Pixie-Bob: Cat Breed Profile, Characteristics & Care

Appearance, Personality, History, Care, & 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.

Still, 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, including those with children or other pets.

Breed Overview

Other names: Pixiebob

Personality: Easy-going, friendly, affectionate, active, and intelligent

Weight: 8 to 17 pounds

Length: 20 to 24 inches

Coat Length: Long-haired or short-haired

Coat Color: All shades of brown

Coat Patterns: Tabby with small-to-medium spots, especially on the belly

Eye Color: Golden brown or green

Lifespan: 13 to 15 years

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: United States

Pixie-Bob Characteristics

Cats are not usually known for having a love of water, but many Pixie-bobs do. Pixie-bob aficionados claim water affinity as further evidence of their wild background. Still, as a general rule, this is a very easy-going breed that enjoys plenty of interaction with its family. Their vocalization is usually limited to chirps and twitters, although they will meow occasionally.

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 are usually happy to be part of a family with cat-friendly dogs or fellow felines. You should monitor any cat around pet rodents, birds, or fish, however, since their natural hunting instincts can kick in at any time.

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

Carol Ann Brewer, the breed founder, purchased a short-tailed, polydactyl (extra toes) male spotted kitten in 1985. Shortly after that, she adopted a male rescue cat that was exceptionally large and also had a bobbed tail. Rumor said that this cat was the product of a mating between a domestic cat and a bobcat. The cat mated with a neighbor's brown tabby, producing a litter of kittens. Brewer adopted one of the female kittens with a spotted, "wild" appearance, and named it Pixie.

Over the next several years, Brewer sought out cats with bobbed tails and spots, particularly those rumored to be the products of matings between domestic cats and bobcats. Eventually, she had 23 of these cats, which she used as the foundation for her new breed, named Pixie-bob in honor of her first female. Brewer trademarked the term "legend cats" to describe felines that she believed to be mixes of bobcats and domestic cats. However, DNA testing has not indicated that these cats truly have bobcat genes.

The Pixie-bob breed was accepted into the International Cat Association as a native new breed in 1993 and for championship status in 1997. The breed was accepted by the American Cat Fanciers Association in 2005.

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. However, although TICA standard cites the resemblance to the American bobcat, the founding committee is adamant that no captive American bobcats be used in any breeding program.

Pixie-Bob Care


Pixie-bobs come in longhair and shorthair versions. The shorthair has a thick double coat, while the longhair's coat is up to 2 inches in length with a softer, silkier texture. Both types can shed quite a bit. To keep shedding under control, and prevent mats or hairballs, you should brush your Pixie-bob at least twice weekly, using a rubber or metal brush designed for the length of your cat's fur.

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


The Pixie-bob is described as dog-like in personality. These cats 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. Your Pixie-bob will also appreciate one or more cat trees with plenty of varied-level perches for climbing, leaping, and exploring.

Common Health Problems

Pixie-bobs are actively out-crossed to provide genetic diversity, and they do not seem to have any particular health problems that might arise with inbreeding. They are prone to the usual conditions and diseases that affect any domestic cat, of course.

You should provide the recommended health care for your cat, including immunizations, preventative veterinary treatments, and checkups. Breeders should be able to provide documentation of health checks for their cats.


Much like bobcats, Pixie-bobs have a muscular, rangy appearance with a woolly coat standing up from the body. Their fur is light to medium brown, often with a reddish tint. They are adorned in a signature tabby pattern with a mix of spots and stripes. The spots are especially pronounced on the belly. Their eye color can be golden brown or green, according to the breed standard.

These cats often have lynx-tipped ears and most sport some level of "mutton chop" sideburns. Their tails, as the name implies, are naturally bobbed, with a minimum length of 2 inches, but no longer than the cat's hocks, which are the "knees" of the hind legs.

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. Normally, cats have five toes on each front paw and four toes on each hind paw.

Pixie-bobs shed a fair amount, and they are not a hypoallergenic breed.

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 calorie intake, however.

Pixie-bobs are large 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.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Pixie-Bob

Pixie-bobs are a fairly rare breed, so it is not often that one will end up in a rescue or shelter. Still, it's always worthwhile to check your local rescues in case one turns up. You can also look for Pixie-bob breeders at cat shows, or by searching online for catteries specializing in this breed.

Pixie-Bob Overview

Pixie-bobs look like wildcats, but have good-natured, laid-back personalities. Still, they do enjoy a lot of exercise, play, and affectionate interaction with their humans, as well as with other household pets. These large, short-tailed felines do shed quite a bit, but the grooming requirements are worth it for the fun and enjoyment these unusual cats will bring to your home.

These cats have other unique traits, as well, including their tendency to have extra toes and their preference for trills and chirps, rather than meows.

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

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

  • Highly intelligent, can be leash trained

  • Moderate to heavy shedders

  • Require plenty of exercise and play opportunities

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.

  • Are Pixie-bobs rare?

    This is a fairly rare breed and still quite new. You won't find many Pixie-bobs outside the United States, and you might have to search to find one even within the US. Search online for breeders, or visit cat shows if you hope to buy one of these short-tailed cats.

  • How much does a Pixie-bob cat cost?

    Like many other uncommon but desirable purebred cats, a show-quality Pixie-bob can cost well over $1,000. However, breeders sometimes sell "pet quality" cats for a much lower price.

  • Are Pixie-bob cats really wild bobcats?

    While Pixie-bobs do indeed resemble bobcats, and are rumored to have bobcat genes in their background, DNA testing has not confirmed this to be true. Still, these cats definitely bring a touch of the wild into their homes.