The American Bobtail is a fairly new breed of cat, which first appeared in the 1960’s. They have been long believed to be the progeny of naturally occurring bobcat hybrids, however, there is no proof of this theory, and genetic testing also fails to prove this. Although this is genetically possible, a bobcat/domestic cat hybrid, particularly the male, would most likely be sterile. The unusual tail is actually the result of a random and spontaneous genetic mutation within the domestic cat population, or may be related to the dominant Manx gene. Yodie, a short-tailed brown tabby male, was found in Arizona, U.S.A. by a couple named John and Brenda Sanders. He was brought back home with them to Iowa where he mated with a seal point coloured domestic female to create the Bobtail’s original bloodline, though most of the early bloodlines have now been eliminated. The breed was recognized and allowed for championship by TICA in 1989. Although American Bobtails are bred with a wild appearance, large size, and bobcat-like traits, they remain well natured and domesticated.
American Bobtails are known to be dog-like in their personality, and behaviours. They will often play fetch, and go for walks on a leash, greet you at the door when you come home, and are great travellers in the car. These cats are highly intelligent, social, playful, and bold. They enjoy playing with people, and other animals, including other cats. American Bobtails seem to be eerily good at understanding the human language and commands. You can even teach them to do “dog-like” tricks. With their extremely social nature, they are always sure to be in the room with you. They can become remarkably attached to their human family, and be extremely loyal. Still, they can sometimes be shy or protective around strangers. They require daily interaction from people, and can often become depressed without it. They are said to be acutely sensitive to people’s emotions, particularly, people experiencing stress. They have an amazing bond with people, love human interaction, and strive for it. Most American bobtail owners fall completely in love with the breed, usually owning more than one. American Bobtails are considered a quiet breed, with a soft meow and soft chirps and murrs. They are not overly active, or destructive, and maintain their playfulness throughout adulthood. Bobtails are highly active as kittens, but as they mature, they will become more relaxed and willing to lay back and sleep in your lap.
American Bobtails are very hard to find in Canada & make amazing family members. They are people-orientated and want to constantly remain by your side. I would never be able to explain in words how amazing these cats are, not only for their beauty, but their intelligence, and ability to love, and become your best friend. They are amazing, gentle, and loving cats.
American Bobtails are a long-lived and healthy breed of cat. Their average life expectancy is around 18 years, and unless a “rumpy” (kitten with no tail vertebrae, and/or shortened spine) is born, they are not known to have any genetic health issues specific to the breed. Because Bobtails are bred to maintain a healthy spine and tail length, rumpy kittens with spinal issues are rare, and can be easily distinguished at birth. The shortened tail does not cause American Bobtails to have any physical limitations, and they are just as capable and active as other cat breeds.
Bobtails often become very close with young children, of course this is to say the children are gentle and handle the kitten with care. The kitten may need a small adjustment period to become comfortable with young kids and any quick movements or loud noises. However, Bobtail, being a confident and outgoing breed, do not usually take long to get use to them. As with any cat that is being rough handled, or frightened, they will hide, and become timid whenever the children are around, so monitoring the two of them together is always recommended. While Bobtails are young, they are also very active, so I suggest keeping the nails trimmed. Sometimes the kittens will run and jump, or climb your legs in attempt to get attention, and unknowingly, accidentally scratch. So this is something to keep in mind. They are not aggressive, love attention, and most do well with children. But of course each kitten is an individual, so some will need a longer adjustment period than others, while some kittens adjust the very day they come home.
American Bobtails are a medium to large breed of cat, with average weights being between 11 and 16 lbs for males, and 7-11 lbs for females. They come in all coat lengths, coat patterns and colours, including, but not limited to, pointed, silvers, tabbies, reds, dilutes, and cats with white. They are muscular, and large boned, and have the look of power. They feel solid, rather than mushy, and this body type may take a couple years to fully mature and fill out.
They are known for the shortened tail, which should be shorter than the hock, and longer than a couple vertebrae. The tail may be straight, kinked, or knotted, with back legs slightly longer than the front. American Bobtails should have a wild appearance like that of a bobcat or lynx, with large feet, wide jowls, chin and muzzle, and almost almond eyes. The head is a broad modified wedge, with medium sized ears. Ear tipping and lighter thumb prints at the back of the ears are highly desirable.