In man’s quest to create a domestic wild cat, sometimes Mother Nature takes a hand and does the job beautifully with no help from man at all. In the northern regions of the United States where Bobcats roam and farmers own domestic cats to keep the onset of field mice to a roar, there are kittens born every spring that are the resulting litters of Bobcats mating with domestic cats.
Carol Ann Brewer founded the first Pixie-Bob in the early 1980’s in Washington State, when a small Coastal Red Bobcat was seen fighting with a short-tailed polydactyl barn cat. In case you didn’t know it, a polydactyl cat is a six-toed cat often referred to as a Hemingway cat. Then when enough time had passed, this barn cat gave birth to a litter of kittens that looked suspiciously like they were part Bobcat. Intrigued with the appearance and behavior of these kittens, Brewer purchased a male and began her research to see if this type of blending would require any kind of special treatment. What she discovered was that other people had documented similar breeds in the Pacific Northwest and that it really wasn’t all that unusual an occurrence, but the result of natural mating between a domestic and a wild cat.
She then acquired a female cat with the same auspicious parenting and used the two to develop her own breeding program. The kittens of this union created a female, which she named Pixie and had the same wild look of the Bobcat with a reddish-fawn coat. Pixie not only became the grand dam for most of the female line in the program but the breed took her namesake and became known as the Pixie-Bob.
There are two types of Pixie-Bob cats, a straight foot, having the typical cat paw with five toes in front and four in back, and the polydactyl, which has six toes. It is the polydactyl that is the dominant trait and the only breed accepted as show cats. Six-toed cats are absolutely adorable. Their paws often resemble little mittens on the kittens and catchers’ mitts on the adult cats. They actually appear to have opposable thumbs and sometimes can be seen scooping up food or toys with these beautiful paws, which they then toss or throw across the room so that they can go chase it.
Male Pixie-Bobs can vary in weight from twelve to a whopping twenty-six pounds, with the females running slightly smaller, and both genders have either short, wooly “stand out” coats or the longer, medium-length silky ones. Naturally, they all have a bobbed tail that runs from two to six inches in length. Many also have Lynx tufting on their ear tips. Intelligent and loyal, Pixie-Bobs make affectionate companions and house pets and exhibit an almost doglike devotion to their owners.