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Keeping Kittens - Guide to Caring for Kittens

Cute Kitten Care > Kitten Breed > American Bobtail Kittens

All You Need to Know About the American Bobtail Cat Breed

A kitten is not just a purchase or gift, it is a commitment. This page designed to help you decide if an American Bobtail kitten is right for you.

History of the Breed

As with many cat breeds, there is a bit of speculation about the origin of the American Bobtail cat breed. It is considered a relatively new breed, and the first one was discovered in the 1960s.

cute american bobtail kitten
Photo by plearbear. (Footer for photo credit)

The American Bobtail cat is not considered to be related to the Japanese bobtail cat at all. Legend has it that the first American Bobtail kittens came about as a result of the mating between a domestic tabby named Yodie with a stubby-tail with a long-haired female.

Originally only long-haired bobtail cats were recognized as part of the breed, now short-haired American Bobtails are also recognized.

In 1989 the American Bobtail breeders were happy that the breed was officially recognized by the International Cat Association. American Bobtail cats were now accepted into The Cat Fanciers Association, The International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association.

Personality Traits

These cats and kittens would receive a 7/10 for activity level, with 10 being overactive. Bobtails lay claim to being fun, friendly, great climbers, outgoing and talkative companions. Some American Bobtail kittens are born more timid, and you may have to work on drawing out their playful side.

The American Bobtail cat is generally considered to be a great family pet whilst still maintaining the 'air' of wild cat. They usually handle child antics well, and even allow children to pick them up.

Considered to be very intelligent, some American Bobtails can even appear to be 'dog-like' and play fetch and greet owners at the door. Some owners even report that their American Bobtail cats and kittens can be little 'Houdini's' and somehow escape from closed rooms or fastened cages.

Physique and Appearance

Tail. The most distinctive feature of American Bobtail kittens and cats is their unusually short tail. It is between 1/3 and 1/2 the size of the average cats tail and is similar to the Manx cat tail. The tail may be straight, slightly curved, have a bit of a kink or even have bumps all along its length. When alert you should be able to see your American Bobtail kitten tail above his back, but when relaxed his tail should not be longer than the hock of his leg. If you are wondering what on earth a 'hock' is it is the pointy part of the hind leg of a cat!

Build. Usually a hearty, strong, sturdy cat with an almost rugged-looking appearance. American Bobtails are considered a medium to larger cat breed, with a rectangular shaped face and broad and full chest. Feet are large and round. Males can be upwards of 15 pounds, and females are similar.

Head. This breeds head is sized nicely in proportion to its body. Bobtails share a heads with a concave curve from nose to brow, with a full, strong jaw. Whisker pads are prominent on these cats.

Kitten Fast Facts

  • Intelligent
  • Escape-artists
  • Dog-like qualities
  • Have stub tails

  • Eyes. Deep-set almond-shaped eyes, the color varies with coat color.

    Coat. Can come in all sorts of colors and patterns, either with a short dense fur or a longer, shaggy-appearing coat. Long and short hair varieties.


    Hip dysplasia can sometimes be linked to American Bobtail cats due to the possibility of having a too-short spine. You will be able to spot this on a kitten as they will not even have a stump of a tail.

    However there are no significant health risks facing this breed, but general kitty health should be considered when it comes to buying an American Bobtail kitten.

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