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American Bobtail Cat Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

red american bobtail
Image Credit: Ievgeniia Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams
Height:9–10 inches
Weight:7–16 pounds
Lifespan:13–15 years
Colors:Brown, chocolate, black, blue, cream, tan, red, orange, white
Suitable for:All types of households
Temperament:Bold, sociable, and affectionate

The American Bobtail is one of the most charismatic felines out there, thanks to their wild looks, bobbed tails, and charming personalities. These cats are extremely people-oriented, preferring to spend most of their time bonding with their human families. Despite their high affinity for human interactions, they are easygoing and capable of accommodating other pets.

Highly intelligent, American Bobtails are easy to train, making them ideal companions for most people. They are also incredibly playful. Nonetheless, they are not highly vocal, and in fact, are quiet for the most part.

American Bobtails sport a stocky, rectangular build, which makes them stronger and more athletic than most other cat breeds. Amazingly, their tails are a natural adaptation. Though short, these tails are highly expressive, meaning that you can tell a Bobtail’s mood through its tail language, just as you would with any other cat. Another fun fact about Bobtails’ tails is that no two tails are identical.

The American Bobtail is slow to mature, often taking up to 3 years to reach adult size, with the females being smaller than males.

If you are interested in owning an American Bobtail, read on to learn everything you need to know about this breed.

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American Bobtail Kitten – Before You Bring One Home …

american bobtail kitten
Image Credit: Konovalov Yevhenii, Shutterstock

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3 Little-Known Facts about American Bobtail Cats

1. Some Bobtails are Born Without Tails

The kittens born without tails are often referred to as “Rumpies”.

2. Bobtails Tend to Wag Their Tails When Their Happy

Just like their canine counterparts, this breed shows their excitement and happiness by wagging their tail (or stub in some cases!).

3. The American Bobtail is One of The Most Intelligent Cat Breeds

Although all cats are known for their intelligence, this breed exceptionally smart! If you are looking for a cat who will be able to pick up a few show-stopping tricks, the American Bobtail is for you!

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Temperament & Intelligence of the American Bobtail

Despite their wild appearance, the American Bobtail is one classy cat. They are friendly, affectionate to their family, and possess above-average intelligence for a house feline.

In their bid to entertain you, Bobtails can be goofballs. In fact, most Bobtail owners describe these cats as having dog-like characteristics. This is because they will welcome you and even guests to your home.

Though Bobtails are lap cats, preferring to spend most of their time snuggled up against you, they can do well by themselves. Additionally, they are rather laidback. They will not communicate unless they have to.

What makes the American Bobtail arguably the best cat breed, however, is its adaptability. These cats get along fine in just about any kind of situation.

Are American Bobtails Good for Families?

American Bobtails are excellent for families. They are personable, affectionate, and love playing. Additionally, they do not have a mean streak, meaning that children are safe around them. For the cat’s sake, however, make sure that you teach your kids how to handle the cat correctly.

Do American Bobtails Get Along With Other Pets?

The American Bobtail is a social cat that will get along with other pets. However, it is still a feline, meaning that it takes time to trust others. Therefore, introduce him/her to other pets slowly in controlled situations so they can learn to get along together.

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Things to Know When Owning an American Bobtail

Food & Diet Requirements

Feeding your Bobtail, or any other pet for that matter is not just about giving them high-quality food a couple of times a day. You must consider factors such as age, activity level, and type of food. The following is a guide on how to feed your American Bobtail appropriately.

Type of Food

Unlike dogs, cats are obligate (true) carnivores, meaning that they need a diet that is almost entirely meat-based to survive. Therefore, when looking for food for your Bobtail, ensure that its primary ingredient is animal-based protein.

The diet of an adult American Bobtail should consist of at least 26% high-quality animal-based protein. Kittens require more protein (at least 30%), as they are still growing.

When looking for cat food for your Bobtail, ensure that you read the label carefully. The label should clearly indicate the protein and fat content, as well as their sources. Avoid products with vague labels.

Experts recommend wet cat food over dry cat foods. This is because wet foods have fewer calories, thus allowing you to feed the kitty slightly bigger portions. This helps you keep the cat’s appetite in check, reducing the need for snacks in between meals, which is what usually leads to overfeeding and obesity.

