the American Bobtail is a medium to large, naturally occurring, bobtailed cat. It is a noticeably athletic animal, well muscled, with the look and feel of power. It possesses a unique natural hunting gaze that combines with the breed's body type and natural bobtail to give the American Bobtail a distinctive wild appearance. The breeds expression is one of intelligence and alertness. Females are generally proportionately smaller than males with type a more important aspect of the breed than size or tail characteristics.
HEAD: Shape - broad modified wedge without noticeable flat planes or doming, in proportion to the body. Cheekbones are apparent. In profile slightly concave curve between nose and brow with good length between brow & ears. Widening of the head and stud jowls apparent in adult males. Brow - distinctive, evidenced by a slightly rounded forehead to eye ridge; brow border is fleshy creating and enhancing the top line of the eye. Eyes - Large. Almost almond in shape. Deep set. Outside corner angled slightly upward towards the ears. Medium-wide apart. Distinctive brow above the eye creates a top line to the eye and produces the breed's natural hunting gaze. Nose - wide, being equally as wide from the inside corner of the eye through the length of the nose into a large nose leather. Muzzle/Chin - Observable whisker break above a welldefined broad medium length muzzle. Fleshy whisker pads. Chin strong and wide in line with the nose. Ears - Medium. Wide at base with slightly rounded tips, as much on the top of the head as on the side. Ear tipping and furnishings highly desirable. Lighter colored thumbprints on the back of the ears desirable on all tabbies including lynx points.
BODY: moderately long and substantial with a rectangular stance. Chest full and broad. Slightly higher in hips with prominent shoulder blades. Hips substantial almost as wide as chest. Deep flank. Muscular and athletic in appearance. Allowance should be made for slow maturation. Legs and Feet - in proportion to the body, of good length and substantial boning. Paws large and round. Toe tufts desirable in longhaired varieties. Five toes in front, four in back. Tail - is short, being half-length or less than that of the average cat. The tail is flexible and expressive and may be straight, slightly curved or slightly kinked or have bumps along the length of the tail. Tail set in line with the top line of the hip. Tail to be broad at base, strong and substantial to the touch, never fragile. Straighter tails should exhibit a fat pad at the end of the tail and are preferred over kinked tails. Length - Must be long enough to be clearly visible above the back when alert, not to extend past a stretched hind hock in length. Neck - medium in length may appear short due to musculature.
COAT: Shorthair Division: length-medium, semi-dense; texturenon- matting, resilient with slight loft; density-double coat, hard topcoat with a soft, downy undercoat; miscellaneous-seasonal variations of coat should be recognized. Coat may be softer in texture in dilute colors, lynx points and silvers. Undercoat may be mouse gray in tabbies. Longhair Division: length-medium-longhair, slightly shaggy. Tapering to slightly longer hair on ruff, britches, belly and tail; ruff-slight, mutton chops desirable; texture-non-matting, resilient; density-double coat. Undercoat present, not extremely dense; miscellaneous-seasonal variations of coat should be recognized. Coat may be softer in texture in dilute colors, lynx points and silvers. Undercoat may be mouse gray in tabbies.
The American Bobtail is a relatively new and uncommon breed of cat most notable for its stubby "bobbed" tail about half the length of a normal cat's tail. This is the result of a genetic mutation affecting the tail development, similar to that of a Manx. The cat is not related to the Japanese Bobtail despite the similar name and physical type — the breeding programs are entirely unrelated and the gene causing the mutation is entirely different. American Bobtails are domesticated and loving, and make pleasant family pets.
According to legend, bobtails are the result of a crossbreeding between a domestic tabby cat and a bobcat. Although this IS genetically possible, the unusual tail is actually the result of a random genetic mutation. The breed was recognised by the International Cat Association in 1989.
Anyone who has researched the American Bobtail already knows the story of "Yodie", the feral brown tabby kitten with a bobbed tail found on an Indian Reservation in Southern Arizona. That was back in the 1960's. And while bobtailed kittens had been around for generations, familiar to both early settlers and Native Americans, it was the adoption of Yodie and his subsequent breeding to a domestic Siamese that eventually lead to the drafting of the first breed standard for the American Bobtail.
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