Mekong Bobtail: Royal Cats with a Noble Heart

Close-up image of a Mekong Bobtail kitten
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

Cats come in different shapes, sizes, colors, physical characteristics, and of course, backgrounds. Some cat breeds exist because professional breeders actively created them through intricate steps of experimental mating, whereas other breeds came about naturally. Most natural breeds were first domesticated by farmers or merchants because they needed someone to keep watch over their storage of food, but the Mekong Bobtail is different. These cats were kept as royal company in their home country of Thailand.

You’d expect a royal cat to be pretentious and demanding, but that’s not the case with the Mekong Bobtail at all. These cats are famous for being loyal, intelligent, and very energetic. They may have come from a royal bloodline, but they do not let that fact cloud their noble heart. These cats were so brave that they often played a big role in safeguarding royal treasuries. Whoever’s heard of a guard cat?

Studio image of a Mekong_Bobtail cat sitting

With that being said, this article will go ahead to provide in-depth information regarding the Mekong Bobtail. We will help you decide whether you should adopt a cat of this breed or not by elaborating on their history, personality, and overall health. We will also explain how to care for one properly should you decide to adopt a prince/princess into your household.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: High

  • Grooming: Low Maintenance

  • Health: Very Good

  • All Around Friendliness: Good

  • Exercise Needs: Above Average

Cat Breed GroupShort-Haired, Natural Breed
Weight8 - 10 lbs
Life Span15 - 18 years

According to history, the Mekong Bobtail was among the 200 royal cats that were gifted by the King of Thailand to Nicholas II in the late 19th century. These cats have a short coat that resembles the Siamese and a bobtail that is quite similar to that of the Manx.

On top of having unique physical traits, the Mekong Bobtail is hailed as one of the most loyal, affectionate, active, and intelligent cat breeds. Their intelligence makes them highly trainable while their loyalty makes them one of the few breeds that possess similar characteristics to that of dogs.

Mekong Bobtail cat walking on a roof

When it comes to body shape, the Mekong Bobtail has a rectangular, medium-sized body with good muscle tone. The coat is very short and glossy. The legs are quite slender with the rear ones being longer than the front ones.

Due to the nature of their coat, this cat doesn’t require much grooming. You will need to brush their coat only once or twice a week while checking for fleas and ticksAs compared to other cats, the Mekong Bobtail is not territorial. This characteristic makes them a peaceful creature that thrives on human companionship. This cat enjoys playing with both other felines and canines. They like gazing long and deep into a human’s eyes to convey their love.

Main Highlights

  • The Mekong Bobtail is a medium-sized cat that originated in Thailand along the Mekong River.

  • Hailed for their loyalty, the Mekong Bobtail was often gifted to noblemen as a symbol of good relations during the 19th century.

  • Quite similar to the Siamese, this cat has an athletic, slender body with blue ovular eyes, medium-sized erect ears, a darkly-shaded nose, and longer rear legs that give them a hunched-over impression.

  • Since they are a descendant of the Siamese, these cats are prone to common health complaints that include mammary tumors, several eye disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders.

  • The Mekong Bobtail is an amiable cat with an easy temperament—making them a loyal and affectionate feline. This cat is extremely harmless and very gentle to their owners, children, and everyone who gives them full attention.

  • Due to their great intelligence, the Mekong Bobtail is highly trainable and perfect for people who want to walk their cat on a leash.

  • Due to their bravery, this cat was believed to guard the palace and the treasure room against attempted robberies.

  • This cat is healthy and very energetic. Adults have a maximum weight of 8 to 10 pounds with a life expectancy of 15 to 18 years.

Breed History

The Mekong Bobtail is one of the few natural-bred cats that still exist today. They have a rich history. Believed to be a descendant of the Siamese, this cat derived their name from the Mekong River in Thailand.

The breed is widely spread across the Southeast of Asia, Iraqi, Mongolia, Vietnam, and China. Later on, they found their way to Russia where they were used as an experimental breed.

A Mekong Bobtail kitten sitting

During the 19th century, the King of Siam (modern day Thailand) gifted the Tsar of Russia—Nicholas II—with about 200 kitties. The majority of these kitties had short tails as well as other characteristics that resembled those of Mekong Bobtail cats.

