American Bobtail cat
Cat Breeds

American Bobtail Cat

The American Bobtail is a medium sized breed with an unusual bobbed tail and a buff and athletic body. The Bobtail is a rather uncommon breed of domestic cat.

Kurilian Bobtail Orange Cat

Breed Snapshot

Breed: American Bobtail cat
Size: Medium-large, 7 to 16 lbs
Energy Level: 5/5
Talkative: 3/5
Coat: Medium- to long-haired coat that doesn’t mat
Hypoallergenic: No
Seeking: Anyone who’s affectionate and willing to play
Child Friendly: Yes
Personality Snapshot: Sociable, affectionate, intelligent, easily trained, loves company.

My Looks

My biggest asset and what American Bobtails cats are known for is definitely my rather unusual bobbed tail, which is my namesake. It can be around 2 to 4 inches long and gives me a rugged appearance that you’d only normally see on my relatives that live in the wild.

My tail’s even got either a noticeable kink or knobby curve at the end that makes it really eye-catching. Just between the two of us, I think my tail is even more majestic than that of a Japanese Bobtail’s, Kurilian s, Pixie Bob’s or a Manx cat’s because it has a unique hypnotic sway to it that turns heads wherever I go, ‘though admittedly, I don’t get out much.

My friends tell me that I have a fairly muscular body. Well, compared to other cats, I do have a pretty fleshy physique that makes me look somewhat buff and athletic. Some of them even say that I closely resemble my cousin, Lynx, with my big, slanting ears and wiry legs!

I have a blocky head that tapers down to a short neck. My parents told me that my neck isn’t actually short.

They said it looks that way because I’ve got more muscles in the neck area due to my chest that’s broader and fuller than an average cat’s. I also have prominent hips and shoulder blades that are hard not to notice.

Moreover, a lot of felines have always complimented me on my striking cheekbones and wide eyes. I think it’s a family asset because both of my folks have expressive, almond-shaped eyes and heavy brows. I’ve even inherited their distinct full muzzle, wide nose and bushy whiskers.

American Bobtail cat breed

My paws are roundish and rather large. If you examine them closely, you can see that they somewhat look like snowshoes. I’ve got four toes on my back paws and five in the front.

Depending on the overall length of my coat, they can also have fluffy tufts on the end that closely resemble cotton balls.

A few of my feline pals used to tease me about my stocky legs, but I think they’re just awesome.

Sure, I’m never going to be a supermodel, but they allow me to roam wherever I want without a fuss and thanks to them, I’m also a master at jumping up considerable heights and climbing on top of stuff.

Consider yourself warned.

My Personality

The American Bobtail breed is one of the most playful cats you’ll ever come across. I have very high energy levels and I won’t mind playing vigorously with you for an hour or two. Unlike other felines, I have a very outgoing disposition and have no problem taking the lead in asking you to play with me.

american bobtail

Now while I may be very bouncy, I am not overactive like my friend, Abby the Abyssinian.

If you’re not up for a game, just give me a few thoughtful, interactive toys and I’m good to go.

Oh, and just to get this off my chest, I am easily bored and can do a number on the sofa and other furniture in the house if I don’t have anything to focus my energy on.

Compared to other cats, I am very cooperative during training and can be easily taught tricks like catch and fetch.

I am also quite attentive and will listen to your instructions closely if you want me to learn something new.

I also don’t mind going on regular walks, which some felines find rather tiresome. I’ll be ready as soon as I put on my collar and leash.

In many ways, I’m like a cleaner, smarter canine.

I don’t mean to show off but the American Bobtail breed has above average intelligence. And I will put it to good use – I’ve got this uncanny ability to easily break out of secured cages and closed rooms if I just put my mind into it. Although I don’t have a problem adapting to any kind of environment, I need lots of space to frolic around and toys to play with to keep me busy.

american bobtail breed info

I can be a little high-maintenance like that, but hey – if you’re reading my profile, you’re probably not looking for a wallflower, right

That being said, I’m not as talkative and noisy as some felines. You won’t hear me meowing unceremoniously just when you’re getting ready for bed or when you leave the house for work.

Although I am not a fan of solitude, I am very patient and will be greeting you at the door when you arrive.

Just don’t forget to keep my litter box spotless. I am a stickler for bathroom cleanliness and I’ll make sure to let you know if I am not happy with it. Oh, you will know.

Unlike other cats, American Bobtails have no problem with kids, other pets and visitors coming over. I don’t even mind if there’s another dog or cat around.

As long as they don’t try to hurt me or steal my food, I’ll be their best friend and playmate. I can also easily handle rough play with children who sometimes can’t help but pinch my coat hard and tease me by pulling my tail. I am extremely tolerant and would prefer walking away instead of showing aggression. Despite my muscular physique, I’m a softie at heart.

My Ideal Human

Newbie cat owner? Have tons of other pets? I don’t mind either – as long as you’re affectionate and willing to play with me on a regular basis.

american bobtail

To be honest with you, I actually think it’s more fun to have lots of companions around. I also don’t have a problem with very young children who can be rowdy and boisterous to play with. As long as they’re playful, I can keep up.

Now while I am on the active side, I don’t expect my human to sweat it out with me just every minute of the day.

Having at least a half hour of energetic play is pretty much what it takes to keep me happy.

I’ve been told that I am quite independent and don’t need as much attention and grooming as other felines require. I am also very affectionate and won’t hesitate to hop in your lap if I think that you’re feeling a bit under the sun.

My Roots

The American Bobtail family tree began to take root sometime in the 1960’s through the efforts of avid cat enthusiasts, Brenda and John Sanders. Grandpa Bob shared that they went to an Indian Reserve in Arizona for a holiday and stumbled upon a baby feral-looking cat whose most prominent feature was a very dramatic bobbed tail while going for a hike. They named him Yodi.

