ALL CAT BREED PROFILES

Pixie Bob: Wild Looks, Housecat Temperament

Close-up image of a Pixie Bob cat walking on snow
Jeremy Vaughn
Written by Jeremy Vaughn

We all admire wild cats. Tigers, lions, cheetahs, and lynxes all have this untamable charm to them that makes them so desirable, and yet we know that they are out of reach. Or are they? While it’s currently impossible to keep a big cat as a pet, if you really admire the aura that wild cats seem to exude, it’s not like there’s no domestic cat breed that can match your criteria. The Pixie Bob is one strong contender.

The Pixie Bob is a relatively recently developed breed that is famous for their “wild” looks and a temperament that is everything but wild. These cats are loving, playful, independent, and they are famous for creating a strong bond with their owner. This is a social and friendly breed that has no trouble staying at home alone but will happily welcome their owner back from work by the front door. This beautiful and robustly-built breed has excellent health thanks to frequent outcrossing.

Close-up image of the head of pixie bob cat

In this article, we will introduce you to everything you should know about the Pixie Bob cat. We will tell you about their personality, grooming requirements, history, nutritional needs, and many more.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: High

  • Grooming: Above Average Needs

  • Health: Very Good; prone only to a few hereditary conditions

  • All Around Friendliness: Very Good

  • Exercise Needs: Above Average Needs

Cat Breed GroupShort-Haired / Long-Haired Varieties, Mixed Breed
SizeMedium to Large
WeightMales: 12 - 17 pounds

Females: 8 – 12 pounds
Lifespan13 - 16 years

The cat breed known as the Pixie Bob started with Ms. Carol Ann Brewer in 1986 when she found and rescued a very large and wild looking male cat. She believed that that male was a natural bobcat hybrid; when the male bred with a neighboring domestic cat, she took one wild-looking female kitten from that litter.

She named that cat Pixie and started to breed her with other cats that she thought to be the naturally occurring hybrids of bobcats. She named the breed Pixie Bob in memory of the mother of the new breed. The Pixie Bob is a medium to large breed with a muscular and heavily-built frame. This breed resembles the Coastal Red Bobcat, and like them, they have athletic bodies with large and strong legs and big bones. The Pixie Bob can become very large, and some males can weigh more than their allotted maximum of 17 pounds.

A Pixie Bob’s face has the shape of an inverted pear; they have heavy brows and triangular-shaped eyes that can be yellow, golden brown, or green. The coat of this breed can vary in length; some cats are short-haired and others long-haired. The coat pattern is the same as that of bobcats, but Pixie Bobs have some reddish tones mixed in with their fur.

Studio image of a pixie bob cat sitting up

The Pixie Bob’s coat ranges in color from cream, tawny, to a deeper reddish brown. The short-haired version of this breed has a thick double coat that is woolly in texture; it gives them a fuller appearance. Long-haired Pixie Bobs have a silky coat that is accentuated with dark spots and lines that go through it.

Besides their wild look, this breed also has an unusually small tail. According to the International Cat Association, the minimal length allowed is 2 inches; their tail should be completely mobile like that of any other breed. This breed is also polydactyl—meaning they have extra toes. It is common for cats to have 5 toes on each of their front paws, and 4 on each of their back paws, but Pixie Bobs often have more; the maximum number of toes allowed on one paw is 7. What is unique is that this breed is the only one whose standard permits polydactylism.

a pixie bob cat entering the house

Pixie Bob personality is friendly, outgoing, devoted, and affectionate. They form a dog-like attachment to their owners. Although they can spend hours alone, they prefer to have the attention of their family members constantly. This is also a very intelligent breed that is easily trained; they love to be walked on a leash. This is a perfect way for owners of Pixie Bob to interact with their feline companion.

This is an active and social breed that gets along well with smaller children who will happily enjoy their company and also serve as playmates. The calm and relaxed nature of this breed makes them a good fit for households with other pets. Although Pixie Bobs are affectionate and eager to be involved in their owner’s activities, they also enjoy relaxing on the couch.

close-up image of a Pixie-bob head

Like with other cat breeds, a Pixie Bob’s diet should be rich in meat protein and contain enough fats. This breed is not known to be picky about their food, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the right food for your cat. They should occasionally be treated to homemade freshly cooked meat. This breed can easily become obese, so it is important not to overfeed your cat and to stick with the recommended amounts of food that are appropriate for your cat’s age and activity level.

Thanks to frequent outcrossing, this breed has excellent health. On average they can live up to 16 years, but with proper care, they will certainly live longer. When taking your Pixie Bob to get their shots, consult with your veterinary first, because this breed is known to have a bad reaction to some vaccines.

