Japanese Bobtail Cat

Did You Know?

Japanese Bobtail are one of the oldest naturally occurring cat breeds native to Japan. They are considered to be harbingers of luck, happiness, and prosperity for owners. The beautiful cats have the distinction of being depicted in antique paintings carved out on silk screens. The refined cats are shown giving company to the most elegant ladies of the royalty. The cat breed became heavier and larger due to random breeding with street cats after an imperial order mandated their release onto streets by the end of the 17th century.


Medium-sized cat, weighing 6 to 10 pounds.


Shorthaired or long haired silky coat with a little undercoat


Tricolor calico pattern is the most common color, though the cat breed is accepted in multiple colors

Life Span

9-15 years

A delightful, loving pet, the Japanese Bobtail is one of the most unique cat breeds. The medium-sized cat is athletic yet elegant and makes a perfect four-legged companion for animal lovers. A sweet kitty, the Japanese Bobtail loved the company of her human friends and wins the heart of listeners with her soft, melodious voice. They are especially good to children and adjust well with dogs and other cat-friendly pets. They live up to 9-15 years.

Physical Characteristics of Japanese Bobtail

With a soft silky coat, the Japanese Bobtail is a medium-sized cat, with a triangular head that looks as long as its width, upright ears that are at right angles to their head. The ideal Bobtail has a long gently dipping nose, large oval, slanted eyes, and high cheekbones that give an oriental cast to the face. The whisker break is clearly visible, creating a pompom. Their tall slightly tilted ears stand upright on the top.

Longhaired Bobtails may have tuffs of fur on toes and ears, ruff around their neck, and fur on the belly that is more noticeable on the tail and upper back legs.

Their eye color ranges from gold to blue, and green.

You may find the Japanese Bobtail in a range of colors and patterns – from solids to bi-colors and tabbies, though the most preferred ones remain the spotted bi-colors and van pattern.

Another important fact about their physical features is their unique tail, which is distinctive for each individual cat belonging to the cat breed. Their tail is shorter than other cat breeds.

The curves or angles on the kitty’s tail are clearly visible. The tail may be rigid or flexible. The size or shape of the tail harmonizes with the rest of the body.

Their muscular appearance could also be attributed to their slightly longer hind legs. The deep angle of the hind legs creates a level back. Her unique gait may be attributed to the leg conformation.

Personality and Temperament of Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtails are loving, endearing, and full of energy. The medium-sized kitty is always playful. The people-oriented cat wants to be by your side all the time, even though they are not lap cats. They will not hesitate to read the newspaper or book with you and sit beside you to watch the TV. The Bobtail is happy to greet guests when the front doorbell rings.

They enjoy the reputation for being one of the liveliest cat breeds, with a mischievous response to any situation. The spirited cats are the charm of any pet lover. They have an endearing personality that directly appeals to those fond of spirited cats. If you are looking for a laid back feline friend, forget it all about the Bobtail.

If you want a feline friend, who will love you and interact with your family, look no further than the Japanese Bobtail!

Inquisitive by nature, the Japanese Bobtail can spring a surprise on you by opening cabinet doors or sleep in big bowls. They love to hide under covers and rest on top of kitchen cabinets.

They enjoy a good game of fetch and love to carry things in their mouths. Don’t be surprised if they want to play a game of soccer with you. Agile and acrobatic, they have highly developed muscles that allow them to jump hurdles and heights.

Bobtails are the masters of the pounce and love to play tag with their furry friends. They love the company of children and cat-friendly dogs.

Health and Care

Easy to groom, the Shorthair Bobtail requires frequent combing. A “flea comb” can come in handy for the weekly removal of dead hair. Careful grooming is necessary. Blow the coat dry following bath for the maintenance of the beautiful long coat.

Their coat is water resistant, and they rarely need a bath. Handle their tail gently, as it can be quite rigid in some cats of the breed.

They love treats and need regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight. They have a lifespan of 9-15 years.

History and Background

The Bobtail, as their name suggests, belong to Japan. The naturally occurring cat has been a household pet since the 6th century. Paintings portraying the bobtailed cat are on display at the Gotokuji Temple and the Niko Temple.

They were known predators and were originally owned by people with silkworm barns. The cat has the distinction of having been granted all the privileges of the imperial family, who pampered and honored the Japanese Bobtail.