American Bobtail

Although it may be mistaken for a wild cat, the American Bobtail is domestic, and it originated in North America. Athletic and with sharp hunter skills, its short tail is not the only thing the American Bobtail has in common with its wilder relative. But however wild it may seem, this breed is incredibly intelligent and affectionate. Its distinctive stubby tail is used to its full potential, as the cat often wags it according to its mood. The American Bobtail takes around 3 years to fully mature, but it is set apart by its superior intelligence.

American Bobtail Breed Information

The American Bobtail breed started with Yodi, a short tail tabby cat found in Arizona. After coupling with a domestic, non-pedigreed cat, he produced a litter that inherited the distinctive tail. The first actual American Bobtails were the offspring produced by these kittens, outcrossed with longhaired color points. The American Bobtail was recognized by TICA as a naturally occurring breed in 1989. This naturally short tail hails from Canada and the certain regions in the United States. Nowadays, these naturally bobtailed cats are no longer being used for breeding purposes.
Contrary to its feral appearance, the American Bobtail is actually very friendly and affectionate, which makes it an excellent family pet. Quick to attach to everyone in the household, including other pets and children, this breed is very loving, without being overbearing or demanding too much attention. Although this cat is not extremely active, it is not lazy, either, and it is willing to be walked on a leash, like its pal, the family dog.
  • Activity level: 3/5 (moderately active)
  • Intelligence level: 5/5 (above average intelligence)
  • Curiosity: 4/5 (medium curiosity, like most cats, without sniffing through your things)
  • Friendliness: 5/5 (very friendly and very affectionate with everyone living in the household, including animals and children)
  • Vocal: 3/5 (moderately vocal)
The American Bobtail can be most easily recognized by its stubby tail, reminiscent of a wild cat. The gene that causes the short tail mutation cannot be controlled, which means that every kitten litter will come with different length tails.
  • Fur: This breed comes in different patterns and colors, including red, cinnamon, black, white, blue, chocolate, cream, lilac, brown, or fawn. The fur length on an American Bobtail can be medium to long, or short, with the long one being surprisingly simple to maintain, with infrequent combing. The short hair, on the other hand, is pleasant to stroke, and it resembles rabbit fur.
  • Eyes: Angled upwards and very expressive, they give the American Bobtail the intense, focused gaze of a hunter.
  • Body structure: The American Bobtail has a strong, muscular body fit for a life in the wild. Its tail is short and stubby.
  • Facial features: The head is a modified wedge with a strong chin and tufted ears.
  • Weight: Female American Bobtails weigh around 7 to 11 pounds while male American Bobtails weigh from 12 to 16 pounds. These are the average weights for healthy Bobtails with large boning and muscle.
Health and Care
This breed is generally a healthy cat, although it may present diseases, especially later in life. As for care, its coat needs to be brushed a few times a week, and it will not tangle. Brushing may be necessary more often during fall and springtime when the cat naturally sheds. When it comes to hygiene, an American Bobtail doesn’t require frequent bathing, but it does need to have its teeth brushed in order to avoid periodontal disease. Also, the nails must be trimmed once in a while, and it’s best to keep it as a house cat, as allowing access outside can put it at risk of contamination from other cats. The Bobtail may also require to have its eyes and ears cleaned, as the eyes are especially prone to infection. That is why they all need to be cleaned separately with individual cloths or cotton swabs.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely. Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at