The American Bobtail: a big cat you like to have around you

amerikaanse bobtail

The American Bobtail is a loving breed that is also very intelligent. It is a big cat and comes in different colors. The American Bobtail does not ask much from you as the owner. Would you like to know more about the special history of this cat? Why this cat is wild but at the same time loving? Then read on!


The origin: from wild cat to the unusual American Bobtail

The American bobtail originated in about the middle of the 20th century in the United States. It is a fairly self-sufficient breed that is seen very little outside America. There are several stories about the origin of the breed. Some say the breed is a cross between the North American Lynx and the common house cat. This doesn’t seem realistic because they both come from a different family. Also, the Lynx is twice the size of the domestic cat. The American bobtail is a cross between two other breeds, namely a wild bobcat and a domesticated, Cypriot domestic cat.


The creation of this breed was not deliberate. A couple decided to take home a found wild cat and cross it with their Cypriot domestic cat. Only after the birth of the kittens they found out that the short tail belonged to this breed. Professional cat breeders advised the couple to breed a new, exceptional breed, the American Bobtail. For a while the breed seemed to disappear, but in the 70’s the breeding of this breed was picked up again. Tailless cats were crossed with other breeds, such as the Himalayas, Siamese and other breedless cats, which also created a long-haired variant. In 2000 this breed was recognized in America.

Remarkable is that the American Bobtail has remarkable similarities with breeds with which they have no commonalities, such as the Japanese Bobtail. Despite the fact that they were born miles apart, they still look alike.


The character: wild, but loving on the inside

The American Bobtail is a very loving cat with a wild look. The cat is very active and loves to play with its owner. When the cat wants to play with his owner he takes the initiative himself. This way the cat can entertain his owner very well. Although this cat is very active, he can also enjoy a rest. Because the cat is quite intelligent you can also teach him tricks. It is possible to fetch the American Bobtail and he likes to hide from you.

The American bobtail feels comfortable in any type of household. For example, this cat goes well with small children and he can easily live with for example a dog. It is important that you let the animals get used to each other. The same goes for a family expansion. When the family is extended by either a biped or a quadruped, this is no problem as long as the cat is introduced to them in a quiet way.

In addition, the American Bobtail is a cat that is very loyal and attached to his owner. He therefore does not like to be alone for a long time. He feels most at ease when there are people around him. On the other hand, it is not a cat that asks a lot from the owner, the cat can keep himself busy. They often show their hunting instinct by catching flying insects. They also like to sneak up on toys and then walk around with them as if they have caught their prey. Just like a real hunter!

The American Bobtail is not a noisy cat. The cat almost doesn’t meow and when it does, it’s only a soft meow. If the cat is very happy it will make vibrating, chirping and happy sounds. In the presence of its owner, the cat will often show this. The American Bobtail loves to spend time with his owner and bonds very much with his family. The cat is a real addition to the family.

Infographic American Bobtail

The appearance: a muscular cat with a short tail.

The American Bobtail is known as a pretty big cat. The cat is medium to large in size and has powerful muscles. This makes this cat a fairly large appearance. The cat radiates a lot of power and has an athletic body. The American Bobtail has a rather wild appearance which can make the cat look quite intimidating. The cat usually weighs 3 to 7 kilograms where males are a lot heavier than females. It can take a while before the American Bobtail is fully grown. Usually it takes 2 to 3 years before the cat has reached its adult length.

The body of the cat is quite long and rectangular because the hips are almost as wide as the chest. The cat has a full and wide chest and prominent shoulder blades. This really gives the cat the appearance of a hunter. Furthermore, the hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs. Because of this, the back is slightly sloping down. The legs are of normal size and are in good proportion with the rest of the body. The legs have a good length, are quite muscular and have thick bones. This makes the American Bobtail very solid on the ground. The legs are also quite large and round in shape. The tail of the cat is quite short and flexible but wide at the base. The tail can be straight, a little round or clinched. Although the tail is rather short, you can see it protruding above the back when the cat is alert.

