Japanese Bobtail Cat Breed Guide

Curious | Ancient | Lucky. The Japanese bobtail cat is arguably Japan’s cutest symbol of luck. And with these cats being one of the rarest floofs in the UK, you sure do have to be lucky to own one of these adorable cats! Today we’ll explore the origins of this short-tailed cat, dive into their quirks and purrsonality, and lay out our top pointers on how to provide the best cat nutrition possible for your fur baby.

White Japanese Bobtail cat standing up


Average Lifespan: 10 - 15 years

Average Weight: 2.5 - 4.5kg 

Coat Length: Short - Long

Colouring: All colours and combinations

Shedding: Low


Unlike many other cat breeds that are named after a place in the world that they’ve never even stepped paw into (think Himalayan, Havana, Bombay and Balinese), the Japanese bobtail does in fact come from Japan. 

These kitties have been depicted in ancient scrolls, tapestries and artwork from at least the 6th century, and are thought to be the inspiration of the Japanese beckoning cat or maneki-neko. You may know these from the window sills of your favourite Asian takeaway store, used to bring good luck and fortune to those that house them. 

The first Japanese bobtail made its way to the States in the 1960s where the breed eventually gained TICA recognition in 1979. Unfortunately, these floofs remain extremely rare in the UK and are yet to be recognised by the GCCF.

Ginger and white Japanese Bobtail cat


Often confused for Manx or Cymric cats from the Isle of Man with their teeny tiny or lack thereof tail, the Japanese bobtail has a slighter build than their pudgier counterparts. Their head is also more angular than the Manx’s chubby-cheeked appearance. 

The most distinguishing feature of the Japanese bobtail is its small kinked tail which varies uniquely from kitty to kitty but all share a resemblance to a bunny rabbit’s pom pom tail. 

Japanese bobtails can come in all colours and combinations with the calico, or tri-colour being the most popular and the one that is portrayed on the lucky beckoning cat. Their eye colour can also vary, however, what is unique with this floof is their commonly odd-coloured eyes, with one often being blue and the other a brilliant green, which sets these guys apart from their brothers and sisters as the luckiest of the bunch!


Japanese bobtail cats are active kitties with a curiosity to match. They’re often found in obscure places in their homes or looking out the window watching the world go by, bestowing good luck onto the most fortunate hoomans who walk past. They enjoy cuddles but when they’ve had enough there’s no convincing them to stay as they have an independent streak about them. They’re not overly vocal but communicate in sweet chirps and trills when they’re ready for dinner or if reciting your daily good fortune. With an adaptable and easygoing temperament, they make great additions to furmilies of all sizes, including those with children and other floofs.

Black Japanese Bobtail cat outside


Japanese bobtail cats are extremely rare in the UK. They aren’t recognised by the GCCF so unfortunately there are no listed breeders within the United Kingdom. If you’re after a uniquely bobtailed kitty, the Manx or Cymric, endemic closer to home in the Isle of Man may be your next best shot.


Japanese bobtail cats are one of the most genetically diverse and healthy pedigree breeds. With this, they have no specific feeding requirements. However, like all cats, these floofs are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat a diet high in animal meat to keep them lucky and thriving. They also need a careful balance of fats, minerals, vitamins and a small amount of carbs to keep them in ideal health. Always look for a nutritious cat food that is specially formulated to FEDIAF guidelines and labelled as “complete” so you know the food you're feeding your Japanese bobtail is hitting all of these key nutritional marks. 


Scrumbles Cat Food

Looking for an FEDIAF-approved complete cat food that’s high in nutrition and gut health that won’t break the bank? Then go and check out our delicious gut friendly cat food!

We load all of our recipes with the purrfect amount of animal protein from real meat to provide your carnivorous Japanese bobtail with all of the essential macronutrients they need to thrive. 

We leave out any nasties like artificial additives and preservatives, added salt or sugar and common allergens to provide your kitty with just the good stuff and no added fluff. 

But that’s not all! Like hoomans, some cats' guts need a little extra TLC so we add either gut-strengthening prebiotics or probiotics to all of our dry cat food and wet cat food recipes as well as our Gnashers Cat Dental Treats and Chillz Calming Cat Treats, to improve digestibility and promote pretty poops.

We develop all of our recipes with expert nutritionists and get the tick of approval from leading vets so that you can rest assured that your Japanese bobtail cat is eating the purrfect mix of nutrients to keep them in ideal health.

With great value for money and a brand commitment to reducing our carbon pawprint on this Earth, choosing Scrumbles is the best way you can make a difference with every bowl without breaking the bank!

But don’t just take our word for it! Check out the thousands of five-star reviews from satisfied floofs and their pawrents from across the UK!

Whilst you're here, why not read:

  1. Siberian Cat Breed
  2. Ragdoll Cat Breed Guide
  3. 5 Cat Calming Tips to ease anxiety

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