Japanese Bobtail

Appearance/Character

Japanese Bobtails are “happy active cats that involve themselves in all aspects of the home“…1 The Japanese Bobtail is very playful and (subject to good socialization) get along with other cats, dogs and children in the household.

“..they go with the flow..” 1

They are active and high energy cats. Toys are going to de rigeur then. A cat tree is also recommended as they are jumpers but not “couch potatoes”. This breed is also said to be very people orientated. This may be a consequence of the exceptionally long period of domestication (from the 5th century AD). As to the appearance it is so well illustrated in Helmi’s fine photographs I won’t use too many words to describe this cat.

Also, coming soon is a discussion on the breed standard in which I discuss appearance in relation to the standard. Update: Please see Japanese Bobtail Breed Standard. Popular colors are those illustrated in Helmi’s photographs; calico (Kiku above) and bicolor black and white (Ninja, the header photograph). The pattern is a Van pattern.

You can also find this breed in solid colors, tabbies and dilute colors (creams, blues etc.). Cats with lots of white sometimes have heterochromia (odd eye color). One eye will be blue (silver) and the other yellow (gold). This is due to the white spotting gene (Piebald gene) that produces the bicolor and calico coat. The gene prevents eye pigmentation reaching one eye as well as affecting coat pigment migration.

Perhaps it is useful to compare this cat with the other bobtailed cats, particularly the Manx and the Kurilian Bobtail. The Japanese Bobtail is lighter framed and it could be said more elegant than the stocky Kurilian and Manx. The shortened tail occurs naturally and it should not be longer than 3 inches for a show cat (per breed standard). You can see that Kiku’s tail has typically fluffed up like a pom-pom on top of a hat. For the longer haired cats the pom-pom is even more pronounced. Each tail in unique and like a cat’s version of our finger print.

japanese bobtail
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Above: Photograph of Joudama © Helmi Flick (my words )

The tail bones are either fused together or there are one or two mobile joints. Apparently it is thought by some people that the tail has the same number of vertebrae as a “normal” tail. The tails “don’t necessarily have the same number of vertebrae” The tail is rigid. The Japanese Bobtail is active, energetic and affectionate. They have stable characters making them good with children and other pets including dogs. You should schedule in some play time and ensure she has some companionship either human or cat or both.

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