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All About American Bobtail Cats

Updated on February 15, 2020

One of the most unusual representatives of their family is American Bobtail cats, which serve as a real pride for felinologists from the USA. Beautiful and rather large animals have a wonderful character, get along well with people, easily master tricks and useful skills. The description of the appearance of cats and cats is standardized and any deviations from it are considered marriage. An individual approach to breeding in this case made it possible to exclude the manifestation of unauthorized genetic mutations and preserve many hereditary traits inherent in American bobtail specifically. It is not surprising that today pets with short tails are found not only in the United States, but also far beyond its borders.

All About American Bobtail Cats

All About American Bobtail Cats
All About American Bobtail Cats

Origin history

The American bobtail owes its birth to young enthusiast breeders by the name of Sanders. But the breed could not have arisen, if not for a series of accidents. Traveling along with the Indian reservations of Southern Arizona to the careless 60s of the 20th century, the couple was so fascinated by the homeless kitten with an unusual mark - a short, as if chopped-off tail, that she decided to take it with her. The kid got the name Jody and turned out to be a male. The Sanders did not succeed in clarifying its origin - the local population assured that such offspring is obtained by crossing domestic cats with wild, and even, possibly, lynxes.

At home, Jody was waiting not only for warm shelter and delicious food but also for the company. A favorite was already living with the people who sheltered him - the Siamese cat Misha, who, when she found a baby with a short tail, grew up, became the mother of his children. The offspring that emerged from this unusual union became the first generation of a new breed. The cat gave the kids a genetic predisposition to the formation of a shortened tail.

It is worth noting that initially the Sanders did not believe in the bike about the "wild" origin of the new pet and considered that he simply got injured. But having received offspring with the same hereditary traits, they turned to familiar breeders and received unexpected advice: to begin targeted breeding of a completely new short-tailed breed. However, the owners of the first feline pair, who presented the world of American bobtail, who were not professional felinologists, almost ruined this good undertaking.

Their efforts, coupled with closely related crosses, led to the fact that each new generation of animals became less and less qualitative from the point of view of genetics. Fortunately for modern cat fans, breeding of American bobtail pretty quickly fell into the hands of professionals. Since the 70s of the last century, felinologists have taken steps to preserve a young, but very promising breed. For this, cats of Siamese and Burmese breeds were used in breeding, as well as various mixed breeds and animals, whose origin was unknown.

The calculation was made on the fact that the identified gene mutation will continue in subsequent generations. The calculation is fully justified. The descendants of Jody and Misha, when crossed with owners of blood unrelated to them, ensured a stable transmission of short-tailed kittens. However, today most of the animals known as American bobtail are only partly animals. They received recognition as a breed in 2000, and at that time purebred individuals numbered only 215.

Two decades later, the situation has not changed much - the American bobtail is considered a rare and expensive variety of cats, and official nurseries are still only in the USA.

Description of American Bobtail Cats

An American bobtail cat is a large-sized animal with well-developed muscles, a short tail and an appearance similar to wild manuls or lynxes. According to its standard, an animal has certain characteristics.

  1. It has a mass of up to 7.5 kg for cats and up to 5 kg for cats. There are two subtypes of individuals - medium and large.

  2. May belong to a short-haired or long-haired subgroup. In the first case, the hair is quite short, stiff, with a vertically spaced spine and a dense undercoat. Long-haired American bobtails always look a little shaggy, well pubescent. Towards the neck, croup, femur and hind legs.
  3. Has a significant life expectancy of up to 15 years.
  4. It is distinguished by a tail of a special shape - with a tassel in the form of a fan, it forms at the end. Creases are allowed. With nervous excitement, the cat lifts its tail up, in a state of rest it is lowered, pressed to the body. The length of the caudal process should not be less than 2.5 cm or extend beyond the hock joint.
  5. It has a firmly built up dense body, set high on muscular legs. The limbs in front are shorter, the brush is dense, tightly compressed, with well-developed pads.
  6. Has a wedge-shaped compact head with a pronounced cheekbone line, developed chin. The eyes are widely spaced, with a deep set, rounded or almond-shaped, their color should not contrast with the hair. Ears are high, large, slightly rounded with a pronounced slope.

