Happy 2024! We hope that you have had a wonderful holiday season, and are ready to get started on a feline-filled new year. Every two weeks we will be discussing breeds, cat behavior, health, and more. We love researching topics, and learning more about these fascinating creatures so keep following along to learn more. Our photos will primarily feature our hotel guests here at Rock The Cat Spa, and we also love to share them on social media, so follow us on Facebook @rockthecatspa and Instagram @officialrockthecatspa for lots of photos and stories of the amazing cats that visit us.
This month, we are discussing the Japanese Bobtail, and this is one of the few breeds that has never stayed with us! (Fingers crossed that will change this year). Studying up on them was fascinating, and we would love to meet one soon.
History of Bobtails
Japanese Bobtails have been in Japan since the 8th Century, after being introduced as a gift from the Emperor of China. They are referred to as “maneki-neko” which translates to “beckoning cat.” Images and statues of these cats, with one paw raised, are common in Japan and considered good luck.
In the medieval ages mice and rodents were destroying silkworms, devastating the silk industry, so Bobtail cats were sent in to conquer them. They did a fantastic job, causing this breed to become very common and well regarded.
In the late 1960s, Japanese Bobtails made the journey to the US, and The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the short-hair bobtail as an official breed in 1976, and the long-hair breed was added in the early 1990s. While they are not a common breed in the US, they are even less popular in Europe. Because of this, prices can range upwards of $2,000 per cat, so consider this when looking to purchase; and a breeder may be tough to find in your area.
Why does a bobbed tail make these cats so unique? Unlike the attributes of other purebred cats (like the Scottish Fold or Manx), Bobtails are not due to any genetic mutation. The kink in their tails is a dominant gene, and their tails may range from one to four inches; they look similar to a bunny tail! Sometimes these cats even hop!
Another interesting feature of Bobtails is their eyes, which can be two different colors, also known as “heterochromia.” They can be blue, green, yellow, or a combination of two colors! Their coats come in all different shades and patterns; you never know what to expect, and each bobtail is as unique as a snowflake. The fur is hypoallergenic, but they do shed, so allergy sufferers beware.
Japanese Bobtail cats are very smart and need another cat, preferably another Japanese Bobtail, to keep them company and out of trouble. They love to climb, love water, and may be destructive if left alone or bored too long. These cats are great for a family because they’re very sweet, but they prefer to be the center of attention. If you want to train a cat, this is the perfect breed! They’re very intelligent, and like to learn and interact with you.
Even though they are always moving, they love to eat and can easily become obese. Their smaller body size can show weight easily. They should stay around ten pounds to be considered healthy, so be aware of extra snacks. A long life of 15-18 years is common for Japanese Bobtails.
We really hope to be graced by a Japanese Bobtail in 2024, and keep watch of our social media so you know when it happens! Happy New Year!
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