The Pixie-Bob is an exciting breed of domestic cat that closely resembles the wild bobcat, but has no actual bobcat blood in its lineage. For the purposes of ownership, cat registration, import and export, this cat is considered to be a totally domestic breed.
Originating in the Pacific Northwest, the Pixie-Bob is a muscular, brawny cat bred to resemble the wild Coastal Red Bobcat which is found in the mountainous region near the coast. It is the only breed in which polydactyls (cats with extra toes) are accepted for showing.
These highly intelligent cats may look a little wild, but they have the loving personality of a typical housecat. Often called “dogs in disguise,” the affectionate Pixie-Bob is devoted to its family and can easily be taught to walk on a leash and harness, allowing it to go along on family outings.
Pixie-Bobs are high-spirited, extroverted cats who enjoy playing with other animals. Almost all Pixie- Bob cats prefer to be in the same room as their owners, tagging along after them as they move around the house. They are also known for their "chirps,” chatters, and growls. Most don't meow very often, and some don't meow at all. They are also capable of understanding some human words and phrases.
In the spring of 1985, Carol Ann Brewer, of Stone Island, Washington, purchased a polydactyl spotted male kitten with a short tail from a couple in the foothills of the Cascade Range. In January of 1986, she rescued a classic patterned male with a short tail who stood as tall as her knees, and named him Keba.
In January of 1986, she rescued another male cat. This cat was very large, had a bobbed tail, and although starving, still weighed seventeen pounds. It was also so tall that it reached up to Brewer’s knees. This male cat mated with a neighbor's domestic female named Maggie who delivered a litter of kittens in April 1986. Carol Ann took one of the female kittens, which had muted spotting on a reddishfawn coat, and a wild “bobcattish” look, and named her “Pixie.”
By 1987, Carol Ann realized that these bobtailed cats had a really distinctive appearance, and she began looking for more cats with this look. She was also concerned about what would happen if she lost Pixie, and decided to create more cats that looked like her. In 1989, she documented a standard that represented the traits that were consistently being reproduced, and named the fledgling breed “Pixie-Bob,” in memory of her original Pixie.
In 1993, Carol Ann approached TICA to begin the process of recognition for these unique cats, and in 1994 TICA accepted the Pixie-Bob cat for Exhibition Status. The new breed was granted championship status beginning with the 1998 show season. “Silversprings Zeus” was the first Pixie-Bob to attain an International Award.
It is not presently known what genetic similarity there may or may not be between the Pixie-Bob cat and other breeds with suppression of the tail, such as the Manx, American Bobtail, and Japanese Bobtail.
Pixie-Bob kittens are born in both long-haired and short-haired versions. The breed has a thick double coat with a woolly texture that projects away from the body, giving it a padded feel when petted. Long-hairs have a medium coat of up to two inches, with a soft, silky texture. Like the wild bobcat they are bred to resemble, some Pixie-Bob cats have lynx tips on their ears. Their facial hair grows downward, giving them the appearance of having a man's muttonchop sideburns.
The ideal Pixie-Bob cat is a brown spotted tabby ranging in shade from tawny to a reddish-brown. The spots are small, muted by heavy ticking which is heavier in the winter months. Their eye color can be golden-brown or gooseberry-green. These medium to large cats have prominent bones, and muscular, rangy bodies that give them a rolling gait like a wild cat. They have long heavy legs, with hind legs that are slightly longer than those in the front. Their big paws have long, thick toes.
Males weigh between twelve and twenty-two pounds, while the slightly smaller females range from eight to fifteen pounds. Their faces are similar to the wild bobcat, with the shape of an inverted pear, and a thick fleshy chin. They also have heavy brows over medium-sized, soft, triangular eyes.
The minimum tail length for a show-quality Pixie-Bob cat is two inches, but some cats will have tails shorter or longer than this. The original “Pixie” had a long tail. The tail is frequently kinked or knotted, but should be completely flexible and move naturally.
Cats normally have five toes on their front paws and four on the back. Polydactyl cat toes exceed the norm. They may have more on one foot than on the others, and the extra toes tend to appear primarily on the front feet. The Pixie-Bob is the only cat allowed by the breeder organizations to have polydactyl feet, with the maximum number of toes allowed being seven.
