Cabbit and Rabbit Cat

The Cabbit is a different creature altogether to the Rabbit Cat but they are worth discussing together because of the similarity in their names.


The author of the website seems convinced that a cat-rabbit hybrid exists. They are called Cabbits. He’s published some pictures on his website of the Cabbit. He describes the ‘plantigrade condition of the hind feet’. What he means is the cat is not walking on his toes (digitigrade). This is because all cats who go up into the meerkat position as I call it use their feet to stabilise themselves. It is totally normal for domestic cats to do this and not evidence of the existence of rabbi-cat hybrids.

Twisty Cat - Not a Cabbit
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Twisty Cat – Not a Cabbit

The only trouble is that these are pictures of domestic cats suffering from radial hypoplasia. This is an inherited genetic defect resulting in the forelegs being deformed. They are referred to as twisty cats (the media called them ‘Kangaroo cats’).

As the forelegs are deformed and of little use the cat adapts and uses his hind legs much more. The cat develops more strength in his back and his legs to compensate for the loss of strength in his forelegs. The end result? The cat frequently goes up on his hind legs as pictured.

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These are not Cabbits which are, in truth, fictional animals and they can’t be real as a rabbit/cat hybrid is impossible. Ask the expert, Sarah Hartwell. Sarah genuinely is an expert on genetics and particularly cat genetics even though the author of the website doubts it.

The cat in the video below is a tailless cat who was also born with the inherited genetic defect referred to above. You can see the withered forelegs and the compensation in using the hind legs more.

The cat moves while leaning forward because he is using his defective forelegs as best as he can. You can see the forelegs bent at the ankle before the foot which means the forelegs are shortened which in turn means the cat hops forward while leaning forward.

The cat was born with two separate congenital conditions.

Rabbit Cat

The Rabbit Cat was a popular name given to the American Bobtail cat. The name ‘Rabbit Cat’ was referred to by Ida Mellen in 1940:

“Bobtail Cat of the New England and Middle Atlantic States (called also the Rabbit Cat) traces its ancestry to the Manx Cat.”

Before 1940 the term Rabbit Cat was confusingly used to describe the Abyssinian cat because the Abyssinian has a ticked coat (salt and pepper type tabby) as has the wild rabbit.

So there you have it. One fictional cat claimed to be real and two purebred cats with the same alternative name causing confusion.

Another purebred cat with confusing names is the Siamese and Thai. They are the same cat but the Thai breeders won’t admit it.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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5 Responses

  1. olya says:

    Where would i be able to buy one

    • Olya, you do not want to buy a twisty cat. They suffer from a congenital deformity and it is not good to perpetuate this ‘cat breed’. It is immoral. Sorry but that’s the way I see it.

  2. A photo of my beautiful tail-less twist paw, Left Behind. She is 17 years old, my constant companion and an inspiration. At 17 she is starting to experience some ataxia/balance problems and I am worried she may have fallen when I wasn’t home or is starting to have some wear to her spine. I focus on the blessing it has been to care for her as she has cared for me. I adore her and enjoyed reading your article. Thank you!

  3. Albert Schepis says:

    Thank you Michael. Once again you’re the voice of reason.

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