American Bobtail Breed Standard

POINT SCORE

HEAD (45)
Shape9
Brow8
Eyes10
Nose5
Muzzle/Chin8
Ears5
BODY (40)
Shape15
Neck5
Legs and Feet5
Tail15
COAT and COLOR (15)
Texture/Density10
Color/Pattern5

GENERAL: the American Bobtail is a medium to large, naturally occurring, bobtailed cat. It is a noticeably athletic animal, well muscled, with the look and feel of power. It possesses a unique natural hunting gaze that combines with the breed’s body type and natural bobtail to give the American Bobtail a distinctive wild appearance. The breeds expression is one of intelligence and alertness. Females are generally proportionately smaller than males with type a more important aspect of the breed than size or tail characteristics.

HEAD: Shape – broad modified wedge without noticeable flat planes or doming, in proportion to the body. Cheekbones are apparent. In profile slightly concave curve between nose and brow with good length between brow & ears. Widening of the head and stud jowls apparent in adult males. Brow – distinctive, evidenced by a slightly rounded forehead to eye ridge; brow border is fleshy creating and enhancing the top line of the eye. Eyes – Large. Almost almond in shape. Deep set. Outside corner angled slightly upward towards the outside edge of the ears. Medium-wide apart. Distinctive brow above the eye creates a top line to the eye and produces the breed’s natural hunting gaze. Nose – wide, being equally as wide from the inside corner of the eye through the length of the nose into a large nose leather. Muzzle/Chin – Observable whisker break above a well-defined broad medium length muzzle. Fleshy whisker pads. Chin strong and wide in line with the nose. Ears – Medium. Wide at base with slightly rounded tips, wide-set, upright with a slight outward tilt. Ear tipping and furnishings highly desirable. Lighter colored thumbprints on the back of the ears desirable on all tabbies including lynx points.

BODY: moderately long and substantial with a rectangular stance. Chest full and broad. Slightly higher in hips with prominent shoulder blades. Hips substantial almost as wide as chest. Deep flank. Muscular and athletic in appearance. Allowance should be made for slow maturation. Legs and Feet – in proportion to the body, of good length and substantial boning. Paws large and round. Toe tufts desirable in longhaired varieties. Five toes in front, four in back. Tail – is short, flexible and expressive and may be straight, slightly curved or slightly kinked or have bumps along the length of the tail. Tail set in line with the top line of the hip. Tail to be broad at base, strong and substantial to the touch, never fragile. Straighter tails should exhibit a fat pad at the end of the tail. Length – Must be long enough to be clearly visible above the back when alert, not to extend past a stretched hind hock in length, with no one length preferred. Neck – medium in length may appear short due to musculature.

COAT: Shorthair Division: length-medium, semi-dense; texture– non-matting, resilient with slight loft; density-double coat, hard topcoat with a soft, downy undercoat; miscellaneous-seasonal variations of coat should be recognized. Coat may be softer in texture in dilute colors, lynx points and silvers. Undercoat may be mouse gray in tabbies. Longhair Division: length-medium-longhair, slightly shaggy. Tapering to slightly longer hair on ruff, britches, belly and tail; ruff-slight, mutton chops desirable; texture-non-matting, resilient; density-double coat. Undercoat present, not extremely dense; miscellaneous-seasonal variations of coat should be recognized. Coat may be softer in texture in dilute colors, lynx points and silvers. Undercoat may be mouse gray in tabbies.

PENALIZE: tail too long or too short affecting the balance and appearance of the cat. Tail kinked or knotted out of shape. Tail rigid, fragile or set low. Straight tail not exhibiting a fat pad. Round eyes. Weak chin. Extremely short muzzle or nose break. Cottony coat.

COLORS and PATTERNS: any genetically possible color or combination of colors is allowed. Preference shall be given to colors and patterns that enhance the natural wild appearance of the breed. High rufusing is desirable in all tabbies, including silvers, with no penalty for lack thereof. Body patterns highly desirable in lynx points and smokes.

