The American Bobtail is an unusual breed of domestic cat that was developed in the late 1960s. It is most notable for its stubby “bobbed” tail, about one-third to one-half the length of a normal cat’s tail. This is the result of a genetic mutation in the cat’s body that affects tail development, as in the Manx cat.
Despite the similar name and physical type, the breed is not related to the Japanese bobtail – the breeding programs are completely unrelated, and the genetic mutation that causes the bobbed tail is known to be different because the mutation that causes the tail of the American bobtail is dominant, while the mutation that causes the Japanese bobtail tail is recessive.
American Bobtails are a very robust breed, with short and long hair coats. Their coat is shaggy rather than dense or fluffy. They can have any color of eyes and coat, with a strong emphasis on the “wild” tabby appearance in visible animals.
- ORIGIN: United States
- HEIGHT: 9–10 inches
- WEIGHT: 7–16 pounds
- SIZE: Medium to Large
- LIFE SPAN: 13–15 years
- COLORS: White, black, blue, red, cream, chocolate, lavender, cinnamon, fawn, plus various patterns and shadings
American Bobtails are ideal pets for almost anyone in any living situation. These tough, big cats adapt beautifully to family life with children or other pets, but they also bond deeply with single humans.
Because of their open, friendly nature—even with strangers—American Bobtails are often employed as therapy cats.
They only need a moderate amount of exercise, so they’ll be happy in small homes, and they’ve been known to enjoy a mobile lifestyle alongside truckers, RVers, and sailors!
|Playfulness: 4||Grooming Effort: 1|
|Intelligence: 5||Pet-Friendly: 5|
|Energy Level: 3||Shedding: 4|
|Health Issues: 1||Kid-Friendly: 3|
|Affection Level: 5||Chattiness: 3|
The American bobtail received little attention until recently, so many people are surprised to learn that the breed has been in North America since the 1960s. Because of their haphazard debut, however, American bobtails are now starting to come into their own.
The original bobtail was a short-tailed brown tabby male named Yodi, who was found in a motel in Arizona after being dropped off by a kid from a nearby reservation.
A couple met Yodi while they were vacationing at a motel. Yodi’s parentage and lineage were unknown, but he was rumored to be a bobcat/domestic cat hybrid due to his feral appearance and short, bobcat-like tail.
While it is possible for domestic cats to breed with bobcats, such hybrids, especially first-generation males, will almost certainly be sterile. It is more likely that Jodi’s short tail arose as a spontaneous mutation in the domestic cat population.
Impressed by Yodi’s friendly personality and the short stub of tail, the couple took him home with them. Once home, Yodi impregnated the family’s Seal point Siamese.
This first litter contained some normal-tailed and some bobtailed kittens, suggesting that the gene governing Yodi’s bobbed tail was dominant, as her Siamese had no history of short-tailed ancestors. Only one copy of the dominant gene was required for the trait to appear in the offspring. They chose the name American Bobtail for the breed.
The original lines of Yodi and his descendants became inbred and unhealthy. The focus then became on making the breed more healthy and Yodi-like: a large, wild-looking tabby with long hair and a bobbed tail. Healthy cats have rounded brows from forehead to eyelid, giving them a “hunting look” that enhances their feral appearance.
The American bobtail is recognized by four North American associations. The new and improved American bobtail comes in all colors, and categories, and has the sweet demeanor but wild look of a bobcat. They have both long and short coats.
American bobtails take two to three years to develop, which is slower than many domestic cat breeds.
The American Bobtail is a hearty, short-tailed cat. Its body is moderately long, with substantial bones, and is stocky. The trend is substantially rectangular. The torso is full and broad.
The hips are substantial, almost as wide as the chest, and the hind legs are longer than the front legs and have large rounded feet that may have toe tufts. The head is a wide wedge without flat planes, its size is proportional to the body.
There is a concave curve from the nose to the brow, or rising to a prominent brow, a wide unpinched muzzle, prominent whisker pads, a gently sloping broad nose, and a full, strong jaw.
The ears are medium-sized, broad-based, and evenly mounted with rounded tips on the top and sides of the head. The eyes are almost almond-shaped, and their size is proportional to the head. The aperture is angled to the base of the ear and with a moderately wide gap and deep sockets.
Eye color varies with coat color. The tip of the tail is visible above the back, but not beyond the hock when the animal is at rest. The tail may be straight or curved, slightly knotted, or bumpy.
American Bobtails are often described as sweet, loving, and docile. These pets make great companions and lap cats, and they do well with older children and cat-friendly pet playmates.
“American Bobtails are known as cats that act more like dogs than cats,” says Sarah Wooten, DVM. “They are very friendly, social, inquisitive, good with children, have a wide range of vocal communication, and form deep bonds with their humans.”
The American Bobtail is smart and needs to be kept mentally and physically active. Don’t be surprised when he chirps and trills, letting you know he needs one-on-one playtime.
“Prospective owners should be prepared to provide a high level of enrichment through climbing opportunities, pouncing play, food puzzles, toys, training, lots of human interaction, and leash walking,” says Wooten. “These cats need the same attention and exercise as a healthy young beagle dog.”
More than anything, your American Bobtail wants to love you—and receive your love! If you are looking for a kind companion pet, this breed is a great fit. These gentle cats are ideal for families.
The American Bobtail has a wild appearance but not a wild nature. The dedicated, loving, and intelligent personality of this breed has earned them a loyal following. These confident, friendly cats bond emotionally with their families and are devoted companions that adapt quickly to most home environments.