The head of the American Bobtail is wedge-shaped. The head is normal in size and is nicely in proportion to the rest of the body. On the head the cheekbones are very visible and the muzzle is also well present. The nose of this cat is quite wide and he has a strong chin which is in the same line as the nose. The ears are medium sized and have slightly rounded tips. The ears are quite wide apart and have a broad base. The eyes of the American Bobtail are quite large and have the shape of an almond. The eyes are quite deep in the head and give the cat a sharp and alert appearance.


The coat: both short haired and long haired.

Did you know that the American Bobtail has no specific appearance? This cat comes in different colors. Also all kinds of patterns can occur. The American Bobtail has either long hair or short hair, both types occur. The coat can sometimes feel a bit stiff, although it doesn’t seem that way. Regarding the different hair lengths the following is true.

Short-haired coat: if your cat has short hair it can go outside without the hair getting very into the bud. This is because the cat has a double coat. The undercoat is protected by a second layer. This makes the coat weather resistant.

The long-haired coat: if your cat has long hair, it depends on the season whether it can go outside. The longer hair is on the collar, the belly and the tail. Long hair also occurs on the legs of the American Bobtail. Almost the whole body. Because the coat changes per season it is good to pay more attention to the coat, especially in winter.

For the exact coat colors and patterns it’s best to take a look at the breed standard of the American Bobtail


Parenting: build a good relationship of trust

It is important that kittens build up a good relationship with their owner from an early age. By rewarding the kitten with good behavior, the kitten will better understand what is and isn’t allowed. However, it is not recommended to punish the kitten very much, as this damages the relationship and that is just as important. It is crucial to give a direct reaction to unwanted behavior. It is important that this is done immediately so the kitten associates this reaction with behaviour that is not allowed. That’s the goal, that the kitten learns what’s allowed and what’s not.

It is also very important that the kitten learns to deal with new stimuli, like sounds, people and animals. This is also called socializing. For example, when a cat is not used to touching people, this can make the care more difficult. A good socialisation in the first weeks of the kitten’s life will make it easier for you to cut nails, brush the coat and brush your teeth in the rest of his cat’s life.

It is very nice for the kitten when the kitten has stayed with the breeder at his mother’s place. A good bond between the mother and her kitten is very important for the mental health of the kitten. If the kittens are mentally fine, they are better able to adapt to changes. They are also better able to cope with the biggest change, like getting a new owner. When a kitten hasn’t stayed with its mother, this can have negative consequences. For example, they may become more scared, reducing the chances of a successful upbringing. This is of course the last thing you want when you buy a new kitten. Therefore, always check what the kitten’s life was like before she comes into your home.

amerikaanse bobtail kitten staand

How to take care of the American Bobtail

The American Bobtail is known for being fairly easy to take care of. This applies to both the short-haired and the long-haired species. However, the coat needs to be brushed regularly, a weekly combing is sufficient. During the moulting period it is important that the coat is brushed 2 or 3 times a week to maintain the optimal condition. The ears are very sensitive to injury and infection, it is therefore wise to check the ears every week.

By scratching a cat marks its territory. Also large felines do this at important places, such as sleeping places. The more the cat scratches, the clearer his territory and the safer the cat feels. On the one hand it is nice that the cat feels safe and fine, but for example for your couch and doorposts this is less nice. That’s why it’s handy to have products in your house that simplify the care of your cat, such as a scratching post.

It is also very important for a cat to get enough exercise. Cats are naturally very active. Because cats are so active by nature, they also have a predisposition for overweight when they move less. When you take a cat in the house, it is important that you look carefully to see if the cat gets enough exercise. As the owner you play an important role in this. By playing sufficiently with your cat and bringing active toys into the house, you can ensure that your cat gets enough exercise. In this way you prevent overweight and keep your cat in a good condition.


