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American Bobtail Cat

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American Bobtail Cat

American Bobtail Cat | Breed History | Breed Description

The American Bobtail is a relatively new and uncommon breed of cat most notable for its stubby “bobbed” tail about half the length of a normal cat’s tail. This is the result of a genetic mutation affecting the tail development, similar to that of a Manx. The cat is not related to the Japanese Bobtail despite the similar name and physical type  the breeding programs are entirely unrelated and the gene causing the mutation is entirely different.American bobtails are a very sturdy breed, with both short or longhaired coats.

Their coat is shaggy rather than dense or fluffy. They can have any colour of eyes and fur, with a strong emphasis on the “wild” tabby appearance in show animals. According to legend, bobtails are the result of a crossbreeding between a domestic tabby cat and a bobcat. Although this IS genetically possible, the unusual tail is actually the result of a random genetic mutation. The breed was recognised by the International Cat Association in 1989. 

The American Bobtail is a relatively new and uncommon breed of cat which has appeared since the late 1960′s. It is most notable for its stubby “bobbed” tail about one-third to one-half the length of a normal cat’s tail. This is the result of a cat body type genetic mutation affecting the tail development, similar to that of a Manx. The cat is not related to the Japanese Bobtail despite the similar name and physical type the breeding programs are entirely unrelated and the gene causing the mutation is different because the gene causing the American Bobtail’s tail is dominant, whereas the Japanese Bobtail tail gene is recessive. American bobtails are a very sturdy breed, with both short or longhaired coats. Their coat is shaggy rather than dense or fluffy. They can have any colour of eyes and fur, with a strong emphasis on the “wild” tabby appearance in show animals.

According to legend, bobtails are the result of a crossbreeding between a domestic tabby cat and a bobcat. Yodie, a short-tailed brown tabby male, mated with a seal point Siamese colored (cat) female to create the Bobtail’s original bloodline. Most of the early bloodlines have been eliminated. Although this is genetically possible, the bobcat/domestic cat hybrids, particularly the male, would probably become sterile. The unusual tail is actually the result of a random spontaneous genetic mutation within the domestic cat population or is related to the dominant Manx gene.

This cat’s original appearance genetics were modified in the breed to form a new and improved breed which comes in all colors, categories and divisions. New shorthair versions have appeared where once only longhair versions were fully recognized. These new lines, which invoke a gentler sweeter cat with the remaining wild look features, may have begun in Florida It is still permitted to outcross the Bobtail with domestic stock, so long as the currently small gene pool is kept healthy. Manx and Japanese Bobtails are not used in the integrated matrix. The breed was recognised by the International Cat Association in 1989. The breed is accepted for Championship competition in The Cat Fanciers Association, The International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers’ Association.

On the cat activity scale of 1 (calm, serene) to 10 (overactive), the Bobtail receives a 7-8. Breeders claim that Bobtails are playful, friendly, energetic and extremely intelligent. American Bobtails have dog-like personalities, often play fetch and greet their owners at the door. They are very tolerant of being picked up by younger children and handled like a sack of potatoes. They’ve been known to escape from closed rooms and fastened cages with Harry Houdini-type ease.

Development–Bobtails require two to three years to develop, slower than many domestic cat breeds. General An ideally naturally occurring hearty short-tailed cat. Body–Moderately long and substantial; stocky; noticeable rectangular stance; boning substantial; chest full and broad; hips substantial, almost as wide as chest; hind legs longer than fore legs with large round feet which may have toe tufts.

Head–Broad wedge without flat planes; size proportionate to body; concave curve from nose to brow, or rise to prominent brow; broad unpinched muzzle; prominent whisker pads; gently sloped wide nose; full strong jaws. Ears–Medium-sized, wide-based; equally mounted on top and side of head; with rounded tips (preferably lynx.

Eyes–almost almond shape; size proportionate to head; aperture angled to base of ear; medium wide spacing, deep sockets; color varies with coat color. Tail–End of the tail visible above the back, but not beyond the Hock, while the animal is in repose; straight, (or curved), slightly knotted or may have bumps. Disquality ones with bad hips and Rumpies (tail-less Bobtails with a shortened spine). These are generally not acceptable due to increased health problems.