Bobtailed cats, the result of a natural genetic mutation that causes a shortened tail, have appeared in various places over the centuries, from Japan to the Isle of Man. Sometimes they get noticed by the right people, and voila! A new breed is born. Such was the case with the American Bobtail, which descends from a short-tailed kitten acquired by John and Brenda Sanders during a vacation to Arizona. They named him Yodi, and he became the father of the breed in the swinging ‘60s when he had his way with the Sanders’ female, Mishi, once they arrived back home in Iowa.
Yodi and Mishi’s kittens had short tails, too, a clue that the trait was caused by a dominant gene. Family friend Mindy Shoultz, who’d had experience breeding Persians, partnered with Charlotte Bentley to develop the unusual cats into a breed. They bred the kittens to other cats with naturally short tails that were found in various places throughout the United States and Canada. They selectively bred the cats to be big and sturdy with a wild look but a sweet temper. All of the cats used to develop the breed were non-pedigreed domestic shorthairs and longhairs. Now, after 50 years, such outcrossing is no longer necessary because now the cats have pedigrees longer than their tails.
Let’s say you love the Golden Retriever’s personality, but his size and energy level are a bit more than you can handle. American Bobtail lovers say you should take a look at their cat instead. He’s a lover with a heart of gold who is devoted to his people, follows them around, loves to play, walks nicely on a leash (after training, of course), and welcomes guests with a smile.
This is a smart cat who enjoys puzzle toys, learning tricks, and playing fetch. He isn’t as vocal as some breeds, but he communicates his pleasure with chirps, clicks and trills, as well as the standard purr and meow.
The American Bobtail has an adaptable nature, so he’s a good traveler. Long-distance truckers and Rvers find him to be an excellent companion. The cats have also found a niche with some psychotherapists because of their loving and intuitive nature. That same adaptability and kindness makes him a good family companion and suited to a variety of lifestyles, from relaxed to rowdy.
If you believe the American Bobtail is the right breed for you, check the following link: