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Pixiebob

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Pixiebob

Description

The Pixiebob cat is domestic breed who resembles the bobcat but has a loving, friendly nature. This medium to large, well-muscled body is heavily boned, substantial and has great depth, with a broad, well-developed chest. The prominent shoulder blades produce a rolling gait.

The back of this cat has a dip behind the shoulders with a slight upward slope as the back approaches toward the hips. The hips are medium width, prominent and slightly higher than the shoulders. The flanks are deep and powerful, and both males and females have a belly pouch.

The legs are long, with heavy boning and musculature. The feet must appear sound and are large, long and wide, almost round, with big knuckles and fleshy toes. Polydactyly is allowed, with seven toes maximum per paw. The legs and wrists must be straight when viewed from the front. All toes must point forward and rest on the floor. Adult males weigh from 12 to 18 pounds; adult females weigh from 8 to 15 pounds. There are no allowable outcrosses.

The ideal tail should be articulated, but Kinks and curls are accepted. Minimum length is two inches, while the maximum is the length of the hock when the hind leg is fully extended. The tail is carried low when relaxed. The tails are not consistent, however; they range from extremely short to ordinary length. Pixiebobs with docked tails cannot be shown for championship.

The unique medium to large head is an inverted wide pear shape. The muzzle is broad, with a definite break and fleshy whisker pads. The area of the nose, muzzle and chin is described as a soft-sided diamond from the chin to the bridge of the nose and is considered important to the Pixiebob look. The nose is wide, slightly convex, with large nose leather nose leather. The medium-tall ears are wide and deep at the base and are set on the side as much as on top of the head, with a slight outward tilt. They are rounded at the tips, with lynx tips lynx tips preferred. The deep-set medium-sized eyes should be one eye-width apart and heavily hooded with bushy brows, which give the appearance that the cat is half asleep or has partially closed eyes. A band of cream or white surrounds the eye, with mascara lines mascara lines from the corner of the eyes downward to the cheeks. Eye colors are gold to brown; gooseberry green is acceptable but not preferred.

The Pixiebob comes in both longhair and shorthair varieties. The coat of the shorthair is soft, wooly, resilient to the touch and stands up off the body. The belly hair is dense and longer than the rest of the coat. The coat of the longhair is less than two inches long. It is semi-dense with belly hair longer than the rest of the coat. It is soft and lies closer to the body than the shorthair’s coat. For both long and short hair types, the facial hair is full and brushy in appearance with a downward growth pattern and heavy fur above the eyes. Both coat types are weather-resistant. Light to medium shades of brown spotted tabby with warm, reddish tones are preferred; muted broken mackerel spotting is accepted. Small spots with or without rosettes are muted by the heavy ticking. The broken mackerel tabby pattern is allowed, but random spotting is preferred. The belly is spotted. Pattern is secondary to correct type.

History

Many conflicting stories exist about the origin of this breed. The most commonly told tale is that the Pixiebob traces its roots to American bobcat and random-bred domestic cat hybrids, frequently called Legend Cats because the bobcat-domestic cat matings apparently were not documented or proven. While domestic cats have been known to mate with small, closely related feilds (the Bengal was created that way), establishing a new breed this way is less likely in the wild because first and second generation males from such matings are almost always sterile. Felids also generally stick to their own species unless they have limited mating opportunities. The Bengal, for example, was created when a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat were put in the same cage.

Another story claims the breed was bred from domestic cats with a feral look to resemble the bobcat, the same way the Ocicat was bred from domestic cats to resemble a small spotted wildcat.

Whatever the truth is, fancier Carol Ann Brewer is credited with the creation of the Pixiebob breed. In 1985 she acquired two cats whom she believed to be bobcat-domestic cat hybrids, and bred them to create the first Pixiebob. This first female was named Pixie and had a bobbed tail, hence the breed’s name. Pixie was the foundation female of the breed.

When Pixiebob fanciers began seeking association acceptance for the breed, they realized how difficult it would be to register a wildcat hybrid (CFA doesn’t accept any breeds with wildcat blood, not even the popular Bengal).  In 1994 the breed was registered with TICA as a purely domestic breed and subsequent DNA testing for wild genes revealed that the cats tested possessed none. Despite the stories and insistence by some breeders that the breed was part bobcat, the original cats were apparently short-tailed domestic cats. The stated goal of the Pixiebob breeding program, according to the CCA and TICA breed standards, is to create a domestic cat that looks like the North American bobcat. However, some associations were not convinced; in 2005 CFA rejected the Pixiebob’s application for registration “due to evidence of wild blood”; the breed still has not gained recognition with that association.

While some fanciers still believe the breed has bobcat ancestors, others think it’s more likely the breed simply has a tail mutation that causes it to be bobbed. Unlike bobcats, Pixiebobs can have tails of varying lengths, and some have ordinary long tails. Breeders say the tail is unlike the Manx tail types—Pixiebobs are not born completely tailless like the Manx, although rarely a tail will be so short that the cat appears tailless. Some breeders dock the tails of long-tailed Pixiebobs to make the cats easier to sell, since few prospective owners want ordinary tails on a breed characterized by its bobbed tail.

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