Japanese Bobtail Cat Breed – Everything You Need to Know


Boasting a muscular, solid bone structure and compact body lines, Japanese Bobtails have the overall impression of a medium-sized cat that is more straight and slender than being bulky. Japanese Bobtails, whose calico color distribution can also be seen, have a unique pair of eyes, prominent cheekbones and a sweet-looking face combined with a long parallel nose. Their short tails, which camouflage the bone structure under their tails well, resemble a rabbit’s tail with their pompom appearance. Balance, grace and slender body lines are their typical features.

HEIGHT8 to 9 inches
WEIGHT6 to 10 pounds
LIFE SPAN9 to 15 years
GOOD WITHchildren, seniors, dogs, cats, families
TEMPERAMENTsociable affectionate bold
COAT LENGTHlong, short
COLORSwhite black / ebony red / orange blue / gray lavender / silver cream / beige / tan chocolate / brown / sable
PATTERNSsolid bi-color tabby calico / tri-color
OTHER TRAITSeasy to train easy to groom friendly toward other pets friendly toward strangers friendly toward humans tolerates being alone high potential for weight gain good lap cat tolerates being picked up

Personality & Character Traits

Japanese Bobtails, which appear as a cat full of grace with their perfect body lines, have intelligent and playful personalities with a high level of activity. Having a high level of intelligence, Japanese Bobtails are like a work of art with their short and dense fur structure, curved tails, always upright and alert-looking ears and eyes that fascinate those who see it. Their external beauty and temperament may not be enough to admire them. So, it would be more accurate to highlight the great devotion and loyalty of Japanese Bobtails to their owners here. Once they get used to the environment and owner they live in, they can no longer break away from it. The love he has for his owners starts from the young age and continues completely until his old age. They are extraordinary friends. Both their friendship with other pets and their ability to get along well with children make them completely domestic cats.

Although fearless and ferocious enough to go on a rodent hunt outside, they are passionately loyal to their families and spend most of their waking time in the company of their favorite people. They mutter quietly, seeking attention from their owners, cuddling into their laps and enjoying the moment.

Japanese Bobtail cats are extremely brave, they are not overly hyperactive, but they do not hesitate to play. They can easily adapt to new people, changes in their environment and animals of the opposite sex, which makes them a confident cat.

Japanese Bobtails enjoy both playing games and spending time with their owners. Fortunately, these active temperaments are not sticky and bothersome to their owners. They like to be with people. For example, a Japanese Bobtail cat who comes home tired or feels unhappy may come to his owner immediately and make pranks that will make him feel good. However, they also want to enjoy talking to their owners; they do not hesitate to make themselves loved by humming in a wide variety of tones. Some Japanese Bobtail owners even say they are singers.

Because of their high level of intelligence, Japanese Bobtails tend to sense and repeat every command from their owners. These features put them in a well-trainable cat class. They can easily receive and carry out training on behaviors. Of course, this intelligence helps them open cabinets and find a way to enter closed rooms. They are masters at these things and their intelligence triggers them to misbehave. But even at their most mischievous, they are delightful cats to watch.

Japanese Bobtail History

Frankly, unfortunately, there is no clear information about when and where the Japanese Bobtails appeared. However, there is information in some sources that the ancestors of today’s Japanese Bobtail cats came to Japan from Korea and China at the beginning of the 6th century. It is highly probable that they used them on the ship to protect valuable silk items and valuable documents from rodents. There is no information about whether the tails of these sailor crew cats are curved; No information about their mutated tails can be found in any source. However, there are also numerous references to short-tailed cats in early Japanese folklore, which includes Japanese traditions. Based on this, it is thought that the breed has existed in the Far East for centuries and short-tailed cats were the beginning of the Japanese Bobtails during this time.

Short-tailed cats in this geography can also be seen in Japanese woodcut prints and silkscreen paintings from the Edo period (Tokugawa), covering the years 1603 to 1867. For this reason, they were not only recognized in Japan, but rewarded for their grace and beauty in the 15th century, and were fed in the temples and homes of noble Japanese families for many years.

It’s fair to say that Japanese Bobtails are one of the oldest cat breeds, with a history as rich in legends and folklore as the country in which they originated. Japanese Bobtails were known as royal cats, if not for the Japanese silkscreen art. In the 15th century, when the growing rodent population began to destroy silkworms and the cocoons from which the valuable silk was harvested, the Japanese government of the time ordered the release of the cats in order to control the silk industry. Then, Japanese Bobtails became stray and farm cats, and they lived on the streets and farms of Japan for many years. During this time, natural selection transformed Japanese Bobtails into resilient, intelligent and adaptable cats. Until recently, Japanese Bobtails were among the cats that were widely regarded and respected in their homeland as a hunting cat.

By 1968, Japanese Bobtails had arrived in North America. They were recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1969, and they were granted temporary status in 1971. Finally, in 1976, Japanese Bobtails were officially recognized by the CFA and their official registration was carried out. Today, all North American cat associations recognize Japanese Bobtails. However, they are also recognized by all cat associations, breeders and enthusiasts in the rest of the world.