Main Highlights

  • The Pixie Bob is a fairly recently developed breed. In 1986, Ms. Carol Ann Brewer fell in love with the wild looks of a mixed breed cat, named her Pixie, and started to breed her with other cats who had the similar appearance.

  • This breed was considered a descendant of naturally-occurring bobcat hybrids until DNA testing showed that there is no link between bobcats and these cats.

  • Pixie Bobs are muscular and heavily-built medium to large cats; some males can weigh up to 25 pounds.

  • One of the unique characteristics of this breed is that their coat length can either be short or long. The short-haired version has a thick double coat that is cropped close to their body and gives them a fuller appearance; long-haired versions have a silky coat that is accentuated with black spots and lines.

  • The tail of a Pixie Bob cat can’t be shorter than 2 inches and should be completely flexible and mobile. Of course, some Pixie Bob cats can also have a tail of normal length.

  • Polydactylism (of up to seven toes per paw) is so frequently seen in Pixie Bob cats that the standard for this breed permits it.

  • This is a friendly, active, devoted, and affectionate breed that is famous for having an unusually strong bond with their owner.

  • The Pixie Bob is a highly intelligent and easily trained breed; taking them on walks gives them the opportunity to interact with their owner and a chance for exercising.

  • This is a friendly and playful breed that gets along well with children and other pets.

  • Although they are active and like to spend time with their owners, they also enjoy relaxing and lounging by the window.

  • The Pixie Bob is not picky when it comes to food; owners shouldn’t encounter any difficulties finding the right food for this breed.

  • This is a healthy breed that doesn’t have many hereditary conditions; with proper care, they can live for over 16 years.

Breed History

In January 1986, Ms. Carol Ann Brewer from Washington State found and rescued an unusually big male cat with a short tail. This cat looked a lot like a Coastal Red Bobcat, and Ms. Brewer believed that he was a product of a naturally occurring mating between domestic cats and bobcats. When the male she found and a neighboring female produced a litter of kittens, she took the wildest-looking female kitten and named her Pixie.

Pixie bob cat sitting on a table

Ms. Brewer fell in love with the unique looks of this bobtailed cat, and she wanted to make more of them in case something happened to Pixie. She started a breeding program in which Pixie was the foundation cat. She introduced 23 other cats who had the same appearance and were considered as bobcat hybrids into her program. Ms. Brewer named the breed Pixie Bob in memory of Pixie, the founding mother of this breed. The International Cat Association recognized this breed in 1994. In 1998, the Pixie Bob gained Championship status.

Size

The Pixie Bob is a medium to large cat, with an athletic and muscular body. They are heavy-boned and come with a solid frame. Although on average males weigh from 12 to 17 pounds, they can become quite large and weigh up to 25 pounds. Female Pixie Bobs are smaller and weigh from 8 to 12 pounds.

Personality and Character

Pixie Bob cat temperament is calm, relaxed, and easy-going. They don’t mind being left for longer periods of time alone but will wait for their owner by the door when he or she comes home. This is a gentle breed that is considered rather quiet. Some of Pixie Bob cats never meow; they instead vocalize their wishes with chirps, chitters, and sometimes with a growl.

Beautiful orange pixie bob cat sitting up

Pixie Bobs are friendly, active, affectionate, and devoted. This breed is famous for their dog-like capacity to develop strong bonds with their owner. When they are not lounging on the sofa, they like to interact with their owners. The Pixie Bob is a social cat, without being overly pushy and demanding.

They are very intelligent and easy to train. This breed likes going on walks. If you would like to keep them as indoors-only cats, we recommend getting them accustomed to walking on a leash—which isn’t a difficult task at all.  They enjoy playing with puzzle toys and hide and seek. Daily play interactions of a minimum of 15 minutes are recommended to keep their mind occupied and their body healthy and in shape.

Health and Potential Problems

The Pixie Bob was outcrossed several times before the breeding finally stabilized. Their mixed heritage helped this breed to not develop health problems that are common in inbreeding. Bearing that in mind, this breed is generally healthy and can develop only a few hereditary health problems.

  • Cryptorchidism is a condition in which one or both testicles fail to descend from the abdomen to scrotum. Usually, this would happen before the kitten is 6 months old. The higher temperature in the abdomen will destroy the sperm-producing cells if testicles don’t descend in time, making a cat sterile. The good news is that not many Pixie Bob cats are affected by this condition and that it is curable with surgery if noticed early.

