A bobtail breed in development is the Tennessee Bobtail. A description of its origins and type is provided by Patty Shane. Scattered throughout the Southern USA are a variety of bobtailed cats. The more common type is the Manx-type with tails ranging from rumpy to full and bodies ranging from the cobbier high-rumped Manx-type to a more svelte build as a result of random breeding. Some have ear tufts. The less common type is the Oriental (Japanese) Bobtail type. These lose the distinctive bobbed tails when out-crossed to other cats, although the kittens may have kinks or curves in the tail. The bobtail shows up when they are bred to each other. They are long, tall cats with more Oriental features and conformation and level backs in spite of their long back legs. When bred together, these create a long, tall cat, with some individuals having a broader, heavier frame and others leaning towards one or other of the parental types. The goal is a long, tall 6lb - 15 lb cat with the high, angled hind-legs of the Oriental type. The head should be apple or pear shaped, the ears straight and moderate sized (with tufts permitted) and the eyes almond (preferred) or lemon shaped in any colour. Tails range from tailless to full tailed and included bobs and single or multiple kinks or curves. A natural bobtail with kink(s) and/or curve(s) is preferred over tailless or long-tailed cats (the standard prohibits the docking of long tailed kittens). They come in any fur-length, colour and pattern with tabby/spotted preferred. Hairless, curly or wirehair is not allowed.
Below is just a relevant excerpt about our particular cats. Click the button below for more in depth information about all Bobtail Cats.
Below is an excerpt from The International Cat Association, Click the button below for more information.
About The Tail
The normal tail has 21 - 23 vertebrae on average with the normal range being 18 - 28 vertebrae. It is on average 25 cm (10 inches) long, but can range from 20 cm (8 inches) to 30 cm (12 inches) with a few exceptional specimens having 35 cm (14 inch) tails
There are various mutations affecting the tail and in 1940 American zoologist Ida Mellen wrote of oddities in cats' tails including kinked, bobbed, curled and even double tails. Curly tailed cats were known in China in the 12th Century (probably bobtails) and ringtail cats were known in the USA sometime prior to 1940. In 1868, Darwin wrote in The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication "Thropughout an immense area, namely the Malayan archipelago, Siam, Pegu, and Burmah, all the cats have truncated tails about half the proper length, often with a sort of knot at the end."
Tailless and cats have occurred periodically through random mutation. They have been reported in Bosnia, Burma, China, Crimea, Java, Malaya, Denmark, Nova Scotia and Thailand though some of these will have been bobtails. Bobtail cats occur throughout Asia and into Russia, with more recent mutations occurring in the USA. In a 1949 study, Searle found no kinked tails in London cats. He studied Singapore's cats in 1959 and eventually concluded that stubby-tailed cats were common in Singapore, but in general was rare in Europe except for the Manx breed where the tail was often completely absent. The Manx and the Asian bobtails are due to different mutations. Research indicates that the “tailless gene” has 4 alleles i.e. there are four different versions of the same gene. The Manx breed is based on one of those mutations, and that mutation can have side effects such as spina bifida. The PixieBob is based on a different mutation of the same gene; that mutation has a different appearance from the Manx mutation. The American Bobtail, which occurred spontaneously in a different geographic area, may be based on the same, or a different mutation of the same gene. The Kurilian Bobtail is due to an incomplete dominant gene. However, the similarly named Karelian’s bobbed tail is due to a recessive gene, as is the Japanese Bobtail.
Below is an excerpt from the Cat Fanciers Association, click on the button for more information.
The American Bobtail was developed by natural selection to survive feral environments. They are medium to large cats with substantial rectangular bodies. The tail is short, expressive, and flexible and may be straight, slightly curved, slightly kinked, or have bumps along its length. No one length is preferred, and no two tails are the same. The natural bobtail is clearly visible above the back when the cat is alert, and it should not extend beyond the hind hock. The combination of this distinctive tail with other physical characteristics results in a cat with a marked resemblance to the bobtailed wildcat. The head is a broad modified wedge with an observable whisker break above a well defined, broad, medium-length muzzle. Whisker pads are fleshy, and the chin is strong. The eye shape combined with the brow gives the breed its natural hunting gaze and expression of intelligence and alertness. The American Bobtail is a moderately long and substantial cat with a rectangular stance; the chest is full and broad with slightly higher hips and prominent shoulder blades. With legs of substantial boning, they possess a muscular and athletic appearance and are a deceptively heavy cat.
