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Mekong Bobtail Cat: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

a Mekong Bobtail cat with a necklace sitting on an elegant couch

Height: 7–9 inches
Weight: 8–10 pounds
Lifespan: 15–18 years
Colors: Point coat with any color
Suitable for: Active families that want a playful and affectionate cat
Temperament: Friendly, curious, entertaining, energetic

The Mekong Bobtail is a cat breed that originated in Thailand. The breed features prominently in legends from ancient Siam, and the cat was considered “royal” and gifted to Nicholas II, the Tsar of Russia. Mekong Bobtails are found throughout Southeast Asia, Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Burma, Laos, China, and Vietnam.

These cats are known for their Siamese point coloration and the bobbed-tail common with a Manx breed. Mekong Bobtails are friendly, social cats who enjoy showing affection to their owners. They’re extremely loyal and love being with their human companions, making them more like dogs in their temperament. With their friendly personalities, these cats are a good choice for families with children and other pets.


Mekong Bobtail Kittens


Cats are a significant commitment, regardless of breed. Before you bring a kitten home, consider the costs of not only buying the kitten, but caring for its veterinary, nutritional, and emotional needs. With proper care, a Mekong Bobtail can live 15 to 18 years in good health.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Mekong Bobtail

1. They’re Guardians of the Temple in Siam Legend

Ancient legends from Siam, now Thailand, tell tales of beautiful cats that guard the temple.

2. They’re Considered Noble Cats

Because of the gift to the Tsar of Russia. Mekong Bobtails have a reputation as a noble cat and are said to bring good fortune and happiness to their owners.

3. They’re Named for the Mekong River

The breed was first transported from Thailand to Russia along the Mekong River, lending its name.

Mekong Bobtails
Image Credit: fotoliza, Shutterstock


Temperament & Intelligence of the Mekong Bobtail

The Mekong Bobtail is a wonderful choice for a pet. Here are some things to know before bringing one into your household.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Mekong Bobtails are kind and gentle cats, often behaving similarly to a dog. They’re a great choice for families with young children, but it’s important to teach children appropriate behavior around the cat to avoid any issues. These cats love playtime, so a family with engaged children and lots of play can be good for a Mekong Bobtail.

Mekong Bobtail Cat With Owner
Image Credit: watcher fox, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Mekong Bobtails are very accepting of other pets in the household, including dogs. They can get along with other cats and grow to love their feline and canine companions, due to their loyal and affectionate nature. Like all cats, Mekong Bobtails are natural hunters. If you have small animals in your home, such as hamsters, ferrets, birds, or fish, it’s important to keep them secure and prevent your cat from hunting or stalking them. If possible, keep your small animals in a separate room where the cat can’t access them.hepper-cat-paw-divider

Things to Know When Owning a Mekong Bobtail

The Mekong Bobtail is a great cat breed, but it’s not ideal for everyone. Find out more about owning a Mekong Bobtail and decide if it’s right for you.

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

Mekong Bobtails have slight builds, but they are active and energetic cats. They require nutrient-dense, high-protein cat food to support their energy needs. Ideally, choose a cat food with meat as the first ingredient, quality grains or fruit and vegetable carbohydrate sources. All cat food should meet the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Exercise 🐈

Though they have a lot of energy, these cats are low maintenance in terms of activity. They’ll jump, climb, and explore on their own, but they do like to play with their owners and receive attention. You should be able to devote at least 15 minutes a day to give your cat playtime and affection. Due to their intelligence, these cats benefit from challenging interactive toys like electronic laser pointers to keep their bodies and minds stimulated while their owners are away. If you’re looking for a lazy and quiet cat, the Mekong Bobtail may not be the right choice for you.

Mekong Bobtail Cat Outside_
Image Credit: fotoliza, Shutterstock

Training 🧶

Mekong Bobtails are intelligent cats that learn quickly and aim to please their owners, much like dogs. They can learn to fetch and perform other tricks, walk on a leash or harness, and follow their owners around the house. Despite its intelligence, training a Mekong Bobtail requires consistency and discipline for favorable results. Training a cat to perform tricks often takes more work than dogs, so prepare to spend time using positive reinforcement training and rewarding each step to teach your cat complex tricks.

Grooming ✂️

Mekong Bobtails have glossy, short coats with thin undercoats, so they require little grooming. Occasional brushing and nail trimming are the primary grooming tasks, though a Mekong Bobtail can be taught to sit as well to have its teeth brushed and ears cleaned. You can perform these grooming tasks yourself or choose to have them done by a groomer or vet.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Mekong Bobtail is derived from the Siamese breed, which makes it more prone to mortality compared to other breeds. Mammary tumors, neoplasms, eye disorders, and gastrointestinal conditions may be common with the Mekong Bobtail. Like all cats, Mekong Bobtails are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections like calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, rabies, and panleukopenia, all of which are preventable by vaccination.

The best way to keep your Mekong Bobtail in optimal health is with regular vet visits. While this can’t prevent every condition, veterinary exams help your vet identify minor conditions before they become more severe. Your vet can also identify possible bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections and can vaccinate your cat to prevent common diseases in felines.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions

Male vs Female

There’s no notable difference between a male and female Mekong Bobtail. Choosing between them comes down to your personal preferences and the individual cat’s personality. Sex-related behavioral problems, such as spraying, marking, aggression, and increased vocalization, can be reduced or eliminated by age-appropriate spaying or neutering. In addition, spaying or neutering your cat can lower the risk of reproductive cancers and conditions, including mammary tumors.


Final Thoughts

Originating in Thailand, the Mekong Bobtail is a popular breed across Asia and is gaining popularity in the US and UK. These beautiful and distinctive cats are immortalized in Siam legend as the guardians of the temple, and after they were gifted to the Tsar of Russia, they gained a reputation as royal or noble cats.

As pets, Mekong Bobtails are intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and active cats that are well-suited to families with children or owners with other pets. With the right training, Mekong Bobtails can be taught to walk on a leash or play fetch, much like a dog.

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Featured Image Credit: fotoliza, Shutterstock

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