Some owners report that the Pixie-Bob cat is very dog-like in its behavior, especially in its tendency to attach itself to one family member more than to others, and to follow that person around the house from room to room. They love to travel in the car and have even been known to growl when strange cars come up the driveway, just as dogs do.
One owner confirmed that they are highly intelligent, quick learners, with a mischievous streak, and a bold, lively, inquisitive and active nature right through to old age. They love to get up to the highest places in the house, and like many other pure-bred cats, have a great fascination with water. This is manifested by intense interest in watching it, playing with it, and even dumping their toys in their water bowls.
All Pixie-Bobs are consistently vocal, generally making an interesting range of noises.
Very slow to mature, a Pixie-Bob cat will need a full four years to fully develop. Normally, a litter is comprised of three or four kittens. A kitten may undergo a sudden growth-spurt at any time during those four years. The Pixie-Bob cat is generally extremely healthy, with no genetic tendency toward any particular diseases. They are easy to groom and care for, and just seem to be an all-around wonderful breed of cat!
Almost 30 years ago, a kind-hearted woman named Carol Ann Brewer acquired an unusual cat. It was believed to be the product of a natural mating between a wild bobcat from the mountainous region of Washington state and a domestic feline. Inspired by the cat’s exotic look, Carol Ann spent the rest of her life developing a breed of cat with a Bobcat’s physical characteristics but offering a wonderful range of traits from kittens with “stories,” also known as Legend Cats™. One such cat was “Ol’ Stumpie” who (supposedly) “came down the mountain in the spring…” Meet the Pixie-Bob.
Despite its wild look, today’s DNA testing has confirmed that no wild genes are present in this breed. In fact, this cat behaves more like a docile domestic pet ironically with many of the qualities we love about our favorite most intelligent and well-behaved dogs. In fact, Carol Ann used to joke that these cats were part monkey! A pet of many talents, the Pixie-Bob is smart enough to learn to walk cooperatively on a leash and harness, play fetch, and recognize a range of human commands. They’ve been known to play hide & seek, as well as join their owners in the tub or shower. Most people are surprised to learn that Pixie-Bobs actually enjoy riding in the car! But unlike the wild bobcat who is shy around people, the very alert Pixie-Bob is extremely relaxed in the home, interested in participating in every activity and is equally amicable to both family and strangers as well as other household animals. A child’s loyal companion and treasured soul mate, it is full of playful energy to entertain without limit. With lynx-tipped ears, the occasional manifestation of polydactyl toes and a short bobbed tail, this adorable cat fulfills any cat lover’s wildest dreams. Its brown spotted coat includes a muted pattern of ticking also reminiscent of its legendary wild roots. Considered a quiet cat who purrs loudly, it will intersperse its meows with chirping, chattering or sometimes growling in its short conversations with you. Built with heavy muscular limbs, its hind legs are often longer than the front with large paws which sometimes include extra toes. Addressing this rare distinction, The International Cat Association (TICA) which recognized the Pixie-Bob for championship status in 1998, has allowed within this cat’s standard the unusual trait of polydactylism, up to a maximum of 7 toes per foot
One of today’s most celebrated breeders of the Pixie-Bob is Shari Fedewa of Living Legend Cattery. Shari was fortunate to be mentored by her late close friend Carol Ann Brewer, whose valuable advice has influenced the Pixie-Bobs that Shari offers today. With a long history of home-bred champions, she has exhibited many from her TICA “Outstanding" Cattery. Some of these have reached the pinnacle of all championships, Supreme Grand Champion. Besides being featured on Animal Planet, within many magazines and numerous TV Presentations, Shari’s Pixie-Bobs have repeatedly earned a full range of prestigious awards including “Best of Breed” Pixie-Bobs in not only the Southeast region of the United States but recently and more significantly, the entire world! Kind enough to share a selection of photos of her cats for this post, Shari invites you to learn more about her Pixie-Bobs at http://www.floridapixiebobs.com. You may also visit https://www.pets4you.com/pixie-bob.html.
Photo Courtesy of Living Legend Pixie Bobs