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American Bobtail – Cat Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Both varieties of the American Bobtail, Shorthair or Longhair ranges from Medium to Large sized cats.
Coat Type: The American Bobtail cat breed is available in medium length and long haired coats.
Body Type: American Bobtail cats have a moderate body type.
Grooming Requirement: The American Bobtail Shorthair variety will just require weekly grooming.
Vocal Tendency: American Bobtails are considered average when it comes to talkativeness.
Energy Level: The American Bobtail cat breed has a high level of activity.
Time Alone: American Bobtails require 4 to 8 hours of personal time every day.
Care: American Bobtails are cats that require average attention and will be moderately docile in handling.

Adopt an American Bobtail, Cat Breed Guide


The American Bobtail is considered to be rare a domestic cat breed, famous for its stubby tail that is bobbed, hence the breed’s name. This cat’s “bobbed” tail is approximately a third or half the length of the tail of an average cat. The American Bobtail’s unique tail is the result of a genetic mutation that directly affects the growth development of this cat breed’s tail. It shares this uncommon and dominant genetic mutation with the Manx cat.

Official Name

American Bobtail

There are two recognized varieties of the American Bobtail cat breed. These are the American Bobtail Shorthair and Longhair varieties. Both Bobtail type are considered as separate and distinct breeds by the feline registries and organizations that recognize them. The shorthair and longhair on the breeds’ name are part of their official name.


The American Bobtail cat is breed native to North America and was first developed in the United States during the later part of the 1960’s. Both Shorthair and Longhair were first recognized by TICA – The International Cat Association in 1989.

Recognized By:
The International Cat Association – First to recognized as a distinct breed in 1989, accepted this breed for Championship Competitions
Cat Fanciers Association – Accepted this breed for Championship Competitions
American Cat Fanciers Association – Accepted this breed for Championship Competitions Cat Aficionado Association – Recognizes this breed’s standard
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines – Recognizes this breed’s standard
World Cat Federation – Recognize this breed as existing but has no standard for the breed

The American Bobtail may be a young cat breed, as this cat breed was developed just in the 1960’s; its history is quite unknown. A famous theory on the Bobtail’s history is the urban legend that this cat breed is the result of crossing a wild bobcat with a tabby-type domestic cat. It’s an interesting story that has helped this breed’s popularity. The urban legend may have been created because both domestic American Bobtail cat and the wild bobcat have short and stubby tails that are considered “bobbed”.

The American Bobtail’s unique bobbed tail is not from any wild cat breeds, it is because of a random and spontaneous mutation of genes within America’s domestic cat population. This genetic mutation makes the American Bobtail closely related to the Manx cats, sharing the same dominant gene that resulted to the unusual and uncommonly bobbed and stabby tails. American Bobtail cats are descendants of the cross between a short-tailed and brown colored tabby tom (feline talk for a male cat that is not neutered) and seal-point Siamese queen (a term used to call a female cat that is considered unaltered). The original bloodline from this first pairing has died out.


The American Bobtail cat is a domestic cat breed that is famous for their very hearty attitude. These are cats that can show their intelligence and a very alert disposition through facial expressions. They are generally friendly and fun loving cats that will be talkative and outgoing especially when around their owners. This breed is known to be cats that are slow to mature, taking three years to fully develop. Overall, American Bobtails are great cats to have for the family and will get along very well with children of all ages as well as other pet animals.

The American Bobtail is domestic cat breed but with physical features that can be considered as wild. This wild cat appearance, together with the unique bobbed tail is the breed’s most distinctive trait that differentiates it from other American cat breeds. American Bobtail Shorthair and Longhair varieties have sturdy physiques that are well muscled and also athletically built. These types of cats have shaggy coat that may come in various colors, but for those cats that are kept for show competitions, the ideal coat color should have a wild tabby coat pattern.

Generally, American Bobtails are medium to large sized cats that average between 12 to 16 pounds in weight. Their bodies appear powerful and well toned when it comes to muscularity.
The American Bobtail cat breed has a moderately long but stocky body and substantial bone structures. These cats have prominent shoulder blades with a broad and full chest making their stance very noticeable.
Head, Ears and Eyes
American Bobtails’ head is broad with modified wedge shape but not noticeable flat planes and its size should be proportionate to the cat’s body.
These cats’ have medium sized ears that are wide at the base and have slightly rounded tips. Lynx type tipping is preferred and furnishing on the cat’s ears is a desirable trait.
When it comes to the eyes, American Bobtails have oval shaped or large almond shaped eyes, either way it should be proportionate to the size of that cat’s head. The eye color will depend on the cat’s coat color.
Coat and Tail
American Bobtail Shorthair cats have medium to short length coats that have a resilient texture. These cats have an all weather double coat type of hair. These cats’ undercoat is present.
American Bobtail Longhair cats have semi-long and shaggy coats that are slightly longer to tapering hair on the cat’s tail, ruff, belly and britches. These varieties of Bobtail cats have an all-weather, non-matting and somewhat resilient double coats with a very dense and present undercoat.
In general, the American Bobtail can have tails that are straight or slightly curved, or have bumps and some can have slightly knotted tails. The cat’s tail should be short and in repose and always carried erect. Although short, this breed’s tail should be long enough to be visible above the back.
American Bobtails may come in various colors and patterns.

American Bobtails are cats that are generally healthy. The dominant gene that affects that cat breed’s unique bobbed tail is very similar to the Manx cat breed. Bobtails with no tails are called rumpies and are not recognized or unacceptable as these cats will be prone to various health issues that are common for cats that have short spines.



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