How To Care For An American Bobtail Cat Breed | | Things to Know About American Bobtail
How to Care for an American Bobtail Cat
The American Bobtail cat is a friendly, smart and family-friendly breed. A new breed introduced in the 1960s, the American Bobtail is especially great for families. If you recently purchased this breed, you should take a gradual approach to introducing them to your family and children. Feeding, exercising and grooming this breed is fairly straightforward.
Feeding Your Cat
Keep an eye on its weight.You need to feed the American Bobtail cat so that it doesn’t get overweight. An American Bobtail cat generally weighs between eight and thirteen pounds.Weight is also correlated with gender:
- Males typically weigh between twelve and sixteen pounds.
- Females typically weigh between seven and eleven pounds.
- Gently feel your cat's ribs under its fur. If it is at a healthy weight, you should be able to feel the ribs without a layer of fat in between your fingers.
Give your cat a consistent amount of food.Cats love routine, so you should give your cat the same daily portion of food at a regular mealtime.The specific amount of food should be based on your veterinarian’s advice. Your cat’s nutritional needs will evolve as it ages. In consultation with your veterinarian, tailor your cat’s diet according to age:
- Kittens need a lot of protein and healthy fats to grow and mature properly.
- Adult cats need a lower-calorie diet to maintain a healthy weight.
- Senior cats need a lower protein diet with high digestibility.
Shop for quality cat food.When you buy cat food, look for quality ingredients. Near the top of the listed ingredients, you should see the protein source (e.g., beef, chicken, fish), followed shortly by taurine (essential amino acid), vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and water. Fillers such as corn or wheat and then artificial ingredients will come next, but better brands will have fewer of these filler and artificial ingredients.
Exercising Your Cat
Take your cat for a walk.This breed is very active, so it will benefit from short walks around the block. Use a cat leash and collar to walk them around the block. If you live in a rural area, you could also just let the cat outside to explore for periods of the day. However, if you like to let your cat outside, you should consider the impact of your cat on local wildlife, as well as risks such as traffic and predation.
Give it puzzles and toys to play with inside.The American Bobtail cat is very smart. If you leave the cat inside during the day, you need to give it something to keep its mind occupied.Puzzle toys such as food mazes, prize games, treat ball games and massagers are all good options. Line toys are another great option, such as wands and teasers with furry animals on the end.
Get a scratching post or toy.If your Bobtail cat were in the wild, you might find them exercising their muscles on trees. In the comfort of your home, they may want to scratch your expensive furniture. Instead of your furniture, find a scratching toy that your cat will enjoy. Consider the height, material, surfaces and sturdiness of the scratching toy.
- Scratching posts, for instance, should have a very sturdy base, a variety of surfaces to scratch and be made from sisal fabric or another attractive material. The sturdiness of the post is especially important, since you don’t want your cat to get injured climbing a poorly made post.
Give your cat room to climb and jump.American Bobtails love to climb. Make sure you have a cat condo or other high platforms for your cat to leap and climb on. Many of these cat condos also come with scratching posts, which will reduce your cat's urge to scratch your furniture.
Grooming Your Cat
Brush your cat twice a week.The American Bobtail sheds a lot in the spring and fall months, so you will need to brush your cat more during those seasons. Generally, brush your cat a couple times a week to remove dead hair and keep the coat looking shiny.
- Use a slick brush such as a rubber curry.
Trim the nails.It is important to stay on top of nail trimming for this breed, especially if you value your furniture and skin.Ask a friend to hold your cat firmly in their lap. While they are holding your cat, grab one of your cat’s paws. Gently press down on the top and bottom of the paw to extend your cat’s claws. While they are extended, clip off the pointy part of the claw.
- Don’t cut too close to the pink part of the claw where all the nerve endings are located.
Monitor your cat’s ears.It is important to keep an eye on your cat’s ears, including occasional cleaning and watching out for infection.Every week, you should wipe out your cat’s ears with a soft damp cloth. Moisten the cloth with half cider vinegar and half warm water, then clean out their ears.
- Cotton balls should be avoided because they may damage your cat’s ears.
- If you observe any loss of balance, pawing or sensitivity of the ears, you should get your cat checked out at the vet.
Remove any discharge from their eyes.To get rid of angel dust or any discharge, you should use a damp napkin to wipe any debris out from the corner of their eyes.
Brush their teeth.Since this breed can be vulnerable to teeth problems, you should regularly brush their teeth.It is best to brush their teeth three times per week. Holding your cat firmly but gently in your lap, brush their teeth with feline toothpaste and a cat toothbrush. Always brush away from the gum line. At the end of the session, you don't need to rinse their mouth because feline toothpaste is meant to be eaten.
Keep a clean litter box.This breed is sensitive about bathroom cleanliness, so you should make sure you regularly clean out their litter box.
- You should clean the litter box once or twice per day.
Taking Your Cat to the Vet
Spay or neuter your cat.Spaying or neutering your Bobtail will reduce the unwanted cat population while improving the health of your cat. Female cats won't go into heat, and spayed females may live longer. Male cats may be less aggressive. You can spay or neuter your cat at eight weeks of age.
Microchip your cat.A microchip can be inserted under your cat's skin. If your cat becomes lost, a shelter or vet can scan the chip and return the cat to you. Microchipping can be done at a vet or shelter. It is a good idea to do it as soon as you adopt your American Bobtail.
Vaccinate your cat.Cats need vaccinations every year or two to prevent common diseases. It should get its first vaccination as young as six or seven weeks of age, but it is never too late to vaccinate. Common vaccines include:
- Feline Leukemia
Take the cat to the vet every year for an exam.Even if the cat is perfectly healthy and up to date on its shots, you should still have it examined at least once a year to make sure that there is nothing wrong.
- At the annual exam, the vet will check for signs of parasites, such as intestinal parasites, fleas, mites, or heartworm.
QuestionOur bobtail has a common problem where his rectum protrudes from his anus. How do you care for this?Tracy MayoCommunity AnswerHe needs to see a vet to have the prolapsed anus fixed. Often stitches are needed to help hold the anal fissures in place and prevent this from recurring.Thanks!
- Although this breed is very friendly and gets along well with dogs and other cats in the house, it is important to take a gradual approach to introductions.
- Although this breed is a great family cat and tends to tolerate children, you should supervise your children so that the cat is not harmed. Young children may want to grab the cat’s short tail, which the cat will find particularly annoying. Show your children how to gently interact with the cat.
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