Photo by © Howard Chen

Japanese Bobtail - Breed Profile:

Origin: Japan
Size: Medium
Coat Type(s): Longhair and shorthair
Grooming: Every few weeks (shorthair); twice a week (longhair)
Talkativeness: Vocal
Activity Level: High
Attention Requirement: High
Overall: Moderately docile

Physical characteristics

The Japanese Bobtail is a medium size cat with an athletic but slender built. The body is long and graceful; it reveals the well-developed muscular strength with no coarseness. The legs are strong and long, the back legs are longer than the front ones. The paws are oval. The head is triangular with very neat curving lines. The muzzle is rather wide, the chin is full. The large ears are set wide apart. They do not, however, flare outwards. The long nose has a slight stop at the eye level. The oval eyes are large and alert.
One of the main characteristics of this breed is its tail. The tail bone extension should be not more than three inches from the body. It can be either flexible or rigid; its size and shape should harmonize with the cat's appearance. It is a must that the tail is clearly visible since Japanese Bobtails are not tailless cats like the Manx, for example.
Japanese Bobtails are considered to be one of the smallest cat breeds. Adult females generally weigh 5 to 7 pounds; adult males weigh 7 to 10 pounds.


Japanese Bobtails are very active, loyal and devoted. Fierce and single-minded as samurai warriors when on the hunt for a mouse or playing with a feathery toy, Japanese Bobtails are very affectionate with humans and can spend hours by your side. They are always more than willing to give you a helping paw when you're busy with household chores. Curious and intelligent. If you don't want such an active feline in your house, consider getting a more placid breed. If you have a Japanese Bobtail, make sure you have a lot of interactive cat toys and several cat trees since these cats love to climb and perch. Even though they're known as very talkative creatures, the voice of the Japanese Bobtail is much more pleasant than that of the Siamese. Even though Japanese Bobtails are smart, it isn't really easy to train them unless there is something particular they want to do. They can be pretty stubborn at times.
Photo by © BetsyGH Japanese Bobtail kitten

Coat and grooming

Japanese Bobtails come in both shorthair and longhair coat types. Both the varieties have soft silky fur with no noticeable undercoat. Longhair Bobtails may have a ruff, ear and toe tufts; the tail is usually fluffy. The coat colours and patterns can by any, except those revealing hybridization (such as chocolate, lavender, colour-point and those combined with white). Grooming is required every few weeks for the shorthair variety, and about twice a week for the longhair variety.


Japanese Bobtails are generally strong, healthy cats with high resistance to diseases. Unlike the Manx gene, the gene responsible for the Japanese Bobtail's tail length is not known to cause defects of the spine or any other health issues.

Other interesting facts

Compared to most other cat breeds, Japanese Bobtail kittens start to walk earlier and are active sooner.