Key Figures in American Bobtail Breeding: Pioneers in Developing the Breed

They’re playful, they’re affectionate, and they’re a truly unique breed in the world of felines. We’re talking about American Bobtail cats. With their short tails and wild appearance, American Bobtails have become a favorite among cat lovers. But have you ever wondered about the origins of this breed? Who was behind its development and recognition? Join us as we delve into the history of the American Bobtail breed and explore the key figures who were instrumental in its creation. From Jean Mill, the breed’s founder, to the many dedicated breeders who have helped shape its many variations, this article will take you on a journey through the fascinating world of American Bobtail breeding.

History of the American Bobtail Breed

History Of The American Bobtail Breed
The history of the American Bobtail Breed is a fascinating tale of innovation, determination, and love for cats. From its humble beginnings as a naturally occurring breed to its recognition as a unique and beloved breed, the American Bobtail has captured the hearts of many. In this section, we will delve into the origins of the breed, the challenges faced by breeders, and the evolution of the breed standard. We will also explore the physical and temperament characteristics that make the American Bobtail an exceptional feline companion. So, let’s travel back in time and discover the intriguing history of the American Bobtail Breed together. For more information on American Bobtail breeding history, click here.

The Origins of the American Bobtail Breed

The American Bobtail Breed is an uncommon breed of cat that originated in the United States in the mid-20th century. Its origins are somewhat unclear, but it is believed that the breed developed from a natural genetic mutation which resulted in a shortened tail. Early examples of the breed were found in Arizona and it is thought that the breed may have developed in response to the harsh desert environment.

There are several theories about the origins of the breed, including the possibility that it developed from a cross between a Siamese cat and a bobcat. However, no conclusive evidence has been found to support this theory. Another theory suggests that the breed developed from a cross between a domestic cat and a wild bobcat, although this seems unlikely given the genetic differences between the two species.

Despite its unclear origins, the American Bobtail breed quickly gained popularity among cat fanciers in the United States. In the 1960s, a woman named Jean Mill began breeding American Bobtails in an effort to create a new breed of cat that combined the unique physical characteristics of the breed with a friendly and affectionate temperament. Mill’s efforts were successful, and in 1989, the American Bobtail was officially recognized by the International Cat Association.

Today, the American Bobtail is recognized by several major cat breed registries and is valued for its distinctive appearance and friendly, sociable temperament. The breed has its own standard and has undergone further evolution. You can discover about American Bobtail Breed Standard Evolution and the unique features of bobtail cats in our related articles. However, breeding American Bobtails is not without its challenges: one of the biggest obstacles is ensuring the genetic health of the breed. It’s essential to conduct genetic testing when breeding American Bobtails. Learn more about genetic testing for American Bobtail breeding in our related article Genetic Testing for American Bobtail Breeding.

Despite these challenges, the American Bobtail remains a unique and beloved breed. American Bobtail’s temperament is one of its biggest draws – they are known for being friendly, playful, and affectionate. In short, the American Bobtail is a wonderful breed of cat that has captured the hearts of many cat fanciers.

Breed Recognition and Standardization

The American Bobtail breed was first recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1989, and later by the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) in 2000. Standardization of the breed ensued, with breeders working together to define and establish the unique characteristics of the breed.

The TICA breed standard:

Characteristic Description
Body Type Medium to large size, muscular and athletic, with a natural tail that is conspicuously shorter than the average cat.
Head Shape Broad and modified wedge shape with a gently sloping nose. Cheeks are full and prominent.
Ears Medium to large in size, with lynx tipping preferred. Tuffs at the tips are desirable.
Eyes Large and almond-shaped, set at a slight angle toward the nose. Eye color can vary.
Coat Moderately long and shaggy, with a resilient texture. All patterns and colors are acceptable, including lynx point, tabby, and solid color.
Tail Naturally bobbed, ranging from 1-4 inches in length. The tail should not be kinked, twisted, or curved.

