The Pixiebob may look like a wild bobcat. But these cats are easy-going, social, and devoted to their human families.
Visually similar to the North American Bobcat, Pixiebobs have large, rectangular bodies, long, heavy limbs, and short tails. Some have lynx tips on their ears—giving them an even more convincing bobcat appearance.
Coat and Coloring
Pixiebobs may have long or short coats. The longhair's soft fur grows up to two inches long. Both versions have thick double coats with a wooly texture and a brown-spotted tabby coloring, which ranges from tawny to reddish-brown.
Distinctive Physical Traits
The Pixiebob's tail is always at least two inches long (but may extend to the hock), carried low, and often kinked or knotted. Other key features include an inverted pear-shaped head, broad muzzle, and heavily hooded, deep-set eyes. The Pixiebob is also the only breed whose standard allows for extra toes (known as polydactyly).
Pixiebobs form strong bonds with their humans (including kids) and get along with other pets. They are fearless, devoted cats that want to be included in all family activities. But they have a laid-back nature and aren't overly demanding. When they have something they want someone to know, they communicate using a series of chirps and chitters.
This active, intelligent breed can easily learn to fetch and loves to play with other animals and toys. Pixiebobs can even adapt to walking on a leash—allowing them to participate in family outings.
Carol Ann Brewer founded the Pixiebob breed in the late 1980s in the Pacific Northwest. Her inspiration came from two cats she acquired: a polydactyl spotted male with a short tail and a tall, classic-patterned male that also had a short tail. When the latter mated with a neighborhood domestic cat and produced a litter, Carol kept one of the resulting kittens—a spotted, wild-looking female named Pixie.
Wanting to create more cats like Pixie, Carol began a breeding program. Over the years, she successfully developed cats with a native bobcat's appearance and a domestic cat's personality. Carol named the breed Pixiebob (after her beloved pet) and documented a breed standard.
In 1993, Carol sought recognition from TICA for the Pixiebob. TICA accepted the breed for Exhibition status in 1994 and granted them Championship status in 1998.
Pixiebobs require a high-quality diet. Because nutritional needs vary for kittens, adults, and senior cats, opt for a formula that's age-appropriate for your pet.
All cats are at risk of obesity if they overeat. One easy way to avoid overfeeding is to measure out meals and reduce portions if necessary. And be sure to account for treats. As a guideline, they should make up no more than 10% of a cat's calories.
Lastly, all cats need access to fresh, clean water around the clock.
Pixiebob coats are relatively low maintenance, regardless of length. Weekly brushing is typically enough to remove dirt and loose fur and keep your cat looking their best. During periods of seasonal shedding, more frequent brushing may be necessary.
Your cat's grooming routine should also include regular ear cleanings—to remove wax build-up and debris—and monthly nail trims. Long nails are more likely to snag on something and become torn or damaged. They can even grow into your cat's paw pads, leading to pain or infection. In addition to clipping, providing a scratching post will allow your cat to do some nail maintenance themselves (thanks to their instinct to scratch).
And don't forget those teeth. Good dental hygiene—including daily at-home teeth brushing and professional cleanings and exams—is essential to a Pixiebob's overall health.
Roughly one out of every three cats in the United States is overweight or obese. And those extra pounds can contribute to other health risks—such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems. Your veterinarian is the best resource for tips on managing your cat's weight.
The largest of breed groups, the Western Group is mainly comprised of cats developed in Europe and the Americas. Due to the complexity of feline genetic diversity, however, cat breeds from other regions may also be found associated with this group.
Reviewed February 23, 2021 by Laura Inman, DVM