Only recently, short-haired American bobtails were recognized as an independent branch of the breed, before that they were discarded for a long time, not allowed to breed.

The differences between the two types are not only in the length of the outer hair. There is a difference both in its rigidity and in the direction of growth.

American Bobtail Cats
American Bobtail Cats

Character Features

The nature of the American bobtail is quite independent, but they are contactable, available for communication, not aggressive against other animals. Choosing such a cat as a pet, it is worthwhile to give it territory for games and entertainment. Animals, even in adulthood, remain active and need movement.

American bobtail is loyal and loyal to the owner. The owner may have no doubt that the pet may prefer someone else to him. But such fidelity to habits creates certain difficulties: even leaving on vacation, a business trip, staying in the hospital becomes a tragedy and a serious blow for a short-tailed cat.

This breed is one of the few who have not been strongly recommended a change of ownership.

In general, American bobtails are excellent companion cats that do not really need a society of their own kind and prefer communication with humans. They do not suffer from a lack of free walking, calm and balanced. The animal does not spoil things in the house, behaves correctly, quickly masters the basic rules of behavior.

Wool color options

The most common and recognized color option is tabby in blue or red. Silvery American Bobtail signs of rufism are allowed. Holders of point colors should have pronounced residual marks on the body. The more “wild” the pattern on the pet’s hair looks, the better. But in general, the standard does not give preference to any one version.

Eye color is associated with the color in animals with point, milk, sepia colors. All color versions are obtained by crossing with Persian cats.

The result of selection, among other things, was a stratification into shorthair and long-haired varieties.

Conditions of detention

There is no need to create a special habitat for American Bobtail. Features of the content of this breed of cats are not much different from those that are needed for a non-purebred pet. The rarity of the animal most often forces owners to switch to a completely home pet.

But bobtails easily get used to the harness and they can easily be walked on a leash, giving the pet considerable pleasure.

The details of cat care depend on the length of the coat. Fluffy pets need regular combing, seasonal disposal of undercoat. Bathing is required as the fur coat becomes dirty, but in general, cats do an excellent job of maintaining cleanliness. For cats that are on the street, it is imperative to take measures of antiparasitic treatment - from fleas, ticks, worms. Eyes and ears are cleaned weekly from contamination, brushing the teeth for representatives of the breed, prone to the formation of tartar, is also a mandatory procedure.

The sharp claws of American bobtail necessarily need grinding in a natural way. A simple haircut does not solve the problem. It’s better to teach your pet to use a claw point from childhood.


Character Features
Character Features


American bobtail is a breed that needs a balanced diet, taking into account the physical activity of the animal. The optimal solution is a professional ready-made diet containing all the necessary substances. As a food, it is better to choose premium or holistic-class products. The frequency of feeding depends on the age of the cat or cat - on average, adult animals require no more than two feedings per day, adolescents up to 1.5 years old need three meals a day. Kittens should receive food 4 times a day before six months.


American bobtail is a breed that is characterized by fairly good health. The dominant genes of wild cats in combination with carefully dosed impurities of new blood gave excellent results. But in the case of intentional or accidental closely related crosses, offspring can receive defective heredity. In this case, the most common manifestation in animals is hip dysplasia, allergic reactions, and skin dermatitis. There is also a predisposition to the formation of tartar.

Genetically determined short tails also have consequences. Animals can be born completely tailless or with a shortened spine.

American bobtail is also prone to obesity, as well as to the development of diabetes. These descendants of wild cats certainly do not need carbohydrate food, but a complete meat diet with an abundance of protein. Improper nutrition can lead to poor health.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Syed Kashif Shah


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