The American Bobtail is a very new breed of cat and is still relatively unknown in Europe. They are defined by their very short tail which resembles a pom-pom.
They are a medium to large breed, and generally have long hair. American Bobtails are very affectionate and playful, and get along well with children and other animals.
The first American Bobtail was domesticated just 53 years ago in 1965, after an American couple spotted a feral kitten with a very short tail in Arizona.
Named Yodie, the Bobtail kitten was cross-bred with a Siamese cat, and one of their kittens was in turned crossed with another cat. AmericanBobtail as we know it today was born.
The first American Bobtails had short hair, but they were subsequently cross-bred with Persians. This gave the Bobtail the mid-to-long hair that is more frequently seen today.
The breed was recognised in the United States in 1989, but still remains little-known to the general public.
So recently domesticated, the American Bobtail has kept several physical attributes from its wild past. It is a medium-to-large breed which can weigh up to 15 pounds (7 kilograms).
The American Bobtail is a muscular breed, with a large chest and hips as well as strong shoulders. Their paws are relatively large and very muscular, which can give the impression that they are large cats. In reality, they are medium-sized.
Their head is also large and round. American Bobtails have medium-sized ears which are always adorned with little tufts of long hair, and are not dissimilar to lynx's ears.
Large, round eyes are also characteristic of the breed. They tend to match the colour of their coat.
The most distinctive trait of the American Bobtail is its tail, which is particularly short: between 1-4 inches (2.5-10 centimetres). It can be straight or curved, and is usually covered in long fur. This gives it its distinctive pom-pom-like appearance.
Source : Cats breeds selector
American Bobtails can have short to semi-long coats. Their fur is generally thicker and longer at the ruff (the area surrounding the head), on the underside of the belly, on the back and on the tail. Mid-to-long-haired American Bobtails also have tufts of longer hair on their paws.
American Bobtails come in all colours and patterns – their coat can be black, white, tan, chocolate or even blue. They may be one single colour, but there are also tabby (striped), colorpoint (light-colored body wth darker extremities) and calico (tricoloured) varieties.
American Bobtails are known for their calm and affectionate character. They get on well with all members of the family and even with other animals. In general, they are very attached to their owners, and like to let them know it.
They are very playful cats, and certainly aren't shy about asking their owners to play with them. Their hunting instincts lead them to chase even the smallest thing that has the misfortune to cross their path. They love cat toys and will chase after them as though they were real prey.
Despite this, American Bobtails adapt easily to life in an apartment. They are definitely playful, but this can be contained within a reduced space. They are fond of their homes, and like to stay in a familiar and comfortable environment.
As a breed, American Bobtails are very resistant to illness, and have no particular predisposition to genetic illnesses.
In fact, the cats themselves are capable of helping humans who suffer from illness. Their calm and caring temperament enables them to work as therapy animals in the United States.
An American Bobtail can live in an apartment and along with other animals. It is only necessary to provide enough toys and scratching posts so that the cat can trim its claws and have an outlet for its talents as a hunter.
The American Bobtail's coat requires no upkeep in particular, other than the occasional brush to keep it silky.