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Japanese Bobtail… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you’re looking for a high-energy cat that isn’t “opposed” to taking a long nap in your lap, you may want to consider purchasing a Japanese Bobtail kitten or, better yet, adopting a Japanese Bobtail rescue cat. But like all cats, Japanese Bobtails are going to have their own unique “personality” that may or may not be exactly what you’re looking for, which is why in this article, we’re going to highlight some of the unique features of the Japanese Bobtail cat breed so that you can get a better idea if owning one might be the right choice for you.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Japanese Bobtail Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  Japan

Size: Medium-sized

Weight:  7 to 9 pounds

Eyes:  Oval

Head shape:  Triangular

Life Span:  9 to 15 years

Origin of the Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtail is one of those “ancient” cat breeds whose exact date of origin remains a mystery. However, because these cats have been depicted in early Japanese art and literature, we can be sure the breed has been around for at least 1,000 years! During this time, the Japanese Bobtail breed was considered a “status” animal that was only allowed to be “kept” by the noble elite. That is until the early 1600s when it became necessary to call on these animals to help combat the “exploding” rodent population.

You see…

In the early 11600, the rodent population within Japan became so bad that it became a severe threat to the Japanese silk industry. Most folks know that Japan has always been known for producing most of the world’s best silk products, so when this industry began to be threatened, it no longer became as “important” for the noble elite to keep these animals for themselves. This is why Japanese authorities required all private Japanese Bobtail owners to release their cats into the wild so that they could help reduce the rodent population and thereby help save the silk industry.

From that point on…

The Japanese Bobtail has been celebrated in Japan as a great pet and a source of good luck and good fortune to those who own it. Now, it should be noted that if you start to research how the Japanese Bobtail cat plays a role in Japanese culture, you will find many stories and myths about how the Japanese have revered cats. Heck, you on the Japanese have revered catsGotokuji Temple to get an idea of how serious some folks are about the good fortune these cats can provide (think good-luck charm).

And who are we…

To judge whether or not these cats can provide their owners with a bit of luck? We here at IndulgeYourPet believe that we can take all the chance we can get, which is why many of us have one of these little guys sitting on our desks…

Japanese Bobtail in America

Despite the ancient origins of this cat, it wasn’t “officially” introduced to the United States until 1968. It was “officially” recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1976, followed by the longhaired Bobtails in 1993.

Physical Characteristics

The BTheJapanese Bobtail is generally considered “medium-sized. By all standards, Most Japanese bobtails will be “well” proportioned with strong muscles packed into a slender, lean build. Their legs will also be long and thin, with the hind legs proportionately more muscular than their forelegs. You’ll also notice that the Japanese Bobtail will have a triangular head and oval-shaped eyes that can vary in color and combination. You shouldn’t be surprised if a few Japanese Bobtail kittens within any given little might have an “odd-eye” combination.

But probably…

The first thing you’ll notice about the Japanese Bobtail cat is its stumpy or “bobbed tail,” which occurs naturally. The Japanese Bobtail cat breed carries a genetic mutation that causes their kittens to be born with a bobbed tail. Now, it’s essential to understand that this genetic mutation is a “recessive gen,” so for the bobbed tail (or short-tailed) trait to be “passed” on to its kittens, both parents need to carry the gene. Now, when both parents have a “bobtail,” you can be sure that all of their kittens will be “bobtailed” as well. But in cases where only one parent is bobtailed unless the “normal” tailed cat possesses the “recessive gene,” only normal-tailed kittens can be produced.

Now, the Japanese Bobtail short-tailed cats…

The tail and coat itself will be very soft and silky, and like other Manx breeds, its bottom will be covered by a thick “fan” of fur reminiscent of a rabbit’s tail. They can also have either shorthair or longhair, depending on personal preference,e and come in various colors, including calico, which is often referred to as “mike,” meaning “three-fur.”

Personality and Temperament

Now, it’s probably safe to say that the Japanese Bobtail wouldn’t be nearly as revered today as it is if it weren’t for the fact that in addition to this being quite a handsome cat, they are also a joy to own. These little guys tend to have a ton of energy while at the same time remaining excellent companion animals that will love to cuddle up on your lap while you watch TV or work at your desk.

They’re also good with children, making them a perfect choice for any family looking to add a new cat. This is why, of all the short-tailed cat breeds, the Japanese Bobtail remains one of our favorites.

Potential Health Concerns

Another added “bonus” of the Japanese Bobtail is that even though it is considered a “pedigree” breed, it is generally very healthy. This means that provided that you decide to work with a reputable Japanese Bobtail breeder, you shouldn’t necessarily have to worry about your kitten being susceptible to any genetic illnesses. So just be sure to provide your little guy with as much love as they can handle and combine that with a healthy diet (Best Cat Food Companies), and you should be good to go.

But don’t forget…

Even though the Japanese Bobtail is a “healthy” cat breed, that will not guarantee the health and safety of your animal; this is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that all new pet owners take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new loved one. This way, if anything were to happen to your little guy, you wouldn’t necessarily be on the hook for 100% of the vet bills!

For more information about who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies, we recommend you check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Cheryl February 22, 2020, 12:20 am

    I rescued a stray last year that looks JUSt like a Japanese Bobtail, she almost died. She had parasites, worms, respiratory infection, and dehydration with severe diarrhea and was in quarantine in an upstairs bathroom away from my other cats until treated. She then went on to be diagnosed with IBS, placed on prednisone, had exploratory surgery for cancer, which was negative. She was on months of antibiotics for septic arthritis, and now she is the most loveable cat I have ever had! We are so bonded, I call her my therapy cat. I thought she lost her tail somehow, until I saw the video on different breeds of cats…. She came to the right place, we needed each other!

    • indulgeyourpet February 22, 2020, 7:05 am


      That’s the thing with rescue animals sometimes it’s difficult to know for sure who is rescuing who! We’re glad it all worked out and the two of you found eachother.



  • Micaella July 2, 2020, 4:47 pm

    I saw this cat on a game and absolutely fell in love with this breed. The cat seemed perfect for my family.

  • me November 26, 2020, 2:43 pm

    I love cats and really want a Japanese Bobtail kitten so I really liked this article and it was very useful

    • indulgeyourpet November 26, 2020, 6:33 pm


      We’re glad you enjoyed the article and hope one day real soon you get your chance to own one of this very special cats!



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