When it comes to cats with short tails, often the Manx and American Bobtail cat come to mind. But, in case you didn’t already know, there’s another cat with a naturally short tail that’s purrfectly adorable. The Japanese Bobtail cat breed is a smaller breed of cat that’s known for its distinct markings and rabbit-like tail. But there’s a lot more to learn about this considerably rare cat breed, so keep reading to discover some fun and interesting facts about the Japanese Bobtail cat.
Kitty cat or bunny rabbit?
Aside from the fact that these cute cats are mostly white, they are often compared to bunnies given the fact that their fluffy and bumpy tails look so much like a rabbit’s tail. The kink in the tail and the way the hair grows on it is what causes the oh-so-cute floof that gives it its signature bunny look. And their hind legs are slightly longer than their front legs, making them look even more like bunny rabbits. Those longer back legs make them superb jumpers, too.
Also, these cats are typically on the smaller side when compared to other cats. Some fully mature Japanese Bobtail cats can tip the scales at only 5 lbs, increasing to an upwards of 10 lbs. The average domesticated feline is 9 lbs, so these kitties are certainly on the smaller side. These cats will also have high cheekbones and a triangular shaped head, with large ears that tilt slightly forward.
The Japanese Bobtail is an energetic and playful feline
These small but mighty cats are fine boned yet well muscled, and they’re always ready to play! Due to their playful nature, this is a breed of cat that bodes well with other cats, dogs, and even children. Should you choose to welcome a Japanese Bobtail cat into your life, you’ll always be entertained by their cuckoo kitty antics. And you’ll definitely love their chatty nature, too! Many refer to them as “singing cats” for the way they chirp, trill, and chatter.
As curious as they are playful
This energetic breed of feline is also known for having an overly curious nature. These cats will often play with water, turn on faucets, pounce like a pro, and they especially love to explore. These are not cats you’re going to find loafing around. These are kitties that will keep you on your toes! Because of their curious nature, some Japanese Bobtail cats make for excellent shoulder kitties, too!
The Japanese Bobtail is known for a few distinct coat patterns
Similar to how the Turkish Van is known for their signature van markings, a Japanese Bobtail cat is often white with large black spots on their coat. They can also appear with orange spots, or even calico markings. Their coats are typically short, but sometimes they can be a bit longer and have almost a shaggy look to them.
Regardless of their coloring, their coat is always soft and silky to the touch. Some suggest that this is a more hypoallergenic breed of cat as they do not possess an undercoat. (But, as many cat people know, the allergens come from the protein in the saliva, not the cat’s fur.)
An ancient breed of cat with an important role
Not all cats have jobs, but the Japanese Bobtail did! Similar to how the Norwegian Forest Cat killed rodents on Viking ships, the Japanese Bobtail cat breed has been around since the 6th century and was a pro ratter, too. The breed is said to be naturally occurring, and there is still perfectly preserved antique artwork in both the Gotokuji Temple and Niko Temple that showcase a love for Japanese Bobtail cats.
This ancient breed of cat was responsible for catching rodents in the silkworm barns, and their skills were praised by the Japanese people. And it’s said that the Imperial families of Japan adored these short-tailed cats. A symbol of good luck, the famous Maneki Neko AKA Beckoning Cat is said to be a short-tailed calico cat.
PetFinder shares the story of an ancient tale surrounding the Japanese Bobtail cat breed:
“…a bobtailed, tri-colored cat named Tama lived at the poor Kotoku temple in Setagaya, Tokyo. The monk often shared his meager food with his beloved cat to make sure she got enough to eat. One day, Lord Ii Natotaka was caught in a rainstorm near the temple. While he sought shelter under a nearby tree, he noticed Tama beckoning to him from the temple gate. A moment after he left the tree in response to the cat’s welcoming gesture, the tree was struck by lightning. Since Tama had saved his life, Lord Ii Natotaka took the temple as his family’s own, bringing it great prosperity. The lord renamed the temple Gotokuji and built a large new temple building. Tama, revered for bringing such good fortune, lived out her life in comfort and was buried with honors in the temple cemetery.”