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American Bobtail Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

When it comes to cat’s that possess a bobbed tail, folks generally fall into one of two camps.  First you either love the “look” of a bobbed tail cat, or you think it’s “weird” and it’s just not your thing!

Now if the latter…

Describes you, it’s fair to say that an American Bobtail probably isn’t going to be the “best” cat breed for you.  And that’s ok!  Because that’s the purpose of this article.

You see…

When it comes time to deciding what “type” of cat you’d like to adopt, there are literally 100’s of different combinations to pick and choose from.  And while there may only be a few “officially” recognized pedigree cat breeds out there, chances are most folks won’t end up with a pure pedigree cat.

Most folks…

Will end up with a “mixture” of all sorts of different cat breeds which is why we like to write different articles about the different cat breeds that are out there so folks can get a “general” idea about what it might be like to own a particular breed so that they can be sure and get the breed that best “fits” they’re lifestyle.

That said however…

We here at IndulgeYourPet think that anyone that automatically excludes the American Bobtail cat from their “short list” of potential candidates for adoption are making a big mistake because these little guys are “awesome” especially if you’re looking for a fun and friendly cat that might be willing to play fetch with you as well!

But if you’re willing…

To give an American Bobtail a chance, keep on reading because in this article we’re going to try to give you a “feel” for what it might be like to actually own an American Bobtail.  So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

American Bobtail Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  United States

Size:  Medium to large

Weight:  10 to 12 pounds

Eyes:  Almond-shaped eyes

Head Shape:  Wedge shaped

Life Span:  13 to 15 years

Origin of The American Bobtail Cat

Legend has it that the American bobtail cat originated through the crossbreeding of the domestic tabby cat and the wild bob cat.  And while it would be “fun” to and sort of easy to perpetuate this urban legend given the rather “wild” look these domesticated gems have, the truth is, the American Bobtail cat breed is simply the result of selective breeding that has occurred after an initial spontaneous genetic mutation caused one little kitten back in Iowa to have a short tail.

You see…

Back in 1960, an Iowa family decided to mate their Siamese cat with a “stray” tabby that had a rather “short” tail.  As a result, some of the kittens had rather short tails.  From there, some of these kittens were breed again ultimately leading to the creation a “new” cat breed known as the American Bobtail.


In the case of the American Bobtail cat breed, the “mutated” gene that is responsible for the “bobtail” trait is actually the dominant gene unlike other “bobtail” cat breeds such as the:

Where the gene responsible for the “shortened” tail is actually linked to a recessive gene.

American Bobtail characteristics

An American bob cat is a fairly large cat with substantial rectangular body covered with shaggy fur that can come in either of two lengths, the short-haired variety or a long-haired variety.

Their bodies…

Will tend to be wide across the shoulders with its chest full and broad.  Their hips will also be about as wide as their chest giving this broad headed cat, a rather “stocky” appearance.

And when it comes to their tails…

They’re going to be quite flexible and will sometimes be either straight, or slightly curved or kinked. And when alert, the American Bobtail will have an almost “wild” look about him.

Particularly when…

Full grown because he will typically have a natural gaze about him and an expression of alertness at all times.  Which makes sense because this isn’t a “dainty” little cat.  The American Bobtail is a large cat, that not only looks big and tough but is also quite muscular and athletic.

For this reason…

American Bobtails tend to mature quite slowly, taking about two to three years to reach full size and maturity which isn’t all that long considering these guys can often live beyond 15 years of age.

Temperament of an American Bobtail Cat

The American bobtail cats are sociable cats that are very playful yet only mildly energetic. The seem to “pick and choose” when they want to play.  Sometimes they will, other times they may just stare and you wondering what in the world you’re doing with that cat toy in your hand!

They’re also…

Very clever cats who love to have their minds challenged. They enjoy puzzle toys and learning new tricks, and their ingenuity gives them the ability to escape from secured cages, so merely closing the door behind then might not just do the trick.

Did we mention that they love to do tricks?

If not, this is something you should be aware of because their natural intelligence and curiosity makes them ideal students and very receptive to training.


They can even play fetch and walk on a leash if you teach them.

This is why…

Even folks who aren’t “crazy” about having a cat with a bobbed tail often find themselves owning several of these cats once they get to know one or two!

Grooming and care

Combing and brushing the American bobtail cat regularly keeps its fur from tangling, it sheds more fur in the spring time so it’s best to pay more attention to it and groom regularly during this period.  Now this might seem a bit excessive, but don’t fret, chances are your American Bobtail will come to enjoy being combed and it you’ll probably enjoy it too!

Common heath issues of the American Bobtail cat breed.

American bobtail cat breed in general is a pretty health one. However, it’s not all that uncommon for them to have “spinal” issue related to the bobtail mutation that can affect their ability to control when they defecate.  Which as you can image can be quite problematic for any “indoor” cat owner.

This is why…

It is important to always work with a reputable cat breeder, one that will be aware of any potential genetic issues a particular cat breed may be susceptible too and actively tries to minimize these risks in their litters.

It’s also why…

It’s always a good idea to take a look a what it might cost you to purchase a pet insurance policy on your new pet before any “issues” arise.  Because the last thing that you’ll want is for your little guy to develop a medical condition that is simply too expensive for you to be able to afford the care needed to treat your little buddy.

Now will a pet insurance policy be “right” for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you know what they will and won’t cover and how much they actually cost, how will you know?

For more information about who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Company article.

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