The American Bobtail is a loving, affectionate, and playful cat. This breed is suitable for most households and environments. There’s a lot to love about this feline companion, so keep reading to learn more about the American Bobtail cat breed.

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American Bobtail Cat Breed Overview
Height9 - 10 inches
Weight7 - 16 pounds
Lifespan11 - 15 years
TemperamentSocial, Affectionate, Friendly
Suitable ForApartments, Households with or without kids, Young Adults, Senoirs

History Of The American Bobtail Cat

American Bobtails have an exciting history. This breed came to be through natural selection to survive in feral environments. They are the result of a harmless genetic mutation.

It’s unknown which other cat breeds the American Bobtail cat came from.

However, this breed did originate in the United States. Two vacationers, John and Brenda Sanders, adopted a bobtailed cat from Arizona. When they returned home to Iowa, this new cat and their female cat mated.

Thus, a litter of American Bobtail cats was born.

They were developed in the 1960s when they were officially recognized as their cat breed by the Cat Fanciers Association.

During this time, other cat breeders hopped on the trend and attempted to create cats with short tails and sweet temperaments. 

American Bobtail Cat Breed: Everything You Need To Know |

What Does The American Bobtail Look Like?

American Bobtail cats can grow to be about nine to ten inches tall, medium to large-sized cats. On the other hand, they can weigh between seven and 16 pounds. 

Males are typically larger than females.

According to the CFA breed standard, American Bobtails are well-muscled and look intelligent and alert.

The head is broad and wedged but proportionate to the body’s rest. Their eyes are large and almond-shaped with a large, leather nose. Its ears are medium, broad at the base, tapering off into a point. 

Their body is long and rectangular with a broad chest. Its legs and feet are long and in proportion with the rest of the body. 

The American Bobtail’s tail is its most prominent feature. They have a short, flexible tail that doesn’t curl upward. However, this kitty can be expressive with its tail even though it’s short.

Finally, their coat can be longhair or shorthair. Even shorthaired cats have dense fur. In addition, the coat can come in many colors and patterns.

What Coat Colors Do American Bobtails Have?

American Bobtail coat colors vary from almost any color and marking. You can see all the colors and patterns in the chart below.

American Bobtail Coat Colors
Smoke PatternBlack SmokeBlue Smoke
Red Smoke (Cameo)Chocolate SmokeLilac Smoke
Cream SmokeTortoiseshell SmokeClassic Tabby Pattern
Mackerel Tabby PatternSpotted Tabby PatternTicked Tabby Pattern
Patched Tabby PatternSilver TabbyBrown Tabby
Blue TabbyRed TabbyCream Tabby
Chocolate TabbyChocolate Silver TabbyLilac Tabby
Lilac Silver TabbyRed Silver TabbyTortoiseshell
Blue-CreamChocolate TortoiseshellLilac-Cream
CalicoDilute CalicoFawn-Cream Calico
Lavender-Cream CalicoCinnamon Cream CalicoBi-Color
Pointed PatternSeal PointBlue Point
Chocolate PointLilac PointRed Point
Cream PointLynx Point PatternSeal Lynx Pattern
Blue Lynx PointChocolate Lynx PointLilac Lynx Point
Red Lynx PointCream Lynx PointSilver Point
Tortie Lynx PointMink PatternSeal Mink
Chocolate MinkBlue MinkLilac Mink

Caring For The American Bobtail

Pet care for your American Bobtail cat is straightforward once you understand their needs better. Remember that every cat breed is different, so this particular breed has its own needs.

American Bobtail Cat Breed: Everything You Need To Know |


Luckily, American Bobtails are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. But, as with most cats, they’ll keep themselves clean.

However, due to their long fur, you’ll want to brush their coat at least once to twice weekly. This will help keep knots and mats at bay. Also, it’ll keep shedding under control.

This breed does shed a decent amount. During shedding season, they’ll shed more. So, during this time, you’ll want to brush its coat at least three to four times per week.

Due to their long fur and shedding, this cat breed is not considered hypoallergenic.

Otherwise, keep trimming their nails, cleaning their ears, and brushing their teeth regularly.

Finally, the cat should always have easy access to a clean litter box.


As with all cats, your American Bobtail should have high-quality cat food. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re unsure what brand to feed your kitty or how much.

The food you provide your cat should be appropriate for their breed size, age, weight, and metabolism.

American Bobtails are prone to getting overweight. This is because they enjoy food and don’t know when to stop. So, it’s important not to leave dry food out all day for the cat to graze.

If you’re looking for high-quality cat food, you can check out this healthy brand for kittens.

For adults, this wet canned food is ideal for helping keep them at a healthy weight.

Finally, this kibble is ideal for senior cats.

