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American Bobtail

American Bobtail

The American Bobtail cat, named after their distinctive short tail, was developed in the 1960’s when an American couple bred their domestic cat with a short-tailed kitten they had found. The litter of kittens were all born with the bob-tail appearance like their mother, which began to be a desired trait by cat lovers. Selective breeding from this point developed the American Bobtail breed we see today. The gene mutation responsible for the short tail is like that of the of the Manx

Ranging from 3kg to 5kg in weight, the American Bobtail cat is an average sized cat. They come in a variety of coat colours including come in a variety of coat colours including black, brown, lilac, beige, fawn, red, and white. They are a stocky, muscular cat. Their life expectancy is around 13 to 15 years.

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Origin

USA, 1960’s 

Size

3-5kgs, average size

Colours

Black, brown, beige, blue, lilac, red, white, fawn

Life expectancy

13-15 years

Coat

Medium hair, moderate shedding

Temperament 

Social, confident, friendly

Activity levels

High 

Best suited for

Any cat-friendly household

Apartment friendly

Yes 

Personality 

American Bobtail cats are self-assured, intelligent, active, and sociable. These qualities make them great companions and suitable for families of all ages. American Bobtail’s are said to be very social cats and will generally get along with other pets, including cats if introduced early. They adapt well to apartment life when they are provided with plenty of cat trees, toys, and company. 

Keep your American Bobtail indoors or in a cat friendly enclosure to help keep them safe from roads, other cats and snakes as well as helps to keep wildlife safe from your cat.

Grooming

American Bobtails come in short and medium coat length both with moderate shedding. Overall, both coat lengths are fairly low maintenance, and going over them once or twice a week with a grooming mitt will help remove loose hairs and keep the coat healthy. Flea control all year around is recommend as is tick control if in a tick area. 

Feeding

When choosing a food for your American Bobtail Cat, select a premium food appropriate to your cats age and life stage. Consider a premium food that offers urinary tract protection for your cat. Ensure that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pets’ size to ensure your fur baby gets appropriate nutrition. Always ensure your American Bobtail cat has a constant supply of fresh water available and consider providing them with a water fountain, as many cats prefer to drink moving water.

Common health concerns 

Short-tailed cats are at risk of having damage to nerves in their spine which can cause complications ranging from spina bifida to issues with bladder and bowel movements. This may be reflected in the top reasons why the breed visited the vet in the past ten years according PetSure claims data, as spinal pain featured in the number two position.  

Traumatic accidents including cat fight abscesses and wounds were also noted in the top reasons for American Bobtail cats to visit the vet. It may be possible to lower the risk of your cat from having a traumatic accident by keeping them indoors or in a cat safe enclosure. 

The three most common reasons for an American Bobtail cat to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data from 2011-2020.

Rank

Condition

Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)

1

Post-operative complication

$269

$318

2

Spinal Pain

$108

$158

3

Traumatic Injury

$114

$114

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular American Bobtail names

The most popular names for American Bobtail according to PetSure data from 2010 to 2020 were:

  1. Bob
  2. Bobbie
  3. Coco
  4. KitLucy

Most popular female names  

  1. Bobbie
  2. Coco
  3. Kit
  4. Lucy
  5. Mali

Most popular male names: 

  1. Bob
  2. Mickey
  3. Mini
  4. Pip
  5. Star 

Did you know?

It is said that American Bobtail cats mature a lot more slowly than other cats and can take 2 to 3 times longer to mature than other breeds of cat. 

Where can I get an American Bobtail cat?

American Bobtail cats are very rare in Australia. If you are looking for a feline companion, shelters generally have many beautiful cats looking for loving homes. It may be possible to find a Bobtail cat through a breed specific rescue but check out your local animal shelter or rescue organisation where you may just find your perfect kitten or cat! 

References

  1. The Cat Fanciers’ Association, About the American Bobtail, Accessed on 13 April 2021
  2. Purina, American Bobtail Cat Breed, Accessed on 13 April 2021
  3. Wikipedia, American Bobtail, Accessed on 13 May 2021

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Noah
Noah
Bei Bei
Bei Bei
Meeka
Meeka