RUFOUS: refers to a reddening of the coat color, especially the ground color in tabbies. The rufous factor changes the drab beige ‘yellow’ band of the tabby to a brilliant apricot; it changes the drab orange to a brilliant, rich red. It presents itself as a rich pale creamy color with golden to reddish pattern to a rich pale reddish color with golden to reddish pattern (it is not to be confused with chocolate or cinnamon genetics).

BUTTONS and LOCKETS: allowable on any color and/or pattern. Cats with buttons and/or lockets shall be judged as their basic color with no penalty for such locket and/or button.

EYE COLOR: all eye colors acceptable, eye color can be copper, gold, yellow or green; blue in bi-color/van, colorpoint, lynxpoint or odd-eyed white cats.

DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGES: allowances should be made for slower development in achieving adult body type as this breed gradually matures over a period of three years.

DISQUALIFY: total lack of tail or full-length tail. Delicate bone structure. Incorrect number of toes.

AMERICAN BOBTAIL COLORS

WHITE: pure glistening white. Nose leather and paw pads: pink.

BLACK: dense coal black, sound from roots to tip of fur. Free from any tinge of rust on the tips. Nose leather: black. Paw pads: black or brown.

BLUE: blue, lighter shade preferred one level tone from nose to tip of tail. Sound to the roots. A sound darker shade is more acceptable than an unsound lighter shade. Nose leather and paw pads: blue.

RED: deep, rich, clear, brilliant red; without shading, markings or ticking. Lips and chin the same color as the coat. Nose leather and paw pads: brick red.

CREAM: one level shade of buff cream, without markings. Sound to the roots. Lighter shades preferred. Nose leather and paw pads: pink.

CHOCOLATE: rich chestnut brown, sound throughout. Nose leather: brown. Paw pads: brown or cinnamon.

LAVENDER: frosty-grey with a pinkish tone, sound throughout. Nose leather and paw pads: lavender-pink.

CINNAMON: cinnamon, sound throughout. Nose leather and paw pads: cinnamon.

FAWN: pale pinkish fawn, sound throughout; lighter shades preferred. Nose leather and paw pads: pale fawn.

SHADED PATTERN: undercoat white with a mantle of specified marking color tipping shading down from sides, face and tail from dark on the ridge to white on the chin, chest, stomach and under the tail. Legs to be the same tone as the face. Rims of eyes, lips and nose outlined with marking color. Nose leather and paw pads : color as defined below.

SHADED SILVER: Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black.

BLUE SHADED: Nose leather: blue or blue with pink tone. Paw pads: blue or blue with pink tone.

CHOCOLATE SHADED: Nose leather: pink. Paw pads: cinnamon.

LAVENDER SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: lavender-pink.

CAMEO SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: rose.

CINNAMON SHADED: Nose leather: pink. Paw pads: coral.

FAWN SHADED: Nose leather: fawn. Paw pads: pink.

CREAM SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: pink

TORTOISESHELL SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: as in the solids; may be mottled with pink.

BLUE-CREAM SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: as in the solids; may be mottled with pink.

CHOCOLATE TORTOISESHELL SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: as in the solids; may be mottled with pink.

CINNAMON TORTOISESHELL SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: as in the solids; may be mottled with pink.

LAVENDER-CREAM SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: as in the solids; may be mottled with pink.

FAWN-CREAM SHADED: Nose leather and paw pads: as in the solids; may be mottled with pink.

CHINCHILLA: undercoat pure white. Coat on back, flanks, head, and tail sufficiently tipped with specified marking color (i.e., black, blue, red, cream, tortoiseshell, etc.) to give the characteristic sparkling appearance. Legs may be slightly shaded with tipping. Chin, stomach and chest, pure white. Rims of eyes, lips and nose outlined with marking color. Nose leather: appropriate to pattern and marking color (black/brick red; blue/old rose; red and cream/rose, etc.). Paw pads: appropriate to pattern and marking color (black/black; blue/rose; red and cream/rose, etc.).

