The Loving American Bobtail

The American Bobtail is an uncommon domestic cat breed which is famous for its stubby “bobbed” tail that is about one-third to a half-length of a normal cat’s tail. But this breed is not related to the Japanese Bobtail even though they have similar names and physical type. The genetic mutation that caused their “bobbed” tails are also different because the American Bobtail’s tail is dominant while the Japanese Bobtail’s tail mutation is recessive. The American Bobtail has a distinctively wild look because of its short tail and powerful body, but it is a loving and incredibly intelligent cat. Let us know more about the history and characteristics of the American Bobtail cat breed.


Based on urban legends, Bobtails are the result of a cross breeding between a wild bobcat and a domestic tabby cat. But in reality, their unusual tail is the result of a random spontaneous genetic mutation within the domestic cat population and it can be related to the Manx gene which his dominant. They have appeared in various places over the centuries, from Japan to the Isle of Man.

These cats got noticed and one was acquired by John and Brenda Sanders during their vacation in Arizona. They named the cat they got Yodi, who later on became the father of the breed in the 60s when it has its way with the Sander’s female, Mishi, when they got back home in Iowa. The kittens of Yodi and Mishi have short tails as well which served as a clue that the trait was due to a dominant gene.

The Sanders have a family friend, Mindy Shoultz, who had experienced breeding Persians. She partnered with Charlotte Bentley to create unusual cats into a breed. They bred the kittens to cats with naturally short tails that they found throughout Canada and the United States. They did selective breeding for the cats to be big and sturdy with a wild look but a sweet temper. All of the cats that were used to develop the breed were non-pedigreed domestic shorthairs and longhairs. But in the present time, after 50 years, this kind of outcrossing is no longer necessary because the cats now have pedigrees longer than their tails.

In 1989, the International Cat Association accepted the American Bobtail into their new breed category and in 2002, it was given full recognition. Aside from that, the American Bobtail is also recognized by other associations such as the Cat Fanciers Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association.

Characteristics of an American Bobtail

Average weight: 8 – 13 pounds

Life span: 11 – 15 years

Hypoallergenic: No

The American Bobtail is a short-tailed cat with a moderately long body, substantial boning, and stocky. It has a noticeably rectangular stance and its chest is full and broad. Its hips are almost as wide as its chest and its hind legs are longer than the forelegs with large round feet that may have toe tufts. Its head is broad wedge without flat planes and the size is proportionate to its body. It has medium-sized ears with rounded tips that are wide-based and equally mounted on top and size of its head. Its eyes are almost almond-shaped and its eye color varies with the coat color. The breed’s coat color may come in all colors and patterns and as well as its eyes, except odd.

Each of the American Bobtail’s tail is unique and most are 1 to 4 inches long but can be longer or shorter. The ideal bobtail is flexible and long enough to be visible above the back when the cat is alert. American Bobtails mature slowly and it can take up to three years for them to reach their full size.

American Bobtails are loving cats with a heart of gold. They are devoted to their people and they are also smart cats that enjoy playing with puzzle toys and as well as learning tricks. This breed is not as vocal as other cat breeds. It will communicate its pleasure with chirps, clicks and trills, and standard purr and meow. It is also a very adaptable cat, making it great to take with you when you travel. Their loving and intuitive nature makes them a good family companion. This means that it is also a good cat breed choice for households with children and other cats and cat-friendly dogs.

Caring for an American Bobtail

The American Bobtail is very easy to groom and take care of. You just need to brush its coat at least twice every week to remove dead hair and keep its coat healthy and shiny. You can use a rubber curry brush or a slicker brush to groom its coat. Aside from taking care of its coat, the only other care it needs is weekly nail trimming and cleaning its ear occasionally. Remember to always keep its litter box clean because cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene.

When it comes to food, American Bobtails love meat, that’s why you should not forget that when contemplating what food to give your pet. The amount of food you should give depends on different things such as your pet’s weight, age, and activity level. The best way to determine the right amount of food is to ask your local veterinarian about your pet’s weight and food.

To keep your American Bobtail safe from the attacks of dogs and other animals, and from getting hit by a car, it’s better to keep it as an indoor-only cat. This will also prevent it from acquiring diseases spread by other cats and from being stolen as well.

If you’re looking for a loving pet that is easy to care for and your children will surely like, then the American Bobtail might be the perfect choice for you. It is a well-suited pet to any home with people who will love and care for it.