American Bobtail Cat Breed: Everything You Need To Know |


American Bobtail cats have moderate energy levels. As a result, they don’t require too much physical activity or mental stimulation. Instead, they’ll prefer to lounge on the couch most of the day and chill.

However, they do need some activity to remain healthy and happy. So they’ll enjoy playing with cat toys for a few minutes daily with you.

Alternatively, you can bring them on walks outside with a harness and leash.


As with most cats, American Bobtails are independent and may not be responsive to training. You can teach them basic commands and how to walk with a harness, but it’ll be up to them whether they want to listen or not.

Health Issues

As an adult, you’ll want to bring your American Bobtail to the vet at least once a year. This annual checkup would help keep them up to date with shots and boosters.

As a kitten, you can bring them to the veterinarian a few times during their first year. Together, you and the vet can ensure the kitty grows and develops well.

Luckily, American Bobtails are relatively healthy breeds. However, they are known to get a few different health problems. For example, they can get the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

In addition, cats with little to no tails may develop spinal or bowel issues.

With proper care and frequent vet visits, this American Bobtail cat breeds have an average lifespan of about 11 to 15 years. 

American Bobtail Cat Breed: Everything You Need To Know |

Temperament Of The American Bobtail Cat Breed

There’s a lot to love about this cat breed. American Bobtails will be a great addition to any household. These cats are affectionate, social, and playful. 

They enjoy the company of others. So, if you’re looking for a cuddly feline friend to lounge on the couch with you, this kitty may be the one. Although, they do love to play, as well.

This kitty is mostly relatively calm but enjoys playing with cat toys and climbing structures. Also, they’ll enjoy talking for a brief walk on a harness.

American Bobtail cats can fit in with any home. They’ll be good in a bigger house or an apartment.

Also, this cat can get along well with adults, seniors, or children. However, children should be supervised when with the cat. American Bobtails will only be able to take so much of a child’s energy.

If you have other pets in the home, your cat will get along well with them. For example, American Bobtails are friendly and will get along with dogs, other cats, and even small animals, such as guinea pigs.

Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?

There aren’t many differences between males and females of this breed. Besides males being bigger than females, both genders are similar in temperament.

Who Should Own The American Bobtail Cat?

American Bobtails can adapt to most living areas. So whether it’s a household with or without kids, with or without pets, or an apartment, they’ll get along fine.

They’re calm enough to be with seniors or young adults. However, they don’t like being left alone for long. They are prone to separation anxiety and prefer the company of others.

American Bobtail Cat Breed: Everything You Need To Know |

Where Can You Get An American Bobtail?

American Bobtails aren’t seen around often. To adopt this cat, you should look at an animal shelter or rescue organization.

The cats at these places are often abandoned or stray, looking for forever, loving homes. So it’s essential to adopt and not shop.

You might find an American Bobtail kitten, adult, or senior at a shelter. Alternatively, you may find a mixed breed with American Bobtail genes.

On the other hand, if you have trouble finding this kitty, you can go through a reputable breeder.

Before deciding to work with a breeder, research them. Ethical breeders will do the following:

  • Socialize the American Bobtail kittens as early as possible
  • Ensure the kittens are up to date on their vaccinations
  • Won’t allow the kittens to leave their mother until eight or nine weeks old
  • Meet with you in person to get to know each other
  • Breed the cat in healthy and safe conditions

In addition, the breeder will also have a family tree history and health certifications to give you upon adoption. Finally, they’ll answer any of your questions about their work as a breeder, the cat breed, the litter, and anything else.

The CFA Breeder List is an excellent place to start looking for good American Bobtail breeders.

Question Corner: FAQs About American Bobtail Cats

You can read through the frequently asked questions below if you’d like to learn more about the American Bobtail cat breed.

American Bobtail Cat Breed: Everything You Need To Know |

What’s The Average Cost Of The American Bobtail?

You can expect the average American Bobtail price to be between $600 and $1,200. This cost can vary based on the kittens’ pedigree, the number of kittens in the litter, the popularity of the breed, and more.

How Rare Is An American Bobtail Cat?

American Bobtail cats are relatively uncommon. So it may be tricky to find this breed, but this could be because they’re popular and high in demand.

Do American Bobtail Cats Shed?

Yes, American Bobtails shed moderately. You’ll want to brush their coat regularly to keep the shedding under control. They’ll have a shedding season twice a year and shed more than usual.

Are American Bobtails Good Cats?

American Bobtails are excellent cats. They’ll get along in just about any environment and fit well with most families.

Are American Bobtail Cats Hypoallergenic?

No, this can breed is not considered hypoallergenic. Even though some of them might have short hair rather than long hair, they do moderately shed.

Is The American Bobtail Right For You?

American Bobtails are social, friendly, and affectionate with their family members. If you want a cuddly cat, this breed is a good option. 

American Bobtail Cat Breed: Everything You Need To Know |
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