  • Dystocia describes when a female cat has difficulties during delivery. This may happen as a result of maternal or fetal factors and can occur during any stage of labor. Symptoms include more than two hours between the delivery of offspring, signs of pain, and prolonged labor. The causes for this condition are usually large fetus, fetal death, and an awkward position of the fetus in the birth canal. If you notice any of these symptoms while your cat is in labor, contact your vet so he or she can administer proper therapy or proceed with manual delivery.

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease that affects the left ventricle and its ability to pump blood into the aorta. Because of the greater workload, the left ventricle is thicker and enlarged. Symptoms of this disease are a loss of appetite, lethargy, weak pulse, difficulty breathing, and sudden heart failure. Your vet will use ECG to diagnose this condition and will advise you on the course of action. Cats who are suffering from this condition are put on a sodium-restricted diet. The affected cats should lead a stress-free life in a calm environment away from children and other pets.

  • Obesity is as commonly seen in cats as it is in humans. Cats usually get overweight because they have a high intake of calories and they are not active enough. To help your cat lose weight you should limit their food intake and increase their activity level.

To maintain your Pixie Bob’s health over their long lifespan, it is best to take them to regular vet appointments, get them dewormed, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated. But consult your vet about vaccines beforehand because this breed can react badly to some of them.

Care Features

To keep your Pixie Bob cat healthy and fit, you need to play with them for at least 15 minutes every day. It is advisable that you invest in puzzle toys; these will keep your cat’s mind always exercised. This breed enjoys walking on a leash, and long walks will help them burn extra calories; this activity will also deepen the bond between you and your cat.

pixie-bob cat walking on the floor in the living room

It is important to take proper care of your cat’s teeth from a young age. To prevent the development of periodontal diseases, it is best to brush your cat’s teeth every day. If your cat has difficulties adjusting to the toothbrush, you can use dental wipes or rinses instead.

Clean your cat’s ears once a week with a mixture of half warm water half cider vinegar. Trim your cat’s nails once in every two weeks if needed. If you are not sure that you can manage this properly, take your cat to the vet or a groomer so they can do this for you.

Feeding Schedule

A Pixie Bob’s diet should consist of meat protein and fats. Stay away from foods that contain carbohydrates. Pixie Bobs can’t digest them properly, and too much of them can put your cat at risk of some diseases such as obesity.

pixie-bob-brown-hair and-grey-hair-standing

This breed has a healthy appetite, and they like to be able to eat whenever they please all day. You can let your cat decide between canned food and kibble. If they like both, you can always mix it up. Stick with the recommended amounts of food labeled on the packaging.

If you want to give treats to your Pixie Bob, don’t do it frequently; two times a week is enough. Otherwise, it can interfere with their diet. Make sure that your cat has unlimited access to fresh water always.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

The coat of Pixie Bob cats comes in two lengths. Short-haired cats have a thick double coat that is wool-like and gives them a fuller appearance. Long-haired cats have a silky coat that is accentuated with black spots and lines that run through it.

pixie-bob male cat walking in the garden on the grass

Typically, Pixie Bobs feature a spotted, brown tabby coat—which is why this breed resembles the bobcat so much. The color of the coat can range, but usually, this breed comes in cream, tawny, light gray, and a reddish color.

Because of their double-layered coat, this breed sheds constantly, so owners should be prepared for lots of vacuuming. Their coat needs to be brushed two or three times a week to remove all of the loose hair and to distribute skin oils through the length of the fur.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Pixie Bob cats are calm and gentle but also friendly and playful; this makes them a perfect addition to homes with smaller children. They are kind towards kids and will make a good companion in hide and seek or any other game. This breed also gets along well with other pets. But if you have dogs always, make the first introductions in a safe environment and while your dog is secured to a leash.

Wrap Up

The Pixie Bob is a breed with many unique features; they come with a “wild” look, but they actually have a gentle soul. These are social, friendly, devoted, affectionate, easy-going cats that are suitable for people of all ages and homes with smaller children and other pets.

This is one of the healthiest breeds around. They are capable of making strong bonds with their owner. You can’t go wrong by choosing a Pixie Bob cat to be your new companion.

Close-up image of a pixie bob cat face

Do you think the Pixie Bob, with their wild looks that contradict their kind heart, is the perfect companion for you? Or will you be more interested in a cat that has luxurious looks and yet is actually kind of haughty and tolerates no one but you? If you have more information regarding the Pixie Bob, please share it with us and our readers in the comment section below.

About the author
Jeremy Vaughn
Jeremy Vaughn

Jeremy Vaughn is a member of Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, who lives in Winnipeg. Creating new looks for cats and other pets is his passion. Jeremy shares his house with the wife and wonderful Siamese cat.

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