One of the most unusual representatives of their family is the American Bobtail cat, which is a real source of pride for felinologists from the USA. Beautiful and rather large animals have an excellent character, get along well with people, easily master tricks and useful skills. The description of the appearance of cats and cats is standardized and any deviation from it is considered a marriage. An individual approach to breeding in this case made it possible to exclude the manifestation of unauthorized genetic mutations and preserve many of the hereditary traits inherent in the American Bobtail. It is not surprising that today pets with short tails are found not only in the United States, but also far beyond its borders.
The American Bobtail owes its birth to young enthusiastic breeders named Sanders. But the breed might not have arisen if not for a series of accidents. Traveling through the Indian reservations of Southern Arizona in the carefree 60s of the XX century, a married couple was so fascinated by a stray kitten with an unusual mark – a short, like a chopped off tail, that they decided to take it with them. The baby was named Jody and turned out to be a male. The Sanders failed to clarify its origin – the local population assured that such offspring is obtained by crossing domestic cats with wild ones, and even, possibly, with lynxes.
At home, Jody was waiting not only for warm shelter and delicious food, but also for company. The people who sheltered him already had a favorite – the Siamese cat Misha, who, when the foundling with a short tail grew up, became the mother of his children. The offspring that emerged from this unusual union became the first generation of a new breed. The cat gave the kids a genetic predisposition to the formation of a shortened tail.
It is worth noting that initially the Sanders did not believe in the bike about the “wild” origin of the new pet and considered that he was simply injured. But having received offspring with the same hereditary traits, they turned to familiar breeders and received unexpected advice: to start purposefully breeding a completely new short-tailed breed. However, the owners of the first feline couple, who gave the American Bobtails to the world, who were not professional felinologists, almost ruined this good undertaking.
Their efforts, coupled with closely related crossing, led to the fact that each new generation of animals became less and less qualitative in terms of genetics. Fortunately for modern cat fans, the breeding of the American Bobtail quickly passed into the hands of professionals. Since the 70s of the last century, felinologists have taken steps to preserve the young, but very promising breed. For this, Siamese and Burmese cats were used in breeding, as well as various mestizos and animals whose origin was unknown.
The calculation was made on the fact that the identified gene mutation will persist in subsequent generations. The calculation was fully justified. The descendants of Jody and Misha, when crossed with owners of unrelated blood, ensured a stable transmission of short-tailed kittens. However, today most of the animals known as American Bobtails are only part of them. They received recognition as a breed in 2000, and at that time there were only 215 purebred individuals.
Two decades later, the situation has changed little – the American Bobtail is considered a rare and expensive variety of cats, and there are still official catteries only in the USA.
The American Bobtail cat is a large-sized animal with well-developed muscles, a short tail and an appearance similar to wild manuls or lynxes. According to its standard, an animal has certain characteristics.
- It has a mass of up to 7.5 kg for cats and up to 5 kg for cats. There are two subtypes of individuals – medium and large size.
- May belong to the shorthair or longhair subgroup. In the first case, the coat is rather short, hard, with a vertically located awn and a dense undercoat. Long-haired American Bobtails always look a little shaggy, well furred. Feathers stand out on the neck, croup, femur and hind legs.
- It has a significant life expectancy – up to 15 years.
- It is distinguished by a tail of a special shape – with a brush in the form of a fan at the end. Creases are allowed. With nervous excitement, the cat raises the tail up, at rest it is lowered, pressed to the body. The length of the caudal process must not be less than 2.5 cm or extend beyond the hock.
- It has a tightly knitted dense body, set high on muscular paws. The limbs are shorter in front, the hand is dense, tightly compressed, with well-developed pads.
- It has a wedge-shaped compact head with a pronounced line of cheekbones, a developed chin. Eyes set wide apart, deep set, round or almond shaped, their color should not contrast with the coat. The ears are high-set, large, slightly rounded with a pronounced slope.
Only recently, short-haired American Bobtails have been recognized as an independent branch of the breed, before that they were rejected for a long time, not allowed for breeding.
The differences between the two types are not only in the length of the outer hair. There is a difference in its rigidity, and in the direction of growth.
The nature of the American Bobtail is quite independent, but they are sociable, available for communication, and not aggressive towards other animals. When choosing such a cat as a pet, it is worth allocating a territory for her to play and have fun. Animals even in adulthood remain active and need movement.
The American Bobtail is distinguished by loyalty and devotion to the owner. The owner can be sure that the pet may prefer someone else to him. But such fidelity to habits creates certain difficulties: even going on vacation, a business trip, the owner’s stay in the hospital becomes a tragedy and a serious blow for the short-tailed cat.
This breed is one of the few who are categorically not recommended to change the owner.
In general, American Bobtails are excellent companion cats that do not need too much company of their own kind and prefer to communicate with a person. They do not suffer from the lack of free range, calm and balanced. The animal does not spoil things in the house, behaves correctly, quickly masters the basic rules of behavior.
Coat color options
The most common and recognized color variant is tabby in blue or red. Signs of rufism are allowed in Silver American Bobtails. Holders of point colors should have pronounced residual markings on the body. The more “wild” the pattern on the pet’s coat looks, the better. But in general, the standard does not favor any one version.
Eye color is associated with color in animals with point, milk, sepia colors. All colored versions are crossed with Persian cats.
The result of selection, among other things, was the stratification into short-haired and long-haired varieties.
Conditions of detention
The American Bobtail does not need to create a special habitat. Features of the content of this breed of cats differ little from those that are needed for a purebred pet. The rarity of the animal most often forces owners to switch to a completely home pet.
But bobtails easily get used to the harness and can easily be walked on a leash, giving the pet considerable pleasure.
The subtleties of caring for a cat depend on the length of the coat. Fluffy pets need regular combing, seasonal disposal of the undercoat. Bathing is required as the coat becomes soiled, but in general, cats do an excellent job of keeping clean. For cats that are on the street, it is imperative to take measures of antiparasitic treatment – from fleas, ticks, worms. Eyes and ears are cleaned weekly, and teeth cleaning for tartar-prone breeds is also a must.
The sharp claws of the American Bobtail definitely need to be ground down naturally. A simple haircut does not solve the problem. It is better to teach your pet to use scratching posts from childhood.
The American Bobtail is a breed that needs a balanced diet that takes into account the physical activity of the animal. The optimal solution is a professional ready-made diet containing all the necessary substances. As food, it is better to choose premium or holistic-class products. The frequency of feeding depends on the age of the cat or cat – on average, adult animals require no more than two feedings per day, adolescents up to 1.5 years old need three meals a day. Kittens up to six months should receive food 4 times a day.
The American Bobtail is a healthy breed. The dominant genes of wild cats, combined with carefully dosed impurities of new blood, gave excellent results. But in the case of intentional or accidental inbreeding, the offspring may receive defective heredity. In this case, animals most often show hip dysplasia, allergic reactions, and skin dermatitis. There is also a predisposition to the formation of tartar.
The genetically determined short tail also has its consequences. Animals can be born completely tailless or with a shortened spine.
American Bobtails are also prone to obesity and the development of diabetes. These descendants of wild cats definitely need not carbohydrate food, but a complete meat diet with an abundance of protein. Incorrectly selected nutrition can lead to a deterioration in the health of the pet.
All about American Bobtail cats, see the following video: