Showing posts with label Japanese Bobtail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japanese Bobtail. Show all posts

Sunday 11 July 2021

CAT-ZILLA Tokyo's giant 3D cat

Cat-zilla. Photo in public domain.

This amazing advertising in Tokyo has been in the news for a while now. Through the use of clever technology and by looking at the correct angle, viewers get the impression that the cat is enormous and moving. It is advertising for Cross Shinjuku Vision. The cat is a tricolour or calico or tortoiseshell-and-white. They all have the same meaning. The cat is a Japanese Bobtail and the tricolour coat is the preferred one for this cat breed.

Please note that the tweet below will probably stop working and simply be a link. It should show a short video.

Here's another video from CBS News which also eventually stop working! For the time being enjoy it

Monday 26 February 2018

Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Four Cats In Different Poses

Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Four Cats In Different Poses is a painting that is, for me, all about the famous Japanese bobtail cat. Kuniyoshi Utagawa (歌川国芳) lived between 1798 and 1861. He was one of the masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting and belonged to the Utagawa school.

Ukiyo-e-woodblock-paintingThis is a good era to discuss any cat breed because it is before the recognized cat fancy and it taps in to the long history of this cat breed before photographs of cats were seen. What interests me is the appearance of the cat in these paintings compared to the appearance currently. At the time of this painting the Japanese bobtail had been in known existence for some 800 years. I have discussed the history on the Japanese bobtail page.

I am sure that the cats in the painting below are both bicolor and tricolor. I have marked the tricolor cats with red connecting lines to show what I think is the same area of color. The cats in the top right hand corner and bottom left hand corner of the picture are bicolor Japanese bobtail cats. The bicolor and tricolor were and remain the favorite types of coat for this breed in Japan.

japanese bobtail old and new comparison-2
Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Four Cats In Different Poses (above)


I think the pictures make a nice comparison and the only real difference between the old and modern Japanese bobtail is that the old one is much more cobby (stocky) if the depiction is reasonably accurate. The modern breed standard states in my words that..:
If the body conformation is "cobby" (like a Persian or a Manx cat for example) then the cat will be penalized in competition.
I would suggest that the cats depicted by Kuniyoshi Utagawa in this painting Four Cats In Different Poses, would all be penalized in competition and not win a thing in the show ring today.

It seems as if the modern breeding program has gone for a more “foreign” (slender) appearance (see Cat Body Types) and drifted away from the original appearance. The modern Japanese bobtail should be long, lean and elegant with no cobbiness according to the CFA breed standard. If I am correct and I am speculating, the cat fancy in the USA has refined this cat breed to make it more delicate looking (refined looking if you like) and attractive by modern standards. This is in line with what has happened to the Siamese cat and indeed other breeds (see Siamese cat history).

The Persian went in the other direction becoming excessively rounded including a very flat face (see Persian cats).

beckoning cat
One last thing. The cat that is bottom right of the painting is waving the classic welcome with the palm of the paw outwards. This is the welcoming cat beckoning - the Maneki Neko ("Beckoning Cat"). The beckoning cat is placed outside shops etc. to bring good luck.

Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Four Cats In Different Poses -- The pictures of the painting is in the public domain due to lapse of time (uploaded by user: Petrusbarbygere) and the picture of the woodblock is reproduced under a Wikimedia Commons license. Picture of beckoning cats Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic creative commons license.

From Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Four Cats In Different Poses to Cats in Paintings

Saturday 3 May 2014

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: It’s rare to find a cat with a normal tail

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, it is rare to find a cat with a normal tail, so says a French veterinarian who runs one of the largest veterinary clinics in Phnom Penh.  His name is Arnaud Demarti.

This veterinarian believes that the cats of Phnom Penh and perhaps Cambodia generally deserve to be a new breed of cat.  There might be a breed of cat but they're just not registered with a cat Association.

This veterinarian believes that Cambodian cats are likely to carry the same gene is the cats in Thailand.  He believes that the reason why about 80% of the cats in Phnom Penh, Cambodia have short or crooked tales is because of a recessive gene.
Photo by Julie Masis - Tour Guide carries tailless Cambodian cat
Tailless cats are also common in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.  The first Siamese cats that were imported into England from Siam, now Thailand, came from a population of Siamese cats that had a kink in the tail.  The kinked tale of the Siamese cat is well-known but it was selectively bred out by Siamese cat breeders in the West.

The secretary of the Japanese Bobtail Breeders Society in the USA believes that the short tailed cats in Southeast Asia were most likely Japanese bobtails.  The history of the Japanese Bobtail goes back well over 1000 years.

Sometimes you will see Siamese cats with a short tail in Asia.  As to exactly what is going on genetically, it is not yet completely clear despite what has been stated above.  Thus far no one has analysed the DNA or the x-rays of the short tailed Cambodian cat.  It may be that the gene that shortens the cat's tail is related to the Manx cat.

