American Bobtail | Cat Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

American bobtail

The American bobtail is a fairly young breed that has gone unnoticed until recently, overshadowed by the Japanese bobtail with which it has no genetic or pattern relationship.

Its tail is short and its hind legs slightly longer than the front, giving it a rectangular pose. Its ears end in a point and are reminiscent of those of the wild lynx with which it has no genetic relationship either.


American Bobtail photos

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Physical characteristics

These pets have an average build, but because of their fluff, the animal looks large. Male cats weigh 4-7 kg, females – up to 5 kg. The main difference of the breed is a short tail with a small down.

American Bobtails can be short-haired or long-haired.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The shape of the head resembles a broad oblong wedge with rounded arches. The head is in proportion to the whole body. The muzzle is broad and wide. Cheek pads and whiskers are well defined.
  • Ears: Medium sized ears have slightly rounded tips. At the base of the ears are wide, as if continuing the shape of the head. Often there are brushes on the tips. But if they are not, it is not considered a breed defect.
  • Eyes: The large eyes are almond-shaped. They are located closer to the ears. Their color can be different and does not always match the color of the coat. The nose is wide, curved at the base.
  • Body: The physique of the cat is muscular, the body has a rectangular shape, the chest is wide and square.
  • Limbs: Cats’ legs are strong, muscular and long. In long-haired representatives of the breed, they have tufts of wool between the pads.
  • Tail: Although the tail is short, it is flexible. Its minimum length is 2.5 cm. If the tail is more than 8 cm, this is already a marriage of the breed. The tail is allowed straight, bent at the end or completely twisted. Each cat has its own tail shape and length (within the normal range).
  • Coat: The coat of the animal consists of two layers, regardless of weather conditions and moulting. The wool is elastic and dense. There are more on the chest and abdomen than on other parts of the body. The fur is not snug against the cat’s body.

Character and behavior

As a result of painstaking selection, the world received a very smart and friendly four-legged creature. If many features of the appearance of the American Bobtail were borrowed from wild ancestors, then its inherited features of character from home progenitors.

That is why the following features can be called among the predominant features of the breed:

  • Activity;
  • Playfulness;
  • Friendliness;
  • Sociability;
  • Devotion;
  • Quick wits.

In general, they are good cats that have adopted the best characteristics of their ancestors participating in the breeding program. Their kindness and affectionate nature are manifested in literally everything, including when it comes to children – we can say that this is an excellent breed of cats for a family with a child. They like to play, are active, although at the same time they can be on their knees for hours. On the one hand, the American Bobtail loves each member of his family, on the other hand, he is likely to choose one person to whom he will be selflessly devoted.

Love of games, excellent reaction and excellent coordination of movements allow these cats to catch even objects on the fly. The American Bobtail is devoid of the painful perception of lack of attention. That is, he will not strive to lie on your keyboard if you are carried away by the game or work and have forgotten your pet a little. Moreover, he will not meow loudly, on the contrary, we can say that he is a very intelligent cat.

Nature endowed him with a sharp mind, thanks to which he knows the situation around him well, understands when people talk about him and is sometimes able to defuse a tense family situation. Balance and good disposition allow you to get along well with other pets.

Cohabitation with other animals and children

The American Bobtail feels and cohabits best with older children who are old enough to understand cat behavior. Children under 6 years old should not play with an animal without adult supervision to avoid unwanted injury, both the cat and the child. American Bobtails are very quiet and sensitive, so they will be fine with adults, the elderly and just calm people. These cats get along well with other animals, including dogs, but their first encounter must be supervised and closely monitored.

American Bobtails are very intelligent animals with a wild look and kind character. They get along well in families and are unusually loyal to their owners. Their short tails and feral appearance have earned them a place in the hearts of many cat lovers.


