The American Bobtail
Creature Companions|February 2018

American Bobtails are loving and incredibly intelligent cats possessing a distinctive wild appearance. They are interactive cats that bond with their human family with great devotion. They can both entertain through their antics and also provide a warm and soft shoulder to their owners to cry on in times of distress.

Rohini Sankar

American Bobtails are known for their love for games and can play fetch and hide and seek for hours on end. They will often initiate games with their owners, and they demonstrate their hunting instincts in the home by catching insects in mid-air flying that make fatal mistake of entering their territory. They also love to stalk their toys and carry them in their mouths, as if they were a freshly caught rodent.

Basically a quiet cat but the American Bobtail is known to trill, chirp and click when delighted. They are easily leash trained and love to go for walks with their people. An easy going breed, they get along well with most dogs and welcome newcomers, whether they are two-legged or four-legged.

The American Bobtail was developed by natural selection to survive feral environments. They are medium to large cats with substantial rectangular bodies. The tail is short, expressive, flexible (sometimes straight), slightly curved, slightly kinked or may have bumps along its length. The natural bobtail is clearly visible above the back when the cat is alert and it should not extend beyond the hind hock. The combination of this distinctive tail with other physical characteristics results in a cat with a marked resemblance to the bobtailed wildcat. The head is a broad modified wedge with an observable whisker break above a well defined, broad, medium-length muzzle. Whisker pads are fleshy and the chin is strong. The eye shape combined with the brows gives the breed its natural hunting gaze and expression of intelligence and alertness. The American Bobtail is a moderately long and substantial cat with a rectangular stance; the chest is full and broad with slightly higher hips and prominent shoulder blades. With legs of substantial boning, they possess a muscular and athletic appearance and are a deceptively heavy cat.

However, this is a slow maturing breed, taking two to three years to reach its adult size. Females are generally proportionately smaller than males. The American Bobtail comes in various shades and patterns; preferences are given to shades and patterns that enhance the natural wild appearance of the breed. They come in two coat lengths: a dense shorthair coat and a medium longhair coat. The occasional bath and light brushing is all that is needed to keep the American Bobtail coat in tiptop form.

The American Bobtail is breaded initially through natural selection. The foundation stock for this breed was feral domestic cats possessing a natural bobtail. Experienced breeders, using found domestic bobtails from all over the United States, worked together to produce the gorgeous American Bobtails we have today. One of the most intriguing phenomena of this breed is its striking resemblance of cats with no known common heritage, from thousands of miles apart, have been born to one another. By selectively breeding the like type cats, breeders have helped Mother Nature to develop the American Bobtail into the big, hearty, wild looking bobtail cat seen today. No recognized breed of pedigreed cat has been used in the development of the American Bobtail. They are a very strong and healthy breed, experiencing no known genetic predisposition.

History

Bobtailed cats, the result of a natural genetic mutation that causes a shortened tail, have appeared in various places over the centuries, from Japan to the Isle of Man. Sometimes they get noticed by the right people, and voila! A new breed is born. Such was the case with the American Bobtail, which descends from a short tailed kitten acquired by John and Brenda Sanders during a vacation to Arizona. They named him Yodi, and he became the father of the breed in the swinging ‘60s when he had his way with the Sanders’ female, Mishi, once they arrived back home in Iowa.

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