Noticeably missing is a long bushy tail. Most Japanese Bobtails are tailless, but some do have a short tail or a “rise” tail. The tails can be rigid or flexible but rarely longer than three inches.
This breed comes in shorthaired and longhaired varieties and features bi-color and tri-color coats in solids, tabby patterns and tortoiseshells. The most popular color is known as Mi-ke (translates into “three fur”), which is white with red and black splotches.
Their medium-sized bodies are athletic, long and lean and their triangular-shaped heads spaces oval eyes, a long straight nose, high cheekbones and large, round-tipped ears.
Females weigh between 5 and 7 pounds and males average between 7 and 10 pounds.
Japanese Bobtails exude confidence, curiosity, intelligence and high energy. They enjoy playtime but are not high-strung or skittish.
They are well known for their chattiness and will talk to their favorite people in a song-like, soft tone.
This breed adapts easily to new surroundings, people and other pets and makes wonderful travel mates.
They can be easily trained to walk on leashes and learn basic obedience commands and tricks.
Females do not have large litters. In fact, this breed tends to have no more than four kittens in a litter.
The Japanese Bobtail is blessed with healthy genes and a high resistance to many diseases. Its average life span is between 15 and 18 years.
Surprisingly, this breed’s birthplace is China, not Japan, arriving on the scene about 1,000 years ago. It is believed that the Emperor of China bestowed Bobtails as gifts to the Emperor of Japan in the 7th Century.
This breed experienced fame and shame in the Far East. They once held the official rank of “Fifth Order of the Court” in Japan until the country’s lucrative silk trade was threatened by varmints in Japan. In 1602, the government ordered that the Japanese Bobtails be set free to take care of the problem and could no longer be bought or sold. They were demoted to the status of street cats.
Introduced to the United States in the late 1960s and have been steadily growing in numbers. Today, this breed is known as Japanese symbol of good luck and appears in Japanese restaurants as a feline ceramic figurine with a raised paw.
Now ranked 24thth in popularity among the CFA-recognized breeds, the shorthaired Japanese Bobtail was granted championship status in 1976 and its longhaired version accomplished this achievement in 1993.