SMOKE PATTERN: white undercoat more deeply tipped with specified marking color. Cat in repose appears to be of marking color. Body pattern desirable with no penalty for lack thereof. In motion the white undercoat is apparent. Points and mask of marking color with narrow band of white at base of hairs next to skin which may be seen only when fur is parted. Nose leather and paw pads: appropriate to pattern and marking color (see below).

BLACK SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: black.

BLUE SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: blue.

RED SMOKE (Cameo): Nose leather and paw pads: rose.

CHOCOLATE SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: brown or brick.

LAVENDER SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: lavender-pink.

CINNAMON SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: cinnamon.

CREAM SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: pink.

FAWN SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: pale fawn.

TORTOISESHELL SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: mottled with pink on nose and paws.

BLUE-CREAM SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: mottled with pink on nose and paws.

CHOCOLATE TORTOISESHELL SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: mottled with pink on nose and paws.

LAVENDER-CREAM SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: mottled with pink on nose and paws.

CINNAMON TORTOISESHELL SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: mottled with pink on nose and paws.

FAWN-CREAM SMOKE: Nose leather and paw pads: pink.

CLASSIC TABBY PATTERN: markings dense, clearly defined, and broad. Legs evenly barred with bracelets coming up to meet the body markings. Several unbroken necklaces on neck and upper chest, the more the better. Frown marks on forehead form an intricate letter “M.” Unbroken line runs back from outer corner of eye. Swirls on cheeks. Vertical lines over back of head extend to shoulder markings which are in the shape of a butterfly with both upper and lower wings distinctly outlined and marked with dots and other various filigree inside outline. Back markings consist of a vertical line down the spine from butterfly to tail with a vertical stripe paralleling it on each side, the three stripes well separated by stripes of the ground color. Large solid blotch on each side to be encircled by one or more unbroken rings and may also contain filigree. Side markings should be the same on both sides. Double vertical rows of buttons on chest and stomach.

MACKEREL TABBY PATTERN: markings dense, clearly defined, and all narrow pencillings. Legs evenly barred with narrow bracelets coming up to meet the body markings. Necklaces on neck and chest distinct, like so many chains. Head barred with an “M” on the forehead. Unbroken lines running back from the eyes. Lines running down the head to meet the shoulders. Spine lines run together to form a narrow saddle. Narrow pencillings run around body.

SPOTTED TABBY PATTERN: markings on the body to be spotted. The spots can be round, oblong, or rosette-shaped. Any of these are of equal merit but the spots, however shaped or placed, shall be distinct. Body spots may subtly suggest a mackerel or classic pattern but may not be connected and preference given to spots in a random pattern. A dorsal stripe runs the length of the body to the tip of the tail. The stripe is ideally composed of spots. The markings on the face and forehead shall be typically tabby markings. Underside of the body to have “vest buttons.” Legs are barred. On the upper chest there are one or more broken necklaces.

TICKED TABBY PATTERN: body hairs to be ticked with various shades of marking color and ground color. Lighter underside may show tabby markings. Face and legs must show distinct tabby striping. Cat must have at least one distinct necklace.

PATCHED TABBY PATTERN: a patched tabby (torbie) is an established silver, brown, blue, red, cream etc. tabby with patches of red, cream, lavender, fawn, etc. clearly defined on both the body and extremities.

SILVER TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, pale clear silver. Markings dense black. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black.

BROWN TABBY: ground color brilliant coppery brown. Markings dense black. Lips and chin the same shade as the rings around the eyes. Back of leg black from paw to heel. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black or brown.

BLUE TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, pale bluish ivory. Markings a very deep blue affording a good contrast with ground color. Warm fawn overtones or patina over the whole. Nose leather: old rose. Paw pads: rose.

RED TABBY: ground color red. Markings deep, rich red. Lips and chin red. Nose leather and paw pads: brick red.

CREAM TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, very pale cream. Markings buff or cream sufficiently darker than the ground color to afford good contrast but remaining within the dilute color range. Nose leather and paw pads: pink.

