Long on personality and short on tails, domestic bobtail cats have become increasingly popular in the U.S. The American Cat Fanciers, the International Cat Association and the Cat Fanciers Association Inc. are the top three cat registries in the U.S. that recognize several breeds of short-tailed felines.
The American bobtail is a big baby noted for his wildcat appearance. He is completely domestic and very loving and devoted to his family. Although he can be any color, his mutton-chop cheeks, long hind legs, toe tufts and lynx-tipped ears set him apart from most other bobtail cats. He loves to play fetch, doesn't mind walking on a leash and gets along well with children and other pets. This breed is recognized by the ACFA, TICA and CFA.
Though completely domestic, the pixie bob looks a lot like the North American bobcat. This wild child has deep-set eyes that are hooded by heavy, bushy brows. He is large-sized with prominent shoulder blades, long hind legs and a muscular, heavy-boned frame. He can be any color pattern as long as his coat is brown. His triangular eyes are outlined in white or cream. He has large fleshy toes that can be polydactyl (extra toes). Sweet-tempered and good with kids and other pets, pixie bobs are inquisitive and love to play fetch. This breed has been recognized by the ACFA and TICA.
The Japanese bobtail breed has had the good fortune to be around for more than 1,000 years. This medium-sized charmer has long clean lines, a firm slender-boned body and can spring to great heights. He has a short pom-pom bunny tail. His long silky coat is non-shedding and can come in any color combination, but me-ki -- a tri-color of red, black and white -- is the most popular for good luck. He is an active, intelligent cat who is loving and outgoing. He chirps and enjoys splashing around in water. This breed first appeared in the U.S. in 1968. The breed is recognized by the ACFA, TICA and CFA.
Manx and Cymric
The manx and his long-haired brother, the cymric, have been around since the 1700s. They originated on the Isle of Man. Often referred to as furry bowling balls, these cats are very round. They have round heads, round muzzles, prominent cheeks, broad chests, stocky legs and round rumps. They can be any color combination. These intelligent cats have been known to use door handles to enter a room and they're noted for their talkative trilling and people-oriented personalities. They prefer not to be alone for long. These breeds have been recognized by the ACFA and CFA.
The Highlander, also called the Highland lynx, is one of the new kids on the block. His breed was developed in 2004. Bred to have a big-cat look, his loose curled ears are his real trademark. This class clown can be any color. He is outgoing and will greet visitors at the door anxious to get them involved in a good game of chase. He has a large muscular body, large feet with prominent knuckles and a short tail he wags like a dog. Highlanders are recognized by TICA.
This cat is a recent immigrant to the U.S., though the breed has been documented in Russia for at least 200 years. This feline comrade is a clever, gentle, inquisitive and loyal companion. He adapts well to children and other pets. He has a pom-pom tail, broad chest, rounded wedge cheekbones and is very brawny. He is of middle weight, with a soft silky coat that can be long or short and any variety of colors. This breed was recognized by TICA in 2012.
The American lynx, desert lynx and Mojave lynx are just three of the many new breeds being developed in the United States. Be careful, some "exotic" bobtail breeds are crossbred with wildcat hybrids. Local, county and state laws vary in regards to owning wildcat hybrid breeds other than those recognized by TICA or another nationally or internationally recognized registry, so it would be wise to do your homework before taking an "exotic" cat home.
Jenny Newberry, a former teacher with 25 years of experience, is a professional writer and photographer and holds a B.S. and a M.Ed. in elementary and special education from the University of South Alabama. She is also a history buff, praise and worship pianist, pet enthusiast, avid crafter and hobby gardener.