Japanese Bobtail Cat: What You Need to Know About Owning a “Lucky Cat"

Many of you have probably seen the Japanese Bobtail cat more times in your life than you realize. Especially if you have ever gone to a Chinese take-out restaurant.

Do you know that little gold and red ceramic cat that you often see sitting on the checkout counter and many oriental restaurants with their one paw raised as if they are waving at you? That ceramic cat is modeled after the Japanese Bobtail cat and said to be a good luck symbol. 

If you’ve ever owned or even just interacted with one of these adorable fluffy cats, you will agree that the Japanese Bobtail cat personality is something like nothing else. Their quirks and interesting history make them a great house pet as well as a conversation starter. 

Japanese Bobtail Cat History

The Japanese Bobtail cat has been a part of the Japanese culture since around the 6th century. Although some historians will also say that these stubby-tailed cats were also known to live with Buddhist Monks once upon a time as well. 

Back in those days in Japan, these cats were valued for their ability to keep rats out of the temples as well as keep a handle on any mouse infestations. They only just came over to America around 1968, where they are now a beloved feline pet just as they had become in Japan. 

Japanese Bobtail Facts

These bobtailed felines have many interesting quirks about then that are worth being aware of, especially if you are considering adopting one as your new family pet. You’ll want to know what you are getting yourself into with a Japanese Bobtail cat. 

They Like to “Sing”

Yes, you read that correctly, the Japanese Bobtail cat does in fact boast some musical talents. Their “singing” just consists of some various chirping and meows, but still a rather entertaining sight to see. 

They Have the Best Personality

Japanese Bobtail cats love their owner and will want to spend endless amounts of time with you, unlike many other cats who would be perfectly content to spend hours on end by themselves. Japanese Bobtails also love to play and are known to learn to play fetch or at least bring a toy to their human when they are ready to begin playing. 

Japanese Bobtail cats also have a very prominent purr that you can sometimes hear from across the room. If you pick up your Japanese Bobtail and they begin to purr immediately, that is a sure sign that they love you very much and are happy to be in your arms.

They are Athletically Built

If you already own a Japanese Bobtail cat or have looked them up online, you may have noticed that their hind legs are a bit longer than their front legs are. This aids them in their ability to jump and pounce up high and over long distances. 

Some Japanese Bobtail cat owners have even taken them to cat agility courses, similar to dog agility courses, to allow them to exercise their legs and work on their jumping power. This is made even easier considering that this particular breed can be rather agreeable and will likely allow you to put them on a leash and they will cooperate. 

Their Bobtail Comes from a Mutation

The bobbed tail that this breed of cat is so well known for is actually a genetic mutation that is only passed on when both parents carry the gene. Although, legend has it that this cat’s special tail came to be long ago when a cat was sleeping and their tail caught fire. The cat was frightened by the fire and in its panic went running and set the whole village ablaze. From then on it was decreed that it was too dangerous for cats to have tails, and they were then all cut off, leading to what became the Japanese Bobtail cat. 

They Can Be Found in Various Fur Color Patterns

Their fur patterns come in such a wide variety of color patterns and color combinations. You can have just a simple, black and white Japanese Bobtail cat, or an entirely white one. Other color variations include tortoiseshell, tri-colored, solid-colored, or even smoky.

On the topic of their fur, it might come as a relief to know that this particular breed is considered to be hypoallergenic for the most part, due to their lack of an undercoat and minimal dander. 

Their fur isn’t the only thing on a Japanese Bobtail cat that can come in a variety of colors. Their eyes can be seen in colors that range from a soft gray tone to bright emerald green. On rare occasions, you will find a Japanese Bobtail cat with heterochromia - having two different colored eyes. 


This breed of cat may be considered as lucky, but whatever human is able to bring one home to make them a part of their family is the lucky one. Their loveable personality is all but irresistible by any human. Adopting a Japanese Bobtail cat means adopting a lifelong companion that will never want to leave your side and will be a constant source of love and entertainment for you and their forever family. 

How much are Japanese bobtail cats?

Depending on where or who you adopt them from, Japanese Bobtail Cats can range anywhere between $75 and $150. If you adopt them from a pure-bred breeder you are likely to run into the higher end of that price range but can be assured that your Japanese Bobtail cat is the real deal.

Are Japanese bobtail cats hypoallergenic?

Japanese bobtail cats have very little undercoat, so they shed very minimally. In addition to having very low dander levels, these cats can be classified as nearly hypoallergenic. Those who suffer from allergies to cats would likely be much better having a Japanese Bobtail in their home rather than one of the breeds that tend to shed more and have dander.

Do Japanese bobtail cats purr?

Japanese Bobtail cats are actually known very well for their purring. You know that they really like you when they immediately begin to purr upon being picked up and given affection by you or others who they have become fond of.

Check out our blog and follow me on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date!

Related Posts

Written by Leo Roux


I have a beautiful 2 year old called Buddy, He is the best thing that ever happened to me, he adopted me and when I found his owner Buddy did not want to go back, he stayed with me and now we are inseparable, Lucky cat,,,,,lucky me,,

Gerald Smith on Mar 01, 2022

My husband found a Japanese Bobtail under his coworkers truck. She had traveled 60 miles on interstate 40 at 75 mph! She had a little burn on her lip but otherwise she was fine. My husband fell 8n love with her immediately and he brought her home. She’s a beautiful solid black with green eyes. Every trait and characteristic in this article is seen in her. We love her soooo much!

Kelly Hensley on Mar 01, 2022

Enjoyed the article very much When I move next summer I will be able to have two pets. Right now I have a wonderful 2 yr. old chihuahua I got from the shelter. I have been dreaming of JBTs!! I volunteer 2 days a week at the shelter with the cats. I have a question… when we get kittens in that little to no tail, are they part manx, or more slender, JBTs?

Laura Whitworth on Jul 18, 2021

I found a calico bob tail in front of my house a few years ago, she was sooo cute, her tongue sticks out all the time, she is sooo small, only 5 to 6 pounds, and sooo adorable, we had to have all her teeth pulled after we got her spayed, they said she had gingivitis, but shes doing well

Carole DeFelice on Feb 28, 2021

I hava a Japanese bobtail. Hes 2 going on 3. He was a street cat that I found and brought inside. Hes loving,sweet,attached to me like clue. I love him alot. I have a 19 yr old cat also. Noth my babies 💕.

Diane Whitehorse on Jan 13, 2021

Leave a comment