This is a slow maturing breed, taking two to three years to reach its adult size. Females are generally proportionately smaller than males. The American Bobtail comes in all colors and patterns, with preference given to colors and patterns that enhance the natural wild appearance of the breed. They come in two coat lengths: a dense shorthair coat and a medium longhair coat. The occasional bath and light brushing is all that is needed to keep the American Bobtail coat in tiptop form.
The American Bobtail developed initially through natural selection. The foundation stock for this breed were feral domestic cats possessing a natural bobtail. Experienced breeders, using found domestic bobtails from all over the United States, worked together to produce the gorgeous American Bobtails we have today. One of the more intriguing phenomena of the breed is the striking resemblance of cats with no known common heritage, from thousands of miles apart, have born to one another. By selectively breeding the like type cats, breeders have helped Mother Nature to develop the American Bobtail into the big, hearty, wild-looking bobtail cat seen today. No recognized breed of pedigreed cat has been used in the development of the American Bobtail. American Bobtails are a very strong and healthy breed, experiencing no known genetic predisposition to health problems.
When choosing your American Bobtail kitten, you should look for a reputable breeder, who will undoubtedly have a series of questions for you designed to make sure that you and the American Bobtail are compatible. Do not be surprised if there is a wait of some sort. These wonderful family members are worth it! Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age, when they have had sufficient time with their mother and littermates to be well socialized and old enough to have been fully vaccinated. Keeping your American Bobtail indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.
General DescriptionReminiscent of the wild cats, the American Bobtail is a medium-large to large, naturally occurring short-tailed cat, native to North America. It is a well-muscled, solid cat with the power and grace of an athlete. It has the gaze of the hunter and the rolling gait that, along with its naturally bobbed tail, give it the resemblance to the wild cats but with the loving affection and intelligence of the domestic cat. No two tails are identical so they are truly the hallmark of the individual and are proudly held above the back when the cat is alert, often wagging to express the cat's mood. Developed by nature to survive in its native environment, the American Bobtail has above average intelligence and is a breed of moderation rather than extremes taking up to 3 years to reach full maturity.HistoryAlthough the Bobtail has been in America for many generations, the true development of the breed began in the late 1960's. Every breeder of the American Bobtail has heard the story of Yodi, the patriarch of the breed. John and Brenda Sanders, a young couple, were vacationing in the southwest. They were driving through an Indian Reservation in Arizona when they discovered a brown tabby kitten with a short tail and decided to take their new pet home to Iowa. When Yodi became of age, he romanced the couple's female cat, Mishi, a non-pedigreed domestic color point. The resulting kittens inherited Yodi's unusual short tail. The kittens soon caught the eye of family friends, Mindy Shultz and Charlotte Bentley, who saw the possibility of a new breed of felines. Using several of these bobtailed kittens and outcrossing to a longhaired color point, they produced the first true American Bobtails.In 1989, TICA recognized the American Bobtail as a naturally occurring breed of cat. The foundation stock of this breed comes from feral cats possessing a natural short tail from different regions of the United States and Canada. Most breeders no longer use feral bobtailed cats in their breeding programs.PersonalityThe American Bobtail is a great family pet who attaches itself to the whole family, not just one person. The breed gets along with children as well as other pets, including the family dog. They want to be with the family rather than being alone. They have a subtle personality which is affectionate and loving rather than demanding or in your face. Most are moderately active without being either a "couch potato" or a "perpetual motion" machine. They can easily be taught to "walk" on a leash and play fetch.TraitsThe American Bobtail comes in any color and pattern. This means that they can be any pattern in black, brown, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac, fawn, red, and cream, with or without white. This wonderful variety of colors and patterns comes in two (2) hair lengths: short and medium-long. The short hair is plush and reminds people of a rabbit pelt. The longer one is easy to keep with minimal combing.The weight of males usually ranges between 12-16 lbs while females are 7-11 lbs. The weight should come from the cat being well-muscled and having substantial, large boning, rather than being overweight.One of the most unusual traits is the cat's shortened tail. The desired length of the tail should be a minimum one inch and a maximum not longer than the hock. The tail mutation gene is not a controllable gene resulting in the different tail lengths of each kitten in the litter.
At present, foundation Tennessee Bobtails are being registered with REFR. These are random-bred natural bobtail cats that meet the desired type. Cats meeting the Tennessee Bobtail type and belonging to a known bobtailed breed are being used to help establish bloodlines. Where a Manx-type cat is used, it is outcrossed to another type of bobtail to prevent Manx syndrome (skeletal and neural tube defects) as a result of Manx-Manx matings. I don't yet know how this breed will be visibly distinct from the American Bobtail.
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