certain constitution, such as long hind legs, so the jumping skills in these creatures are not worse, than in the most graceful cats of our planet.

Children as companions for games are always very much welcomed by the Japanese Bobtail. But these cats will not endure any kind of liberties and misbehavior, these independent cats will just simply run away (or most likely - climb somewhere high). As a rule, the Japanese Bobtail is not very much interested in any kind of guests. Of course, they will come close to see the new people, but the interest of a Japanese Bobtail disappears pretty quickly. And all because the Japanese Bobtail is a cat of one master: they, like many dogs, once chosen their most beloved owner, then recklessly give him all their love. And the rest of the family and close friends have to be happy with what is left after the Bobtail's owner - however, the Japanese Bobtails are so active, that even those "emotional remains" are more than enough for everyone.

The Japanese Bobtails usually live in harmony with the dogs, which is not surprising as they are some sort of "half dogs" themselves. But the birds, mice and fish may not survive the attention of a Japanese Bobtail: these cats are very agile and lucky hunters, who's prey should be locked away on at least three locks. And this also may not help much - the Japanese Bobtails are famous for their ability to open any doors and deal with all sorts of locks. That is, the combination lock, perhaps will be a little difficult for these cats, but the unpretentious snaps, hooks, latches and other nonsense - is not a hedge for the Japanese Bobtail.

Agile and energetic, funny and smart, adventurous and affectionate, the Japanese Bobtail are believed to bring happiness to the house, where they live. However, what is there to bring, when these cats by themselves already are a real happiness!

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