Kitten History: Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtail seems to bring happiness and fortune to everyone.

By Stacy Hackett

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Japanese Bobtail © Helmi FlickLike the traditional Japanese good-luck figurine, your Japanese Bobtail kitten seems to bring fortune and happiness wherever she goes. Perhaps she realizes the illustrious history she and her fellow Bobtails share!

Judging from the ancient prints and paintings featuring bobtail cats, the Japanese Bobtail cat has lived in Japan for many centuries. Most often seen in the traditional mi-ke colors in artwork (calico colors of red, black and white), the Bobtail is still depicted in everything from ceramic figurines to papiermach. Bobtail cats are common in the Asian countries, with many homes housing a cat to protect silk worms, rice or other farm stock from vermin.

It didn't take long for cat lovers to recognize the show qualities of the Bobtail. The first Japanese Bobtails were imported into the United States in 1968 by Elizabeth Freret. The Cat Fanciers Association granted the breed provisional status in 1971, followed by championship status in 1976. The shorthair Bobtail achieved championship status first, with the longhair variety earning the status in 1993.

Today the breed enjoys worldwide popularity and if you ask some enthusiasts, they'll tell you that their Japanese Bobtail cats still bring them good luck.

- Return to the Japanese Bobtail Breed Profile -

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Reader Comments

Rebecca    Sykesville, MD

10/3/2015 6:01:02 PM

I've rescued a Japanese Bobtail, she is about 1 1/2 yrs. She is quite entertaining I've taught her how to walk on a leash and she loves it.

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

9/17/2013 11:49:37 PM

So sweet.

lisa    lexington, TN

7/12/2012 3:17:00 PM

im looking for japanese bodtail kitten.please contact me at 731-614-8755

Teresa    Matthews, NC

12/16/2009 7:16:48 PM

We have a Black/White male Japanese Bobtail who is now 10 yrs old and still runs and plays like he is a kitten! This is the SMARTEST cat I have ever owned-he has figurured out how to open any closed door and can still(at his age) jump straight up onto an entertainment center that is 6 ft. high!

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