Monday, July 4, 2016

Cat Breeds: Pixiebob

Originating in the northwestern United States, the Pixiebob has only been with us since the late '80s. In 1985, a woman by the name of Carol Ann Brewer bought a kitten from Washington state. This kitten was a spotted male with a short tail and he was a polydactyl cat. This means he had more than the normal amount of toes. While the typical cat has five toes on the front paws and four on the back, this new kitten had more. It made him unique and adorable, but Brewer thought no more of it than that.

The next year, in 1986, she rescued a classic patterned male cat who had a short tail and stood nearly to her knees. He also was a polydactyl cat. She gave this cat a name. Keba. Later that same year, Keba and a domestic female produced a little of kittens. One of these kittens, a female, had a reddish coat with fawn undertones. She had a muted spotting pattern and had inherited her father's shortened tail. Brewer decides to call this cat Pixie.

Pixie's unique look promoted Brewer to create more cat with these same traits. It took some work, as creating a new breed always does, but by 1989 she was able to document the unique traits of her emerging cat breed, which she called the Pixiebob. It was 1993 before Brewer was able to apply to The International Cat Association (TICA) to begin the recognition process, and 1994 when the Pixiebob was granted Exhibition Status.

Finally, in 1996, the Pixiebob was advanced to New Breed Status. After that, it only took a year for Brewer to prove the true viability of her breed. In 1997, the Pixiebob was granted full Championship Status and has since gained recognition throughout the world.

The Appearance of the Pixiebob

This adorable cat is medium in size, weighing up to 17 pounds, with a muscular body. He weighs more than you might think because he is just that solid. The hind legs are just a little longer than the front, making him appear ready to spring at any moment, and the paws are large with long and thick toes.

While we're talking about toes, it is important to note that the Pixiebob is the only recognized breed that is allowed to be a polydactyl cat. He can have up to seven toes on each foot, though this is more likely to occur on the front feet. For this hefty cat, more toes is just another quirk and not a reason for disqualification.

The face looks almost like the face of a bobcat. The brow should be heavy and the eyes triangular in shape. The only acceptable eye colors are golden brown, gold, or gooseberry green. The tail is often kinked or knotted, but it should still be flexible and manoeuvrerable. Average length varies, but it should never be shorter than two inches and it should always be shorter than the tail of your average cat.

Ideally, the Pixiebob should be a brown spotted tabby ranging in color from tawny brown to a more reddish brown. Though the spots are easily seen, they should be muted and quite small. Heavy ticking is common, and this ticking may be darker in the winter and could even take on a silver tone.

As with breeds such as the Oriental and the Peterbald, the Pixiebob has more than one coat variety. Specifically, there are longhaired and shorthaired Pixiebobs. The shorthaired cats should have a wooly texture and is incredibly thick. This makes it stand up from the body and sometimes feels like the cat is wearing a cushioned coat.

The longhaired Pixiebob, however, has a soft and silky coat that can grow up to 2 inches long. Some cats even have tufts in their ears, making them look like little bobcats. If your Pixiebob has long hair, expect the facial hair to grow downward until it looks like your cat has sideburns. All in all, a very interesting looking cat.

Long hair or short, the Pixiebob is easy enough to groom. A weekly brushing should be enough to keep the coat gleaming and to remove loose hair so your cat doesn't end up with endless hairballs.

The Personality of the Pixiebob

Active and social, the Pixiebob is really more like a dog than a cat. He is loyal and forms and incredible bond with his family. He is great with children and other pets and hates being alone. Highly trainable, the Pixiebob can be taught to walk on a leash and will engage in a rousing game of fetch if the mood allows.

Expect your Pixiebob to talk. A lot. You'll hear chirps, meows, yips, and even a growl once in a while. The growl is not aggressive in any way, but rather yet another one of the varied sounds the Pixiebob is capable of.

If you're looking for a soft cat with boundless energy who will follow you like a little puppy, the Pixiebob might be for you.

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