Country of Origin: United States
Also known as: Pixie Bobs
Males Weight: 4-5 kg
Females Weight: 4-5 kg
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 15+ years
Best Suited as: Family Pet / Show Cat
Both shorthaired and longhaired, the Pixie Bob breed is easily recognized by its short tail. According to legend, the Pixie Bob is a hybrid of a domestic cat and a bobcat. DNA testing has not support this myth however and the personality of the Pixie Bob is far from wild.
It is understandable why people originally assumed that the Pixie Bob cat had North American Bobcat ancestors. The Pixie Bob resembles the Bobcat in many ways: a heavy bone structure, similar fur pattern, short bobbed tail and ear tufts. They also have a primordial pouch than is lighter in color than the rest of its body and allows them flexibility to store more food in their stomach. Most Pixie Bobs tails are between five to fifteen centimeters in length and must be a minimum of one inch (2.54 cm) to meet the breed standard.
The Pixie Bob has a silky double coat that is either shorthaired (more common) or slightly longer with a Bobcat type fur pattern. The Pixie Bob’s coat often has a reddish cast, which is not seen in the wild Bobcat. Additionally, most Pixie Bobs have black furwith a spotted or broken bar pattern, tipped ears, black lips, and white fur around the eyes and on their chins. Their whiskers are black, white or a mixture of both.
Pixie Bobs have triangular, medium sized eyes, which change from blue to green or gold when they are a few months old. Their brows are heavy and their heads are pear shaped. Skin on the bottom of their paws is not uncommon and most Pixie Bobs have the normal number of toes on their feet, five in the front, and four in the back. Less common but still accepted in the ring, is the polydactyl Pixie-Bob, which have more toes than usual. Some have up to 28 toes and the original Pixie Bob, Pixie was also polydactyl.
The Pixie Bob has a short history and can be traced back to Washington State when in 1986 breeder Carol Ann Brewer bred her stray short bobbed tailed male with a neighboring domestic female. In April, the female produced a litter of kittens and Brewer adopted one of the kittens, which she named “Pixie”. Pixie was an adorable reddish-fawn kitten covered with spots and had an exotic face, much like that of a Bobcat. Pixie became the namesake of the breed and the female line for most of the females in the program.
Carol Ann, fascinated by this unusual cat, naming them “Legend Cats” hunted for other short-tailed males in and around the Cascade Mountains. Over the years she discovered 23 other similar cats with the help from other U.S. breeders who were trying to breed distinctly wild looking barn cats. With these cats Carol Ann established a broad genetic base to develop the foundation of today’s Pixie-bob. According to Brewer, she and four others came together to form a Pixie-Bob Founding Board which consisted of Carol Ann Brewer, Bernida Flynn, Gail Chaney and Pam Richcreek to further develop the breed and to promote it with The International Cat Association (TICA). TICA accepted their registration as a “Native New Breed” and later the Pixie Bob was also recognized by American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA). The Pixie Bob has graduated to a new TICA classification – “Newer Natural/Regional Breed” also known as NNRB.
For a cat to be considered a true Pixie-Bob cat, they cannot have Bobcat bloodlines, and one of their parents must be traced back to Pixie the cat, the original inspiration for the breed.
The Pixie Bob is an adored cat that is fun to have around. They are social, loyal and easily trained pets. They have been described as dog like in personality and easy to train, follow their owners around and are very active (but not hyperactive). Some can be trained to walk on a leash and fetch a ball and a number of them even like the water. They enjoy playing with other animals and are said to be highly intelligent, understanding a number of words. When they are not busy playing, they will enjoy a nap in your lap.
The Pixie Bob is quiet and will communicate in “chirps” and “chatters”. They do not often meow and are more likely to head butt their owners to get attention.
Care and Grooming
Pixie Bobs are easy to groom and require little brushing. Like most polydactyl cats, their nails easily become overgrown and need to be trimmed often.
Pixie Bobs can be fed regular cat food but many breeders suggest a high quality diet that consists of raw, canned and dry foods.
Pixie Bobs are unusual in that they do not reach full maturity for four years, unlike most other cats who mature around one year. While the Pixie-bob tends to be a healthy cat because they are genetically diverse and not prone to problems caused by inbreeding, there are some problems that have been more common in this breed. Having difficulty delivering kittens is one of them (also called dystonia) and cystic endometrial hyperplasia in another.
Suitability as a Pet
Pixie-Bobs make great pets and are good with children and enjoy playing with other animals. With their dog-like personality and need for attention, they will not be content with an occasional stroking.They will want to play an active role in your life and will reward you with affection and devotion. Most owners who have a Pixie Bob sing its praises and encourage others to keep one as a pet.
Pixie Bobs do well in just about any environment where they are allowed to play. Apartment living will work for the Pixie Bob as they are quiet and adaptable. Because the Pixie Bob gets along easily with other animals, it is safe have them around other pets. They are easy to train and their litter box habits tend to be good.