The Japanese Bobtail, a clever and affectionate feline, thrives in the company of people and possesses a gentle, musical voice that captivates the hearts of those who hear it.


Size: Small – Medium
Weight: Less than 3.6 – 5.5 kg
Coat Length: Short, Medium or Long
Coat Colour: White, Black, Red, Brown, Blue, Cream, Mi-Ke, Tortoiseshell, Silver, Dilute Tortoiseshell, Solid Color, Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calico, Tabby, Ticking, Smoke, Shaded
Eye Colour: Amber, Aqua, Blue, Copper, Green, Gold, Hazel, Odd-eyed, Orange, Yellow
Grooming: Low
Longevity: 9 – 13 years
Attention Needs: High


Japanese Bobtail

History of the Breed

Known in Japan since the 6th century, the Japanese Bobtail’s depictions in antique woodcuts and paintings at the Gotokuji and Niko Temples highlight the people’s affection for this unique cat. As a naturally occurring breed, it wasn’t artificially created.

Originally employed for rodent control in silkworm barns, the Japanese Bobtail gained favour with the Imperial family, receiving privileges akin to royalty. Legend holds that a great emperor decreed exclusive ownership and breeding rights, showcasing the cats with red silk leashes in the Imperial Garden.

Considered a symbol of luck, the tricoloured Japanese Bobtail, or Mi-Ke, is associated with prosperity and happiness. The Maneki Neko, a raised-paw cat statue, found in Japanese shops, symbolizes the Bobtail and is believed to attract good fortune.


The Japanese Bobtail, a cat of medium size, displays both longhair and shorthair variations. The larger size is characteristic of males, while the long, slender build is complemented by well-developed muscles, enabling them to achieve impressive jumping heights.

Characterized by an equilateral triangle-shaped head, the Bobtail features tall ears standing erect on top, slightly forward-tilted. Prominent cheekbones and rounded eyes in the frontal view give way to slanted eyes when observed from the side. The nose exhibits a gentle dip. The hind legs surpass the front legs in length, maintaining a level stance. The naturally occurring short, kinked tail, unique as a fingerprint, possesses all the vertebrae found in long-tailed cats. Though shorter than other breeds, the tail remains visible. The kink causes the fur to spread or stand out, resembling a bunny tail. In long-haired Japanese Bobtails, the extra fur length may create a plume-like appearance on the tail.

The Japanese Bobtail’s coat is soft and silky, featuring minimal undercoat. The Shorthair Bobtail displays a short coat, while the Longhair Bobtail exhibits longer fur, particularly noticeable on the back of the legs, forming britches around the neck, belly, and tail.


An active, sweet, and intelligent breed, the Japanese Bobtail delights in human companionship, engaging in seemingly endless play. They learn and respond to their names, bringing toys for interactive play, and even engaging in extended fetch sessions. Social and assertive, Bobtails dominate their living space and remain unfazed by the presence of dogs. While they coexist with other cat breeds, they prefer the company of fellow Bobtails, forming enduring bonds with littermates.

The Japanese Bobtail, still cherishing the adoration of Japan’s Imperial family, assumes ownership of everything in the house. Their soft, melodious voice becomes a persuasive tool for fulfilling their desires.

Living With Japanese Bobtail

Living with a Japanese Bobtail proves effortless. They adapt well to routines, provided they enjoy playtime and cuddle moments. While not lap cats, they seek proximity, often sitting or sleeping beside their owners. Their ability to jump high necessitates perches for exercise, and they enjoy interactive toys like feather teasers.

Maintaining a proper weight through exercise, they have a penchant for treats, whether cat-specific or from people. Caution is necessary to prevent overindulgence.