The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of cat that, much like a Manx cat, has a short “bobbed” tail that resembles a rabbit’s much more than that of a normal cat. This is caused by a recessive genetic trait that has been selectively bred out to be more predominant.
This is a small cat, native to both Japan and Southeast Asia, though it has been imported and can be found throughout the world. This breed is a very old breed, being recognized in Japan for centuries. They come in a variety of colors, but many are the traditional tri-colored calico pattern, as this is the coloration most prized by the Japanese culture.
The breed standard for the Japanese Bobtail is recognized by all feline registering bodies, and dictates that certain characteristics.
The head of the cat should be “wedge” shaped, with the angles of the head minus the ears composing an equilateral triangle. The ears should be large and pricked, set widely apart on the head, perpendicular to the plane of the forehead. The muzzle should be fairly full and rounded, but neither pointed nor blunt. The eyes will have a more oval shape versus a rounded shape and should fit nicely inside the bone structure, neither sunken nor protruding. The body should be long and lean, demonstrating good muscle development. Balance is extremely important. The neck should be in good proportion to the body, neither long nor short. The legs should be long and elegant, with the rear legs being slightly longer than the forelegs. The coat can either be short or long with the fur having a soft, silky texture. In both cases, the hair will lengthen as it approaches the rump. The tail, as short as it is, must be visible.
These cats, especially the ones that are predominantly white, can exhibit heterochromia, or eyes that are different colors. Most of the time, one eye will be blue or silver, while the other is yellow. While all cat breeds can demonstrate this characteristic, it is very common in Japanese Bobtails. Kittens born with this condition will fetch a far greater fee than those whose eyes are the same color.
These cats are very social with their owners, and almost demand as much attention as dogs. They are very sweet tempered and make great pets for people of all walks of life including children, as they are very tolerant. They are active, intelligent and very vocal. Because of their human oriented personalities, they are easy to train. They often learn things that are uncommonly seen in cats, such as walking on a leash or playing fetch.