How to Tell a Japanese Bobtail From a Manx Cat

Despite their similarities, the Manx and Japanese bobtail are not related.

Despite their similarities, the Manx and Japanese bobtail are not related.

While the most notable similarity between the Manx and Japanese bobtail is the lack of tail, both breeds have longer-than-normal hind legs. This gives these cats an arched appearance. There are plenty of visual cues that can help you identify your kitty as either a Manx or bobtail.

Check out kitty's tail. Manx cats might have no tail at all and a smooth spine, no tail at all but tail vertebrae that make the area appear bony, a stumpy tail that can be moved or a long tail comparable to that of other cats. Japanese bobtails all have clearly visible tails that appear curly or kinky and extend no more than 3 inches in length.

Look at kitty's frame. Is she round and zaftig? If so, she's a Manx. Manx cats are known for a robust, round frame. In contrast, Japanese bobtails have a leaner, more muscular appearance and can appear taller than the Manx.

Inspect her face for additional clues. Japanese bobtails have visible cheekbones and their heads are shaped like a triangle. The ears and mouth represent the three points of the triangle. Manx have rounded, circular faces. If you're still unsure what type of kitty you've got, the face shape should cinch it.


  • Since both Manx and Japanese bobtails come in shorthaired and longhaired types, hair length will not help you identify kitty's breed.

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