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Japanese Bobtail – bring me happiness waving with you paw!
These charming short-tailed cats are more than just pets. Japanese people believe these cats are best talismans! For their mystical services Japanese Bobtails gladly accept affection, warmth and, of course, love of their owners. A beauty with black spots on the coat is believed to protect the house from devilry, cats with bright red markings are believed to protect from the evil eye and diseases, and tricolor cats attract good luck and financial prosperity.
The origin of Japanese Bobtails is still a secret. Perhaps they appeared in the Land of the Rising Sun as a result of a spontaneous mutation. However, it is possible that cats with tiny tails were brought to Japan from the mainland. Whatever it was, these cats are known to be on the islands already in the XII century. In Washington museum there are works by the painter that date back to the XV century – the painting shows the first representatives of the Japanese Bobtail breed with their characteristic tails.
The breed was officially registered only in 1971. Short-tailed cats were brought to other countries much earlier, but these charming whiskered Aborigines didn’t provoke special interest. It came to the turning point in 1968, when Miss Frerert brought three Japanese Bobtail kittens to the United States. Elizabeth was a breeder of Abyssinians, but she paid enough attention to short-tailed Japanese Bobtails. Today the breed is awarded with the champion status in almost all associations of the feline world. Since 1993, the CFA recognizes the longhaired breed variety.
Japanese Bobtails is an aborigine cat breed: ideal proportions, natural forms, and stature not modified by “designer” breeding. Strong chest, flat back, well-developed muscles and strong bones – Japanese Bobtail cat looks harmonious and natural, it’s a perfect runner, jumper and hunter. Like in all short-tailed cats the hind legs are slightly longer than the front. It makes the croup look a bit higher. A cat of this breed has a triangular head and a well-contoured muzzle with expressive high cheekbones. The nose is long and almost straight, the bend in the nasal area is barely noticeable. The eyes are quite large, oval-shaped and a bit slanted. The ears are long, but not huge, set wide apart and slightly tilted forward.
The coat is silky, smooth and soft to the touch. Short hairs are close to the body, nicely sticking up near the tail. It is advisable that the eye color was in harmony with the coat color. There are many color variations, but some of them aren’t recognized: chocolate, “Siamese”, purple and “Abyssinian”. The most popular type is white cats with small spots on the body, a spot the head and with a colored tail. Spots may be one-color or they can combine several shades; the color may be solid or patterned. Long-haired variety of Japanese Bobtails has long fluffy collar, charming pants and lush tail. These cats are usually of basic colors.
Japanese Bobtail is unique – its tail is just changed, not shortened as in tailless cats. The tail is in its place, the number of vertebrae is the same as in ordinary long-tailed cats, but the vertebrae are small and undeveloped. In addition, they are deformed, so the tail may take incredible forms. How many turns, twists and knots there are in a particular tail – is not a big deal. Most important is that the tail was no longer than 8 cm and was in harmony with the general appearance of the pet.
A good-natured Japanese Bobtail cat is happy when it feels love and affection of all family members. These sociable pets are sociable and playful even with strangers. They are inquisitive, lively and always try to be next to people. However, Japanese Bobtails aren’t too dependent and normally tolerate enforced solitude, without screaming and making a mess.
Travelling with a Japanese Bobtail is a pleasure according to the opinion of their owners. They are interested in everything going on around on shows; they don’t fall into stress, but curiously look on the chaos around.
Housing and care
Japanese Bobtail cats are neat and aristocratically tidy. They carefully look after their coats; don’t tend to spoil the furniture and are very careful with their litter box. You need to bathe such a cat only before the show or if it is really necessary. During molting you should remove the hairs with a rubber glove to accelerate the process of coat changing.
It is desirable that the room was equipped with a gaming complex – a “tree”, some cat beds or houses. Ordinary toys will make Japanese Bobtails bored very quickly, so it's better to buy modern interactive or logic toys. But the most important thing for this charming cat – it to have a playmate. If you can’t entertain your pet every day, you can safely bring a puppy or another kitten. These cats are very friendly and will be glad to get such a company.
The gene responsible for tail deformation is very stable. Kittens are always born with altered tails but without any disorder of the rest of the spine. The breed is free from congenital diseases. These cats have good health and usually live long.
“Japanese Bobtail” by Hiroaki Takahashi.
Ancient Japanese legend
In ancient times in a Japanese village there lived a man. He was a priest, and the gods were testing him all the time sending to godly man more and more difficulties. Once, annoyed and exhausted, he said to his cat (who, incidentally, had an unusual short tail): “I feed you and take care of you. Maybe you could do something for me too because all you do is sleep and eat. Immediately, the sky was lit by lightning, and the rain poured.
A rich gentleman was passing the house of the old man. This gentleman decided to take shelter from the storm under the broad crown of the tree. Suddenly he noticed a Bobtail cat waving its paw as if beckoning. The gentleman was moving to the cat barely moving away from the tree, when he heard the roar. Turning back he saw that the tree was struck by lightning. Thankful for salvation, the gentleman generously presented an old priest with money. The priest used this money to build the temple and didn’t face any troubles until his last breath. And when people heard this amazing story they believed that a cat waving with its paw brings happiness. Japanese began to decorate their windowsills with figures, which are now called Maneki-neko and are known worldwide.
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