JAPANESE BOBTAIL CAT - Origins, characteristics and photos!

Japanese Bobtail: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Although it tends to be confused with the American bobtail, the...

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Although it tends to be confused with the American bobtail, the Japanese bobtail is a different breed whose only similarity to its American cousin is the short pom pom tail. It is therefore one of the main characteristics of the feline breed that we present to you below, a breed with an incredibly positive, cheerful, active and very playful temperament.

" The Japanese Bobtail is one of the most beloved cats in Asian culture. In fact, it is considered the lucky cat and in this sheet, you will find out why.Continue reading and discover on PlanèteAnimal all the characteristics of the Japanese bobtail, its care and the most popular legends surrounding it!"


  • Asia
  • Japan

FIFe Rating

  • Category IV

Physical Characteristics

  • Thick Tail
  • Big ears
  • Strong


  • Average

Average Weight

  • 3-5

Life expectancy

  • 15-18


  • Active
  • Affectionate
  • Smart
  • Curious


  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Medium
  • Long

Origin of Japanese Bobtail

As incredible as it may seem, the Japanese bobtail arose naturally, without the manipulation of humans. Its short tail is due to a mutation caused by a recessive gene. However, the exact date of the appearance of the Japanese bobtail is still unknown today, precisely because it was born from natural crosses. It is also not known exactly if he was born in Japan, China or Korea, although studies suggest that he may have arrived in Japan from China as there are records that place the arrival of this Chinese cat from the sixth century, more than 1000 years ago!

The Japanese bobtail is so present in Japan that we can observe it in many places. For example, in the Gotokuji temple in Tokyo, we see frescoes on the walls where these cats appear.

Japanese bobtail legends

" On the other hand, what we know well are the legends that surround this breed, and that is that the Japanese bobtail is one of the most appreciated in Japanese culture. The Japanese bobtail is linked to luck and that is why the legends about this breed revolve around it. Do you know the name Maneki-Neko? Well, it&39;s a Japanese bobtail! It&39;s the typical sitting cat doll with a raised paw that constantly moves. Of course, it comes from a legend that says that in the 17th century, a very humble monk lived with his cat in a temple in Tokyo. One day, during a storm, Naotaka Ti, a very powerful lord, was trapped and decided to take refuge under a tree. Then he saw the monk&39;s cat with a raised paw, and thought it was beckoning him to come, so he decided to leave his shelter and go to the temple. At that exact moment, lightning struck the tree. Naotaka Ti felt that this short-tailed kitten saved her life.This is how the so-called lucky cat appeared. However, this is not the only legend that surrounds the appearance of the Maneki-Neko, so do not miss this other article: The story of the lucky cat - Maneki Neko."

Of course, there is also a legend in Japanese culture that explains why the tail of the Japanese bobtail is so short. This legend explains that the tail of a cat was set on fire by the flames of a brazier. Out of fear, he ran away and set fire to all the houses in the town because they were made of wood. The flames spread so quickly that the whole town was completely burned. The emperor would therefore have taken the decision to cut the tails of all the cats to prevent such an accident from happening again.

Characteristics of the Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese bobtail is a medium-sized cat, weighing between 3 and 5 kg, with females generally being smaller than males.The body of this breed of cat is generally longer than tall, slender, with developed musculature and a strong constitution. It is not a stylized cat, but it is elegant and slender thanks to its muscular carriage. Normally the hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs, but they are proportionate to the rest of the body so that when standing the cat does not appear hunched over. It is therefore a fairly agile cat.

Extending the characteristics of the Japanese bobtail, his face forms an equilateral triangle, in which we observe prominent and high cheekbones, as well as very expressive and oval-shaped eyes. In this breed, all colors are allowed for the eyes, but they are generally similar to the color of the coat. The muzzle is neither pointed nor flat, rather broad and rounded in the whisker area. The nose, on the other hand, is slightly long and defined. The ears are medium in size, erect and set well apart, although they remain in proportion to the lines of the head.Overall, the Japanese Bobtail's facial characteristics suggest that it is a breed of Japanese origin, but completely different from other Oriental cats.

However, if there is something that characterizes the Japanese bobtail the most, it is its particular pompom-shaped tail. So, this breed of cat has a short tail, about 10 cm long, and completely covered with hair, like a rabbit's tail. The coat on the rest of the body, on the other hand, is shorter, but just as soft and silky. The Japanese bobtail has no undercoat and is not one of the cats that shed the most hair, on the contrary, it sheds very little. Although a Japanese shorthair bobtail is usually seen, a variety of Japanese longhair bobtail is also found. In this case, the cat is still considered a short-haired cat, but it has a slightly longer coat and a much bulkier tail.

The colors of the Japanese bobtail

In this breed of cats, all colors and patterns are accepted except silver, gold, tabby and pointed.

Japanese bobtail character

The Japanese bobtail has an affable, affectionate and gentle character. In addition, it is a very sociable cat that even approaches unknown people. Also, they generally get along well with other animals, although this also largely depends on the personality of the other animal and whether both have been properly socialized.

On the other hand, the Japanese Bobtail is an active, curious and intelligent cat, so he loves to play, investigate and learn new tricks. However, like many cat breeds, he is quite territorial, especially when other animals invade his space. Likewise, he is very familiar and enjoys the company of those he considers part of his family, both humans and cats or dogs.That doesn't mean he doesn't need time alone though, as he also has some independence.

Finally, the character of the Japanese bobtail is remarkable for its desire to express itself and communicate, especially with its human companions. Thus, it is a cat that generally meows a lot and which, moreover, has more variations and vocalizations than other breeds of cats. So much so that many guardians claim their cat can sing.

How to take care of a Japanese bobtail?

The main care of the Japanese bobtail is in its need for physical exercise, as well as in satisfying its curious instincts. This is why it is essential to offer him adequate environmental enrichment, with various toys, scratching posts of different heights and shelves. It is also recommended to make a cat tree for him. It is also advisable to spend several hours a day playing with the cat, both to stimulate it physically and mentally.It is advisable to play games that stimulate the cat to search and run and intelligence games.

As the Japanese Bobtail's coat is short, it does not need to be brushed more than once or twice a week. As for the bath, as is the case for all cat breeds, it is best to wash it only in case of extreme dirt.

" Finally, remember that the Japanese bobtail is an active and intelligent cat, so it is highly recommended to teach him new tricks whenever possible. For example, you can teach him to give the paw, to sit, to look for the ball, etc. However, the sessions should not be too long, otherwise the cat will be stressed and bored. Do not miss this article in which we explain How to educate a kitten ?."

Japanese bobtail he alth

The life expectancy of the Japanese Bobtail is around 16 years. It is a fairly resistant breed of cat, which does not tend to suffer from any particular disease, beyond the most common diseases in cats.Therefore, with proper care and visits to the veterinary clinic, the Japanese bobtail can stay he althy and happy. However, it is also necessary to check the ears, nails, skin and mouth to detect any abnormalities as soon as possible.

We place special emphasis on this cat's diet, because if it is not of good quality or not properly rationed, the Japanese Bobtail can become obese, especially if he does not practice the physical exercise he needs.

  • International Feline Federation. (2020). Japanese Bobtail.
  • The International Cat Association. (2004). Japanese Bobtail Breed Group.

Pictures of Japanese Bobtail

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