Japanese Bobtail | Cat Breed Guide

Japanese Bobtail | Cat Breed Guide

by Scritch

The Japanese Bobtail is sweet and social, ideal for families with children and/or other pets. The breed is known for suffering from diabetes.

Weight: 5-10 pounds

Life Expectancy: 15-18 years

Temperament: playful, intelligent, talkative 

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

The Japanese Bobtail has a rich, fascinating history, one that dates back hundreds of years. Ancient, traditional artwork from Japan features these cats in some capacity, whether they’re playing, interacting with humans, or simply exploring their surroundings. Unlike many breeds, the Bobtail isn’t man-made and came into existence without human influence. Japanese Bobtails first came to the United States in 1968.

With a short, pom-pom tail and oval eyes, this breed stands out from the others. They are a medium-sized breed with lean, elegant, muscular bodies. Longhaired cats have noticeably longer hair on their tails and rear legs.

These cats love to play and never tire of spending time with their owners. Whether you’re greeting guests at the door, relaxing on the couch, or enjoying a meal, your Japanese Bobtail must be nearby. This breed is very intelligent and can learn to perform tricks and fetch. Challenge him with puzzle toys and by teaching him new tricks.

If you prefer a cat that spends most of their time sleeping or hiding, avoid this breed. The Japanese Bobtail is also unsuitable for busy and frequently distracted families who spend several hours away from home each day. 

Dogs, other cats, and children can live with a Japanese Bobtail, so long as the cat is treated gently and with respect. Very young children should always be supervised.


Japanese Bobtails’ coats can be short or long and come in a variety of colors and patterns, including calico, tabby, brown, and white. They are easy to groom with weekly brushing. They may need more frequent brushing during spring and fall shedding seasons. Get into a regular routine of teeth brushing and nail trimming to keep your kitty in top shape. 

Health Concerns

  • Diabetes
  • Renal failure

While the direct cause of diabetes is currently unknown, overweight cats are more likely to develop this problem. Special diets and insulin injections can help. Renal (kidney) failure can develop as the result of infections, genetic diseases, shock, and more. Blood and urine tests performed by a vet can give you a solid diagnosis. Do not overfeed your cat and make sure they get plenty of daily exercise to keep them at a healthy weight; this can help prevent diabetes and other obesity-related health conditions. Consider pet insurance for your kitty to help cover the costs of treatment for injuries and medical issues.