American Bobtail Shorthair
The American Bobtail Shorthair is a solidly built and graceful breed with a naturally short tail, which was developed in North America. The cat originated directly from wild felines and therefore it’s distinguishable for its strong hunting drive and supreme health. Thanks to the shortness of its hair it requires minimal grooming.
Photo: © cattery Shelbie (shelbiecats.com)
Although the forebears of the American Bobtail have been present in America for centuries its formal breeding started in the late 60s of XX century. The credit of inventing this beautiful breed belongs to young American spouses, John and Brenda Sanders. During their vacation in the southwest they found a brown short-haired striped kitten and decided to give it a shelter in their home in Iowa. They named it Yodi and once it matured it was mated with the couple’s female cat, Mishi. Mishi’s kittens inherited short tails from its father since this characteristic was caused by a dominant gene. Soon they drew attention of family acquaintances Mindy Shultz and Charlotte Bentley, who were immediately inspired by the idea of creating a new cat breed.
The first American Bobtails became the result of crossing these short-haired kittens with other cats with naturally occurring short tails, which the breeders discovered all over Canada and America. Moreover outcrossing to longhaired and shorthaired colour point was a common practice at that time. Nowadays the population of the American Bobtail SH is so large and stable that only bobtailed specimens are eligible to participate in breeding.
The fanciers of the American Bobtail SH achieved its full recognition by the International Cat Association in 2002. The breed also has acceptance of the Cat Fanciers Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association. Despite the fact that initially the American Bobtail SH was produced from the feral bobtailed cats from the various parts of the United States and Canada, presently most breeders avoid to use wild cats in their breeding programs.
The American Bobtail Shorthair usually makes a wonderful family pet that develops incredibly tight bonds to all family members. It’s worth to underline though that this cat retains majority of wild habits of its feral predecessors. This purports that it will keep your house free from any household rodents including any unfortunate insect, which dared to enter the territory of this cat.
This playful and curious cat should be supplied with plentiful of toys to entertain itself while its master is out. It characterised with affectionate nature but it will never impose its company if its owner is in no mood. The breed likes spending time with children who have been taught to handle it with proper caution and respect. It also gets on well with other pets including a family dog.
The American Bobtail Shorthair fits perfectly for an avid traveller as this calm and patient cat easily puts up with the discomforts of camping. Actually it can be trained to walk on a leash, which is another advantage of this breed. Psychotherapists appreciate the breeds’ therapeutic talents as it’s endowed with naturally kind and sympathetic disposition.
Its feral forefathers were obliged to live in hostile environment where quick-wittedness and cunning was essential for survival. That’s why the American Bobtail Shorthair shows unusual talents in training, which is partially explained by its well-expressed inquisitiveness. It will be equally glad to pass through feline agility course or simply learn to play a hide and seek with its master.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· spinal problems;
· hip dysplasia.
The American Bobtail Shorthair’s maintenance won’t require considerable investment of your time and efforts. Its short and smooth hair isn’t susceptive to matting or tangling so weekly brushing will be quite enough to preserve its naturally healthy appearance. The cat is a seasonal shedder and will get rid of most of its coat in spring and autumn. It’s advisable to groom it more frequently and carefully during these periods.
The rest consists of such conventional care routines as weekly cleaning of cats’ ears and eyes, as well as regular trimming of its nails. The American Bobtail Shorthair is extremely demanding when thing concerns bathroom hygiene. So make sure that its litter box always stays flawlessly clean.