While TICA and ACFA breed standards are similar, there are slight differences in allowable colors and patterns. The ACFA also allows for polydactylism in their breed standard.

Challenges in Breed Standardization:
While breed standardization is important in maintaining the breed’s unique characteristics, it can also pose challenges for breeders. Breeding for a particular trait can often lead to health issues and inbreeding. Additionally, breeders must work to maintain genetic diversity while adhering to the breed standard.

Another challenge is distinguishing the American Bobtail from other bobtail breeds, such as the Japanese Bobtail and the Pixie-Bob. While these breeds have similar physical characteristics, the American Bobtail is distinguished by its unique temperament and coat texture. It is also important for potential owners to understand the difference between American Bobtails and cats with naturally short tails, such as Manx cats. Here is more information on the topic.

Breed recognition and standardization has allowed the American Bobtail breed to establish itself as a unique and beloved cat breed.

Characteristics of the American Bobtail Breed

Characteristics Of The American Bobtail Breed
Are you curious about what makes the American Bobtail breed so unique? From their distinctive physical features to their playful temperament, there are many fascinating characteristics that distinguish this breed from others. Let’s explore the standout traits of the American Bobtail and discover why they’ve become a beloved household pet for many families. Get ready to be amazed by these remarkable felines.

Physical Characteristics

The American Bobtail breed is known for its unique physical characteristics that distinguish it from other cat breeds. Below are some of the most notable physical traits of the American Bobtail:

  • Body Type: The American Bobtail cat breed is medium to large in size with heavily muscled, athletic bodies that are broader at the shoulders than the hips.
  • Tail: The most distinctive physical characteristic of the American Bobtail is its short and stubby tail, which is no longer than one-third of the cat’s body length. The tail is also flexible and sometimes has a curve, kink, or bump.
  • Coat: The American Bobtail’s coat is short to medium in length, and can come in a variety of colors and patterns, including tabby, solid, and pointed. The coat is also thick and water-resistant, making it suitable for colder climates.
  • Facial Features: American Bobtail cats have a large, broad head with a prominent forehead and strong jawline. They also have round eyes that can be any color, and a wide nose with a slightly concave profile.
  • Paws: The American Bobtail’s paws are large and rounded, with thick pads that enable them to walk quietly without making noise. Some American Bobtails also have polydactyl paws, which means they have extra toes.

These physical characteristics have made the American Bobtail a sought-after breed among cat lovers. Though individual American Bobtails may vary in appearance, the breed’s overall physical traits are consistent and unique, setting it apart from other cat breeds.


The American Bobtail breed is known for its friendly, sociable, and intelligent temperament. They are affectionate cats who enjoy being around people and other pets. Here are some of the key characteristics of their temperament:

  • Playfulness: American Bobtails love to play, and their playful antics can amuse and entertain their owners for hours. Their playful nature also makes them great companions for children.
  • Intelligence: These cats are intelligent and curious, and they enjoy exploring their surroundings. They also have great problem-solving skills and can easily adapt to new situations.
  • Loyalty: American Bobtails are known for their loyalty to their owners. They form strong bonds with their human companions and can be quite protective of them.
  • Adaptability: These cats are adaptable and can adjust to different living situations, including apartments and homes with other pets.
  • Independent streak: While they love attention, American Bobtails can also be independent and self-sufficient. They don’t require constant attention but appreciate affection and love to cuddle.

The American Bobtail breed is known for its loving and playful personality, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. They are also adaptable and intelligent, which makes them easy to train and a joy to be around. Whether you’re looking for an affectionate lap cat or an adventurous playmate, the American Bobtail is a breed worth considering.

Key Figures in American Bobtail Breeding

The breeding and development of the American Bobtail breed would not have been possible without the contribution of several notable figures in the cat breeding world. These individuals were instrumental in creating and establishing the breed, each with their unique vision and contributions. Through their tireless efforts and dedication, the American Bobtail has become a beloved and sought-after breed. Let’s take a closer look at some of these key figures and their roles in the breed’s history.

