Pixie-Bob Cat

Pixie bob cat breed
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The origins of the Pixie-bob cat are clouded in mystery. Although there is no verifiable proof, they are thought to be "legend cats," meaning that they stem from naturally-occurring matings between the American bobcat and feral domestic cats or barn cats. They are large and sturdy and have the appearance of bobcats. Legally, they are domestic cats and their ownership is not restricted. They are beautiful and make good companions for almost any type of household.

Breed Overview

Size: Females 8 to 12 pounds, males 12 to 17 pounds, but up to 25 pounds

Coat and Color: Longhair and shorthair double coats in all shades of brown spotted tabby

Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

Characteristics of the Pixie-Bob Cat

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

History of the Pixie-Bob Cat

The Pixie-bob breed was accepted into The International Cat Association (TICA) as "new breed and color" in 1995, and for Championship status in 1997. Although the TICA standard cites the resemblance to the American bobcat, the founding committee is adamant that no captive American bobcats be used in a breeding program. Brewer insists that only legend cats can be legitimately used in breeding Pixie-bobs. The breed was accepted by the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) in 2005.

To reinforce those opinions, the TICA designation of the Pixie-bob as a "native new breed" carries this definition: "A new breed which has been identified through selection of phenotypically similar individuals from a naturally occurring population indigenous to a particular geographic region."

To further enforce those goals, the founder has originated the F.T.L.O.P. (For the Love of Pixie) organization, which requires certain standards for breeders to join, including having at least one "Blue List" cat (cats with lineage directly traceable to the original Pixie).

Pixie-bobs resemble bobcats in many ways. 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 lynx-tipped ears. The tail is short, a minimum of two inches, and is carried low. The Pixie-bob is one of the few breeds that allows polydactyl toes in its standards, with a maximum of seven toes. Their eye color can be golden brown or gooseberry green, according to the TICA standard.

Pixie-bobs are not included in restrictions on exotic cats. Legally, they are domestic cats. There are reports that DNA analysis doesn't show bobcat markers in this breed.

Pixie-Bob Cat Care

Pixie-bobs come in longhair and shorthair versions. The shorthair has a thick double coat, while the longhairs coat is medium up to two inches in length with a softer, silky texture. Some Pixie-bobs have lynx tips on their ears, much like the bobcat they are bred to resemble. 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. 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. Be sure to provide plenty of interactive cat toys and spend time playing with your cat to keep him exercised and mentally stimulated.

They are known for getting along well with both children and other pets. They are sturdy enough 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 happy to be part of a multi-pet family with cat-friendly dogs. Of course, you should monitor any cat around pet rodents, birds, or fish lest their natural hunting instincts kick in. 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. There are some cases reported of cryptorchidism and difficulting in delivering litters. They are prone to the usual conditions and diseases that affect any domestic cat.

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. Research your options to decide what you think is right for your cat. 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.

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

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