The American Bobtail is a relatively rare breed of cat which is almost never seen outside of the USA. In 1960, John and Brenda Sanders came across a short-tailed male tabby cat while holidaying near an Indian Reservation in Arizona. They brought him home and mated him to a Siamese female named Mishi. The resulting litter contained kittens with short tails like their father.
A friend of the Sanders, Mindy Schultz became involved, Himalayans, Siamese and Birmans were added to the mix and in the early 1970’s, Mindy created the first breed standard.
Later on, modifications were made to the original breed, resulting in a greater range of colours and hair types.
The breed was recognised by TICA in 1989.
The gene responsible is dominant, only one parent needs to have the gene to pass it on to their offspring. Outcrossing is still permitted although Japanese Bobtails and Manx cats are now allowed to be used.
Appearance of the American Bobtail:
The American Bobtail is a medium to large, well muscled, stocky cat with heavy boning. The chest is broad and deep. The hind legs are longer than the forelegs, leading to large, founded feet with tufts between the toes.
The tail is around 4 inches in length but this will vary from cat to cat. It may be straight, slightly curved or bumpy. It should not extend beyond the hind hock.
The head is modified wedge, broad and rounded with large eyes and wide tufted ears.
The coat comes in short or medium/long hair can be found in any colour or pattern.
American Bobtails are slow to develop, taking three years to reach maturity. As with most other cat breeds, females are noticeably smaller than males.
Temperament of the American Bobtail:
The American Bobtail is an extremely intelligent and playful breed of cat. They are known to be easy to train to do tricks or walk on a leash. It is also said that they travel well.
They tend to form very close bonds with their human companions but can be somewhat shy of strangers.
They get along with children and other pets and make an exceptional family pet.
A few sources have said that due to their personality, the American Bobtail makes an excellent therapy cat.