The Breed History
This American breed is thought to have originated in Arizona in the 1960s, deriving from a cat named Yodie. A mutation in a cat led to the presence of a bobtail, and breeders used this cat as a foundation animal for the new breed. Breed origins are poorly documented, and some consider Japanese Bobtail and Manx genes to have been in the source cat rather than this being a spontaneous mutation in a feral cat. The mutation is distinct in studies carried out so far comparing the American Bobtail with the Manx. Only American Bobtails with a standard tail length (just above the tarsus) are considered show stock. Almost tailless cats and those with short kinked tails are also born. CFA first accepted this breed in 2000 in the Miscellaneous Class, TICA registry accepted them in 1989. No outcrossing is allowed. These cats are larger than Japanese Bobtail cats.
Weight: 7-15 lb (3-7 kg), females smaller than males in this weight range, and some males may exceed 15 pounds.
Coat: There are two coat varieties; Longhair (autosomal recessive) and Shorthair. The longhair type is a semi-long shaggy soft coat. The short haircoat stands out, and also has an unkempt appearance. It is a water resistant coat. The undercoat is soft and dense like rabbit fur. All colors are accepted.
Eyes: With a strong wild staring expression, eyes are oval-almond in shape, and all eye colors are accepted except odd eyes.
Points of Conformation: American Bobtail cats are well muscled medium-large cats with short heavy legs. There is a distinctive brow. Ears are medium in size, are high and wide set and have Lynx tufts and furnishings. The head is broad and is a modified wedge shape, and the nose has a moderate break which is slightly concave. There is a prominent whisker pinch. These cats have prominent scapulae, and large round paws. The bobtail is an autosomal dominant trait. The tail must be long enough to be seen above the back when the cat is active but be above the hock when resting. Average bobtail length ranges from 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) and straighter tails are preferred. The American Bobtail gait is smooth and rolling.
Grooming: Low to moderate grooming needs are typical for the Longhair, and there are low grooming needs for the shorthaired cats. Coats do not tend to mat easily.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: Curious, friendly, adaptable, high intelligence, "dog-like" personality; enjoy games such as fetch and hide and seek, get along well with most dogs, love children, are quiet voiced cats using chirps and trills mostly, many can learn to open doors, and are easy to leash train. Used for psycho-assistance therapy cats because of their excellent calm temperament, and do well in busy, noisy environments.
Normal Breed Variations
Slow to mature (three years of age before they fit the breed standard)
None reported in the literature
Tails may range in length from full normal tail to a rumpy, though the latter is very rare.
None reported in the literature
No commercial tests available.
- Breed name synonyms: AmBob, Bobtail
- Registries: TICA, CFA
- Breed resources: American Bobtail Breeders Association: http://www.angelfire.com/country/americanbobtails/
American Bobtail CFA Breeders Club: http://americanbobtailbreeders.com/
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