The food: take care of alternation between dry and wet food

The diet of your American Bobtail depends on his age, activity level and overall health. In general, it’s important that your cat is fed high quality, protein-rich food. For the American Bobtail it is important that the cat gets enough protein as it is a large, muscular cat.  If you want to add some variation to the bobcat’s diet, you can try mixing wet food with dry food several times a week.

What are the advantages of dry food?

One of the main advantages of dry food is that it is easy to store and can easily be given to your cat. It can be kept in a feeder all day long without spoilage. This allows your cat to eat regularly, making it very suitable for supporting healthy eating habits. If dry food contains good ingredients, it also helps to maintain dental health. The roughened surface is a little abrasive and helps control the amount of plaque on cat’s teeth.

What are the benefits of wet food?

Many cats don’t get enough water in addition to drinking water, they need food to replenish the amount of water they get in. The important advantage of wet food is that it can provide your cat with extra moisture. This not only provides the cat with enough fluid, but also reduces the chance of health problems such as kidney or urinary tract disorders. Wet food also has the added advantage that it has a stronger aroma than dry food. This is important for cats because they depend heavily on smell instead of taste.


Diseases that are common in this breed

Besides spinal disorders, cats can also experience other common health problems, such as: polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a disease characterized by cysts in one or both kidneys.

Symptoms of PKD are the following:

  • The cat has less appetite for food
  • The cat is getting leaner
  • The cat drinks and pees a lot
  • The cat is less active
  • The cat suffers from dehydration
  • The cat has pale mucous membranes resulting from anemia and vomiting.

Another common problem is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: thickening of the heart muscle. Symptoms of a thickening of the heart muscle are the following:

  • The cat has bad appetite
  • The cat suffers from anxiety
  • The cat has accelerated breathing
  • The cat suffers from paralysis in the hind legs

Especially in kittens parvovirus is a serious infection. The infection affects the gastrointestinal tract and can also affect the uterus. It is a very contagious infection that can survive for a long time.

If you are worried about the health of your cat it is wise to consult with the vet. This is important to monitor the health of the cat well. In addition, life expectancy is higher in cats that are well cared for and therefore in a healthy condition.


amerikaanse bobtail staand op een hek

How old can the American Bobtail get?

On average, the American Bobtail becomes between 13 and 15 years old. The American Bobtail is adult when it is 2 to 3 years old. The average age of the breed of course depends on the lifestyle of the cat, so you as the boss have an enormous influence on this. The average is of course not always valid. One cat gets older, the other cat gets younger.


What do you need to know before you take in this type of breed?

First of all, it is useful that you inform yourself well about the purchase of a cat before you go to a breeder. When you choose an American Bobtail you have to look for a breeder who is known by a good name. Probably the breeder will ask you a few questions to see if you and this breed are a good match. In addition, you can assume that there is a waiting time for this type, but it is definitely worth the wait!

It’s important that the breeder of your kitten has a certificate of competence and that he or she has adhered to the law (such as no medical intervention without medical necessity). Note that these are often preconditions. The starting point is that as a future owner you have to determine to what extent the kittens have been treated well.

If you want to know a lot more about cats, you can contact one of the largest cat associations Felikat. Felikat is one of the two associations that are located in the Netherlands at the time of writing and is affiliated with FIFe, the International Fédération Féline. Fédération Internationale Féline is an umbrella organization that covers 40 countries.


What kind of price should you think of?

In general, you will spend between $600 and $900 on the American Bobtail. This is also the average price of a pedigree cat. The prices of a pedigree cat differ, as does the American Bobtail. This may be due to the type of breeder you get your cat from, what the health is and of course how old the cat is.

drie amerikaanse bobtails liggend

Do you also choose the American Bobtail?

Do you already have this cat in your house? Or are you planning to take in an American Bobtail kitten? We are very curious about your choice and especially why you have brought this cat into the house or want to bring it into the house. You can let us know by responding to this article!

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We are a team of cat lovers, doing our best to create and spread information about cats. On you will read all about different cat breeds, and what makes them so special. You will also find information about grooming and training your cat. Be sure to leave us a reply if you like our article.

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