Jean Mill: Founder of the American Bobtail Breed

Jean Mill is considered the founder of the American Bobtail breed. She was a Bengal cat breeder who lived in Riverside, California, and became interested in bobtailed cats in the 1960s. She found a brown tabby kitten with a short tail near an Indian reservation in Arizona and named him Yodi. Yodi was the first American Bobtail and became the foundation cat for the breed.

Table: Some facts about Jean Mill

Fact Details
Profession Bengal cat breeder
Location Riverside, California
Interest in bobtailed cats Started in the 1960s
First American Bobtail Yodi, a brown tabby kitten with a short tail

Jean Mill started breeding American Bobtails in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She used Yodi as the foundation and worked with other breeders who had bobtailed cats to develop the breed. She also introduced new bloodlines to improve the breed’s health and genetic diversity.

Jean Mill’s dedication to the American Bobtail breed helped it gain recognition by major cat associations such as The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). She was also instrumental in creating the breed standard for the American Bobtail, which outlined the physical and behavioral characteristics that are unique to the breed.

Today, the American Bobtail is a popular breed that is known for its friendly and playful nature. Jean Mill’s pioneering efforts in developing this breed have had a lasting impact on the cat breeding community, and her legacy lives on through the continued breeding and promotion of American Bobtails.

Bobbi California: First Stud Book Keeper

One of the key figures in American Bobtail breeding was Bobbi California, who served as the first stud book keeper for the breed. California played a crucial role in establishing the American Bobtail breed as an officially recognized breed.

The role of a stud book keeper

A stud book keeper is responsible for maintaining detailed records of a breed’s genealogy. This process involves documenting the lineage of each individual cat in the breed, including their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. By keeping meticulous records of a breed’s genetic history, stud book keepers can help breeders make informed decisions about which cats to breed in order to produce litters with desirable traits.

Bobbi California’s contributions to the American Bobtail breed

As the first stud book keeper for the American Bobtail breed, Bobbi California played a critical role in the development of the breed. She kept detailed records of each cat’s genetic history and helped to establish a uniform set of breed standards. Her efforts helped to ensure that the American Bobtail breed was recognized as an official breed by cat fancier organizations.

California also served as a significant figure in the breeding community, often providing mentorship, advice, and encouragement to other breeders. She was known for her commitment to the breed, and for her advocacy of ethical breeding practices.


Bobbi California’s contributions to the American Bobtail breed have been invaluable, and her legacy is still felt in the breed today. Thanks in large part to her efforts as a stud book keeper, the American Bobtail is now recognized as a distinct and unique breed with a strong and loyal following.

Today, the American Bobtail breed owes a great deal to the pioneering work of Bobbi California and other key figures in the breed’s development. Their efforts have helped to establish the American Bobtail as one of the most beloved and sought-after cat breeds in the world.

Rick and Teresa Weber: Founders of the Longhair American Bobtail

The Longhair American Bobtail is a unique variation of the American Bobtail breed, characterized by its long and soft fur. The development of this sub-breed is credited to the efforts of Rick and Teresa Weber, who dedicated their time and resources to establish the Longhair American Bobtail as a recognized breed.

Rick and Teresa Weber, who are both breeders and exhibitors of cats, first encountered an American Bobtail with long hair in 1993. Intrigued by this unusual feature, they decided to try breeding it with other American Bobtails in the hopes of creating a new breed. In collaboration with Jean Mill, the founder of the American Bobtail Breed, they began a selective breeding program to develop the Longhair American Bobtail.

After numerous trials and errors, they eventually succeeded in developing a breed with the signature long hair and an amicable temperament. The Longhair American Bobtails went on to be recognized as a breed by both The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).

The Longhair American Bobtail is a medium to large-sized cat with a sturdy build and a tail that is half the length of a regular cat’s tail. It has a friendly disposition and is known t