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The American Bobtail Shorthair has been around since the 1960s, starting from a stray kitten named Yodi, with an unusual short upright tail. At first, Yodi was outcrossed with non-pedigree long haired cats, creating the long-haired American Bobtail. However, it wasn’t until later that they were crossed with short haired cats, making the American Bobtail Shorthair.
Today, they are still a relatively rare breed outside the USA. Still, they are easily recognizable for their unique tail, wild looks, and dense short coats. As a very people-oriented breed, they have quickly become desirable pet cats, loved for their loyalty, adaptability, and intelligence.
Meet the American Bobtail Shorthair
The American Bobtail Shorthair is a medium to large cat with a naturally occurring short tail, usually somewhere between 1 to 4 inches in length. Interestingly, each American Bobtail Shorthair’s tail is not identical. The size can differ, and they may have kinks, bumps or a curved appearance.
The gene that causes this tail mutation is not controllable. Because of this, it is not possible to selectively breed American Bobtails to create kittens with specific tail lengths. So instead, American Bobtail Shorthair litters are a pick and mix, with some having shorter tails than others.
American Bobtail Shorthairs have a muscular body with broad chests and prominent shoulders giving them an athletic, wild look. They also have strong hind legs and can jump up to 6 feet. They can weigh anywhere between 7 and 16 pounds once fully grown, with males typically reaching 12 to 16 pounds and females, 7 to 11 pounds. However, they take up to 3 years to reach full maturity.
Their short, double coats resemble rabbit fur and consist of a dense, plush outer layer and a soft, downy undercoat. Unfortunately, American Bobtail Shorthair cats are high shedding cats and thus, are not a good choice for those with allergies. Even so, their grooming needs are low as you’ll only need to brush them once a week or so.
American Bobtail Shorthairs can come in any colour or pattern, including black, white, calico, and colour point. Likewise, their large almond-shaped eyes can also come in any shade.
The temperament of an American Bobtail Shorthair
The American Bobtail cat is sweet and gentle yet playful and entertaining. Although they love to play, they have low energy levels, which is good news for cat owners as you won’t need to spend hours playing with them. Instead, they tire quickly and curl up happily on your lap or by your feet after.
Along with low activeness, American Bobtail Shorthair cats are pretty quiet felines. They are certainly not a cat to yowl or whine to get their human’s attention. Instead, they will communicate with you with quieter noises, like chirps, purrs, and trills. They are also pretty smart and quickly learn games and even tricks. Plus, as excellent hunters, if they have access to the outdoors, they will show off their skills by bringing you “gifts.”
American Bobtail Shorthair cats display great loyalty to their owners but are also confident and friendly around strangers. In general, they love being around people and are involved in the family as much as possible. They also adapt well to new environments and even enjoy travelling; in fact, some American Bobtails serve as companions for truckers!
10 reasons to add an American Bobtail Shorthair to your family
- They love to give and receive affection - These loving, loyal felines are never short of endearment. They will constantly show they care with cuddles, purrs and head rubs and display total contentment when they receive plenty of love back.
- They are sociable - American Bobtails see themselves as key family members and want you to treat them as one. They bond deeply with their owners and make instant friends with your guests, too.
- Their tails are all unique - While no American Bobtail Shorthair will have a normal length tail, it could be a one-inch bob, four inches with multiple kinks, or anything in between.
- Their short coats are easy to care for - You only need to brush their short fur once a week to keep it in top condition.
- They adapt well to change - Unlike other breeds, American Bobtails do not feel too much stress when their environments change. So, this means that trips to the vet will not be a nightmare!
- They are easy-going family members - They will effortlessly fit into their new family, regardless of whether you have children or other pets.
- They are gentle around children - Moreover, their docile nature makes them safe friends for young children.
- They are both cute and entertaining - Your American Bobtail Shorthair will either be looking adorable, cuddling up on your lap or making you laugh with their playful antics.
- They don’t pick favourites - Some cat breeds tend to show more affection to one family member than the rest of the house. American Bobtails are not like this and spread their love equally between the whole family instead.
- They are excellent jumpers - With muscular legs and an athletic figure, these felines can jump surprisingly high. Outside, they will find their way onto the garage roof, and indoors they will seek out the highest perching spot in the home.
Best homes for an American Bobtail Shorthair
American Bobtail Shorthairs are easy going kitties with a docile nature who are gentle around everyone. Thus, they make fantastic companions, lap cats and playmates for other felines and are an excellent choice for first-time cat parents. What’s more, their mild temperament means they do well around kids, and the high energy of children tends to bring out their playful and entertaining side.
Although the American Bobtail Shorthair can adapt to any home, whether you live in a house, flat or caravan, they need regular human interaction. So, if you’re going away for the weekend, this kitty will be much more content tagging along with you rather than staying home.