American Bobtail Cat Breed Guide

Adaptable | Calm | Rare. Whilst they may look similar to their wild Bobcat cousins, the American Bobtail is a real softie at hard. They’re loyal and affectionate and meld well into furmilies of all shapes and sizes, getting along with children as well as other cats and dogs. Unfortunately, these floofs are rarely seen in the UK and aren’t yet recognised by the GCCF. However, their popularity is slowly growing abroad due to their calm and affectionate purrsonalities. Today we’ll unpack the ins and outs of this uncommon kitty including their ancestry and temperament and whether they make good pets.

American bobtail cat in a tree


Average Lifespan: 11 – 15 years

Average Weight: 3.2 – 7.2 kg 

Coat Length: Short or medium-long

Colouring: All colours and patterning

Shedding: Moderate - high



If legend has it, the American Bobtail came about through the cross-breeding of a domestic cat and a wild Bobcat somewhere in Northern America. With this kitty’s stubby tail reminiscent of that of a bobcat or lynx it wouldn’t be silly to believe so. However, in truth, the development of this cat’s peculiar tail comes down to a genetic mutation rather than a wild interspecies love story. 

The true origins of this breed started in the late 1960s when a young couple from Iowa discovered a feral tabby kitten with a short stubby tail all on its lonesome whilst they were holidaying in Arizona. They were taken aback by its unique tail resembling that of a wildcat and decided to take it back home with them. Eventually, they bred this kitty, named Yodi with their other non-pedigree cat producing similar-looking offspring. And hence, the breeding of the American Bobtail cat began. In 1989 the American Bobtail gained TICA recognition, however, they are yet to gain the same from the GCCF.


As the American Bobtail’s origins come from both feral and moggie lineage, they have an extremely diverse gene pool. As such they can come in almost any colour including brown, black, blue, fawn, red and white as well as any pattern including tabby, ticked, patched, spotted, and pointed. 

American Bobtails can vary in size but generally have a medium to strong build. They come in either a short-haired or medium to long-haired variety with many owners favouring a medium to long coat that is grey or tabby so that they more closely resemble a native bobcat or lynx. 

The most distinguishing feature of the American Bobtail cat is their short stubby tail. If you saw one of these guys roaming around the street late at night you might think that these cats may have had an unfortunate run-in with a car or a bite from the neighbourhood stray due to the appearance of their tail. However, the short tail is what makes these cats truly unique with no tail being the same. For instance, some are straight whilst others are curved or kinked.


The reason why American Bobtail owners love this breed of floof is their loving and affectionate personality. They have moderate energy levels so enjoy both cuddling up on the couch watching Garfield with their hooman as well as playtime so be sure to pick up some interactive toys including feather wands and fishing rods. 

These kitties even share some personality traits with doggies, and enjoy playing fetch with small balls or mice toys and are easily leash-trained for outdoor adventuring. Although they love their furmilies with all of their fluffy hearts, they’re not needy and are generally very quiet, only vocalising when they truly need to with cute chirps or soft trills.


These kitties are highly adaptable and make excellent pets. With moderate energy levels and a calm temperament, they thrive in both apartments and larger homes. They’re known for their lovable and gentle demeanour and are commonly used as therapy pets and companion cats in the States with some American truckers driving across the country with these floofs calmly sitting on their laps. 


American Bobtails are hearty and healthy cats (they can thank their moggie lineage for this), so don’t have any specific feeding requirements. However, like all cats, they thrive on a diet high in quality animal protein. Cats can’t digest plant proteins so it's paramount that the cat food you’re serving up for dinner has a named animal meat listed first on the ingredients list and doesn’t sneakily bulk up their recipe with unnecessary plant proteins, or the fluff as we like to say. 


Scrumbles wet food and a cat

Be confident that you’re feeding your cat the right stuff by switching to Scrumbles Nutritious Cat Food.

We load all of our recipes with up to 77% human-grade animal meat and no yucky plant proteins, to provide your obligate carnivore kitty with all they need to thrive. 

We also add either gut-loving probiotics or prebiotics to all of our yummy cat dinners to improve digestibility, reduce tummy upsets, and make for a tidy clean-up at the kitty litter.

With all of our wet and dry cat food recipes being nutritionally balanced, complete and vet-approved, you can rest assured that your furry bestie is getting everything they need from their bowl each and every day.

We also use eco-friendly packaging and 100% recyclable tins, and are proud to be B-Corp certified with a brand commitment to reducing our carbon pawprint on this Earth.

So make the switch to Scrumbles today, the best choice for your cat’s health and your own modern values!  

Whilst you're here, why not read:

  1. British Shorthair Cat Breed Guide

  2. Birman Cat Breed Guide

  3. Ragdoll Cat Breed Guide

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