The origin of the Pixie-Bob is shrouded in legend and mystery. It is most commonly claimed to be a natural breed that came about from a cross between a domestic cat and a bobcat. The event took place in the 1985s when Carol Ann Brewer of StoneIsland Cattery, Washington, purchased a large barn cat with a bobbed tail and an extra toe. The cat mated with the neighbor’s wild-looking spotted female cat and produced an offspring which started the development of the Pixie-Bob. Brewer kept one of the kittens from the litter and named it Pixie. Pixie possessed a wild look with its muted spotting on a reddish-fawn coat. Almost 50 percent of Pixie-bobs are polydactyl, that is, having extra toes. Besides inheriting the polydactyl trait from the first member of the breed, the Pixie-bob has also inherited the love for water. Brewer realized the uniqueness in the breed and set about drafting its standards and in getting it to be formally recognized by cat registries. The breed finally received recognition by The International Cat Association (TICA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA). Breeders are still working to get it to be accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
Physical appearance and attributes
The Pixie-Bob is a medium – large sized cat that can weigh between 12 – 18 pounds. It possesses a well-muscled body that is substantial, heavily boned and of a great depth. This body type is contributed by a broad and well-developed chest as well as prominent shoulders that produce a gait. There is a dip in the back curvature from behind the shoulders, before the line presents a slight upward slope towards the hips. This curved line shows the medium-width hips to be slightly higher than the shoulders. Pixie-Bob has deep and powerful flanks and interestingly, it carries a primordial pouch. This feature is normally seen in wild cats and allows flexibility in the stomach to store food after a large kill. Equally well-muscled and heavily-boned are its long legs that extend well into large paws. The paws possess big knuckles and fleshy toes and might be polydactyl. Balancing the body is one of its characteristic features, the bobbed tail, which ranges anywhere from 1 – 6 inches and is carried low when relaxed.
The shape of its medium – large head is of an inverted wide pear shape. Contours are shaped by a broad muzzle that comes with fleshy whisker pads, producing a definite break; as well as a well-developed chin. The nose is wide and when viewed in profile, a slight convex angle is presented near the eye level from the forehead down to the tip of the nose. Set atop the head is a pair of medium sized ears that are broad at the base, tapering to slightly rounded tips. They are set with a slight outward tilt and may be furnished with tufts that produce the lynx tips. Eyes of Pixie-bob are medium in size and should be one-eye width apart. They are heavily hooded with bushy brows, making the cat appear half asleep if not a sombre. The eyes are also donned with mascara lines followed by an outer band of cream of white that surrounds the eyes. Eye colors range from gold to brown, and while gooseberry green is acceptable, it is usually not preferred.
This breed can come in either the longhair or Shorthair variety. The Shorthair variety carries a coat of soft, wooly and resilient hair that appears to stand off from the body. The hair around the belly area is denser and longer than the rest of the coat. Pixie-bob of the longhair variety has a coat of hair that is less than two inches long. It is soft and it lies closer to the body than the shorter variety. Similar to the Shorthair variety, the hair around the belly area is denser and longer than the rest of the coat. Both varieties sport a thick double coat as well as facial hair that is full and brushy in appearance. The coat can come in light to medium shades of tawny to ruddy brown color. Patterns such as mackerel spotting and small spots are usually muted by the heavy ticking of the coat.
Personality and temperaments
The wild look of the Pixie-bob does not reflect its loving, good-natured and trustworthy personality. While personality and temperament may vary among individual cats, Pixie-Bob generally carries dog-like qualities. It is highly intelligent and people-oriented; capable of acquiring tricks, manipulating puzzle toys and forming strong bonds with family members. Its affections are reflected in following family members around the home as well as welcoming them at the door. It does not have a loud voice and is not overly possessive since it retains its sense of independence. It is also sturdy and active enough to be a good playmate with children and other cat-friendly pets as long as they know how to treat one another with respect and gentleness.
Care and health issues
Pixie-Bob is a generally hearty cat with no known health issues specific to the breed. An annual health check and routine health care should help to maintain its overall good health. It is also important to ensure that it has undergone basic health checks by responsible and qualified breeders before purchasing the cat.
Shorthair Pixie-Bob requires minimal grooming, a weekly brush out should suffice to maintain the health of its coat. Its polydactyl paws would require attention as the nails tend to be overgrown, thus, a bi-weekly trimming would be necessary. Other basic care should extend to regular teeth brushing with vet-approved toothpaste as well as ear checks for infections.
The ideal home
This breed is suited for most types of household. It would, however require love, attention and plenty of activities. If it is allowed into outdoor spaces, make sure the spaces are safe and escape-proof. Create an indoor adventure space equipped with the necessary cat toys, gym sets and scratching poles to prevent boredom. Whether the Pixie-bob is hanging out with you on the water or at home, the family is likely to enjoy this social feline for a long time. It may look fierce, but in a happy family, the charismatic Pixie-Bob is as loyal as a dog.