previous page: 03 Japanese Bobtail: Colors
page up: Japanese Bobtails Breed FAQ
next page: 05 Comparison: Japanese Bobtail, Manx and American Bobtail

04 Japanese Bobtail: Physical Appearance


This article is from the Japanese Bobtails Breed FAQ, by Jean Marie Diaz ambar@clock.org.

04 Japanese Bobtail: Physical Appearance

The Japanese Bobtail is a chiseled, angular cat, whose smooth coat
should hint at the porcelain statues modelled after them. The tail for
which the breed is named is short (should not extend more than 3
inches from the body of the show specimen), and as individual as
fingerprints. 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 pom-pom.
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 Bobtails can wiggle their tails at the
base, and some have tails that are jointed in one or two places), so
it should be handled gently.

The head structure of the Japanese Bobtail is like that of no other
breed. The head is in fact an equilateral triangle (not including the
ears), but the long, high, chiseled cheekbones accentuate the length
of the head. 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 eyes are large, and are
set at an Oriental slant which makes the cat unmistakably a Japanese
Bobtail -- even if you don't glance at the tail. The profile should be
a gentle curve, and the chin should be firm and in line with the nose
and upper lip. 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.

The Japanese Bobtail is classified as a semi-foreign breed, which
means that the body should be long, firmly muscular, with a narrow
chest, but some depth to the flank (not tubular like the Siamese and
Oriental Shorthair). The legs are also 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
side. The legs are refined without appearing delicate, [LINK] and the
hind legs are somewhat longer than the front legs, but deeply
angulated at rest (as shown in the illustration; our model is
GRP/SGCA,IW Janipurr's Odori-Ni-Hane of Ambar, shown at five months of
age), so that the back is carried level. The paws are small, neat, and

The Japanese Bobtail coat should feel soft and silky to the touch, not
hard. The shorthair variety should appear flat, not fluffy, although
the hairs are actually medium in length. Keep the porcelain statue
appearance in mind. The semi-longhairs should have belly shag and
definite britches on the hind legs, and something of a ruff as well,
at least in the winter. While the semi-longhairs are subject to
seasonal shedding, the tail should leave no doubt as to whether you
are looking at a shorthair or a longhair, in any season. Both types of
coat are actually quite water-resistant, such that the most difficult
part of show grooming a Japanese Bobtail is getting them wet during
their bath!


Continue to:

previous page: 03 Japanese Bobtail: Colors
page up: Japanese Bobtails Breed FAQ
next page: 05 Comparison: Japanese Bobtail, Manx and American Bobtail