CHOCOLATE TABBY: ground color is warm fawn, markings are rich chestnut brown. Nose leather: chestnut, or pink rimmed with chestnut. Paw pads: cinnamon.

CHOCOLATE SILVER TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, is silver. Markings rich chestnut. Nose leather: chestnut or pink rimmed with chestnut. Paw pads: cinnamon.

CINNAMON TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, a pale, warm honey, markings a dense cinnamon, affording a good contrast with ground color. Nose leather: cinnamon or coral rimmed with cinnamon. Paw pads: cinnamon.

CINNAMON SILVER TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, a pale glistening silver, markings a dense cinnamon, affording a good contrast with ground color. Nose leather: cinnamon or coral rimmed with cinnamon. Paw pads: cinnamon.

LAVENDER TABBY: ground color is pale lavender. Markings are a rich lavender, affording a good contrast with ground color. Nose leather: lavender, or pink rimmed with lavender. Paw pads: lavender-pink.

LAVENDER SILVER TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, a cold clear silver. Markings sound lavender. Nose leather: lavender or pink rimmed with lavender. Paw pads: lavender-pink.

FAWN TABBY: ground color, including lips and chin, pale ivory, markings dense fawn, affording good contrast with ground color. Nose leather and paw pads: pale fawn.

CAMEO TABBY: ground color off-white. Markings red. Nose leather and paw pads: rose.

BLUE SILVER, CREAM SILVER, and FAWN SILVER TABBIES: tabby pattern with colors and leathers same as for corresponding shaded colors.

TORTOISESHELL: black mottled or patched with areas of red or shades of red. Presence of several shades of red acceptable.

BLUE-CREAM: blue mottled or patched with cream.

CHOCOLATE TORTOISESHELL: rich chestnut brown mottled or patched with red or shades of red. Presence of several shades of red acceptable.

CINNAMON TORTOISESHELL: cinnamon mottled or patched with red or shades of red. Presence of several shades of red acceptable.

LAVENDER-CREAM: lavender mottled or patched with cream.

FAWN-CREAM: fawn mottled or patched with cream.

CALICO: white with unbrindled patches of black and red. White predominant on underparts.

DILUTE CALICO: white with unbrindled patches of blue and cream. White predominant on underparts.

FAWN-CREAM CALICO, LAVENDER-CREAM CALICO, and CINNAMON CREAM CALICO: as for calico above, with appropriate marking color.

BI-COLOR: solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, tortoiseshell, pointed or lynx pointed and white, etc. Cats with no more white than a locket and/or button do not qualify for this color class. Such cats shall be judged in the color class of their basic color with no penalty for such locket and/or button.

POINTED PATTERN: body color lighter, with color allowed. Points: mask, ears, legs, tail and feet clearly defined. Mask should not extend over the top of the head. Nose leather and paw pads: appropriate to coat color. The pointed pattern may be combined with ANY other colors (except mink), e.g. lilac-silver point and seal point.

SEAL POINT: Nose leather: seal or brick red. Paw pads: seal.

BLUE POINT: Nose leather: blue or brick red. Paw pads: blue.

CHOCOLATE POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: cinnamon, or pink rimmed with cinnamon.

CINNAMON POINT Points light reddish brown, distinctly warmer and lighter than chocolate – the color of a cinnamon stick. Nose leather and paw pads: tan to pinkish beige.

LILAC POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: lavender pink or pink rimmed with lavender.

FAWN POINT: points light lavender with pale cocoa overtones. Nose leather and paw pads: pink and/or a light shade of dusty rose (no blue or lavender tones).

FLAME (RED) POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: flesh or coral pink or red.

CREAM POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: pink or pink rimmed with salmon coral.

SILVER POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: appropriate to pattern and marking color, e.g. chocolate-silver lynx point, seal-silver lynx points etc.

