The Characteristics of Japanese Cats (Wa-neko)
The hair on the bridge of their noses is short, and on short-haired cats their tails are mixed with individual hairs of varying length. There are cases where the ends of the hairs bend like the hiragana character ku （く）.
Also, there are cats with hair that have complex shapes as well as hair that is like stubble and give cats a fat shape. Even though you can see cats with short hair all around the world, there are relatively few kinds.
Though it seems that there is evidence of wild cats roaming Japan in ancient times, there weren’t housecats the way there are today.
In the Nara Period (8th century) they were integrated as a counter-measure to rats, and it’s said that the origin of the Japanese cat was originally brought over from China.
Ever since, since cats have been beasts that are beneficial for rat extermination, Japanese people have long grown to love them.
“Mikeneko” is the Japanese word for tortoise-shell, and their shortened nickname is just “mike.” This is the most famous of Japan-native cats.
The characteristic of these cats are the tri-color blend of hair of white, black, and brown in different patterns. They’re mostly female.
Though it’s said that most of the cats have stubborn and cool personalities, the truth is that most Japanese female cats have that sort of personality.
In Western countries, the black cat is known as a witch’s familiar, or a symbol of bad luck, so even today some people hate them.
However in Japan, there’s nothing like that (well, sometimes some people say things like that), and they are loved.
Regardless of sex, they’re famous for being spoiled pets.
These cats are born with a 20-30% chance of heterochromia, where they have two different eye colors.
I love the white cats I’ve been around, but I’ve heard a lot of these cats are timid and high-strung.
Since their fur is white, they’re extremely conspicuous when out in nature.
From time immemorial, they’ve had a high rate of exposing the dangers of foreign enemies, and it seems their fur is the cause of that.
Also, there are individuals with hearing disabilities. It’s a disability that is almost never seen in non-white cats.
Rust-colored Tortoise-shell Cats
This is a type of mutation where black and brown fur is mixed, and just like regular tortoise-shell cats, they’re mostly female.
It’s said that the rate of a male rust-colored tortoise-shell cat being born is 1/30000.
These cats are said to be tiger-patterned. It’s said that these are the closest to wildcats.
On the other hand of being timid and high-strung, it seems most of these cats are completely spoiled by their owners.
My brown tabby is exactly like that.
Because their yellow fur is tinged with black, these cats are generally called “tiger” and “tiger cats.”
Though these are also tiger cats, their fur is gray, closer to silver.
Because the color is close to the color of the mackeral fish, it’s called the “sabatora” cat (mackeral tiger).
They’re also sometimes called “silver” or “silver tiger.”
In Japan, these cats that have black or brown fur on top of a white base is called “mottled.”
As far as I know, many of these cats are gentle and placid.
These cats are extremely easy to raise.