Another thing to look out for when choosing cat food is the omega acids content. Opt for foods that are rich in omega acids, as these will keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy.

Food Portion Sizes

The American Bobcat is one of the larger breeds of domestic cats. As such, this kitty requires slightly larger portions than the average cat. Experts recommend feeding your Bobtail about an ounce of high-quality wet cat food per pound of body weight each day.

For Bobtails, this means feeding them between 8 and 13 ounces of food each day.

However, your pet’s activity levels should be put into consideration when measuring their portions. Indoor cats should eat less than outdoor cats, as they are not as active. Age is another factor to consider. Older cats do not need as many calories as younger cats.

To eliminate guesswork, talk to your vet so that they can help you come up with a proper diet plan for your pet.

Cat Meal Times

Like many felines, Bobtails prefer eating little meals throughout the day. While that is the best way for any animal to eat, you might not always be in the position to give him/her regular meals. If that is the case, consider leaving a couple of bowls containing small portions around the house.

American Bobtail
Image Credit: OrangeGroup, Shutterstock

Cat Snacks and Treats

Most people give treats to their Bobtails as a way of reciprocating the affection their pet shows them. However, doing that regularly might do more harm than good, as it promotes weight gain. Obesity shortens a cat’s life considerably in addition to increasing the kitty’s susceptibility to diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, lameness, urinary problems, and arthritis.

Therefore, feed treats and snacks sparingly.


American Bobtails are a fairly energetic breed. As such, it is crucial that you provide them with an outlet for releasing that energy to not allow them to stay in shape, but also to prevent the development of destructive behaviors.

Fortunately, thanks to their willingness to interact with their humans, Bobtails are much easier to exercise than most cat breeds. Like dogs, the American Bobtail enjoys walks. Therefore, make sure that you leash-train them early so that they can be comfortable wearing one.

Other ways to exercise your Bobtail include playing games such as ball chasing, fetch, and making them hunt a toy attached to a string. Make sure to leave toys around the house so that the cat can play by themselves when you are not around.

In addition to physical exercise, this intelligent animal requires mental stimulation as well. Therefore, invest in puzzle toys such as treat prize games and food mazes to keep them occupied for extended periods at a time.


Owing to their superior intelligence and willingness to please, American Bobtails are a lot easier to train than most other cats. However, it is best to start training them when they are still kittens, especially when it comes to leash training.

Bobtails will not give you any problems when it comes to litter box training.

red american bobtail cats
Image Credit: Ievgeniia Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Thanks to their short coats, the American Bobtail does not require as much care as other cats do. Occasional brushing, at least once a week, should be enough to help them shed and maintain a healthy coat.

Make sure that you trim nails at least once a month, as long claws can affect their ability to walk comfortably. Therefore, in the same light, ensure that you have a scratching post in the house so the cat can trim its nails naturally.

Every couple of weeks, clean their ears, as they are a hotbed for infections. To clean, dip a piece of cotton wool in a cat cleaner solution, and then dab the inside of the ear gently to remove any debris.

Health and Conditions

While the American Bobtail is a robust cat, it is still susceptible to certain conditions. The following are some of them:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition characterized by the weakening of hip joints, which results in movement problems and even arthritis if not treated early. This condition can be difficult to note at its onset. Therefore, always pay close attention to how your cat moves to avoid catching on when the disease is at an advanced stage. Ask your breeder if they have screened for hip dysplasia in your kitten’s parents.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

This a disease that results from the development of cysts in the kidney. Bobtails with this condition display symptoms such as constant thirst, lethargy, weight loss, and high blood pressure. In some cases, there can be traces of blood in the cat’s urine. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a host of debilitating health problems. Therefore, if you notice those symptoms in your American Bobtail, take them for a checkup immediately.

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Male vs Female

This choice comes down to personal preferences, as both male and female American Bobtails exhibit the same traits. The personality quirks of your Bobtail will be more influenced by their parents than by their sex.

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Final Thoughts: American Bobtail

With its stunning wild looks, signature bobbed tail, and easygoing attitude, the American Bobtail is a heartthrob. Unlike most cats, Bobtails enjoy prolonged interactions with people. Additionally, they adapt easily to their environments. These attributes make them one of the best cat breeds for companionship. They are suitable for everyone.

Featured Image: Ievgeniia Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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