Monday, September 17, 2012

Cat Breeds: American Bobtail

The American Bobtail is a fairly recent breed of cat that developed from feral cats that naturally have almost no tail. Back in the 1960s, a young couple (John and Brenda Sanders, to be exact) picked up a kitten along the side of the road while driving in Arizona. This kitten had a shortened tail. When this kitten bred to the non-pedigreed cat the Sanders already had, the kittens had this same shortened tail. Charlotte Bentley and Mindi Shultz, friends of the Sanders, saw this and thought that the kittens might have some potential.

But these kittens weren't actually American Bobtails, which were not recognized around the world until 1989. The first Bobtails were born when the kittens were bred to long-haired pointed cats. Feral cats may have been the foundation stock of the American Bobtail, but they are not used in breeding programs today by reputable breeeders. However, because they are descended from wild cats, American Bobtails have very few health issues to speak of. Ask your breeder for any health problems specific to their breeding program.

The Appearance of the American Bobtail

Obviously the Bobtail has a shortened tail, the appearance of which varies from cat to cat. In fact, kittens in the same litter will have different tail lengths. This is because the genetic mutation which results in the shortened tail is a little wild. There is no way to control it and no way to breed for a specific tail length. Breed standard indicate that the tail much be at least one inch without being longer than the hock, and most American Bobtails fall within this range.

The coat of the Bobtail is either short or long and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Any color is acceptable. It is more the short tail and the well-muscled, solid, graceful, and athletic build of this cat that is judged. But all American Bobtails require regular grooming to stay healthy and presentable. Their fur tangles easily and needs care.

These cats are medium in size with the males ranging from 12 to 16 pounds and the females ranging from 7 to 11 pounds.

The Personality of the American Bobtail

This cats are intelligent and friendly most of the time. They get along well with children and bond to their families in short order. They like attention and hate being left alone, but they're not really the kind of cat the will insist on sitting on your shoulder all day. If you're going to be away, a friend such as a dog or another cat is recommended. They tend to get along well with other animals if introduced slowly, so don't rush introductions.

These cats are neither lazy nor active. They are, in effect, both. When in motion, they're really in motion, dashing about as if being chased by whatever it is they imagine themselves being chased by. But when the American Bobtail decides it's time to laze about, nothing will move them. They're stubborn and will just lay there, often ignoring everything until they're ready to move. Still, they make wonderful and entertaining companions.

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