This domestic cat breed is native to Japan and South-East Asia and has now been bred on a small scale in the USA for over 40 years. However, it is rarely seen in the UK as it is not recognised by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and therefore cannot be shown at GCCF shows. The Japanese Bobtail is the national cat of Japan and is also associated with good luck, supposedly related to the fact that it has a short tail, as longer-tailed varieties were thought to represent evil. One story regarding the short tail tells of a sleeping cat whose long tail caught fire and then ran around the city spreading flames everywhere. Since the capital was in ruins, the emperor is said to have decreed that all cats should have their tails cut short as a preventative measure. Sailors in Japan adopted the bobcat as a talisman to ward off storms at sea because the naturally recurring bobtail resembles a chrysanthemum, the emblem of the royal family. The waving cat of Japan (with one paw raised), a Japanese Bobcat, is also a symbol of good luck, as ancient legends say that a group of samurai warriors were led to the temple from a storm by such a cat. Japanese people around the world keep statues of this cat as good luck charms to ward off evil. Japanese Bobtails plays an important role in traditional Japanese painting, and today the modern cartoon character Hello Kitty is depicted as Japanese Bobtail an example of Japanese pop culture.
Read our Japanese Bobtail Buying Advice page for information on this cat breed.