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Easy going, adaptable and very affectionate. This breed enjoys company, be it human or other pets. human or other pets. It will get on well with children and will adapt to a busy family to a busy family environment.
The American Bobtail has a wild appearance but not a wild temperament. The devoted, affectionate and intelligent personality of this breed has earned them a loyal following. These confident, friendly cats form an emotional bond with their families and are devoted companions who adapt quickly to most domestic environments.
Although not as vocal as breeds such as the Siamese, Bobtails are not shy about making their feelings known. Bobtails are playful, energetic and friendly, and possess an uncanny intelligence to escape from the Houdini type of closed rooms and locked doors. Very people-oriented, they may solicit their family’s attention by meowing or invading available laps.
On the feline activity scale, the Bobtail is fun-loving and playful, but not overly active. American Bobtails tend to get along well with other cats and with cat-accepting dogs if properly introduced. Rather than hiding under the bed, they are curious and outgoing when unknown visitors come calling. If trained from an early age, they tend to be good travellers.
Until recently, the American Bobtail received little attention, so many people are surprised to learn that this breed has been in North America since the 1960s. However, due to its eventful debut, the American Bobtail is now beginning to gain prominence.
The original Bobtail was a short-tailed brown tabby male named Yodie, found in an Arizona motel, allegedly left by a child on the nearby reservation. A couple found Yodie while on holiday at the motel. Yodie’s parents and ancestry are unknown, but it is rumoured that he was a hybrid of a bobcat and a domestic cat because of his feral appearance and short, bobcat-like tail. Although it is possible that domestic cats breed with bobcats (Felis rufus, a North American native cat closely related to the lynx), these hybrids, especially the first-generation males, would almost certainly be sterile. It is more likely that Yodie’s short tail occurred as a spontaneous mutation within the domestic cat population.
Delighted with Yodie’s friendly personality and short tail, the couple took him home. Once home, Yodie impregnated the family’s seal-tipped Siamese (proving that he was fertile and not half a bobcat). This first litter contained some normal-tailed kittens and some short-tailed kittens, suggesting that the gene governing Yodie’s short tail was dominant, as her Siamese had no history of short tails. Only one copy of a dominant gene is needed for the trait to appear in offspring. They chose the name American Bobtail for the breed.
The original Yodie lines and their descendants became inbred and unhealthy. The goal was to make the breed healthier and more like Yodie: a large, wild-looking tabby cat with long hair and a curly tail. The healthier cats had a rounded eyebrow from the forehead to the eye ridge, giving them the “hunting look” that enhances their feral appearance. The American Bobtail has been accepted by four North American associations. The new and improved American Bobtail comes in all colours, categories, and they have a sweet deposit but the feral look of the bobcat. They have both long and short coats.
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