American Bobtail Cat Breed

This cat breed is often said to have a dog-like personality.
By: PawCulture Editors
American Bobtails

About the American Bobtail Cat Breed

The American Bobtail is a long and large cat with a short tail, which is between one-third to one-half the length of an average-sized cat’s tail. Though its tail is typically straight, it may curve, have a bump or be slightly knotted. It also has a wild appearance with slightly almond-shaped, “hunter” eyes.

American Bobtail Characteristics


The American Bobtail comes in any pattern and color, including black, brown, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac, fawn, red, and cream, with or without white.


American Bobtails can have either short and long coats. Their coats have a shaggy texture and a dense undercoat.

American Bobtail Personality and Temperament

Activity Level

Low to Medium


This outgoing, intelligent and highly adaptable cat is a great family companion, even for small children or other pets. The American Bobtail is also fearless yet not aggressive.


The American Bobtail is often said to have a dog-like personality. It enjoys interacting with its human family rather than being left alone.

See more cat breeds that act like dogs.

American Bobtail Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The American Bobtail easily adapts to any environment, whether it is busy or quiet.


The American Bobtail should be groomed once or twice a week to help remove loose fur from the undercoat.


The American Bobtail is not really more susceptible to specific health conditions in comparison to other cat breeds.

American Bobtail History and Background

While not new to America – it first appeared here in the 1960s – the American Bobtail breed has recently become popular. And although the true history of this cat is not known, it is widely believed that the breed came into being from a mating between a short-tailed brown tabby male named Yodie and a seal point Siamese female.

Yodie came into the possession of John and Blenda Sanders of Iowa while they were enjoying a vacation near an Indian reservation in Arizona. Though the ancestry of Yodie is not known, he had a short tail. Birman, Himalayan, and a Himalayan/Siamese cross were then added to the bloodline.

In the 1970s, the first standard for this cat was written by Mindy Schultz, a Bobtail breeder and friend of the Sanders. But due to the lack of resources, this breed made little headway. Unfortunately, most of these early bloodlines have faded out. In the 1980s, a few breeders decided to make a slightly more flexible Bobtail. They broke away from the original blueprint, which was essentially a short-tailed pointed longhair with white mittens and a white face blaze, and began a new breeding program.

This new Bobtail, which has emerged as a result of the efforts of these breeders, comes in all colors, categories, and divisions. Its seeds can be traced to a Florida breeder, who crossed domestic cats with Bobcats. Doubt remains about the authenticity of this story, however, as many experts said that such a mating would produce sterile kittens. Another, more likely, story is that this short-tailed cat was a product of a naturally occurring mutation among domestic cats.

The breed has excelled in its category but is still in the developing stage.