A Cattery Specializing in the Japanese Bobtail

Owner/Breeders Beth Graham and Brett Sarkissian
Located in the Washington DC area, Virginia


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Breed Standard of the Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtail (JBT) is an active, athletic cat that is small to medium in size, weighing between 6 to 9 pounds.  It combines the reflexes and intelligence of a breed which has survived by its wits for centuries, with the elegance and grace so prized by the culture in which it evolved.

General The Japanese Bobtail has long clean lines and bone structure, and it is well-muscled but straight and slender, rather than massive in build.  Their unique set of its eyes, combined with high cheek bones and a long parallel nose, lend a distinctive Japanese look to the face, especially in profile.  Its short tail resembles a bunny tail with the hair fanning out in all directions to create a pom-pom appearance which effectively camouflages the underlying bone structure of the tail.

Profile The Japanese Bobtail is a strong and healthy cat.  It usually has litters of three to four kittens that are extremely large for newborns.  Compared to other breeds, it is active earlier, walks earlier and starts getting into trouble earlier.  This breed has a low kitten mortality rate and high disease resistance.  JBT kittens are never born tailless, nor are they born with full tails.  It is active, intelligent, and talkative.  Its soft voice is capable of nearly a whole scale of tones; some people say they sing. Since most JBTs adore human companionship they almost always speak when spoken to. It likes to carry things in their mouths, and most enjoy a good game of fetch. It loves to pounce and to ride on shoulders.  A good traveler, it doesn't panic at shows or strange hotel rooms. The JBT adjusts to dogs and other animals, and is especially good with children.

Tail The tail for which the Japanese Bobtail is named is short. It should not extend more than three inches from the body of the show specimen. It is as individual as a fingerprint.  It is composed of one or more curves, notches, kinks or angles in the bone itself, but the structure of the tail is camouflaged by the tail hair, which fluffs out to resemble a pompom.  This is especially dramatic in the semi-longhairs, whose tails resemble a chrysanthemum in full bloom.  The bones in the tail are generally fused although most JBTs can wiggle their tails at the base.  The direction in which the tail is carried is not important. The tail may be flexible or rigid and should be of a size and shape that harmonizes with the rest of the cat. The genetic factor which created the Japanese Bobtail is completely different from the Manx, a naturally tailless cat. Unlike the Manx, it is due to recessive genes and breeds true. The two breeds are not related in any way. Not only are their tails different, but the body types are completely opposite.

Body The Japanese Bobtail is a chiseled, angular cat with a long, firmly muscular body, a narrow chest, but some depth to the flank (not tubular like the Siamese or Oriental Shorthair).

Coat The coat should feel soft and silky to the touch.  The shorthair variety should appear flat, not fluffy, although the hairs are actually medium in length.  The semi-longhairs should have belly shag and definite britches on the hind legs, and something of a ruff around the neck as well as toe and ear tufts.

Color The most popular coat color is calico, known to the Japanese as mi-ke, a white coat with red, white and black spots.  Solid color cats are more rare and come in the colors of white, black, red, silver and in striped brown tabby.

Legs The legs, like the body, are long, so that the cat presents a square appearance (unlike the Maine Coon, which has a long body but medium legs presenting a rectangular appearance).  When viewed from the back, the hind legs are somewhat longer than the front legs, but deeply angulated (bent) when at rest so that the back is carried perfectly level.  When standing, the cat's forelegs and shoulders form two continuous straight lines, close together.

Paws The paws are neat, small and oval. There are five toes on each front paw and four on each back paw.

Head The head structure of the Japanese Bobtail is like that of no other breed.  It is the shape of an equilateral triangle (not including the ears), but the long, high, chiseled cheekbones accentuate the length of the head.

Eyes Most JBTs have green or gold eyes, and blue-eyed or odd-eyed cats are generally more expensive.   The eyes are large and set at an Oriental slant which makes the cat unmistakably a Japanese Bobtail, even if you don't glance at the tail. The head has gentle curving lines, high cheek bones, and a noticeable whisker break, the nose long and well defined by two parallel lines from tip to brow with a gentle dip at, or just below eye level.

Ears The ears are large, tipped forward slightly as though listening, and set on the corners of the head so that the outer edges of the ears are parallel to each other.  The profile should be a gentle curve, and the chin should be firm and in line with the nose and upper lip.

Muzzle The muzzle should neither be square nor pointed, and there should be a definite break between the muzzle and the cheekbones.  Definite whisker pads accentuate the look. Large, upright and expressive, set wide apart but at right angles to the head rather than flaring outward, and giving the impression of being tilted forward in repose. The muzzle should be fairly broad and rounding into the whisker break; neither pointed nor blunt.


 
A Cattery specializing in the Japanese Bobtail
   
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