Japanese Bobtail ‘Red Van’ pattern (infographic)

This is a nice Helmi Flick photograph of a classic Japanese Bobtail with the Van pattern published here with her express permission. This is the classic Turkish Van pattern with the inverted ‘V’ marking over the head and around the ears. The markings are in red in this instance. All Japanese Bobtails have this sort of pattern. This a bicolour cat meaning one colour e.g., red and the rest white. The cat is predominantly white.

But the cat associations allow all colours of all divisions which means you’ll see a range of colours for the coloured parts. Traditionally, the Japanese prefer the tortoiseshell colouration in the non-white areas. You’ll also see black markings which would make the cat a white-and-black Van patterned Japanese Bobtail.

Japanese Bobtail with red van pattern
Japanese Bobtail with red van pattern. Infographic by MikeB. Cat photo copyright Helmi Flick. See it bigger by clicking on it.
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The short tail should resemble a rabbit’s tail ‘with the hair fanning out like a pom-pom’ according to Gloria Stephens (Legacy of the Cat – buy the book please as it is that good).

The highlights of this cat breed

  • In line with the long history of Japan itself, it is believed that the Japanese bobtail originates in domestic cats from Korea or China 1000 years ago. It has been in Japan for centuries and is a part of their culture. You’ll see many old and ancient illustrations on Japanese scrolls and in paintings. For example, two of these cats are depicted in a large 15th century painting in the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.
  • The breed is known for the ‘painted on’ good luck mi-ke pattern.
  • There are both shorthaired and longhaired Japanese Bobtails
  • This is a grade 9 high grade (greater than 60% white fur) white spotting (also piebald) bicolour cat with colour on the head and tail only
  • Active, intelligent cat
  • The red fur is caused by the orange gene O.

Japanese Bobtail

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