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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Mekong Bobtail Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Mekong Bobtail Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

mekong bobtail walking oudoors

Originating in Thailand, the Mekong Bobtail is an ancient breed that was once considered royal. The cat was gifted to Nicholas II, the Tsar of Russia, and can be found throughout Mongolia, Southeast Asia, Iraq, Iran, Laos, China, Burma, and Vietnam.

Breed Overview


7–9 inches


8–10 pounds


15–18 years


Point coat with any color

Suitable for:

Active families, kids


Curious, friendly, playful

With its point coloration, the Mekong Bobtail resembles another popular breed – the Siamese. The distinctive bobtail makes the cat popular, as well as its friendly, playful personality. Mekong Bobtails are affectionate and loyal to their owners and love spending time with the family, much like dogs. These cats work well in households with children, dogs, and other cats.

Mekong Bobtail Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.



Mekong Bobtail Kittens

Mekong bobtail kittens tabby point
Mekong bobtail kittens tabby point (Image Credit: Alex Opryatin, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

Like other pets, cats are a big commitment. You’re getting a kitten with the intention of having it for 15 to 18 years. Consider the costs beyond the purchase or adoption fee—cats need veterinary care, not only as kittens but as they move through other life stages. Cats are also prone to some health conditions that can be expensive to treat.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Mekong Bobtail

The Mekong Bobtail is a great cat breed that works well for a variety of household situations. Learn more about the Mekong Bobtail’s temperament and trainability.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Mekong Bobtails are known for being gentle and easygoing, like dogs, and get along well with young children. Despite the cat’s tolerance, it’s important to teach children how to behave around the cat and avoid rough play, such as tail pulling or carrying the cat around. Once children learn how to play with the cat appropriately, it can be wonderful for both parties.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Mekong Bobtail is highly social and gets along well with other pets, including dogs and other cats. This loyal cat breed will become attached to non-human companions, as well as the human ones, and may bond strongly with others. Mekong Bobtails are hunters, however, so it’s important to use judgment with keeping a cat and small animals like fish, birds, rats, hamsters, ferrets, or hedgehogs. If possible, keep the small animals confined to a room where the cat can’t get to them, and keep them separated for playtime.

mekong bobtail cat on a kayak with its owner
Image By: watcher fox, Shutterstock


Things to Know When Owning a Mekong Bobtail:

The Mekong Bobtail is suited to many different households and circumstances, but it’s important to know what to expect before you bring one into your home.

Food & Diet Requirements

Mekong Bobtails are slender cats with a lot of energy, so they require food that supports their activity level. High-protein cat food with plenty of nutrition is vital to supporting your cat and ensuring it has the calories and nutrients it needs. Meat should be the first ingredient, followed by nutritious carbohydrate sources like grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid foods with a lot of additives and fillers. Your cat food should be certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Exercise 🐈

Mekong Bobtails are low-maintenance cats that tend to play on their own, despite enjoying time with their owners. They have a lot of energy but will spend time relaxing and lounging. Ideally, give your cat about 15 minutes of dedicated time to play and get love and affection. When you’re busy or working, you can give your Mekong a puzzle toy or electronic laser pointer to keep them occupied and engaged until you return.

mekong bobtail cat on a leash outdoors
Image By: fotoliza, Shutterstock

Training 🧶

Known for dog-like personalities, Mekong Bobtails are highly intelligent cats that are easy to train and try to make you happy. They can be taught basic behavioral modification, tricks, and more. If you want a cat you can walk on a harness or leash, the Mekong Bobtail takes well to this type of training. No matter your goals, it’s vital to approach training with positive, rewards-based methods and show consistency for results. Cats don’t respond to punishment, so be sure that you’re only using positive-reinforcement training methods.

Grooming ✂️

Mekong Bobtails have minimal grooming needs. They have short coats that are shiny and generally stay clean, not to mention that they will groom themselves. The most you’ll have to do for your Mekong Bobtail is the occasional brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning. You could also brush your cat’s teeth but note that not all cats take well to this activity. If you prefer, take your cat to a professional groomer for occasional grooming needs like nail trimming and baths.

Mekong bobtail (Thai bobtail). Chocolate point colour
Mekong bobtail (Thai bobtail). Chocolate point colour (Image Credit: Alex Opryatin, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions

The Mekong Bobtail was bred from Siamese, which leaves it susceptible to several health conditions. Like its parent breed, the Mekong Bobtail may be prone to neoplasms, mammary tumors, eye conditions, and gastrointestinal conditions. The Mekong Bobtail may also be susceptible to conditions that are common in cats in general, such as rabies, rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia, and other bacterial and viral infections. Fortunately, these can be prevented with routine vaccinations.

Most cats are prone to some genetic conditions, as well as general conditions that affect cats as a species. While you can’t prevent everything, regular veterinary care and vaccinations can prevent infections and identify potential problems early on, so they can be treated more effectively. It’s important for your cat to see a vet at least twice a year throughout its life to address its health needs throughout different life stages.


Male vs Female

The Mekong Bobtail shows no considerable differences between the male and female, so choosing the right one for your needs depends on your preferences. Behavioral issues that may arise in males vs. females, such as vocalization, aggression, marking, and spraying, are preventable with early spaying and neutering. This also prevents a wide variety of other problems, such as reproductive cancer.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Mekong Bobtail

1. They’re Royal

Mekong Bobtails are considered noble or royal cats after being gifted to the Tsar of Russia. Mekong Bobtails maintained this royal persona and are believed to be a sign of good fortune for their owners.

2. They’re Named After the Mekong River

Mekong Bobtails were named for the mighty Mekong River, which is how they were first transported to Russia from Thailand.

3. They’re Legendary Guardians

Many ancient legends from Siam tell of the mysterious and beautiful cats that guard the temples—the Mekong Bobtail.

a Mekong Bobtail cat with a necklace sitting on an elegant couch
Image By: fotoliza, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

The Mekong Bobtail is a legendary breed in Asia that originated in Siam, present-day Thailand. They’re becoming popular in the US for their looks and easygoing personality, as well as their reputation as noble cats. Much like dogs, the Mekong Bobtail is loyal and develops strong attachments to its owners and other members of the household and can be trained to perform tricks.

Featured Image Credit: fotoliza, Shutterstock

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