The American Bobtail Cat is a new and fairly rare breed of cat which has appeared since the late 1960’s. Noted 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 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 sturdy breed, with short or longhaired coats. 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 cross breeding a domestic tabby cat and a bobcat. Yodie, a short-tailed brown tabby male, mated with a seal point Siamese cat female to create the Bobtail’s original bloodline. Then Birman, Himalayan cat and Himalayan/Siamese cross elements were added to the bloodline. Most of the early bloodlines have been eliminated. Reality is less romantic than legend…although the legend 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 colours, categories and divisions. New shorthair versions appeared where once only longhair versions were fully recognised. 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.
The breed was recognised by the International Cat Association in 1989.
In the cat activity scale of 1 calm, serene to 10 overactive, the Bobtail receives a 7-8 Breeders claim that Bobtails are playful, friendly and energetic and extremely intelligent. They are talented escape artists.
Development and Conformation Appearance
Bobtails require two to three years to develop, slower than many domestic cat breeds
An ideally naturally occurring hearty short-tailed cat.
Moderately long and substantial; semi-cobby; 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
Broad wedge without flat planes; size proportionate to body; concave curve from nose to brow, or rise to prominent brow; broad un pinched muzzle; non-prominent whisker pads; gently sloped wide nose; full strong jaws.
Medium-sized, wide-based; equally mounted on top and side of head; with rounded tips preferably lynx like in appearance
val to large almond shape; size proportionate to head; aperture angled to base of ear; medium wide spacing, deep sockets; color varies with coat colour.
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 have bumps.
Shorthair – length medium to short; texture resilient; all-weather; double coat with undercoat.
Longhair – length semi-long, tapering to longer on ruff, britches, belly and tail; texture shaggy, non-matting, somewhat resilient; double coat with semi-dense undercoat of seasonal variation.
Disqualify ones with bad hips and Rumpies tail-less Bobtails with a shortened spine. These are generally not acceptable due to increased health problems.