How to Identify an American Bobtail Cat? (7 Facts)

The American Bobtail is a breed of domestic cat that comes in short-haired and long-haired varieties. The breed is unusual because it does not have a tail. Cats normally have tails and this is one of the most distinctive features of the breed.

However, some American Bobtails are born with short or partial tails; those that do not have tails at birth almost always will not grow any type of tail as they mature. This is what gives rise to their name: “American” because this breed was developed in the United States, and “Bobtail” because this cat does not have a tail.

The most common type is short hair with a tightly curled plume-like tail. The other variety is medium to long hair, but always exhibiting the dominant Manx taillessness gene.

There are some distinctive features of an American Bobtail cat that can help you determine the breed when you come across one in your neighborhood or a shelter. 

#1. Eyes

American Bobtails have their own unique eye color. They are usually gold in color, but can also be green or even blue.

#2. Ears Size

Compared to other breeds of cats, American Bobtail cats tend to have larger than average-sized ears that are wide at the base. These types of cats may look like they are bat-eared.

#3. Coat Texture

This breed has a short, dense coat with an undercoat that is soft and thick. Their coats can be in any color or pattern except for black, chocolate, cinnamon, lavender, fawn, Siamese pointed patterns (with the exception of their eye colors) and Himalayan pointed patterns.

#4. Head Shape

The head of an American Bobtail cat has a short, flat-sided appearance with large jowls, which makes them look like they have an overbite.

#5. Gait Type 

When an American Bobtail walks or runs, this breed will display its signature “bob” at the end of its tail.

#6. Behavior

American Bobtails are known to be very good hunters, but they are also playful, careful, and curious creatures. They are extremely loyal to their immediate family members and can be quite territorial with other pets or strangers, so this breed might not be the best choice for a home with other pets or young children.

#7. Tail Shape and length

When an American Bobtail is born, it may be as small as a piece of string or as big as a pencil; however, the tail will not grow any larger. The tail can range from extremely short to partially developed; those that do not have tails at birth almost always will not grow any type of tail as they mature. This is what gives rise to their name: “American” because this breed was developed in the United States, and “Bobtail” because this cat does not have a tail.

They can have short tails, long tails, or no tails. The most common type is short hair with a tightly curled plume-like tail that is usually seen tucked between their hind legs. The other variety is medium to long hair, but always exhibiting the dominant Manx taillessness gene.

Verdict

American Bobtails are very good hunters, but they are also playful, careful, and curious creatures. They make excellent household pets for families who can provide them with enough attention and care to keep their curious nature occupied.

When it comes to colors and patterns, the American Bobtail will accept almost any color or pattern except for black, chocolate, cinnamon, lavender, fawn, Siamese pointed patterns (with the exception of their eye colors) and Himalayan pointed patterns.

This breed is also known to be territorial with other pets or strangers, so it may not be ideal for a home with other pets or young children.

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