American Bobtail Cat

February 19, 2020


Information Details
Origin United States
Type Mutation
Cost $600 upwards
Life Span 11 to 15 years
Size Medium - Large
Weight 8 - 18 pounds
Temperament Affectionate, moderately active, intelligent, loving, quiet
Known Issues No known issues

It started in the 1960s with the discovery of a male short-tailed brown tabby by a couple who was driving through the Indian Reservation in Arizona. The coupled brought it back as a new pet in addition to the female seal point Siamese they already owned. They have named it Yodi. The possibility of a new cat breed was not conceived until the two cats mated, resulting in a kitten that has inherited Yodi’s unusual short tail.

Since then, the journey for the production of such breed has seen experienced breeder sourcing for other cats with naturally short tail throughout the United States and Canada for cross breeding. While the cats selected to develop this breed had been non-pedigreed shorthairs and longhairs, it has resulted in an American Bobtail cat breed that is about natural selection, and which over time has earned its very own place in the world of pedigreed cats.

Physical appearance and attributes
Typically weighing between 8 to 18 pounds, the American Bobtail has a body that is moderately long and is about 4 pounds heavier than any other average cat breeds. Its broad chest, a relatively short neck and prominent shoulder blades give it a muscular and rectangular stance.

The wild appearance is attributed by its almond-shaped eyes with the corners angled slightly upwards towards the ears. Coupled with its distinctive brows, the American bobtail usually produces a deep, mysterious and natural hunting gaze. Its head is a broad modified wedge with apparent cheekbones and a strong chin. The ears are tilted slightly outwards, wide at the base and vaguely rounded at the tips. There is a slightly concave curve between its brow and nose, leading to a well-defined and broad muzzle with fleshy whisker pads. Having a pair of hind legs that is longer than its forelegs, it appears to be slightly bended when standing on its large and round paws.

The most predominant and signature feature of the American Bobtail is its short tail. Adding to the uniqueness of its tail is the fact that no two tails are exactly the same. The average tail length falls between 1 to 4 inches and may be straight or slightly curved. It is usually broad at the base and kinks or bumps along its length are undesirable. Even though it is short, the tail is strong and substantial to the touch.

The American Bobtail’s coat is non-specific, offering a myriad of colors and patterns. Its coat length can either be in the shorthair variety that is semi-dense or longhair variety. The longhair variety is usually shaggy with a rug round the neck, and long fur on the belly, upper hind legs and tail. Both varieties of coat are double coated and water resistant. The American Bobtail is slow in its development; taking about three years to reach maturity.

Personality and temperament
Despite its wild appearance, the American Bobtail has a heart of gold with a devotion and kindness that have been likened to that of a Golden Retriever. Possessing a highly adaptable nature, the American Bobtail is a good traveler, thus, an excellent travel buddy for long-distance truckers or rovers.

Such nature also allows this breed to be easily acclimatised to a variety of lifestyles, hence, making the American Bobtail a good family companion as well. It has a quiet disposition, but not the least enlivening when in good spirit. It tends to communicate its pleasure with trills, clicks and purrs. Being less vocal has probably given it a strong sense of intuition and sensitivity towards people in distress.

Dubbed as the psychotherapy cat, they offer their warm and soft shoulder readily for your comfort when needed, and certainly do not mind being carried on yours like a sack of potatoes.

Though being moderately active, playfulness is still part of its personality trait and is evidenced in the long hours of engagement with games like fetch and hide-and-seek. It is easily leash-trained and if you enjoy taking walks, the American Bobtail would love to join you on your walking trail. Interaction with people is not a problem for this breed and it does it well with people of all ages as well as other pets. Dislike being left alone, the attachment that the American Bobtail creates within a family is towards every member as a whole rather than individual.

The American Bobtail has a thirst for hunting. Not being able to roam freely as a pet, such thirst is usually satisfied by catching mid-air flying insects in the home. Stalking their toys and carrying them in their mouths like a freshly caught prize can be can be a pleasure for them.

Care and health issues
The American Bobtail is a generally healthy breed with few health issues. A regular check up, however, would serve the cat well.

Grooming this breed is fairly easy where a bath is rarely necessary. Combing or brushing its coat a few times a week would help to prevent the hair from being tangled. Brushing can get more frequent during the spring and fall where the cat usually sheds more.

The basic hygiene should also be observed such as the daily brushing of teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Nails should be trimmed every few weeks. Its ears can be cleaned with a soft cloth or cotton ball that is damped with a balanced mix of cider vinegar and warm water.

Usually breeders would allow the kitten to stay with their mother and litter mates for about 3- 4 months in order for them to receive adequate nutrients from the mother’s milk and to be well socialized. Thus, it will be advisable for you to wait till it is fully vaccinated before taking them home.

Neutering it and spraying disinfectants on surfaces with which the cat comes into regular contact would help it to maintain a healthy life. The home should also provide for scratching posts or other acceptable surfaces that are essential to cater to its natural scratching behavior.

The ideal home
Even though it has been advised that the American Bobtail should be kept indoors, such a breed is suitable for outdoor living as well. The area should however be secured and escape-proof.

Any family that is able to provide this cat with enough interactions would be ideal. There should be no issue of having it together with young children at home since the American Bobtail is a child-friendly cat. The child should however be taught the proper way in carrying the cat to prevent any rough handling that might be intolerable.

This affectionate, loving and intelligent cat makes it an ideal pet for any home. The American Bobtail would not fail to intrigue you, adding warmth and pleasure to aspects of your life.

Image Credit
Photo by torbakhopper - CC BY 2.0

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More information here. does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help cat owners better understand their pet cats. However, the content on this site is not substitute for veterinary guidance.

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