American Bobtails are stunning creatures and resemble small bobcats thanks to their long legs and short tails, which range from tiny 1-inch nubs to 4 rumps. Each cat’s tail is unique. They come in several colors and coat patterns and can have short or long fur. Most American Bobtails shed quite a bit, so they’re not considered great choices for those allergic to cats.
While they may have a slightly wild and rugged look, American Bobtails are actually sweet and loving. They’re champion cuddlers that adore spending time interacting with their favorite people and can become stressed and anxious when left to fend for themselves for too long.
While they can jump like champs, most American Bobtails don’t have outsized physical activity needs. They’re typically easy to train and are happy to accompany their favorite people on leashed walks. They’re incredibly smart, and they require several toys and other forms of mental stimulation to stay centered. Depending on the source, an American Bobtail can cost you anywhere between $50 and even $1,200 with monthly costs ranging from $205–$880.
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Bringing Home a New American Bobtail: One-Time Costs
While several one-time costs are associated with welcoming an American Bobtail into your family, the biggest initial outlay will most likely be the cost of purchasing your companion from a breeder.
Other essentials you’ll need to have on hand before your new cat arrives include a litter box, food and water bowls, and a carrier you can safely bring your cat home in. And you may need to have your cat microchipped and spayed or neutered, depending on whether the breeder you work with takes care of it for you or not.
It’s possible to locate adoptable cats through informal channels and social media, but the chance of finding purebred cats from friends and family is usually quite low. However, well-loved pedigree cats are sometimes rehomed because of a family move or health issues such as allergies. Be prepared to endure a waiting period if you have your heart set on finding a free American Bobtail Cat through word of mouth (or the digital equivalent).
Pedigree cats sometimes wind up in animal shelters, but you probably won’t have much luck finding American Bobtail kittens at one. Most pedigree cats who end up in shelters are already grown, and American Bobtails are rare, decreasing the chance of stumbling across one of these loving kitties in a shelter. Many shelters charge more for kittens than adult cats, but luckily, most cats and kittens adopted through shelters are often spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated before going to their forever homes. Some people have luck finding pedigree cats through breed-specific rescue organizations.
American Bobtail Cats are rare, and you may have to travel a few miles to find a breeder. Because American Bobtail Cats are so hard to find (and usually make wonderful companions), they’re relatively expensive. Working with a reputable breeder is essential, as American Bobtail Cats are prone to developing spinal and bowel issues related to their short tails.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Initial setup costs vary depending on whether the cat you adopt has already been microchipped and spayed or neutered. Ask the breeder whether these services will be taken care of or not, so you can set aside cash if necessary. Make sure to have all the basics on hand before your cat or kitten arrives, so you can spend time helping your buddy adjust instead of running to the store for food and water bowls!
List of American Bobtail Cat Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$15|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$10|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10|
How Much Does an American Bobtail Cost Per Month?
- $205–$880 per month
There are a few recurring costs to remember when caring for American Bobtail Cats, such as health care, environmental maintenance, and entertainment. Keep in mind that veterinary and environmental maintenance costs can vary depending on your pet’s health and usually change over time. Kittens and older cats require special diets and more frequent medical attention than healthy adult pets. Plan to spend more on kittens and senior pets than on middle-aged cats.
- $75–$500 per month
Health care is often one of the most significant costs associated with pet ownership. Costs are highest when cats are either young or old, primarily due to food costs and veterinary bills. Although American Bobtails are a natural breed and tend to be relatively healthy, they’re prone to developing conditions such as hip dysplasia and polycystic kidney disease.
- $30–$60 per month
American Bobtail Cats don’t have any special dietary needs. It’s best to purchase high-quality cat food that provides your pet with all the nutrients they require, along with the right amount of calories to keep your pet healthy. Brands that meet the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional guidelines are solid options.
Kittens require special diets that are relatively high in protein, calories, and fat to ensure proper growth. Older cats, particularly those with joint conditions, benefit from formulations that include supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine. Cats with kidney and urinary tract conditions often need to eat prescription diets. Specialty formulations cost more than regular cat food.
