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American Bobtail

Published on 16 Jun 2021

American Bobtail Cat posing on wooden box.

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.

OriginUSA, 1960’s 
Size3-5kgs, average size
ColoursBlack, brown, beige, blue, lilac, red, white, fawn
Life expectancy13-15 years
CoatMedium hair, moderate shedding
Temperament Social, confident, friendly
Activity levelsHigh 
Best suited forAny cat-friendly household
Apartment friendlyYes 


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.


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. 


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.

American bobtail standing on wooden floor looking upwards.

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.

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Post-operative complication$269$318
2Spinal Pain$108$158
3Traumatic 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.


American Bobtail standing and looking away in a park

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! 


  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 is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ABN 78 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard); is promoted and distributed by Pet Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 38 607 160 930; AR 1234944) (PIPL) and PIPL’s authorised distribution partners (including Pet Culture Group Pty Limited ABN: 69 644 613 098; AR 001284860) (PetCulture) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ABN 95 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). PIPL and PetCulture are authorised representatives of PetSure. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold, Pet Insurance.

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


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 Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

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