Kitten History: American Bobtail

Some believe that the American Bobtail is a cross from a domestic cat and a bobcat.

By Stacy Hackett

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American Bobtail © Helmi Flick

Your American Bobtail kitten stalks his toys, a born hunter, in the territory of your living room. With his tufted ears, spotted coat and stubby tail, he looks like he belongs in untamed land. Just where did he get his wild looks?

Some have speculated that the American Bobtail is the result of a chance encounter between a domestic cat and a Bobcat, but genetics so far have disproved this theory. Breed enthusiasts stand firm in their devotion to using only domestic cats in their breeding programs.

Bobtail cats most likely popped up in litters of kittens for many generations, but the breed didn't start its true development until the late 1960s. A brown tabby bobtail kitten was found on an Indian reservation in Southern Arizona, and the young couple who discovered him was smitten with his unique good looks and charming personality. When bred to a long-tail female, the bobtail cat fathered more bobtail kittens and the American Bobtail breed was born.

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Reader Comments

penny    gloversville, NY

10/23/2014 7:02:30 PM

its just fabulous. so is this breed. but I love most of the breeds anyway. am a huge animal lover. and itruly love kitties.

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

8/28/2013 11:46:25 PM


Rie    Orlando, FL

8/2/2011 3:16:48 PM

My American Bobtail kitten, Hunny, is a comedian in a cat suit. She is VERY intelligent and playful and her motto is "Why walk if you can run?" She is the first at the door to welcome me home. I am SO glad that I rescued her from a situation where she was being hit with a flyswatter for getting on the couch and being sprayed with water until she was soaked when she touched the curtains. She is very playful and comes running when she is called. I have found that these cats are very active and like to climb, so you might as well go with the flow rather than try to have a lap cat.

Roberta    Olive Hill, TN

3/22/2009 9:57:10 AM

I found it to be very interesting and informative.I think this breed is attractive.My neighbor had a bob-cat and I believe she gave me a kitten with the bob-cat genes.My cat had a long tail, but she is beautiful,she had beautiful kittens, mostly long-haired.I got her spayed after she had two litters.I just love her.

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