It is generally accepted that the Pixie-bob emerged as the result of a chance mating in 1986 between a Bobcat and a Domestic Shorthair. This large, 17lb Bobcat was owned by Carol Ann Brewer of Washington State, who kept one of the resulting offspring from this mating and named it ‘Pixie.’ Brewer soon fell in love with the appearance of the cat and began a selective breeding program to try and retain its unique characteristics. Pixie became the original breeding stock for the Pixie-bob, which is now recognised as an independent breed by the International Cat Association (as of 1994) and the American Cat Fanciers Association 11 years later.
Many people liken the Pixie-bob to the North American Bobcat because of its stocky build. The Pixie-bob is further characterised by a rectangular body with black-tipped ears, long, nimble legs, a stumpy tail, hooded eyes and polydactyl paws. Typically, a Pixie-bob will have up to 7 toes on each foot. Unlike most breeds of cat that reach their full growth potential at 1 year, the Pixie-bob can take up to 4 years to reach its full size. Short and long-haired variations are seen in the breed, although the short-haired Pixie-bob is the most common. Either way, the coat boasts a spotted tabby pattern and is easy to maintain with regular grooming. These cats are also highly trainable, and many owners report they are more like dogs than cats.
The temperament of the Pixie-bob is very desirable in a house cat. Compatible with children and other pets and energetic and sturdy enough to make a great playmate, the Pixie-bob is well suited to domestic living in a family that returns its love and affection. The Pixie-bob enjoys being included in activities around the home and does not appreciate being left alone for long periods of time. They are also exceptionally intelligent and can be trained to a good degree, being happy to stay indoors when there are interactive toys and scratching posts available. When it comes to the size of a Pixie-bob there are large discrepancies across gender. A female Pixie-bob will usually weigh up to 12 pounds, while a male Pixie-bob can weigh up to 20. The average life expectancy for this breed is 15 years.
The Pixie-bob is fairly rare and therefore any genetic or breed-specific health conditions are difficult to determine. It is generally considered a very healthy and resilient breed, despite being sensitive to some vaccinations.