John and Brenda fell in love with Yodi so much that they ended up taking him back home in Iowa. Little did Yodi know he would eventually become the patriarch of our clan in the next few months when he became of age and was paired with the couple’s young Siamese female, Mishi.

The resulting litter produced kittens that all flaunted Yodi’s noticeable bobbed tail. News of the distinct attribute of the kittens spread so far and wide that Charlotte Bentley and Mindy Shultz, friends of John’s and Brenda’s who were also cat aficionados, also began breeding them for their unique bobbed tails. The rest is history and here I am!

By the way, we were officially recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) as an independent breed in 1989 and by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 2000.

How to Keep Me Healthy

It really doesn’t take much when it comes to keeping me happy and healthy. To tell you the truth, I am quite self-sufficient and don’t need as much attention compared to other felines. Let me give you two very good reasons why.

First, my coat is resilient to matting. Now while it will need a careful brush or two from time to time to keep it clean and dirt-free, you won’t need to slave away at it for hours on end compared to the coat of my friend, the Persian. This also means I won’t need a bath until it’s really necessary. Just keep in mind that I shed the most during fall and spring.

Second, I am not prone to dental issues like gum disease and teeth problems. I simply require a weekly meticulous brushing and that’s pretty much it. Don’t forget to trim my nails every two weeks though. They tend to grow really fast, especially when I stay indoors most of the time.

However, compared to other felines, American Bobtails have a shortened spine and have a tendency to become obese if food intake is not monitored carefully. Besides checking if food portions are right, I really do need my exercise. So play with me, okay!

Fun Facts

  • Don’t let my appearance fool you! A lot of people are scared of me because I look like I just stepped out from the woods hunting for birds and other prey, but I am really a very nice kitty. Although I may share a few physical attributes with cousin, the lynx, I m not grumpy and bad-tempered like him. Don’t tell him I said that.
  • I have a penchant for sparkly things. If you suddenly lose your silver necklace or sequined glove, chances are I’ve borrowed? it.
  • Due to our sensitivity to human emotions, some of my family members are used by medical professionals like psychiatrists and family doctors to help patients relax during therapy and before undergoing minor surgery.
  • Grandpa Bob told me that the bobcat ancestors of Yodi, our family’s patriarch, were brought along by European settlers to keep them company during their voyage to North America.
  • Unlike other felines, I prefer to trill and chirp rather than meow. Most people rather enjoy this idiosyncracy.
  • We were given a Championship status by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 2006, if you care about that sort of thing.

11 thoughts on “American Bobtail Cat

  1. I found a pure bred American Bobtail teenage kitten 10 years ago out in the woods on a hike, miles from anywhere, and after walking over to me, she just hopped in my lap! She was skin and bones, but so sweet and gentle, obviously I had no choice but to rescue her. At the time of finding her, I did make a reluctant, but very thorough attempt to find any possible owner in that area. I called three different vet offices in the area to see if they had possibly treated a kitten like her. She is so distinctive looking that any vet office who had ever treated her would have reacted to my call as knowing the owner. Sadly, but fortunately for me, I could not find her original owner. So I kept her and I have been grateful every day since. Her name is Willow. There was a willow tree near tbe little stream where we found each other, so it just seemed right, she seems to like her name, but I also can tell she simply prefers to be called Kitty. She is sleeping in my lap as I type here. I have never had a difficult moment with this girl, only kindness and love everyday. She is truly a special cat and everyone who meets her reacts in just that way. I own a guitar shop and she has been to work with me everyday all these years, and she has made as many friends as I have over all that time and she deserves every one of them. Everyone loves her and it is so easy to understand why. I gave up a long time ago trying to imagine where she came from, or how I ended up with her in such an usual way, all I know now is that my little Willow, all 7 pounds of her, is a true blessing my life – she is a true ambassador of love. My little Willow. ?

    1. My husband promised my daughter she could adopt a cat. She found one on-line but he kept trying to jump out of her arms. The cat rescue told us that the cat was not feral but not completely domesticated. Not really an option for a girl that longed for kitty snuggle time.

      She opened the next kennel and out popped this lil kitten with a shortened curly tail. She loved him immediately!!! He was labeled as abandoned. We found out later that he is an American Bobtail. He brings so much love and entertainment to our family. From capturing flys mid air, to opening doors, playing fetch and my personal favorite stalking family members as play. We also sleep with his favorite toy every night.

      I don’t know how this lil guy became a abandoned kitty but he has a forever home with us.

  2. I love cats and I’m making a book about cats and birds.
    I love this website.

  3. I have been trying to figure what breed of cat we have. The very first picture you have on this page looks exactly like my Mittens excepts my baby has a full length tail. Do American Bobtail’s have full length tails?

    1. Yours might be a Maine Coon.Mine looked very much like the picture, too, but also had a normal tail.

  4. my cat kiwi ,i had her for 7 years and she passaway to years old i would love to have a american bobtail i would love to adpot kitty or cat live in n.h. thany you.

  5. We found our American Domestic Bobtail in Junction, Tx, at the Sam Coffey Animal Shelter. She was shy at first, but quickly overcame it and showed an enthusiastic and loving nature. I fell in love with her in 5 minutes. She has been with us ever since and does sense when either of us needs extra attention. We have had her almost 8 years now. There seem to be a lot of this breed in the Junction, Tx area. I never saw any in Southeast Tx, even at the animal shelters. Kitty Bob follows us around the house, usually comes when called, and recognizes several voice commands. Kitty Bob also growls when someone comes around the house. She is a good little guard cat.

    1. Thank you for posting. It sounds like she was a lucky cat to meet you @ the junction! Glad it has worked out.

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