A ferocious killer can be a loving companion!

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Born in the wild, American Bobtail Cats are a naturally occurring breed that has only recently been recognized.

The first at the door to greet company, will follow you from room to room in the house, plays fetch and even likes to play in water! American Bobtail cats are intensely devoted to their humans. But be sure to groom them regularly and keep lots of toys on hand, better yet, get two bobtails to keep each other amused while you are out!

Quick Cat Characteristics of the American Bobtail Breed:

Physical: Short tail, strong, stocky body with hind legs slightly longer than their front legs. A short tail.

Color: A distinctively wild appearance, but can be any color with long or short fur.

Temperament: Confident, friendly, easily adaptable and fairly vocal.

History: feral cats possessing a short tail.

Physical – A wild cat in your house

The American Bobtail has a distinctively wild look, with long hind legs and shorter front lets and of course the short tail. The tail is usually between 2.5cm and 10cm long. They are muscular, athletic and powerful with a wide head and large almond shaped eyes. They have fur tufts on the tips of their ears and fuzzy little cheeks, much like the wild lynx.


Color – long and short coat lengths, grooming is a must

These cats have soft mat-resistant fur, but it still requires proper grooming, a good combing once or twice a week and an occasional bath will keep your American Bobtail looking shinny and healthy. Bobtail colors are all shades. Many of the American Bobtails bred today are brown and white but they can be grey, black, blonde, and any combination of colors. Breeders prefer coloring that accentuates their wild look.

Temperament – Sweet and Sociable –but only if you are not a mouse

American Bobtails have extremely high intelligence, given their possible wild background, it makes sense that they would be smart and adaptable. They can bond with everyone in the family – even the dog! They will lie in your lap and expect to be petted and will pur to show his appreciation.

But watch out! Every now and then, you’ll see your Bobtail acting like a wild cat – especially if there is hunting to be done. IF you have an outdoor Bobtail, be prepared for many little gifts of dead mice, birds and whatever else it chooses hunt. They are accomplished hunters and will always catch what they are hunting for. Watch out for opened doors – they will make their escape when you least expect it!

Make sure you keep your small valuables tucked safely away from your Bobtail, they have been known to hide shiney objects to play with later. If you like to play fetch but don’t want a dog, then you’ve found the right breed for you. Their extreme intelligence makes them trainable and they will even like riding in the car!

History – those wild 60’s – anything can happen!

Rumor has it that a little kitten was born of a bobcat dad and a domestic mom. He had a large frame and a wild look. And of course, a bobbed tail.


Only John and Brenda Sanders know for sure what happened that summer in the late 60’s. But the story goes that while they were on vacation in Arizona, they adopted this little adorable brown feral tabby kitten with a short tail and named him Yodie. When they took him home to Iowa, he bred with Mishi their female domestic seal point. The result, more adorable kittens with short tails!

Turns out Brenda’s friend Mindy Shultz was a cat breeder and started breeding the bobtailed kittens with Himalayans. In the early 70’s she wrote the standard, chose the name and there you go, the start of a new breed.

But this early group started to become inbred and unhealthy, that’s why you sometimes hear that American Bobtails have health problems. And they did, they had all sorts of issues including digestive, respiratory and physical ailments. But all this was cleared up in the 80’s when breeders included random bred, short tailed cats in the breeding programs. This gave American Bobtails a strong, healthy body with a stocky body and a wild look to them.


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That looks like a normal domestic cat, minus the bobbed tail of course.

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