Since the experimental breeding procedures in Russia came about with little success, little was known about this cat until a famous actor, Michael Gluzskomu, imported one from Southeast Asia. The cat was healthy and very active and went on to live to a ripe age of 20 years.


The Mekong Bobtail is a medium-sized cat with a rectangular body and slender legs. Quite different from other breeds, this cat is more muscular than slender and has longer rear legs with rounded paws. Adult Mekong Bobtail cats have an average weight of 8 to 10 lbs. The eyes are usually blue. Besides having a dark-shaded muzzle and paws, the Mekong Bobtail has a unique tail that’s short and features twisted hairs right from the base.

A A Mekong Bobtail kitten sitting on a bench

When it comes to life expectancy, Mekong Bobtail cats have an average lifespan of between 15 and18 years. Moving back in history, you’ll find that Michael Gluzskomu’s cat was even able to live for 20 years. Provided extreme care is taken in relation to feeding and grooming, your Mekong Bobtail will be able to keep you company for many years.

Personality and Character

Are you looking for a gentle, friendly, and very intelligent cat? Well, the Mekong Bobtail is the perfect fit for you. Some pet owners have gone so far as to call this cat “a friendly feline with an equilibrated character.”

Earlier on, we mentioned that this cat was stationed to guard the treasuries and the palace against any unwanted trespassers. Unlike most other felines, this cat possesses a unique, inquisitive characteristic that’s very much like canines. They will follow their owner almost everywhere both in and out of the premises. Their muscular legs are a testament to how energetic these cats are. They enjoy playing both indoors and outdoors—either with kids or with the available cat toys.

Mekong bobtail kitten sitting

Finally, the Mekong Bobtail is a gentle cat that’s slow to anger, but when they are angered, they are more likely to bite than scratch. This cat demands attention when not given any and can be quite vocal. They are hailed by most pet parents as a loyal cat that brings in good fortune.

Health and Potential Problems

The Mekong Bobtail is believed to be a very strong cat with good health and resilience. Although this might be the case, it is believed that the majority of the cat breeds derived from the Siamese are prone to certain types of health issues such as eye disorders, mammary tumors, neoplasm, tapeworms, feline lower urinary tract diseases, and gastrointestinal conditions.

  • Eye Disorder: The Mekong Bobtail may often be affected by eye distress, eye discharge, redness around the eyes, or perhaps even a change in eye color. In case you notice any of these signs, it’s important that you consult your local vet immediately. Also, pet parents are advised to take a closer look at their felines’ eyes to ensure that they’re clear and in good condition at all times.

  • Mammary Tumors: This condition is often malignant and tends to spread pretty quickly if not diagnosed early enough. Just like how breast tumors affect humans, small lumps will be visible in your cat’s mammary glands. Common symptoms include excessive licking of the mammary glands and strong odors especially as the condition gets worse. Common treatments may include surgery. Prevention can be achieved by spaying the cat before they are 6 months old.

  • Neoplasm: Also known as Neoplasia, this condition involves abnormal growth caused by uncontrolled cells division. According to most vets, this condition may either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Symptoms and effects include poor kidney functions, abnormal swelling, weight loss caused by difficulty in eating, difficulty breathing, loss of stamina, and offensive odor.

  • Tapeworms: Tapeworms can turn fatal if not treated on time and can result in a medical condition known as cestodiasis. This condition may result in itching around the anus. You’ll notice your cat biting or licking the anus as well as white-colored sediments both on the skin and the feces. Common treatments of tapeworms include injection or oral medication to flush the worms out of the intestines entirely.

  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease: Also known as the feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), this infection is very common in most cat breeds, and it involves an inflammation of the ladder. This disease is very serious and shouldn’t be ignored at all costs. Since it affects the bladder, common symptoms you’ll notice include pain while urinating, traces of blood in the urine, frequent licking of the genitals, and straining while urinating.

