American Bobtail – Cat Breeds

by catfood

The American Bobtail is a medium to large cat that has a naturally bobbed tail. The American Bobtail is active and well-muscled, having a powerful appearance at times. They have a natural hunting stare, which, along with their body type, gives the American Bobtail a characteristic untamed aspect.


The American Bobtail has a wild appearance but not a crazy personality. The dedicated, affectionate, and clever personality of this breed has gained them a devoted following. These self-assured, amiable cats form emotional bonds with their owners and are dedicated companions that adapt quickly to most home circumstances.

Although not as talkative as breeds such as Siamese, Bobtails are not afraid to express their emotions. Bobtails are active, energetic, and friendly, with an incredible ability to escape from closed areas and fbecausetened doors. They are very people-oriented and may try to attract the attention of their family by meowing or commandeering available laps.


On the cat activity meter, the Bobtail is energetic and playful, but not overly so. If properly introduced, American Bobtails usually get along with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. The new and enhanced American Bobtail comes in various colors and categories, has a sweet disposition, but has the wild appearance of a bobcat. They make good travelers if they are trained from an early age.


Because the American Bobtail received little attention until lately, many people are startled to hear that it has been in North America since the 1960s. However, due to their chaotic start, the American Bobtail is just now coming into their own.

Yodie, a short-tailed brown tabby male, was discovered at an Arizona motel after being handed off by a child from a local reservation. Yodie was discovered by a couple while they were staying at a motel. Yodie’s parents and ancestors were unknown, but he was thought to be a bobcat/domestic cat hybrid due to his feral appearance and short, bobcat-like tail.

While domestic cats can procreate with bobcats (Felis rufus, an indigenous North American spotted cat related to the lynx), such hybrids, especially first generation males, are almost certainly sterile. Yodie’s short tail was most likely caused by a spontaneous mutation in the domestic cat population.

The couple adopted Yodie because of his pleasant attitude and small stub of a tail. Yodie returned home and impregnated the family’s sealpoint Siamese (proving himself fertile and not half bobcat). Because their Siamese had no history of short-tailed forebears, this initial litter comprised both normal-tailed and bobtailed kittens, indicating that the gene driving Yodie’s bobbed tail was dominant. For the phenotype to appear in offspring, only one copy of a dominant gene was required. The breed was given the name American Bobtail.

Yodie’s and his ancestors’ original lines became inbred and sickly. The goal then became to create a healthier breed that resembled Yodie: a huge, feral-looking tabby with long hair and a bobbed tail. The healthier cats had a rounded brow from the forehead to the eye ridge, giving them a “hunting glare” that added to their feral appearance.

Four North American organisations have recognized the American Bobtail. When unknown visitors come to call, instead of hiding beneath the bed, they are curious and outgoing. They have coats that are both long and short.

Physical Attributes


Long and solid, with a rectangular stance. Their chest is big and full. They have higher hips and pronounced shoulder blades. They frequently appear muscular and athletic.


In proportion to the body, a broad modified wedge. Their cheekbones are visible. They have a slightly concave curve between their nose and brow and good length between their brow and ears in profile. Their brow is distinct, with a gently rounded forehead to eye ridge.


Medium; broad at the base with gently rounded tips; broad-set, upright with a slight outward slant. All tabbies, including lynx points, may have lighter colored thumbprints on the back of the ears.


Large, nearly almond-shaped; deep set; outside corner angled slightly upward towards the ears Medium distance apart. A distinct brow above the eye creates a top line to the eye and results in their natural hunting focus. Copper, gold, yellow, or green eyes; blue in bi-color/van, colorpoint, lynxpoint, or oddeyed white cats.


In proportion to the body and of sufficient length Their paws are big and round. Long-haired cats may have toe tufts. They frequently have five front toes and four back toes.


Tail is small, flexible, and expressive; it can be straight, slightly bent or kinked, or it might have bumps throughout its length. Their tail grows large at the base, powerful, and hefty. Straighter tails have a thick pad at the end of the tail.


These cats come in a variety of hues and color combinations. Their coat pattern can sometimes improve this breed’s natural untamed aspect.


Medium-long hair, slightly shaggy; tapering to significantly longer hair on their legs, belly, and tail; slight ruff; mutton chops may be observed on occasion. Their coat texture is non-matting and robust; they have a density-double coat. There is an undercoat present, but it is not dense; there are seasonal fluctuations in the coat.


Length is medium and semi-dense; texture is non-matting, durable, and has a small loft; density is double coat, stiff topcoat with a soft, downy undercoat. Their coat texture may be softer in dilute hues, lynx points, and silvers.


While the qualities listed below are common for this breed, cats are individuals with unique personalities and appearances. For more information about a specific pet, please contact the adoption group.

Wondering about Balinese? Check it out on our next post!


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