Monday, December 29, 2014

Cat Breeds: Japanese Bobtail

Many of today's cat breeds are fairly new, but some of them are truly ancient. The Japanese Bobtail has been around for at least a thousand years. Their existence has been documented in Japanese writings and paintings for at least that long. They're considered good luck in Japan and around the world.

The first Japanese Bobtails appeared in North America in 1968 when Judy Crawford sent several of the cats to Elizabeth Freret. Later, when Judy returned to the United States herself, she brought several more cats with her. The two women worked tirelessly to have the cats recognized as an independent breed, but only the shorthaired version of the breed was recognized in 1979 by TICA. The longhaired version wasn't recognized until 1991. Today, most associations recognize the shorthaired Japanese Bobtail, but the longhaired cat is still sometimes refused championship status.

The Appearance of the Japanese Bobtail

The single most distinctive feature of the Japanese Bobtail is the little bob that serves as a tail. This bob is unique to each cat and may include kinks, curls, curves, and angles. The tail should be very close to the body, appearing as no more than a pom-pom at the end of the spine. The hair on the tail should be longer than the hair on the body. The bones of the tail are fragile and require careful handling. They're also typically fused, making it possible for this delightful cat to actually wag its tail.

The coat may be either short or long, but it must lack an undercoat in either case. This is what makes the coat lie flat against the body. Even the longhaired variety isn't 'fluffy' in the traditional sense. There should be relatively little shedding and the silkiness of the coat itself keeps matting to a minimum. A weekly brush keeps the coat in pristine condition.

Coat colors are many and varied. The traditional color is a mainly white body with black and deep red markings, but other colors are also accepted. There are just as many options for eye color, but blue or even eyes of two different colors are preferred over all others.

This medium-sized cat should weigh no more than 10 pounds. The hind legs should be powerful, giving the Japanese Bobtail its extraordinary jumping ability. The body itself should be slender yet strong. The head should be triangular with large eyes and ears set high upon the head.

The Personality of the Japanese Bobtail

Many cat breeds are intelligent, but the Japanese Bobtail is exceptionally so. They are active and love to talk, so expect a lot of chirp and meows if you have a Japanese Bobtail in your home. This cat also loves to play, especially if the game involves running and jumping, so search out cat toys that allow the cat to indulge in these activities.

You'd be hard pressed to find a breed that is more loyal to their family. Despite this, they are not lap cats. They'll often be found crawling on top of cupboards or perched on top of the fridge, but they are only rarely caught snuggling up to a human. They prefer to show their love by staring at you like you're the only thing that matters.

The Japanese Bobtail is sweet, intelligent, and fun-loving. They enjoy many hours spent chasing a ball or an afternoon of climbing the curtains. If you're looking for a cat that is independent and loyal, the Japanese Bobtail might be for you.