Bobtail cat breeds look somehow odd to people who are not used to seeing them. Tailless cat breeds (or should I say breed) are even more strange looking.
Since bobtail cat breeds and tailless cat breeds are rare, most people don’t see even one of them in their entire lives but to the people lucky enough to live with them, they are blessings. You may think that these kitties lose agility due to having short tail or no tail at all but they are as agile as their cousins with tails and some of them are surprisingly good hunters which require a good deal of agility.
You may also think that they are not healthy cats but this is not always true. Some of these cats are ancient and unlike some other cat breeds that look different than your regular non-pedigreed cats, such as Scottish Fold, they look the way they are after centuries of natural selection. Having a different DNA sequence doesn’t mean that they are not healthy, it means they are just different.
Let’s start with the tailless cat breeds and continue with bobtail cat breeds.
1 – Manx
Manx cat is actually the only truly tailless cat breed in the world except for Cymric which is just a long-haired Manx cat but also not all Manx cats are tailless. The genetic mutation that gives Manx cats the taillessness trait is recessive which means that even in the same litter of kittens there can be tailless cats and cats with different tail lengths.
Originally from the Isle of Man, it is a fearless and very protective cat breed especially when it comes to its humans and territory. Manx cats that attack even the biggest dogs just for violating their territory is not something unheard of. However, they are also gentle, loyal, devoted and playful kitties which take them among the best cat breeds for kids.
2 – Pixie Bob
Pixie Bob looks wild like a bobcat and for this reason it was thought to be a naturally occurring hybrid between bobcats and domestic cats. The rumors behind the pixie bob being a hybrid cat comes from the fact that it was first discovered in the Cascade Mountains of Washington however the latest DNA testing has shown that Pixie Bob is completely domestic. But breeders choose to selectively breed them to resemble American Bobcats.
Pixie Bob is a very intelligent, active, bold and social kitty that can get along with anyone. They can be trained to walk on a leash and play fetch just like a dog and they also treat strangers with warmth, again just like a dog. They like to be in the same room as their humans and follow them room to room. They also have the strange habit of headbutting which is not so common among bobtail cat breeds.
3 – Mekong Bobtail
Mekong Bobtail or Thai Bobtail was developed in Russia but distributed naturally in various regions in Southeast Asian countries. In the 19th century the king of Siam, Chulalongkorn gave 200 royal cats to the Russian emperor Nicholas II as a gift. These cats had kinked tails and resembled the looks of modern day Mekong Bobtail.
Crossbreeding those cats with other bobtail cat breeds imported from Southeast Asia and adding a little bit of Siamese blood into the mix, Russian breeders developed Mekong Bobtail. Originally called Thai Bobtail, the name of these kitties was changed to Mekong Bobtail after the recognition and standardization by World Cat Federation in August 2004.
Mekong Bobtails are active, friendly and affectionate cats. These kitties are not royal cats for nothing. They quickly form exceptionally strong bonds with their humans and are very loyal. They especially like to be around kids which helps considering their high energy levels and the need for long playtimes.
4 – Highlander Cat
Having a stubby tail is not the only physical highlight of Highlander Cat, it also has curled ears and a wild look which is understandable considering it is a cross between the Desert Lynx and the Jungle Curl. Highlanders are large and muscular cats with males reaching up to 20 pounds in weight.
Although the development of the breed started only in 2004, it quickly gained recognition by TICA and was accepted to competitions in the Preliminary New Breed class in 2008 and was moved up to Advanced New Breed status in 2016. It seems that we will see another cat from bobtail cat breeds in championship status.
Although it looks wild, the Highlander Cat is a loving cat that happily greets you at the door and so friendly and playful that it shows off to your visitors. In addition to being playful, these kitties are very energetic and in need of a lot of playtime including their beloved chase games which feeds its muscular body.
5 – American Bobtail
Although the exact origins of the American Bobtail is not known and there are many rumors around it, we know that it was first bred in 1960s. Some claim that it was bred by a couple that bred their bobtail cat with another bobtail they found on the street while others claim that it appeared spontaneously. What is certain though is that despite its resemblance, it is not related to Japanese Bobtail as genetic studies found that the genes providing the bobbed tail are different.
American Bobtail is a large cat with thick muscles but it looks even bigger due to its fluffy coat. But don’t let its looks fool you; American Bobtail is a very friendly and affectionate breed that loves to play and is very intelligent. These kitties are not considered independent cats however they are known to be good travel companions. They are also social cats that even greet the visitors at the door.
Interesting article. We foster Manx & Bobtail kittens for Tailless Cat Rescue here in North Carolina, & also have adopted two adult rescue Manx cats of our own. We agree with your characterization of tailless cats as being exceptionally friendly & social, as well as curious & self-assured. They are great companions &, in our experience, they act a lot like dogs, in that they follow us from room to room all around the house. They have remarkable personalities; but then, dont most cats?
You are doing an amazing job! Here at Wise Kitten we value and try to encourage adopting cats from cat rescue organizations. In fact, we believe that the important thing is not the breed of the cat but the relation that is built between the human and the cat. Hats off to you guys 😻