Cat Breed 101: American Bobtail

Written by Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq DVM, MS ABG (Animal Breeding and Genetics)

American Bobtails are a relatively rare breed in the United States, best known for their shortened tails and distinctive, wild appearances. Thanks to their sweet, affectionate, and docile personalities, American Bobtails are often referred to as the "Golden Retrievers of the feline world," despite their jungle cat appearance. Furthermore, American Bobtails are very playful—many enjoy playing fetch with their owners!—and can be easily learned to walk on a leash.

At A Glance


  • WEIGHT: Between 7 and 16 pounds
  • LENGTH: Varies
  • COAT: Short to long, typically shaggy
  • COAT COLOR: Can come in any colour or pattern
  • EYE COLOR:Copper, gold, yellow, blue, green,
  • LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years
  • Amount of Shedding: Moderate to High
  • Friendliness: Moderate to High
  • Kid-Friendliness: Moderate to High
  • Pet-Friendliness: High
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate
  • Playfulness: Moderate to High
  • Energy Level: Moderate
  • Intelligence: High
  • Tendency to Vocalize: Moderate
  • Amount of Shedding: Moderate to High

Cats seem to have a lot of interesting genetic mutations. Wire coats, curly coats, and a tail-less or bobtail look are all things we see them for. The American Bobtail was created in 1965 when a Siamese cat was crossed with a male tabby with a short tail. The kittens born from that mating had their own litters, many of whom had the distinctive bobtail look, about half the length of a typical cat tail, and a new breed was born.


The American Bobtail is the cat breed for you if you've always wanted a dog with a cat's body. He is a laid-back, affectionate, and adaptable person. You will easily adjust whether you live in a noisy home with many kids and other pets or whether you prefer a more peaceful lifestyle. It's not uncommon for him to be seen travelling with long-distance truck drivers or people touring the country in their RVs. Because of the cats' sensitivity to owners emotions, some psychotherapists have included them in their care plans.

The American Bobtail loves business, whether humans, other cats, or even dogs, regardless of lifestyle. They get along well with all the kids and enjoy playing fetch and learning new tricks. They are just mildly active, easy to live with, and do not have an "in your face" personality.

The American Bobtail is a clever creature. Teach him tricks and provide him with puzzle toys that will reward him with treats or dry kibble when he learns how to manipulate them to keep his brain challenged and interested in life.

Choose a cat from a reputable breeder who raises litters in the home and cares for the young. Meet at least one, preferably both, parents to ensure that they have pleasant personalities.

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