American bobtails are a very sturdy breed, with both short or longhaired coats. Their coat is shaggy rather than dense or fluffy. They can have any colour of eyes and fur, with a strong emphasis on the "wild" tabby appearance in show animals.
According to legend, bobtails are the result of a crossbreeding between a domestic tabby cat and a bobcat. Yodie, a short-tailed brown tabby male, mated with a seal point Siamese (cat) female to create the Bobtail's original bloodline. Then Birman, Himalayan (cat) and Himalayan/Siamese cross elements were added to the bloodline. Most of the early bloodlines have been eliminated. Although this is genetically possible, the bobcat/domestic cat hybrids, particularly the male, would probably become sterile. The unusual tail is actually the result of a random spontaneous genetic mutation within the domestic cat population or is related to the dominant Manx gene.
This cat's original appearance genetics were modified in the breed to form a new and improved breed which comes in all colors, categories and divisions. New shorthair versions have appeared where once only longhair versions were fully recognized. These new lines, which invoke a gentler sweeter cat with the remaining wild look features, may have begun in Florida It is still permitted to outcross the Bobtail with domestic stock, so long as the currently small gene pool is kept healthy. Manx and Japanese Bobtails are not used in the integrated matix.
The breed was recognised by the International Cat Association in 1989.
Development and Conformation Appearance
Development–Bobtails require two to three years to develop, slower than many domestic cat breeds.
General– An ideally naturally occurring hearty short-tailed cat.
Body–Moderately long and substantial; semi-cobby; stocky; noticeable rectangular stance; boning substantial; chest full and broad; hips substantial, almost as wide as chest; hind legs longer than fore legs with large round feet which may have toe tufts.
Head–Broad wedge without flat planes; size proportionate to body; concave curve from nose to brow, or rise to prominent brow; broad unpinched muzzle; non-prominent whisker pads; gently sloped wide nose; full strong jaws.
Ears–Medium-sized, wide-based; equally mounted on top and side of head; with rounded tips.
Eyes–oval to large almond shape; size proportionate to head; aperture angled to base of ear; medium wide spacing, deep sockets; color varies with coat color.
Tail–End of the tail visible above the back, but not beyond the Hock, while the animal is in repose; straight, (or curved), slightly knotted or have bumps.
- Shorthair– length medium to short; texture resilient; all-weather; double coat with undercoat.
- Longhair– length semi-long, tapering to longer on ruff, britches, belly and tail; texture shaggy, non-matting, somewhat resilient; double coat with semi-dense undercoat of seasonal variation.
Disquality ones with bad hips and Rumpies (tail-less Bobtails with a shortened spine). These are generally not acceptable due to increased health problems.
You can see more American Bobtail cats on gallery.