American Bobtails do not have genetic diseases. However, these cats also have a few ailments that are more characteristic of them:

  • Tail disease. At the level of nature, a short tail is perceived as a mutation. In the future, this can cause problems with bone and cartilage tissue. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor how the cat moves. And if problems with the musculoskeletal system are noticed, you should contact veterinarians.
  • Problematic childbirth. It’s better when a cat gives birth to a person. Especially if these births are the first in the life of the animal. Then you can avoid various complications and help your pet in time.
  • Dental stones. These cats are prone to dental disease. If the animal does not consume dry food, it is very important to brush its teeth periodically.
  • Ticks and fleas. Due to the dense, two-layered coat, owners of the American Bobtail often do not immediately notice the parasites on the animal’s body. Therefore, it is very important to wash your pet regularly and inspect it after the street.
  • Towards. A cat’s hunting passion is to “sniff out” everything in its path. On the street, this is fraught with rapid infection with helminthic invasions. Therefore, the American Bobtail is dewormed every few months.

Life expectancy

The average life expectancy of the American bobtail is 11 to 15 years.


This breed of cat is both short-haired and long-haired, which involves different care. A short-haired cat is combed a few times a month, while a long-haired cat needs more frequent and thorough grooming, at least once a week.

Also, do not forget to clean the ears from deposits and dirt in time, brush your teeth (this can be done every other day) and cut your nails. Don’t forget to bathe your pet, which can be done several times a year.

Fun facts

  • Eye color is associated with colorpoint, mink and sepia varieties.
  • Wild colors are preferred at exhibitions, that is, tabby is suitable.
  • A pet-class American bobtail kitten costs from $ 500, and you will have to pay all $ 1300 for an exhibition specimen.
  • A American bobtail is difficult to acquire in many coutries, because breeding is carried out mainly in the United States. We have private specialists and enthusiasts doing this.
  • For shows, the tail of the American Bobtail should end just above the heels of the hind legs. If the length is more than 8 cm, this may lead to disqualification of the cat.
  • It is impossible to find two cats of a given breed with the same tails. Even among bobtails from the same litter, they differ in shape, length and width.
  • American bobtails are considered very rare even in their historical homeland. At the beginning of the XXI century, only 216 cats of this breed were registered.
  • According to an unofficial version, American Bobtails appeared as a result of a mutation that happened during the breeding of ragdolls.

History of the breed

The American bobtail got its start from an unusual street kitten, which was picked up by one couple, these are John and Brenda Sanders, this happened in the early 60s of the last century.

This kitten attracted the Sanders with its unusual color and short tail. By the appearance of the kitten, it could be assumed that there were wild lynxes in his family, but these are only speculations, in fact, these signs appeared as a result of a spontaneous mutation. The kitten turned out to be quite prolific, as a result of its alliance with a Siamese cat of the Seal Point color, kittens with the same short tails were born.

Thus, it became clear that the gene responsible for this unusual tail length is dominant and suitable for further breeding experiments. Cats of several breeds participated in the experiments: Siamese, Burmese, Himalayan, Ragdoll cats, Manx cats and ordinary domestic cats.

In the 80s, experiments did not bring the proper result, the offspring began to degenerate, which required new breeds of cats to participate in breeding programs.

However, the further crossing of American bobtail cats among themselves almost led to their degeneration. Breeders had to choose a new tactic. Since inbreeding did not give the expected results, only wild animals with a shorter tail and pets of clean, that is, non-hybrid, lines were selected for breeding.

This is what made it possible to obtain a very strong and healthy breed. American bobtails are a healthy breed, on average they live from 12 years to 21 years old. Initially, all born cats had a long coat. But as a result of numerous crosses, animals with short hair were born. Since all the other thoroughbred characters of these kittens were preserved, for the sake of them, adjustments were made to the description of the American Bobtail standard.

Hard work continued for more than a decade, and finally, by the end of the twentieth century, it was officially crowned with success. It was recognized immediately by several international organizations and clubs of felinologists.


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