Although the Pixiebob looks much like a wild bobcat, this breed with the adorable name is as friendly and loving as a cat can be. These cats make wonderful companions for feline lovers who want a big easy-going companion with "dog-like" qualities.
Pixiebob Cat Origins
The Pixiebob is rumored to have begun in 1986 when a barn cat in Washington state mated with a wild Coastal Red Bobcat, producing a kitten with the bobbed tail and spotted pattern of a bobcat. However, DNA testing of the breed indicates that there is no wild cat in the breed and it's believed the sire was a polydactyl tabby male with a short tail. The kitten, named Pixie by her owner, breeder Carol Ann Brewer, was used to develop the breed by mating with other naturally bobtailed cats. The breed was accepted for championship status by The International Cat Association in 1998.
Pixiebob Physical Characteristics
The Pixiebob looks strikingly like a wild bobcat despite the fact that they are not hybrids. They are big cats, weighing as much as 14 pounds with females and 18 pounds with males. They are thick, heavyset cats with a muscular body, broad chest, full chin and hooded eyes that give them a sleepy, relaxed look. Their back legs are also longer than the front legs and this causes them to walk much like a wild cat. The breed can come with a bobbed, short or long tail, although long-tailed cats often have their tails docked by breeders. Polydactylism is very common with the breed, and in fact are the only breed with this trait recognized by The International Cat Association which allows up to seven toes per paw. Their eyes are either green, gold or a golden-brown color. The Pixiebob is also a slow maturing breed, with females reaching full maturity around four years of age and males around five years.
Caring for the Pixiebob Coat
The Pixiebob comes in both a short and long-hair variety. Their coat color is a brown tabby pattern that can be various shades of light brown to reddish-brown. They may also have some silvery to black ticking on their fur. Their tabby markings will either be spotted, rosettes or the classic or mackerel patterns. Their coats will be black around the paw pads and tip of the tail and ears. They also will have white fur on their chins and a white or creamy white color around the eyes. The short-haired Pixiebobs have a thick, double woolly coat while the less common long-haired cats have lighter, silkier fur. They also have tufts of hair at the base of their ears and on the tips, as well as extra facial hair like a Bobcat. The Pixiebob is a low maintenance cat and the grooming regimen for both the short-hair and long-hair cats include just a weekly brushing, ear cleaning and nail trimming.
Personality of the Pixiebob Cat
The Pixiebob is often described as "dog-like" because they have a relaxed temperament and are friendly to everyone they meet. These cats can easily learn to walk on a leash and appear to enjoy going on walks around the neighborhood. Pixiebobs are also known for actually loving playing in water which is unusual for a cat breed. They're very smart and are a great cat choice for teaching tricks with a clicker. Their intelligence would also be served well by providing them with lots of interactive cat toys and cat trees with a window view. They enjoy playing with children and do well with other cats and dogs in the home. They may not do well with smaller pets and birds as they are excellent hunters with a strong prey drive. The Pixiebob is also known for being a cat who will regularly "talk" to you using chirps, chatters, growls, and other noises, though they are not a loud breed at all. Overall this is a cat that loves its people and is affectionate, but will want to hang out with you and interact more than just being a lap cat.
Pixiebob Health Concerns
The Pixiebob has an average lifespan of about 13 years. They are a generally healthy, sturdy cat with a few medical conditions common to the breed:
- Dystocia is a problem that occurs during birth which can make labor particularly painful and even result in fetal malformation or loss of the kittens entirely.
- Cryptorchidism occurs when one or both of a male cat's testicles do not descend and may require neutering surgery to correct.
- Cystic endometrial hyperplasia involves cysts in a cat's uterus that become filled with pus and can be potentially life threatening if not treated right away.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition with a cat's heart muscles that can be mild through severe depending on the individual cat.
- Obesity is a common problem with these cats as they are naturally large and sometimes owners can overfeed them without understanding what a healthy weight for a cat truly is.
Getting a Pixiebob Kitten
Since the Pixiebob is still a fairly new breed, finding a purebred kitten will take time and effort. You can expect to pay around $500 to $1,500 for a kitten although a show quality kitten may be as high as $5,000. You can start a search for kittens by looking up breeders on The International Cat Association website. Because of the rarity of the breed, finding a Pixiebob in rescue will be difficult, although you may find breeders who know of older cats that need to be rehomed.
Is the Pixiebob the Right Cat For You?
The Pixiebob is a unique cat in that it truly looks like a hybrid breed, though it's not. Their "wild" looks are nothing like their personality, which is generally described as laid back, easygoing, friendly and loving. These cats are an excellent choice for a family with children who want a feline friend who enjoys going out on walks and hanging out with his family and is low maintenance. They are hard to find though, being a newer breed, so if you have your heart set on a Pixiebob be prepared to do some work to find one and be ready for the additional expense of getting a purebred kitten.