Physical Qualities


Having a long, thin and elegant body structure, Japanese Bobtails are medium-sized cats. Their well-developed muscles make them look fit enough. They are neither underweight nor overweight. They are not stocky in appearance, but are generally healthy species with well-balanced bodies. Their necks are neither too long nor too short for their body length. Their short tails distinguish them sharply from other cats. They have straight lines, short, dense and shiny hairs. Males are usually larger than females.


They have a thin and slightly elongated head in proportion to their body. It has prominent cheekbones and prominent mustache pads. It has the impression of an almost perfect equilateral triangle. Their noses are long and clearly visible on their heads. Their noses at eye level continue towards the top of the mouth with a slight inclination. When viewed in profile, their faces are neither pointed nor blunt. The jaws of Japanese Bobtails, which have a wide face, are well developed and full.


The ears are erect and have an expressive appearance. Their open and sufficiently erect ears give them an alert look at all times. Wide ears at the base tapering slightly towards the tips. The back of the ear is densely hairy like the other parts of the body. In the ear, there is slight hairiness at the base.


The eyes of Japanese Bobtails are large, oval and wide enough rather than round like the eyes of other cats. Their open eyes along with their erect ears give them the impression of an always alert, lively cat. When viewed from the front, it is seen that their eyes are placed on their heads with a distinct inclination. The eyeballs show a shallow curvature, giving the impression of protruding beyond the cheekbones and forehead. Although all eye colors are acceptable, they mostly have amber, blue, copper, green, golden, hazel and yellow eyes. However, cats with monochromatic eyes are also seen.

Legs and Feet

The legs of Japanese Bobtails are long, thin and high in proportion to their body. It is not elegant, thin and fragile in appearance. Their hind legs are noticeably longer than their forelegs, but when the cat is standing in a relaxed position, the hind legs are bent so they stand almost straight. When standing, his front legs and shoulders form two straight lines close to each other. Japanese Bobtail cats with oval paws have five toes in the front and four in the back.


Their short tail structure sets them apart from other cats. The tails of Japanese Bobtail cats are unique and resemble a rabbit’s tail with their pompom appearance. With a slight protrusion that separates from the body, their tails are about 6-7 centimeters long, can be flexible or rigid, but have a size and shape in harmony with the rest of their body.


The fur of Japanese Bobtail cats can be short or long, but their fur is always silky soft. Generally, short-to-medium-haired Japanese Bobtails have dense fur over their entire body. This hairiness is seen even between the ears and toes.


All colors and patterns can be seen in Japanese Bobtail cats. Calico color distribution is seen in two- or three-colored Japanese Bobtail cats. However, plain white, black, orange, brown, blue, cream, tortoiseshell and silver colors can also be seen. Nose skins, paw pads and eye colors are generally compatible with fur colours.

Japanese Bobtail Care and Nutrition

Japanese Bobtail cats do not have any special nutritional needs. Japanese Bobtails, which are carnivorous like any cat, can be fed a protein-rich diet that does not contain too many carbohydrates. If you can’t offer fresh food, you may want to consider feeding a high-quality food that contains meat or fish. In addition, there are quality foods of brands such as Royal Canin, N&D, Pro Plan in the market. You can choose wet and dry foods of these brands and feed your cat with a balanced and regular diet. Since Japanese Bobtails mostly prefer fish, you can also choose a food containing fish to make your little friend happy.

As with all other cats, it is inevitable to face obesity in Japanese Bobtails. Two meals a day and a small bowl of snacks will more than meet their daily eating needs. Giving too much can invite obesity in them. In addition, regular exercise after nutrition is very important for their body health.

Japanese Bobtail Training

Japanese Bobtails have a high level of intelligence. However, they are perceptive, alert, incredibly athletic and relatively Hyperactive cats. It is a fact that they enjoy playing for hours. They like to run, jump and enjoy going on leash walks. Since they are active in the house, you can choose cat toys to keep them entertained, and you can buy cat trees and cat poles for them to climb.

These player identities also make them attractive to train. Intelligent Bobtails easily perceive the commands given with their fondness for their owners and follow them with great enthusiasm. Toilet training can be given at any age. However, it will make things easier to start such care when they are still puppies to accustom them to processes such as nail cutting, fur care, eye cleaning and tooth brushing.

Japanese Bobtail Health

Japanese Bobtail cats are generally a healthy breed and do not have any known genetic disorders. They are highly resistant to diseases with their developed musculature and well-balanced bodies. Although their short tails are the result of a genetic mutation, this mutation is not known to cause any special health problems in them. However, apart from all these, it is important to be regularly checked by a veterinarian and to have vaccinations completed in order to take early precautions against possible diseases. Because some health problems can appear suddenly in the advancing age of cats.

Routine care includes grooming with regular hair care to prevent skin-related diseases, control and cleaning against ear infections, eye cleaning against eye infections, oral care and tooth brushing against tooth inflammation, and cutting nails against possible injuries.

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