American Bobtail Cat: Characteristics, Temperament & Cat Care


The American Bobtail cat is the most recent breed that has been accepted for championship status (2006) by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA). The American Bobtail is easy to recognize by its wild appearance and naturally occurring bobtail. The American Bobtail is totally unrelated to the Japanese Bobtail and its stumpy tail seems to be a product of the Manx gene. The Bobtail is a purely American developed cat and at this time is not recognized by British or European cat fancy organizations. The Bobtail seems to have originated in Iowa in the early 1970’s and at some point in its development was crossed with Himalayan and Birman cats which probably accounts for the varied coat lengths which range from medium-short to semi-longhair. The Manx gene is unstable so Bobtail kittens can be born with no tail, longer tail of the bobtail. In 1990 the CFA and the International Cat Association started to accept American Bobtails for registration.

Cat size Medium/Large
Exercise Active cat: moderate exercise
Grooming The coat needs grooming twice weekly
Temperament Loving, sociable and great with children

Characteristics Of American Bobtail Cat


The American Bobtail is a medium to large sized cat with a naturally occurring straight or slightly curved bobtail about 2 to 4 inches in length. The Bobtails can weigh from 15 to 20 pounds with females being somewhat smaller. This Bobtail cat breed is well muscled and athletic and actually has the appearance of a wild cat. The American Bobtail has a broad wedge-shaped head with distinctive brows above large almond shaped eyes. The body is fairly long and sturdy with a full and broad chest. The rump is slightly higher than the chest. There are two coat type varieties. The Shorthair variety is a medium-length, dense, non-matting double coat. The top coat is hard and the undercoat is soft and downy. The Longhair variety is medium long and slightly shaggy with slightly longer hair on the belly, tail ruff and britches. The texture is a dense double coat that is resistant to water. All color varieties are allowed but preference in the show ring will be given to colors that enhance the wild appearance of the breed.



American Bobtails have an outstanding personality and temperament and are very kind and devoted to their owners. They bond extremely well with their families and get along very well with children. They will even allow young children to carry them around. They are a very intelligent breed of cat that can be taught to do tricks and trained to walk on a leash. They can be taught to learn their names and to come when called. They are dog-like in their tendency to follow their owners around the house. American Bobtails love to play games such as retrieving or hide and seek. Bobtails are fairly quiet and make chirping and trilling noises when happy. They are fun loving and active and like to show off and clown around in front of company and can easily tolerate strangers and other cats and dogs. American Bobtails are slow to develop into adults may take up to 3 years to mature.

American Bobtail Cat Care

Bobtails need a thorough combing with a steel comb about twice a week for the Shorthair variety and 3 times per week for the Longhair variety. The Longhair variety should be careful groomed to prevent matting. Additional grooming will be required during the spring and fall shedding seasons. Start grooming American Bobtails very early while they are young kittens so that they learn to love the attention.


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