Although not as vocal as breeds like the Siamese, Bobtails are not shy about making their emotions known. Bobtails are playful, energetic, and friendly, and have exceptional intelligence for Houdini-type escapes from closed rooms and locked doors. Very people-oriented, they can get their family’s attention by meowing or commanding available laps.
On the cat’s activity scale, the Bobtail is fun-loving and frisky but not overly active. American Bobtails generally get along well with other cats and cat-friendly dogs if properly introduced. Instead of hiding under the bed, they are curious and outgoing when unfamiliar visitors come calling. If trained from an early age, they tend to be good travelers.
Although they are relatively healthy, American Bobtails are still prone to developing health conditions like other cat breeds. According to our claims data, ^ the top American bobtail health problems include,
Veterinarians have also found that American Bobtails born completely tailless may run a higher risk for back and intestinal irregularities.
Although these conditions are most common for American Bobtails, there is no guarantee that your cat will develop any or all of these problems. Familiarizing yourself with the signs of these problems can be beneficial, but one of the best ways to stay on top of your pet’s health is to schedule an annual visit with their veterinarian.
Even if your cat appears to be in perfect health, it is important that you still take them for their checkups. Often, it’s hard to tell that a cat isn’t feeling well just by looking at it. In the event that a health problem arises, these annual visits provide a greater chance that your veterinarian will be able to diagnose and treat the problem earlier.
Grooming requirements for your American Bobtail are fairly simple. You will need to brush this breed once or twice a week to keep their coats smooth and healthy. Make sure to trim your cat’s nails regularly and clean their ears often. Wooten says American bobtails need brushing twice a week.
Because they are so intelligent, these cats are usually easy to train to perform simple tasks such as using the litter box or scratching posts. They can also be trained to play fetch games and walk on a harness, and need to be mentally engaged with lots of interactive toys.
Socialization should be easy with this easy-going breed. American bobtails initially introduced to people and pets are usually readily greeted by unfamiliar faces.
Your American Bobtail should be fed a diet of high-quality cat food recommended by your veterinarian. Be careful not to overfeed your cat, as it can lead to obesity.
Best Food For
American Bobtail kittens should eat kitten food for the first year of their lives to help them grow and develop.
How Much Food Does Your American Bobtail Need? It depends on some things that you might not expect. For example, is the American Bobtail an indoor or outdoor cat? Has the American Bobtail had sterilization surgery?
Both of these answers are crucial in establishing the dietary needs of your American Bobtail. The solution is to request a recommendation from your veterinarian, who will determine your American Bobtail’s ideal weight and daily calorie needs. Take the initiative to ask your veterinarian about your American Bobtail’s weight and diet.
Once you know how much your American Bobtail needs, don’t worry. It may not seem like much to you, but it will keep your American Bobtail at a healthy weight. Helping an obese American Bobtail lose weight is difficult and keeping you the right size is easy. The next step is to set up your American Bobtail’s food.
American bobtails enjoy small meals throughout the day, so expect to have a bowl out for them to come and graze whenever they get hungry. You can also give a small portion for control, half in the morning and the other half in the evening. Although you may enjoy feeding your American Bobtail treats, do so infrequently.
Don’t let snacks dampen your nutrition. As with people, you don’t want them to eat too much salt.
American Bobtails are relatively low-maintenance cats. You can expect to brush your bobtail once or twice a week to remove shedding hair and skin and to keep your coat shiny and healthy. Twice a year, bobtails will shed more than usual due to seasonal changes and may need more frequent brushing during this time.
In any cat breed, poor dental hygiene can lead to periodontal disease, so it’s important to brush your bobtail’s teeth at least once a week. Supplementing with plaque-controlling treats can help maintain dental health, but should not be the only method of dental hygiene you use on your cat.
Mental stimulation is important to keeping your American Bobtail happy. They are highly receptive to puzzle games, trick training, and leash training.
American Bobtail cats are extremely active and very playful. These curious cats love games, and play and climb with intensity. If you’ve always wanted a cat that enjoys human interaction, and you like the idea of walking your cat on a leash, the American Bobtail may be the ideal breed for you.
We recommend treating your cat to a high-quality climbing tower and window perch, as well as multiple scratching posts and a basket full of toys. If you can find toys with shiny surfaces, chances are they will become some of your cat’s favorites.
Where to Adopt or Buy an American Bobtail
The American Bobtail cat breed is relatively rare in the United States, making it difficult to find a reputable breeder. The American Cat Fanciers Association maintains a breeder list that currently has only two US breeders – one in North Dakota and the other in Wisconsin.
Check with other local cat breeders and online networks to track down breeders with established businesses and positive reviews. If you’re not overly concerned with owning a registered breed, you can also explore adoption sites to find the bobtailed cat that captures your heart.
See More Cat Breeds For Further Research
American Bobtail Price In India
American Bobtail Cats prices in India are Rs. 60,000 and Rs. 80,000, especially if you buy from a highly reputable source.
Are American Bobtails good cats?
Despite their somewhat feral appearance, American Bobtails are devoted companion cats that fit perfectly into families. Sociable and easy-going, they get along well with children and other four-legged pets. Confident and friendly, Bobtails are highly intelligent pets with dog-like personalities.
Do American Bobtail cats meow?
A quiet cat. American bobtails may chirp, trill, or click when excited. However, they are generally calm cats.
Are American Bobtail cats part bobcats?
Urban legend says that bobtails are the result of crossbreeding between a domestic tabby cat and a wild bobcat. The unusual tail is actually the result of a random spontaneous genetic mutation in the domestic cat population and may be related to the Manx gene, which is also dominant.
What’s the rarest cat breed?
Sokoke cat. According to the UK’s Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), the Sokoke cat is the rarest domestic cat breed in the world.