American Bobtail Cat: Breed Information, Characteristics, and Facts

American Bobtail Cat: Breed Information, Characteristics, and Facts

With its short tail, powerful physique, tufted toes, and ears, the American Bobtail cat comes with a distinctively wild appearance. Despite its looks, this feline is very intelligent and is considered an ideal pet for all households. The reason is that it is compatible with adults, children, other felines, and canines; thus, it can be reared in a multi-pet household. If you are thinking of adopting an American Bobtail cat, this piece offers detailed breed information, as well as their characteristics and facts. Read on to get more.

American bobtail cat sitting next to a tree

History of the American Bobtail

Named for its characteristical bobtail, this feline was created during the later years of the 1960s. An Iowa couple John and Brenda Sanders discovered a bob-tailed feline named Yodi during their vacation in Arizona. They later kept the cat, which was said to be loitering around an Indian reservation.

Mating Yodi with Mishi (a long-tailed female cat) resulted in multiple litters with bob-tailed kittens and the cat gained CFA initial approved for registration in 2000, got provisional status in 2005.

Quick Facts About the American Bobtail 

  • The American Bobtail cat is a large breed with the looks of a feral cat and a charming disposition. It comes in a variety of coat patterns from medium to the very large. The body is athletic in build and has a broad chest.
  • The face is wedge-shaped, sporting a strong chin alongside large almond-shaped eyes in an array of colors.
  • Though the coat is usually thick, the length varies from medium to long.
  • It is slow in attaining maturity, and it can take as much as three years before an American Bobtail kitten becomes fully grown.
  • The cat is known for displaying dog-like behavior when happy – for one, it takes to tail wagging.
  • American Bobtail cat is dubbed the “Golden Retriever of the Feline World”.
  • The most distinguishing feature of this feline is its tail with a broad base ranging from one to four inches in length. The length is long enough to be seen on the cat’s back when it assumes a standing posture. With this breed, no two tails are exactly the same; they can come kinked, curved, nearly straight, or twisted.
  • The hind-limbs are long with shorted fore-limbs. The weight of the cat ranges from 7 to 16 pounds.
  • Their average life expectancy is between 11 to 15 years.
  • The patterns and colors of its coat vary; we have seen brown, chocolate, black, red, cinnamon, blue, cream, and lilac. Some of them come with soft and dilute coat colors.
  • The cat is a great traveler, thanks to its adaptable nature.
  • They are quick with puzzle toys and also smart to learn many tricks.

Things You Should Know


American Bobtail is a healthy breed and is not susceptible to any particular feline disease. Even their life expectancy of up to 15 years is considered long compared to other breeds. However, every owner of a domestic cat should know that cats can suffer from diseases such as respiratory tract infections, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, digestive tract problems, cystitis and kidney infections, and allergies.


If you want your kitty to live happily and healthily, then you must consider its age, size, and activity level to know the ideal diet and portion to feed. Kittens need a higher proportion of protein than adults, thus check the label before buying. So, choose wet food over dry kibble, as it is less fatty and checks overfeeding. And with wet cat food, your pet can take larger portions and won’t need treats in between meals – thus prevents obesity. Also, animal protein is always preferable to plant protein as cats are obligate carnivores. Omega fatty acids are another dietary requirement, as it enhances skin and hair growth.

Related Post: Cat Food for Weight Loss

The American Bobtail loves eating little but often. Thus, people who are not always at home need to serve small, regular meals – a good option is to position few little bowls of kibble around the home for your kitty to graze on all through the day. The portion can be controlled by putting out half of the cat’s ration in the morning and the rest in the evening.


It is preferable to keep your furry friend indoors; for one, you won’t run the risk of the cat being stolen, and it will be safe from diseases from outdoor animals. You can equally avoid mishaps like accidents and attacks from bigger animals. Be sure to introduce your American Bobtail to the leash from a young age; however, the introduction needs to be a slow one, and you should never apply too much pressure on the leash as you tug. What’s more, a traditional collar is preferable to a harness – this way, adopters can quickly hold their cats back from a hazardous situation without applying unnecessary pressure. Also, a scratching post should be provided for the cat, so it can satisfy its natural instinct.

Related Post: Cat Collars


Their lustrous coats notwithstanding, the American Bobtail is a low maintenance feline with regards to grooming. Just aid the cat’s natural shedding process with once-a-week brushing – this is quite easy since the coat is the non-matting type. Furthermore, brushing also aids in distributing skin oil to maintain a shiny coat.

Related Post: Brush For Cats

As for their nails, they should be trimmed once monthly or when due whilst the ears should also be cleaned regularly; twice a month can suffice. Furthermore, dental hygiene should be equally maintained to prevent periodontal disease. The cat’s teeth will benefit from daily brushing; however, if that is too challenging, you can still do with weekly brushing.

Related Posts: Cat Toothpaste and Cat Toothbrush

American bobtail cat lying


This bob-tail cat is quite affectionate, playful, and welcoming. Their personalities are best described as dog-like and some reports describe them as laid-back and patient, such that they are the preferred cabin companions for long-haul truckers. Besides, they serve as therapy dogs for psychotherapists and make great companions for their human families. Even better is the fact that this cat breed is advertised as the ideal therapy feline, visiting establishments like schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to spread cheers.

The cat also embraces everybody, kids, adults, dogs, as well as other cats. They are so loving and loves to be loved and enjoy taking strolls around the neighborhood. Though not very chatty, this domestic bob-tail cat craves interaction, more often than not, they beat their owners to the door just to welcome visitors. Even funnier; due to their suspicious nature, they will likely run to the phone when once it starts ringing; hence why they have been nicknamed the ‘true feline burglar. Therefore, shiny objects like jewelry should be kept out of reach.


  1. American Bobtail, PetMD
  2. American Bobtail, VetStreet
  3. American Bobtail, VCA Hospitals

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