United States


The American Bobtail is a highly intelligent breed with a clownlike personality. Confident and friendly looking they are much like a bobtailed wildcat.   This rare and athletic breed can be taught to walk on a leash.  A devoted family companion, this cat interacts well with it’s owners and is also ideal with children.

A relatively newly recognized purebred the American Bobtail is quickly growing in popularity.  Its distinct physical characteristics combined with its affectionate personality make the American Bobtail a favorite among many cat lovers.

The American Bobtail is known for being a sensitive cat, very attuned to people and other animals. This sensitivity lends it well to animal therapy programs, as the American Bobtail naturally seeks out people in need. It also does extremely well in family homes and around children. The American Bobtail should even fit into households with other pets, provided that the other pets are friendly and accepting. The American Bobtail is becoming more and more favored due to its friendly and easy-going nature.


Initially, the American Bobtail developed through natural selection. The breed’s foundation lies in feral domestic cats that had natural bobtails.

Purposeful development of the breed began in the late 1960s, when John and Brenda Sanders were vacationing in the American southwest. They brought home a brown tabby kitten with a short tail, whom they found during their travels.

The kitten later mated with the couple’s non-pedigreed domestic color point cat. Their kittens inherited the distinctive short tail, and attracted the attention of cat fanciers, who saw the possibility of a new breed of cats.

In the 1980’s the American Bobtail was finally recognized as a breed worldwide, not just exclusively in the United States. Though many people may believe that it is related to the Japanese Bobtail, in truth there is no relation between the two breeds of cat.

Did You Know?

The American Bobtail has a naturally short bob tail that can be seen clearly when they are standing.  Their tail varies in length from 1 to 4 inches.

  • No tail is exactly the same, but the average length is 1 to 4 inches.
  • American Bobtails make excellent therapy pets.
  • Bobtails are slow to mature, taking two to three years to reach adult size.

Did you know cat hair isn’t the cause of reactions by people sensitized to cat allergens? The primary cause is an allergen produced in cats’ saliva.   These allergens are spread to cats’ hair through grooming, which are then shed into the environment.

Appearance & Coat

The American Bobtail has two coat varieties, shorthair and longhair, and does not reach adulthood until 2 or 3 years old.

The American Bobtail resembles a tabby in color. Its coat is usually slightly spotted or marbled. The American Bobtail also has a non-matting coat, which makes it a great, low-maintenance house pet. The defining characteristic of the American Bobtail is its short tail. This breed of cat has its trademark tail due to genetics, not through owners docking the tail. In the American Bobtail’s genes, mutant genes cause the tail to remain short instead of growing to the typical cat tail length. The American Bobtail’s tail is typically one to four inches in length. The body of the American Bobtail is of a medium sized frame.

The American Bobtail bears a distinct resemblance to a bobtailed wildcat. From her markings and alert, hunter’s gaze to her short, expressive tail, her appearance suggests a scaled-down version of that wild cat.

The American Bobtail’s coat can come in any pattern, including black, brown, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac, fawn, red and cream, with or without white.

Lifespan ~ 13 to 15 years