- $5–$25 per month
American Bobtails can have short or long coats. Short-haired cats require regular brushing; about once a week is usually sufficient. Cats with long-haired coats benefit from a few more weekly grooming sessions. Long-haired American Bobtail cats don’t require regular trims, so there’s no need to make regular appointments with the groomer. They need to have their teeth brushed a few times a week to limit the build-up of tartar and slow the development of dental disease. Make sure to use feline-specific toothpaste, as human products usually constrain fluoride, which is toxic to cats. Their nails should be trimmed monthly to prevent ingrown nails from becoming an issue.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $20–$100 per month
Kittens require several veterinary visits and multiple vaccinations during their first year. Some pet parents also pay for microchipping and spaying or neutering. Overall, costs associated with veterinary visits often decrease once pets reach adulthood, where they usually remain steady for several years.
Most veterinarians recommend that cats older than 7 or 10 come for checkups twice a year. Cats that develop chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, heart disease, or high blood pressure often require prescription medications that can add up over time.
- $25–$75 per month
Accident and illness insurance protects your wallet if your cat is injured in an accident or develops a severe condition requiring expensive treatment. They usually have waiting periods and pre-existing condition exclusions. Almost all have deductibles that need to be met, and many impose per-year or condition spending limits.
Purchasing coverage while kittens are still young and healthy can save money over the long run, and it’s the best way to avoid worrying about pre-existing condition exclusions. Wellness plans generally provide some reimbursement for routine care, such as vaccinations, flea treatments, and well-cat veterinary visits.
- $30–$70 per month
American Bobtail Cats have standard recurring environmental needs that primarily include cat litter and any deodorizing products. Clumping clay litter provides convenience since you can remove urine and feces. Crystal litter is cost-effective, but urine accumulates until the entire litter box is changed. Biodegradable choices made with corn, soy, wood chips, and recycled newspaper are also available.
|Litter box liners||$15/month|
|Deodorizing spray or granules||$10/month|
- $20–$50 per month
American Bobtail Cats have relatively high entertainment needs, and the intelligent cats get bored easily. Several subscription delivery box companies make it easy to give your cat a variety of toys and treats. Some even allow you to select the items in your pet’s box. Depending on the company, delivery options range from every 2 weeks to once every 4 months. However, you’ll spend less heading to the store and buying a few new toys and fresh catnip for your pet.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning an American Bobtail
- $205–$880 per month
Plan to spend a fair amount monthly on basics such as food, medical care, cat litter, and toys. Remember that the average amount you pay will likely change as your cat moves from kittenhood to being a senior pet. A bit of extra cash for things like replacing destroyed furniture or treating your pet to a cute Halloween costume is always nice to have.
Additional Costs to Factor In
While regular costs predictably come up every month, a few others regularly pop up but are easy to forget. If you have pet insurance, don’t forget to save enough money to cover the deductible. Be prepared to pay for any treatment your pet insurance won’t cover, just in case the insurance company denies the claim. Some plans don’t cover alternative or behavioral therapy. If you have a destructive feline, you may need to pay for repairs or replacements.
Owning an American Bobtail on a Budget
To save on food, consider purchasing high-quality options in bulk; most dry food is good for 6 weeks or longer after being opened, and canned food can be kept unopened until its expiration date.
Cats often prefer to nap and play with items made from products already lying around your house. You can make homemade teaser toys, puzzle feeders, and balled-up paper balls to save money on toys.
Some kitties love napping in beds made of cardboard boxes with a few towels added. And several DIY cat toy projects online let you unleash your creativity and upcycle items like old t-shirts and boxes.
Saving Money on American Bobtail Care
Feeding your cat high-quality food and having them regularly seen by a veterinarian are essential for ensuring cats stay as healthy as possible, drastically reducing medical costs. Keeping cats indoors also helps control medical bills. Indoor cats live longer, get into fewer fights, and have fewer opportunities to encounter infectious diseases than outdoor pets—all of which can translate to fewer health issues and trips to the veterinarian. Ensuring cats maintain a healthy weight is critical to reducing their chance of ending up with chronic conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, or diabetes, which all require expensive long-term treatments.
American Bobtails cost about as much as the average domestic cat to own, particularly regarding recurring costs such as health care, food, and environmental maintenance. They don’t have any special dietary needs, are reasonably healthy, and live 13 to 15 years. They’re relatively mellow cats, so they don’t have high physical activity needs, but you may need to spend extra on toys and interactive games since they have high mental stimulation requirements.
The American Bobtail is relatively rare, so the chances of finding an American Bobtail kitten at a shelter are slim. You’ll need to find a reputable breeder and be prepared to pay up to $1,200 to take one of the cats home.