It is fun to think that the American Bobtail Cat arose out of a cross between a Domestic Shorthair Cat and a bobcat, but this is now known to be impossible. Anyone at all familiar with the intractable personality of a bobcat realizes that this sweet-natured cat could never have arisen from such wild stock. You are not likely to find any pet bobcats, unless they are kept in a cage. Additionally, the males of such hybridization would be sterile.
The American Bobtail is thought to have arisen from breeding a feral short-tailed tom with a normal tabby. The ensuing litters were the start of the bobtail breed. Generally not completely tailless like the Manx, the American Bobtail Cat usually sports a tail a half or a third the usual length. The tail is often crooked or kinked, and those kittens born without a tail have been found to suffer from spinal problems. The American Bobtail is a large cat, often weighing up to 18 pounds or more. The cat can have either a short- or long-haired coat in a variety of colors, from solid to tabby to Siamese.
• The American Bobtail is a friendly cat that makes a good companion for everyone in the family, including other pets. They are tolerant of children, and will allow themselves to be played with without becoming irritated.
• This breed is said to resemble dogs in some ways, such as its willingness to walk on a leash. This cat will enjoy taking a stroll with its owner and a walk will provide the cat with an added measure of exercise.
• The American Bobtail will also run to greet its human friends when they return home, in much the same way as a dog will do. They enjoy playing games, so having interactive toys is a good idea.
• Another way that bobtails resemble dogs is that they will often be able to learn tricks, an unusual trait with most cat breeds.
• The American Bobtail Cat is calm breed. It is suitable for city living where the noise and traffic might make some cats nervous.
• While not as talkative as a Siamese, American Bobtails do like to chat quite a bit. Their vocalizations will include not only meows, but also warbles and chirps. Their voices are on the quiet end of the scale, however
• As with most short-haired breeds, those American Bobtails with short coats do not require any special grooming. The long-haired cats should be brushed several times a week to keep mats from forming. Regardless of the coat length, a brushing will remove dead hairs and help to prevent the formation of fur balls in the stomach.
• This is a healthy and robust breed in most cases. Health problems can arise, as noted above, in the completely tailless cats, and there can be difficulties not only with the spine, but with the bowel and bladder as well. These tailless cats, Rumpies, should not be bred.
• There are not very many American Bobtails as yet, so kittens can be difficult to come by and are usually quite expensive.
• A yearly visit to the veterinarian to keep current on vaccinations and to check for dental problems will probably be all that is needed with the American Bobtail.
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