Clearly more research needs to be done but in the meantime it is worth while mentioning that the domestic cat in Cambodia is becoming more popular.  Up until fairly recently about 95% of all visits to Arnaud Demarti's  surgery were dog owners but now 30% of consultations are for cats.  More Cambodians are keeping cats as pets and are taking them to their local vet for checkups.  Good news!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Feng Shui Cats vs Maneki Neko Cats

Yes, there are Feng shui cats and they look a bit like Maneki Neko cats. I think the former is a spin off from the latter but I might well be completely wrong, and probably am. You'll see Feng shui cats in Japan, China and Hong Kong, apparently. The Maneki Neko cat or beckoning cat is famous in Japan. It is thought to bring good luck and is placed outside shops etc. to improve the financial fortunes of the business.

Feng shui, for me (layman's terms) is the science (art?) of improving the home environment through the positioning, placement and selection of items of furniture and furnishings. The improved environment thereby improves the well-being of the people living in the environment. I think it works because it is common sense really.

A Feng shui cat is a spin on this science, it seems to me. I don't see how it can truly be part of the Feng shui concept because a single item on a shelf cannot improve the environment especially if it is a red, rotund plastic or china cat! But nonetheless it is a very cute looking cat.

The Maneki Neko cat is based on the Japanese Bobtail, a well known purebred cat with a long history in Japan. It is Japan's iconic domestic cat.

Photos: Feng shui cats by Bahi on Flickr -- Maneki Neko cat by Nemo's great uncle on Flickr. The cats in the picture were sold in the British Museum, London by the way.

Friday 28 October 2011

What is a bobtail cat?

American Bobtail
Photo copyright Helmi Flick
A bobtail cat is a cat with a short tail. "Bob" refers to "bobbed" meaning shortened. The origin of the word "bob" in relation to tail length is interesting. It is a shortened version of the old Middle English word "bobbe" which meant a knob or cluster (1). When a tail is sufficiently shortened as in the Japanese Bobtail it looks like a cluster or knob of fur. Another American short tailed purebred, domestic cat is the Pixie-bob.

"Bobtail cat" usually refers to the American Bobtail, a purebred short tailed cat. The American bobcat is a species of lynx wild cat found in the USA. It too has a short tail. There is no connection between these two cats. The shortened tail is due to a natural genetic mutation. Sometimes breeders dock tails (shorten them surgically). You will see feral moggie cats with bobtails.

(1) Word Origins by Dhirendra Verma

The photo on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

Friday 21 October 2011

What are cats' tails for?

What are cats' tails for? Two uses come to mind immediately.  Cats' tails are used for balance. In the domestic cat this use is somewhat redundant. For wildcats it is very much alive. Many wild cats are tree dwelling such as the margay and clouded leopard. These cats have long tails. Tails that are used for balance are also frequently very thick. I am thinking of the snow leopard that lives on 40 degree rocky inclines where excellent balance is paramount.

Although the domestic cat does not need the tail for balance as much it has developed another use of the tail, a form of visual communication through body language.

The wagging tail means that the cat is in mental conflict (out of balance mentally and not physically). This happens when he or she is uncertain about what to do.

The domestic and feral cat also uses the tail in the upright position to signal a friendly greeting. The tail position is used as a form of body language.

Cats that have bob tails or shortened tails are at a slight disadvantage. The bobcat comes to mind for the wild cats and the Japanese Bobtail is one example of a purebred cat without a normal length tail.

The bobcat is a ground hunter and probably does not need its tail for balance when chasing prey as much as the cheetah which is a much faster cat (max 64 mph compared to about 40+ at a guess for the bobcat).

Friday 24 October 2008

Japanese Bobtail cat

Here is a great picture of a Japanese Bobtail cat by Helmi Flick.

Japanese Bobtail cat
Japanese Bobtail cat - photograph copyright Helmi Flick

The picture is both aesthetically very pleasing and interesting while also being very clear and of a type that is useful for informational purposes.

All the photos and text on this page are protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

The Japanese Bobtail is different to the Manx cat a better known breed. Some people call all cats with a short tail Manx cats. That is how well known they are but it is not true. Anyway sometimes the Manx has no tail. There are other short tailed cats. A long haired Manx is called the Cymric. A Russian tailless cat is called the Kurilian Bobtail. There are more; explore a list of really rare breeds on this page: Domestic cat breeds.

The Japanese Bobtail is a type of short tailed cat that is common in the Far East. The tail is never absent just substantially shortened due to the presence of a mutated gene, which is different to the Manx mutant gene. Unlike for the Manx there are no accompanying skeletal abnormalities that might cause ill health (see Manx cat health)

The Japanese Bobtail cat tail length is normally less than 4 inches or 10 cms long. The tail is often rigid and/or curved and the hair on it is long giving the impression of a pom-pom.

The white spotting gene is very evident in this cat's white coat with splashes or blobs of color. As there is a lot of white it is called high grade spotting. See cat coats solid and white. The most popular Japanese Bobtail coat color is the tricolor or Minke. These cats have patches of orange and patches of black against a large white canvas.

The genotype for the tricolor coat is: aaOoSS, where aa represents the non-agouti (see agouti gene) gene in homozygous form, Oo (tortoiseshell) and for high grade spotting the homozygous dominant white spotting gene SS.

These cats are not at all cobby but quite lean looking. They look like extremely glamorous feral cats. The lithe cats are cats such as the Bengal. The Japanese Bob is not like that, more lean and spare looking. The Jap.Bob. has a very very long history (starting from the 5th century) and is one of the ancient breeds - see cat history time line.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts