American Bobtail cats are a great choice for families as they are very outgoing by nature. They are friendly, albeit slightly noisy, and mischievous. If you do decide on them as a family pet, make sure they are socialized from when they are kittens. And, of course, make sure small children are taught how to interact with cats so they are gentle and respectful.
Having said that, the American Bobtail is extremely tolerant of the way children like to cart around a beautiful cat. They love playing games, can be taught how to fetch, and walk on a leash, and can be quite insistent when they want to play!
Because they are such a friendly breed, American Bobtails suit having another cat around to play with. They can play up a bit if they are left alone for too long, out of boredom. It’s a good idea to leave a lot of toys, and perhaps a large cat house, if you’re going to be away from home for long periods of time. But nothing beats a play mate, especially if they are both bought as kittens together.
American Bobtail cats are adaptive to whatever type of household environment they find themselves in, however. They are very loyal and committed to their owners.
These cats are extremely intelligent, and I’ve noticed with some of my cats (not Bobtails though), the intelligent ones can be particularly naughty when they are bored. But their intelligence is also what is so appealing, and something to marvel at. Interestingly, American Bobtails have been used by therapists in treatment programs because they are so aware of the distress of those in them, and extremely well-behaved. So, Bobtails are not always mischievous!
American Bobtail cats are so named because they have a very short tail. They are believed to have descended from a mix of American Bobcat, Japanese Bobtail, and Manx. Manx are the cats that have no tail whatsoever, which can lead to health problems for them. The shorter tail on this Bobcat is natural however.
The American Bobtail cat’s tail should not be longer than the its’ hocks, but it must have a tail, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association. The Bobtails were recognized as a breed in February 2000, though they were in a Provisional Class for quite a while before that. (Cats are put in the Provisional Class whilst it is discovered whether they can hold their characteristics or not). They are a young breed, having been around only since the 1960′s.
American Bobtail cats are quite wild looking, with big paws, and a broad head. They are muscular and athletic. They’ve been described as stocky, and whilst they have short legs (especially compared to a lanky Oriental), their torso doesn’t look overly heavy, especially in the shorter hair varieties.
Their coat is water-resistant, and can be short or medium length. Whether your Bobcat has a short or medium coat, it must be brushed at least once a week. Brushing cats from when they are kittens will get them used to it, and they’ll enjoy the attention!
The coat is not smooth like many breeds, and these irregularities contribute to their untamed appearance. Color-wise, they can be anything from blue, red or brown tabby, to fawn and white, though other color combinations are possible. You can see some pictures of American Bobtail cats here.
Despite starting out as being a bit problematic with regards health, the breeders dedicated to them worked hard to make them the strong and sturdy cat they are today. They now have a clean bill of health, and are not particularly prone to anything.
There is a Breeders Club devoted to the American Bobtail, so if you’d like one of these lovely pets, have a look in their directory.