LYNX POINT PATTERN: body color appropriate to marking and ground color. Mask must be clearly lined with dark stripes vertical on forehead with classic “M” on forehead, horizontal on cheeks and dark spots on whisker pads clearly outlined in dark color edges. Inner ear light with thumbprint on outer ear. Markings dense, clearly defined and broad. Body pattern highly desirable on all lynx points with no penalty for lack thereof. Legs evenly barred with bracelets. The lynx point pattern may be combined with ANY other pattern (except mink) and ANY colors, e.g. lilac-silver lynx point and sealtortie lynx point with white (shown in the Bi-Color class).

SEAL LYNX POINT: Nose leather: seal or brick red. Paw pads: seal.

BLUE LYNX POINT: Nose leather: blue or brick red. Paw pads: blue.

CHOCOLATE LYNX POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: cinnamon, or pink rimmed with cinnamon.

CINNAMON LYNX POINT: points light reddish brown, distinctly warmer and lighter than chocolate – the color of a cinnamon stick. Nose leather and paw pads: tan to pinkish beige.

LILAC LYNX POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: lavender pink or pink rimmed with lavender.

FAWN LYNX POINT: points light lavender with pale cocoa overtones. Nose leather and paw pads: pink and/or a light shade of dusty rose (no blue or lavender tones).

FLAME (RED) LYNX POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: flesh or coral pink or red.

CREAM LYNX POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: pink or pink rimmed with salmon coral.

SILVER LYNX POINT: Nose leather and paw pads: appropriate to pattern and marking color, e.g. chocolate-silver lynx point, seal-silver lynx points, etc.

MINK PATTERN: body with some color. Contrast between body color and points ranging from subtle to distinct in kittens and young cats. Body pattern highly desirable on all minks with no penalty for lack thereof. Contrast minimal in older cats, particularly in darker colors, tabbies and torties. Points: mask, ears, legs, tail and feet with even color. Nose leather and paw pads: appropriate to coat color. The mink pattern may be combined with ANY other pattern (except pointed) and ANY colors, e.g. natural mink, blue mink, champagne mink, platinum mink, natural mink tabby, blue-cream, tortie mink and platinum-smoke mink with white (shown in Bi-Color class).

NATURAL MINK: body medium brown, shading to lighter hue on the underparts. Ruddy highlights acceptable. Points are dark brown. Nose leather: dark brown corresponding to the intensity of the point color. Paw pads: medium to dark brown (may have rosy undertone).

CHAMPAGNE MINK: body buff-cream, points medium brown. Nose leather: cinnamon-brown. Paw pads: cinnamon-pink to cinnamon-brown.

BLUE MINK: body blue-grey, shading to lighter hue on the underparts. Fawn overtones permissible. Points slate blue, distinctly darker than body color. Nose leather and paw pads: slate grey (may have rosy undertone).

PLATINUM MINK: body pale, silvery grey with warm overtones. Not white or cream. Points pewter-grey, distinctly darker than the body color. Points may have a lavender cast due to the color of the skin underneath. Nose leather: lavender-pink to lavender-grey. Paw pads: lavender-pink.

OABTC (Other American Bobtail Colors): any other genetically possible color or pattern. Cats with no more than a locket and/or button do not qualify for this class; such cats shall be judged in the color class of their basic color with no penalty for such locket or button.


The following information is for reference purposes only and not an official part of the CFA Show Standard.

American Bobtail Color Class Numbers

LONGHAIR DIVISION

All Championship Colors
(All accepted colors as defined in the Show Standards.)
54005401
AOVNoneNone

SHORTHAIR DIVISION

All Championship Colors
(All accepted colors as defined in the Show Standards.)
94009401
AOVNoneNone

American Bobtail allowable outcross breeds: The single registration of domestic shorthair or longhair cats with a natural bobtail is acceptable upon written approval of the American Bobtail Breed Council Secretary, CFA Breeds and Standards Chairperson, and one CFA Allbreed judge. This shall apply to cats/kittens born between 1/1/2002 and 1/1/2030. No tailless cats to be used in the American Bobtail breeding program. Absolutely no recognized breeds or wild blood to be permitted in the American Bobtail breeding program.

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