American Bobtail


United States



Adult Weight

7-18 pounds

Life Span

12-15 years


Lively, intelligent, personable, curious


Golden Retriever of the cat world


Medium-to-large sized shorthair and longhair


$600 - $1,000

Personality and Temperament

The American Bobtail cat is renowned for its friendly, almost doglike personality as well as its wild appearance. This incredible breed does have feral ancestors, but its behavior is purely domesticated. American Bobtail cats are highly intelligent, with a reputation for being talkative. They are known to develop wide vocabularies that include a variety of meows, chirps, and purrs. Despite the American Bobtail’s feral cat ancestry, members of the breed are known to develop strong bonds with their human families. In addition, they have a reputation for getting along very well with other pets. In addition to being outgoing, American Bobtails are also incredibly active, with an appreciation for jumping, climbing, and exciting games. These cats are highly trainable, too. Favorite activities include playing fetch and walking on leashes with their family members. American Bobtail cats are wily escape artists, easily making their way out of confinement even when placed in closed carriers. If you have an American bobtail cat and you need to transport them, you’ll want to make sure that the carrier is latched!


American Bobtail cats do not have any special dietary requirements, other than a nutritious meat-based diet that satisfies their needs as obligate carnivores. Feed measured meals rather than leaving out food all dog so your cat does not overeat and become obese.
American Bobtail cats come in both short coats and medium-length long coats. Both coat types are fairly easy to care for. Regular brushing will help keep your American Bobtail cat looking good, and they’ll love the attention. Since these cats are robust climbers, keep their nails trimmed regularly.
American Bobtail cats are highly active and are very playful. These curious cats love games, and will play and climb with intensity. If you’ve always wanted a cat that enjoys human interaction, and you like the idea of walking your cat on a leash, then the American Bobtail might be the ideal breed for you.
American Bobtail cats are notorious for their good health. The breed is not predisposed to any known health conditions.


Affection Level 90%
Activity Level 60%
Pet-Friendly 70%
Kid-Friendly 80%
Sociability 100%
Intelligence 90%
Playfulness 70%
Independence 50%
Vocality 50%
Grooming 60%


The American Bobtail cat is a relatively new cat breed, having been developed in the 1960s using a feral brown tabby male with a naturally short tail and a seal point domestic female. Although many cat breeds are formed using exclusively pedigreed cats as foundation stock, this breed stands out for its development through natural selection. The foundation stock was almost exclusively made up of feral domestic cats with natural bobtails. Several different breeders from different parts of the United States worked together to develop the American Bobtail cat as we know it. Even though the foundation cats had no known common heritage, they were all alike in type. The result is a strong, vibrant cat breed with a distinct appearance and no known genetic defects. The gene that gives the American Bobtail cat its signature shortened tail is dominant. This is an important difference between the American Bobtail cat and the Japanese Bobtail cat. The Japanese Bobtail cat has a recessive gene for its short tail. The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognized the American Bobtail cat in 1989. Since then, the breed has been accepted for championship competition by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). It is also sanctioned by the Cat Aficionado Association of China. The World Cat Federation recognizes the breed but does not accept it for competition.

The Breed Standard


The American Bobtail cat has a long, stocky body. The chest is full and broad, and the hip is substantial. This cat has a noticeably rectangular profile.


The head is a broad wedge shape that is proportionate in size to the body. There are no flat plains, and a concave curve extends from the cat's nose to its brow. The muzzle is broad and the whisker pads are prominent. The jaws are full and strong.


The eyes are nearly almond shaped and of a size that is proportionate to the head. The socket is deep, spacing is medium wide, and the aperture is angled to the base of the cat's ear. An American Bobtail cat's eye color corresponds with its coat color.


An American Bobtail cat has medium-sized ears with wide bases and rounded tips.

Legs & Paws

Similar to a bobcat's legs, the American Bobtail cat has longer hind legs and slightly shorter front legs. The feet are large with a distinctly rounded appearance. Many American Bobtail cats have tufts of fur between their toes.


The American Bobtail cat always has a short tail that is normally between one-third to half the length of the tail on an average cat. The American Bobtail cat's tail may not extend below the hock. The tail is normally straight, however curves, bumps, and slightly knotted shapes are permitted.


American Bobtail cats may have dense shorthair coats or medium long-haired coats.


All colors and patterns are acceptable, but American Bobtail cats that exhibit coat colors and patterns that enhance the impression of wildness are preferred.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does an American Bobtail kitten cost?

    How much does an American Bobtail kitten cost?A pet-quality American Bobtail kitten typically cost between $1,200 and $1,500.
  • How big do American Bobtail cats get?

    How big do American Bobtail cats get?The American Bobtail cat is medium sized. Males weigh on average between 12 and 16 pounds. Females tend to be smaller, averaging 7 to 11 pounds. American Bobtail cats are slow to mature, taking about two to three years to achieve full growth.
  • How long do American Bobtail cats live?

    How long do American Bobtail cats live?The average life span for an American Bobtail cat is 11 to 15+ years.
  • Do American Bobtail cats shed?

    Do American Bobtail cats shed?The American Bobtail cat’s coat may be short or medium-long. Both coat types shed moderately throughout the year, with temporary heavier shedding in spring and fall. Weekly brushing can remove loose hair to reduce shedding in the house (brush more frequently during the seasonal shedding periods).
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