Japanese Bobtail Shorthair

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all colours and patterns
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The Japanese Bobtail is an easy-going and friendly cat, which is considered as a symbol of good luck and charm in its native country of Japan. The trademark feature of this breed is its short pom-pom tail that can be stiff or pliable, with one or several arcs or angles. Many cat fanciers attest that it’s a pure pleasure to live with this sweet-tempered, joyous and playful Bobtail.

Photo: © cattery Catastery Japanese Bobtails (facebook.com)


There is a legend that the first tailless cats arrived to Japan as presents from the emperor of China to the Japanese emperor. Ample ancient artefacts prove that this breed have been thrived in the island county for more than 1 000 years. It was strongly believed that the specimen of the Japanese Bobtail would bring luck and prosperity to its master so this cat was highly revered in its homeland.

To this day tricoloured felines with a short curvy tail and a beckoning paw can be seen on porches of lots of Japanese houses. Its funny bunny-like tail was created by Mother Nature and then enhanced by careful selective breeding.

The Japanese Bobtail enjoyed the status of an imperial cat for hundreds of years. Nonetheless it was also widely used as an exterminator of rodents, which posed stern threat to grain supplies as well as to the famous silkworms. The breed members were oftentimes portrayed sitting beside geishas.

The first bobtailed cats found their way to North America in 1968 when the breeder Elizabeth Freret received several Japanese Bobtails from its colleague in Japan, Judy Crawford. After Judy came back to the USA, she brought more specimens and began to collaborate with Elizabeth Freret in order to attain recognition of this adorable breed.

The Cat Fanciers Association (FCA) granted its recognition to the cat in 1976. The longhaired Japanese Bobtail was recognised by the FCA only in 1993. Currently it’s registered with all major feline organisations.


The Japanese Bobtail is a busy and sociable cat, which craves for constant human company. It’s prone to communicate its wishes to the master with a wide range of peculiar sounds. However its voice is often described as musical and gentle so it will barely annoy you. It’s most likely that the favourite occupations of this frisky cat will become chasing a teaser on a fishing pole or playing with water in your sink. When you are resting be prepared that this affectionate feline will immediately climb on your lap. The breed is also prised for its peaceable nature so it usually gets along with other household pets including a cat-friendly dog. It will make a fabulous playmate for a child if it has been shown how to handle the cat properly.

The Japanese Bobtail becomes a capable and eager learner when things come to training. It’s always happy to challenge its mind with some advanced tricks or interactive toys. It can get accustomed to walking on a leash if taught with sufficient carefulness and patience.

The breed member usually adjusts to all lifestyles and can be turned into an agreeable travelling partner. On the other hand the prominent feature of its character is obstinacy so once this cat has made up its mind it will be impossible to force it into doing something. It’s recommended to base the upbringing of the Japanese Bobtail on the principals of consistency and indulgence. This breed fits best to active families who will be willing to make it the part of their life.

Health Problems

Known to be a very healthy breed.


The Japanese Bobtail is an easy-to-groom breed. The shorthaired cat possesses delicate and silky hair of a medium length. The master should brush or comb the cat’s hair two to three times a week to keep it in a neat and healthy condition.

This breed sheds during the spring and autumn and more frequent brushing is highly advisable during these periods. The cat’s nails needs regular trimming preferably every other week. Check its ears periodically and clean them if they look dirty. Regular teeth brushing with vet-approved toothpaste is essential for good overall health in this area.