By Robin Darch
The American Bobtail Cat is the only breed of cat I know of that has a really cool story as to its origins. Well, maybe. Actually the origin of the American Bobtail Cat seems to be in dispute. Depending on who you ask, it may or may not even be American at all.
According to some sources, there was a feral brown tabby kitten found on an Arizona Indian Reservation with a bobbed tail in the 1960’s. The cat got the name Yodie. Even though this was not by any means the first bobbed tail cat, many had been around and seen by the early settlers and Indians as well. But when Yodie was bred to a Siamese Cat, the standard for the American Bobtail Cat was born.
Other experts say that the American Bobtail Cat was brought here to the US from Europe as they came here to settle in the New World, making the American Bobtail Cat not so American.
Wikipedia.com says, “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 recognized by the International Cat Association in 1989.”
According to Wikipedia, the American Bobtail Cat is not related to the Japanese Bobtail Cat in any way. They came from different genetic lines even though both have similar builds and colorings.
The appearance of the American Bobtail Cat, the wild look, the fuzz on the cheeks and tips of the ears, and it’s feral roots, lead some to believe that it could be related to the Bobcat or the Lynx. DNA tests have not been able to reach a conclusion that links the American Bobtail Cat to either of the two wild cat breeds.
Further confusion is due to the inability to narrow down the genes that cause the tail to be short in the first place. American Bobtail Cats have tails of varying lengths and shapes, so the standard is currently loosely defined as breeders try to isolate a way to breed toward a standard tail length and shape.
The variations include “Rumpies”, “Risers”, and “Half-Length Tails. Rumpies are American Bobtail Cats with no tail, while Risers are short stubby tails.
American Bobtail Cats are very loving and expect to be petted and loved in return. But watching your American Bobtail Cat go after prey or even imaginary prey, you would have a hard time associating it with the cat that was just purring in your lap minutes before.
They tend to be very muscular, have large feet, and have hindquarters that are higher than their shoulders, giving them the predator look. They can naturally survive in rough conditions and fend for themselves in the wild, yet are perfectly willing to let you care for and feed them.
If you want a cat that will be playful and loyal, yet tough and independent, a American Bobtail Cat might be the one for you.
Robin Darch, of PRT Specialised Services Limited has a website, My Pet Cat to help you find all the information you need about pet cats,grooming and training.
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