The Pixiebob is a beefy, healthy cat with a distinct wild appearance and mild biddable temperament. Developed in the North-western United States in 80s of XX century it’s the only breed whose standard allows polydactylism, meaning it can have uncommon number of toes. It highly resembles the wild Coastal Red Bobcat but possesses sweet disposition of the domestic cat.
Photo: © Helmi Flick (cattery Legendtales)
The most probable theory suggests that the Pixiebob traced its origin to the hybrid of a Bobcat and a Domestic Shorthair. Nonetheless it’s also possible that it came to existence because of a spontaneous genetic mutation that endowed it with its unusual look and short tail.
In the spring of 1985 Carol Ann Brewer (Stone Island cattery) bought a male kitten with a few peculiar features: a spotty coat, a bobbed tail and untypical number of toes – an anomaly known as polydactylism. The next year she sheltered another male kitten with reduced tail and called it Keba. When Keba matured it had a romance with a female cat, which belonged to Carol’s neighbours. Carol decided to keep one of the female kittens with fawn-coloured spotty coat and feral appearance and nicknamed it Pixie.
By 1987 she began to realise that this bobtailed cat has potential of developing into a brand-new breed so she initiated her own breeding program to produce more such cats. In 1989 the breeder wrote its first standard, which contained the description of the cats’ unique characteristics and named this budding feline variety Pixiebob in honour of her original cat.
In 1993, Carol Ann petitioned the International Cat Association for the recognition of this new breed but its full acceptance wasn’t attained until 1996. The specimens of the Pixiebob were admitted to participate in competition for championship status starting with the 1998 show season. Today this cat enjoys fairly moderate popularity among cat lovers and it remains a rather rare breed.
The Pixiebob is often compared to a dog because of its endless loyalty to its special people. This robust and energetic cat will make a wonderful playmate for children. However it’s essential to show kids how to handle it with proper carefulness and consideration. Thanks to its high intelligence and unusual eagerness to please this breed can be easily trained to walking on a leash or playing fetch. It gets on with other felines and other types of pets including a calm and friendly dog.
Affable and loving, the Pixiebob strives for becoming a full-fledged member of its human family. This implies that it will try to participate in each and every family event from camping to birthday parties. This breed will communicate its desires and opinions in typical purrs and mews as well as in peculiar chitters, chips and occasional growls. This cat is marked with average level of activity and will readily relax beside you while you are watching TV or snatching a nap.
The Pixiebob is usually lavishly endowed with common feline curiosity so it can be trained even complex tricks with reasonable amount of time and efforts. Just make sure to reward its success with its favourite food and kind words. Anyway its master should offer the cat various interactive toys, which will serve as the source of entertainment when he is out. On the whole this breed is notable for a balanced and pleasantly vigorous nature so it will meet the demands of both those who want to have a classical lap cat and those who prefer to live with a more playful feline companion.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· sensitivity to some vaccinations.
The coat of the Pixiebob comes in two length varieties and both of them need very little maintenance. Its hair will look healthy and neat with only a weekly brushing or combing.
The rest comprises of standard care routines. Trim the cat’s nails every other week and examine its ears regularly for the signs of nasty smell or redness, which usually betoken infection. To avoid any issue in this area clean the ears of your Pixiebob periodically with a damp soft cloth.
Weekly dental hygiene is also a mandatory requirement for good overall health of the cat’s teeth. Introduce above-mentioned procedures as early and as carefully as possible so your kitten will learn to perceive them without fear and rejection.