Pixie bob were believed to be bred from ‘naturally-occuring’ mating between the American bobcat and feral domestic cats or barn cats. However, DNA testing has failed to detect bobcat marker genes, and Pixie bobs are considered wholly domestic.
The origin of Pixie bob started when Carol Ann Brewer purchased a unique male cat with a spotted coat, a short tail, and polydactyl paws dated in 1985. A year after, she rescued another male cat named Keba, a large cat with a bobbed tail. The bobcat was believed to weigh 17 pounds and had a height up to Brewer’s knees.
Shortly after, the bobcat mated with a next door neighbor’s brown spotted female cat. Brewer kept one of the female kittens named ‘Pixie’, after a litter was born and after a year, she started a breeding program with Pixie as the foundation cat.
Over the next couple of years, Brewer introduced into her program 23 domestic cats that were believed by her to be born from naturally occurring mating’s between bobcats and domestic cats. She coined the term “Legend Cat” to refer to such cats and has since registered a trademark in the U.S. to limit the term to describe permitted outcrosses used in her breeding program. At the same time, other breeders in the U.S. were working with distinctly wild looking barn cats and collaborated with Brewer to establish a broad genetic base and to develop the foundation of today’s Pixie-bob.
In 1993, Pixie bob was registered as new breed with The International Cat Association (TICA) and eventually the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (ACFA). In 1996, the breed was promoted to “New Breed and Color” and eventually gained Championship status in 1998.
Pixie Bobs are domesticated cats that resemble the North American Bobcat. To be considered a Pixie Bob, it need to be from a lineage back to StoneIsland Pixie. Individuals can be large in size and they have black fur on the bottoms of their feet, black pads, and their ears are tufted and tipped. On top of that, they have black lip and eye skin, but white fur rings the eyes, and is present on the chin.
Often their whiskers are both black and white in colors. Their fur have pattern same as a Bobcat with additional reddish tones. Most are short haired cat, but some are best described as shaggy. Their eyes are triangular shaped under a heavy, prominent brow while their tails range from a non-existent “rumpy” to 2-4 inches in length. Overall the head, which is one of the most important characteristics of the breed, is shaped like a pear. Many are polydactyl which is they prone to have as many as seven toes on one foot.
Pixie Bobs have a double coat varying in length from short to shaggy. It can be mildly coarse, or soft to the touch. The general recommendation is for brushing or combing twice a week to keep dead hair out of the coat. With their dense fur, Pixie Bobs can be subject to matting.
- Weight: 4 to 8 kg
- Coat length: Long and short, double coat
- Amount of shedding: Medium
- Color: Brown
- Pattern: Spotted Tabby
Pixie Bob is an active, social cat with a bold and playful spirit! They like to be in multi-animal households, and express themselves with a range of vocalizations from chirps and chatters to make-believe growls. That not all for these furry breed, Pixie Bobs also love to follow their owners around the house and often give headbutt just to get attention. They like games of fetch, and many are quite agreeable about walking on a leash. The most interesting thing about Pixie Bobs are that their are easily amassing a large vocabulary and are very responsive to verbal commands including reasonably complex phrases.
- Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
- Active: High
- Intelligence: Medium
- Vocalize: Medium
Pixie-bobs are actively out-crossed to provide genetic diversity, and they do not seem to have particular health problems that might arise with inbreeding. They are prone to the usual conditions and diseases that affect any domestic cat. Some conditions that have been observed in Pixie-bobs include:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: Heart muscle hardening
- Cryptorchidism: Undescended testicles
- Dystocia: A difficulty in delivering litters
- Cystic endometrial hyperplasia: A thickening of a layer of the uterus
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