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American Bobtail Cat Breed Profile

by Crystal Jordan

The American Bobtail Cat is a fairly recent appearing cat breed, first seen in the 1960s and finally recognized by the International Cat Association in 1989. Its most notable feature and the source of its name is the short, 'bobbed' tail which is typically less than half the length of a normal cat's tail and sometimes even shorter than that. These cats can be found in just about any color combination of fur and eyes and, when appearing with tawny colored fur they can actually resemble a miniature wild Bobcat!


The presence of the bobbed tail, not totally unlike a Manx cat, is the result of a dominant gene mutation that is commonly passed on from one generation to the next. Legend has it that the first American Bobtails were the result of a coupling between a domestic cat and an actual bobcat but this may be more fiction than truth.

Although genetically possible, this type of crossbreeding would most likely leave the offspring sterile, as in the case of a horse and a donkey producing a mule, incapable of reproduction itself. The appearance of the short tail is most likely a spontaneous and random mutation. Selective breeding has initiated short-haired versions of the breed, where only the long-haired, 'wild'-looking shaggy coat was once recognized.

This breed of cat is both uncommon and unique. Some have compared a Bobtail's personality to be similar to that of a dog's. They may enjoy fetching things and are known to greet their masters at the door, as would a dog. They are typically very active and full of energy but also tolerant of being manhandled, especially by youngsters. While usually sweetly disposed, some may actually seem quite fearful and very slow to warm up to you. This, however, is the exception rather than the rule.

The American Bobtail Cat is known to be extremely intelligent. It has been proven that they are sometimes capable of escaping from closed rooms and well-fastened cages. They are also generally easy to tame and quite people-oriented. They are highly recommended for pet lovers who are looking for a sweet and friendly

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