Pixie-Bob Cat: Cat Breed Profile

Characteristics, History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Pixie bob cat standing

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The origin of the Pixie-bob cat is the stuff of legends. They were believed to stem from naturally-occurring matings between the American bobcat and feral domestic cats or barn cats, although there is no verifiable proof since DNA tests do not back up the claim.

Pixie-bob cats are large and sturdy and look a lot like bobcats. Legally, they are domestic cats and their ownership is not restricted like exotic wild cats. They are beautiful, playful, loyal, and make good companions for almost any type of household.

Breed Overview

Weight: 8 to 17 pounds

Length: 20 to 24 inches

Coat: Long and short

Coat Color: Spotted tabby in all shades of brown

Eye Color: Golden brown or green

Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

Characteristics of the Pixie-Bob Cat

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Vocalize Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Pixie-Bob

The Pixie-bob breed was accepted into the International Cat Association as a native new breed in 1995 and for championship status in 1997. The breed was accepted by the American Cat Fanciers Association in 2005.

Carol Ann Brewer, the breed founder, said the first specimen, Pixie, was the result of the breeding of two "legend" cats. A legend cat is the result of a naturally occurring mating of an American bobcat with a domestic cat. Although the International Cat Association standard cites the resemblance to the American bobcat, the founding committee is adamant that no captive American bobcats be used in any breeding program.

The International Cat Association designation of the Pixie-bob as a "native new breed" means that it is a new breed that has been identified as genetically similar individuals from a naturally occurring population indigenous to a particular geographic region.

Much like bobcats, they have a muscular, rangy body with a wooly coat standing up from the body. They are adorned with a signature spotting pattern in a light tan to rufus coloring (reddish-brown or rusty). They have a medium-wide, inverted pear-shaped face and some have lynx-tipped ears. Their tails, as the name implies, are naturally bobbed. Their eye color can be golden brown or gooseberry green, according to the breed standard.

The Pixie-bob is one of the few breeds that allows polydactyl toes in the breed standard, with a maximum of seven toes per paw.

Breed founder Brewer formed the For the Love of Pixie organization, which requires certain standards for breeders to join, including having a cat with lineage directly traceable to the original Pixie.

Pixie-Bob Care

Pixie-bobs come in longhair and shorthair versions. The shorthair has a thick double coat, while the longhair's coat is medium up to 2 inches in length with a softer, silky texture. They require basic grooming with weekly combing or brushing.

Keep your cat's nails trimmed and provide a scratching post. Help maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your cat's teeth frequently.

While bred to have a wild look, they are pretty much easy-going household cats. Cats are not usually known for having a love of water, but most Pixie-bobs do. Pixie-bob aficionados claim water affinity as further evidence of their wild nature. 

The Pixie-bob is described as highly intelligent, strongly bonded to its family, curious, and playful, but not destructive. They are said to be dog-like in personality. Pixie-bobs can be leash-trained easily and love to take walks with their humans. Provide plenty of interactive cat toys and spend time playing with your cat to keep it exercised and mentally stimulated.

They are known for getting along well with both children and other pets. This breed is also sturdy and laid-back enough to tolerate playing with kids, although children should always be old enough to treat a pet with respect. Any cat will become defensive if teased or mistreated.

Pixie-bobs appear happy to be part of a family with cat-friendly dogs. You should monitor any cat around pet rodents, birds, or fish since their natural hunting instincts can kick in at any time. Their vocalization is usually limited to chirps and twitters, although they will meow occasionally.

Common Health Problems

Pixie-bobs are actively out-crossed to provide genetic diversity, and they do not seem to have particular health problems that might arise with inbreeding. They are prone to the usual conditions and diseases that affect any domestic cat. The most common health condition found in all cats is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or heart muscle hardening.

Some conditions that have been observed in Pixie-bobs include:

  • Cryptorchidism or undescended testicles
  • Dystocia, a difficulting in delivering litters
  • Cystic endometrial hyperplasia, a thickening of a layer of the uterus

You should provide the recommended health care for your cat, including immunizations, preventative veterinary treatments, and checkups. Make your veterinarian aware of the breed of your cat in case there are new epidemiological findings of conditions that may affect Pixie-bobs. Breeders should be able to provide documentation of health checks for their cats.

Diet and Nutrition

Pixie-bobs do not have any special nutritional requirements. Whether you provide wet food, dry food, or a combination is a personal choice.

Some cats don't drink enough water and need wet food to provide fluids. Your cat's teeth can benefit from some crunchy dry food. Obesity will reduce the lifespan of any cat, so be sure to monitor your cat's weight.

Pixie-bobs can be larger cats, but they should be muscular, not fat. Your cat's metabolism and overall health will change throughout its life. Discuss your cat's nutritional needs with your veterinarian at each visit to get recommendations for feeding schedules, types of food, and amount to feed.

Pros

  • Has fierce, exotic look, while considered as a domestic cat

  • Loyal, affectionate, and child- and pet-friendly

  • Likes water

  • Highly intelligent, can be leash trained

Cons

  • Prone to health issues related to the reproductive system

  • May attempt to hunt rodent, fish, or bird pets

Where to Adopt or Buy a Pixie-Bob Cat

You may be able to find a Pixie-bob cat through a breeder in your area, but if you'd rather adopt from a rescue organization, check out:

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

Before you decide that a Pixie-bob is the right cat for you, do your research. Talk to other Pixie-bob owners, reputable breeders, and rescue organizations.

If you are interested in similar wild-looking cat breeds, look at these to compare:

There are many cat breeds out there. With further research, you should be able to find the one that is right for you.