Feline Breed Menu

American Bobtail

American Bobtail

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Breed Organizations

TICA Executive Office
Website: http://www.tica.org
The Cat Fanciers' Association
Website: http://www.cfainc.org

Native Country
United States Of America
Other Names
Life Expectancy
No Information Available
Litter Size
No Information Available
Breed Appearance
The American Bobtail is an uncommon breed of domestic cat which was developed in the late 1960s.[1] It is most notable for its stubby "bobbed" tail about one-third to one-half the length of a normal cat's tail. This is the result of a cat body type genetic mutation affecting the tail development, similar to that of a Manx cat. The breed is not related to the Japanese Bobtail despite the similar name and physical type—the breeding programs are entirely unrelated, and the genetic mutation causing the bobbed tail are known to be different because the mutation causing the American Bobtail's tail is dominant, whereas the Japanese Bobtail tail mutation is recessive.

American Bobtails are a very sturdy breed, with both short- and long-haired coats. Their coat is shaggy rather than dense or fluffy. They can have any color of eyes and coat, with a strong emphasis on the "wild" tabby appearance in show animals.

Breed Description
Head: Shape - broad modified wedge without noticeable flat planes or doming, in proportion to the body. Cheekbones are apparent. In profile slightly concave curve between nose and brow with good length between brow & ears. Widening of the head and stud jowls apparent in adult males. Brow - distinctive, evidenced by a slightly rounded forehead to eye ridge; brow border is fleshy creating and enhancing the top line of the eye.
Eyes: Large. Almost almond in shape. Deep set. Outside corner angled slightly upward towards the ears. Medium-wide apart. Distinctive brow above the eye creates a top line to the eye and produces the breed's natural hunting gaze. All eye colors acceptable, eye color can be copper, gold, yellow or green; blue in bi-color/van, colorpoint, lynxpoint or odd-eyed white cats.
Nose: Wide, being equally as wide from the inside corner of the eye through the length of the nose into a large nose leather. Muzzle/Chin - Observable whisker break above a welldefined broad medium length muzzle. Fleshy whisker pads. Chin strong and wide in line with the nose.
Ears: Medium. Wide at base with slightly rounded tips, as much on the top of the head as on the side. Ear tipping and furnishings highly desirable. Lighter colored thumbprints on the back of the ears desirable on all tabbies including lynx points.
Body: moderately long and substantial with a rectangular stance. Chest full and broad. Slightly higher in hips with prominent shoulder blades. Hips substantial almost as wide as chest. Deep flank. Muscular and athletic in appearance. Allowance should be made for slow maturation. Legs and Feet - in proportion to the body, of good length and substantial boning.
Paws: large and round. Toe tufts desirable in longhaired varieties. Five toes in front, four in back.
Tail: Is short, being half-length or less than that of the average cat. The tail is flexible and expressive and may be straight, slightly curved or slightly kinked or have bumps along the length of the tail. Tail set in line with the top line of the hip. Tail to be broad at base, strong and substantial to the touch, never fragile. Straighter tails should exhibit a fat pad at the end of the tail and are preferred over kinked tails. Length - Must be long enough to be clearly visible above the back when alert, not to extend past a stretched hind hock in length. Neck - medium in length may appear short due to musculature.
Coat: Shorthair Division: length-medium, semi-dense; texturenon- matting, resilient with slight loft; density-double coat, hard topcoat with a soft, downy undercoat; miscellaneous-seasonal variations of coat should be recognized. Coat may be softer in texture in dilute colors, lynx points and silvers. Undercoat may be mouse gray in tabbies. Longhair Division: length-medium-longhair, slightly shaggy. Tapering to slightly longer hair on ruff, britches, belly and tail; ruff-slight, mutton chops desirable; texture-non-matting, resilient; density-double coat. Undercoat present, not extremely dense; miscellaneous- seasonal variations of coat should be recognized. Coat may be softer in texture in dilute colors, lynx points and silvers. Undercoat may be mouse gray in tabbies. Any genetically possible color or combination of colors is allowed. Preference shall be given to colors and patterns that enhance the natural wild appearance of the breed. High rufusing is desirable in all tabbies, including silvers, with no penalty for lack thereof. Body patterns highly desirable in lynx points and smokes.
Faults: Tail too long or too short affecting the balance and appearance of the cat. Tail kinked or knotted out of shape. Tail rigid, fragile or set low. Straight tail not exhibiting a fat pad. Round eyes. Weak chin. Extremely short muzzle or nose break. Cottony coat.

This American cat is rare outside of the United States. Around 1964, an American couple named Sanders was vacationing near an Indian reservation in Arizona when they noticed a wild-looking kitten with a short, upright tail. They adopted the kitten and named him Yodie. He was crossed with Michi, a Siamese. A kitten from this litter, crossed with a cream-colored cat, was the origin of the breed. The Bobtail's distinguishing feature, its short tail, was the result of a mutation caused by a dominant gene. Initially, the Bobtail's coat was short. However, Himalayans (Colorpoint Persians in Britain) were introduced and resulted in a medium-length coat. The breed was recognized by T.I.C.A. in 1989. The semi-longhair American Bobtail, the longhaired version of the American Bobtail, has the same characteristics as its cousin.

They are excellent companions for children and do not mind being carried around like a sack of potatoes. They interact well with people of all ages and serve a great purpose in the family home as a major source of entertainment due to their clown like personalities. They also offer a warm, soft shoulder to cry on when needed. They are known for their love of games and can play fetch or hide and seek for hours on end. They will often initiate a game and can be very persistent until you play with them. They are basically quiet cats in voice, however they do trill, chirp and click when delighted. They are easily leash-trained and love to go for walks. Not technically thieves, the American Bobtail's love of shiny objects makes it necessary to keep jewelry boxes closed and even locked.

The American Bobtail is generally healthy, but tail-less American Bobtails can have spinal problems that affect their ability to control defecation.

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