  • Gastrointestinal Conditions: Another common health problem with most Mekong Bobtails is the digestive disorder. This condition affects a cat’s stomach—making it hard to absorb food—leading to pain and distress. Some cats may get over it within a few days, but there are other breeds that experience this problem permanently or long-term. Common signs of this condition include vomiting, flatulence, weakness, diarrhea, and constipation. Since this condition is food-based, your vet will recommend feeding your cat with highly digestible foods with moderate fiber and fat contents to stop the irritation and sensitivity in the stomach and the intestines.

Care Features

The Mekong Bobtail does not require any special care. The cat is naturally clean, and due to their short hair, pet parents only need to brush the cat’s coat once or twice a week to remove dead hair. Also, make sure to trim the claws if they’re overgrown and finally wipe the inside of the ears with a cloth or a cotton ball moistened with the best feline ear treatment.

Mekong Bobtail cat sitting on a table

Finally, the Mekong Bobtail is a peaceful and affectionate cat that enjoys playing with almost anyone including other pets within the vicinity. They are quite energetic. Therefore, including several cat toys such as cat trees will be the best approach as it will keep your cat occupied and in good health.

Feeding Schedule

Mekong Bobtails are picky eaters and may become difficult to feed if you’re not familiar with their nutritional needs. Similar to wild cats, pet parents are not supposed to feed their Mekong Bobtail with carbohydrates. This is because such foods can cause extreme obesity problems to your cat or digestive disorder if you’re unlucky.

Mekong Bobtail lying down

Knowing that, it’s advisable that you feed your Mekong Bobtail with meals full of animal-based proteins. If you’re buying commercial cat food, always consider foods formulated from premium meat products. Always check if the foods satisfy the dietary requirements of your cat and that they meet the guidelines set by the American Association of Food Control Officials (AAFCO).

Coat, Color, and Grooming

The Mekong Bobtail features short, glossy hair that lies close to the skin. Since they’re short-haired, grooming these cats is quite easy as it only requires you to brush their coat about once or twice a week to remove dead fur. It is also advised that you massage them occasionally to relax them and check for wounds, fleas, and ticks at the same time. When it comes to coat colors, among the most common colors, you’ll find with these cats include lilac point, tabby point, chocolate point, seal point, red cream, and blue point.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

The Mekong Bobtail is a surprising feline with charming characteristics. Blessed with a big and brave heart, this cat has a dog’s soul that makes them loyal and very devoted to their master. The Mekong Bobtail will always be by your side in times of trouble or joy.

Studio image of a Mekong Bobtail Cat in a orange background

An intelligent and mentally stable cat, the Mekong Bobtail has an amazing intuition and passion for young children. They highly enjoy the company of these young souls. They also get along well with other pets within the household such as dogs and other cats.

Whether you’re in your house, or out of it, the Mekong Bobtail will either walk with you side by side or rest on your shoulder just to demonstrate how much they are accustomed to you. This cat is very obedient, diplomatic, and very neat—thus underlining the reason why they managed to reach the status of royalty in their home country.

Wrap Up

The Mekong Bobtail is truly a unique breed with amazing characteristics. A naturally intelligent cat with a big heart to love and care for those around her, the Mekong Bobtail can thrive both indoors and outdoors without trouble.

When it comes to their body shape and size, this cat is medium-sized with a weight of 8 to 10 lbs. Since they are an energetic cat, pet parents are required to exercise them often to maintain their muscle tone and avoid cases of obesity.

Mekong_Bobtail_cat sitting on a table

This cat has a short coat that doesn’t require much grooming. They are also highly resistant to most feline illnesses. Last but not least, we would recommend pet parents looking forward to adopting a Mekong Bobtail to always be cautious about their feeding schedule. This cat is quite picky and strict on their diet; therefore, it’s advisable that you consult your local vet first to understand more about the optimum feeding schedule based on your cat’s size and overall fitness.

Are you interested in welcoming his/her royal highness into your family? Or would you perhaps prefer a cat that comes from a humble background yet doesn’t let that fact stop them from achieving great things? For those who are already living with a Mekong Bobtail, we would like to hear from you in the comment box below. Please let us in on what you’ve learned so far about this amazing feline.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.