Meet the Cat Breed: The American Bobtail

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Overview:

The American Bobtail is a rare breed that got its start back in the 1960s with a short-tailed tabby that was thought to be a bobcat-domestic hybrid.

Physical Characteristics:

The American Bobtail is a medium to large-sized cat with a naturally-occurring bobtail. The body is well-muscled, fairly stocky and rectangular. There are both long and short-haired varieties. The eyes are large with a look of intelligence. It is highly desirable for the cats to have lynx-tipped ears. Coat colors are often tabby, but other colors are allowed. The spotted tabby cats have a strong resemblance to the bobcat. The coat is double, weather-resistant and shaggy. In this breed, no two tails are alike. Some may be straight, slightly curved, have bumps, or be slightly knotted.

History of the Breed:

The American Bobtail is believed to have started back in the 1960s when John and Brenda Sanders of Iowa obtained a stubby-tailed tabby, that was believed to have been a bobcat-domestic hybrid, while they were vacationing near an Indian reservation in Arizona. This cat was bred with a Siamese, but the original lines of the bobtail never really took off and fizzled out. Other enthusiasts found more naturally-occurring bobtail cats throughout the U.S. and these were implemented into a breeding program ensuring a healthy, sturdy breed that is generally free from genetic disease. The gene pool of the American Bobtail Cat is completely separate from the Japanese Bobtail Cat. This is evidenced by the fact that the gene that causes the short tail in the American strain is dominant, and the bobtail in the Japanese import is recessive.

Temperament:

The American Bobtail is very personable, intelligent, and will get along with most anyone of either the two-legged or four-legged variety. Six or eight-legged creatures should beware of this agile hunter! These cats have dog-like personalities. They often teach their owners tricks, will fetch, and take their owners on a walk on a leash. They are fairly quiet, but will chirp and click when excited.

  • Best suited for: Any family that likes to have a playful involved cat in the middle of their lives.
  • Preferred living conditions: This intelligent cat thrives with playful interaction with their humans. Prefers to have a dog or cat companion when left at home.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care coat is not prone to matting, even in the long-haired varieties.
  • Exercise needs: Enjoys active play.
  • Life expectancy: 17-20 years.
  • Health concerns: Generally healthy.

Breed Club Links: American Bobtail Breeder's Club

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Come With Me Kitty Bungee leash and harness.

Have any stories about an American Bobtail? Please share!

Ready to adopt a Bobtail? Visit Petfinder.com to see available Bobtail cats!

Photo courtesy of torbakhopper.

This entry was posted by Mary.
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