Breed Tips

How Much Does an American Bobtail Cost in 2024?

The cost of buying an American Bobtail can be around $600 - $ 1,200.1 They are a rare cat breed and can be difficult to find in shelters. Let’s get started with what you need to know about them.

Characteristics of an American Bobtail

Here are the characteristics of an American Bobtail cat:1

  • Adult weight: Male: 12 – 16 lbs., Female: 7 – 12 lbs.

  • Adult height: 9 – 10 in.

  • Origin – United States of America

  • Life expectancy: 13 – 15 years

The American Bobtail is a charming, rare breed to own. They are said to have originated in the 1960s from a genetic mutation found in domestic cats across the U.S. Once the breeders noticed this, they started breeding cats with short tails to emphasize this distinct feature. However, in a few decades, this breed started becoming unhealthy and in 1980 an effort was made to help improve the health of the breed as a whole.2 American Bobtails have a variety of coat colors and patterns. These cats may look like wild creatures, but they are calm and sociable.

They are named after their most distinct feature which also makes them pretty rare. Their tails can also have different characteristics and be straight, slightly curved, kinked, or bumpy along the sides.

What is the Price of An American Bobtail?

Compared to other cats, these fur balls are known to be playful and empathetic. They are also known to be therapy cats. If you have kids, this breed is a good pick as they are also good with kids and other pets.

Buying: $600 – $1,200

As mentioned earlier, these cats are a rare breed to find. According to Daily Paws, the cost of buying one from a breeder can cost you around $600-$1,200. When choosing a breeder, it’s important to do research and find a reputable one. Reputable breeders generally provide proper veterinary care, socialization, and genetic testing to help produce healthy and well-adjusted kittens.

Adoption: $50 – $300

If you want to find an American Bobtail at a more affordable price, you can adopt one from a shelter nearby. Adopting this breed could cost you around $50 - $300. The adoption fees typically cover services like spaying and neutering costs, vaccinations, microchipping, and a veterinary checkup. Adopting a cat is a great way to provide a forever home to a cat while supporting shelters. Adoption costs are a one-time expense and are typically cheaper than buying one from a breeder. Check out our cat adoption checklist for tips on how to prepare for your new pet.

Monthly Costs for an American Bobtail Kitten

Diets: $20-$60

An American Bobtail, just like any other cat breed, will need a nutritious meal to help maintain their health. This cat can be given food that is rich in protein like dry kibble, wet canned food, or a combination. A commercial cat food can range from $20-$60. In case your pet has special dietary needs, those costs need to be taken into consideration as well. Everyone wants a fun element in their diet and for cats, treats are also vital to spice up their food.

Grooming: $20-$100

The grooming needs of an American Bobtail are fairly simple and easy to maintain. You'll need to brush them once or twice a week to help keep their coats smooth and healthy.1 It is also important to clean their ears, trim their nails and brush their teeth often. Professional grooming services can cost up to $100. If you want a more budget-friendly option, investing in at-home grooming supplies can be more cost-efficient at around $20-$50.

Medical Costs: $100-$3000

Being an all-natural cat, the American Bobtail is comparatively a healthy breed.2 But just like all breeds, they can be prone to certain illnesses. American bobtails may be more susceptible to genetic conditions due to their unique, short tails.1 The potential health concerns are as follows:

  • Hip Dysplasia - The cost of treating hip dysplasia depends on how severe the illness is. In the case of surgery, it can cost a few thousand dollars.

  • Spinal issues - Tailless American Bobtails are known to develop a spinal condition that may affect their ability to control defecation. Diagnostics may include tests, medications, and potential surgeries.

  • Patellar Luxation - This is a condition where the kneecap slips out of place, which can cause lameness and pain. Diagnostics could cost hundreds of dollars, while surgery could cost several thousands.

Insurance: $25-$75

Some medical conditions can unexpectedly exceed the budgets that you may have set aside for your pet. Insurance is one way to help ensure that you have financial protection to get your pet treated following an unexpected accident or illness. On average, an insurance plan for an American Bobtail cat could cost between $25-$75 per month depending on the plan.3

Pet insurance plans can help your pet get the best treatment in case they face an unexpected health issue. The premium typically depends on the type of coverage, age of the pet, breed, and zip code.

One-time costs for an American Bobtail

Initial Costs: $200-$300

When you welcome your loving cat into your house, you need to make sure they have a place they can feel comfortable and at home. These supplies can include food and water bowls, kitten food, a litter box, kitten-safe litter, toys, a collar and ID tags, a soft bed or blanket, grooming tools, a secure carrier, and kitten-safe shampoo. Additionally, other one-time expenses may be incurred later.

Microchipping: $25-$50

Microchipping is an implantation procedure that can cost around $25-$50. This may also require an additional registration fee to enter your contact information into a pet recovery database.

Vaccines: $50-$200

The cost of vaccination for any breed can depend on the location, veterinary clinic, and the specific vaccines administered. As a kitten, they require more vaccines than they would as adults. The core vaccines include - Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (FVRCP), Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). These are usually given up until 16 weeks of age. The Rabies vaccine is also a must. Additional vaccines may be recommended depending on the cat being prone to certain conditions.

Miscellaneous: $100-$150

Dog walking, dog sitting, trips, park visits, etc. are some other expenses that may come your way. You should keep around $100-$150 aside per year, depending on your needs.

Lifetime American Bobtail Cost

At this point, you have a rough estimate of the different expenses that can take place throughout the life of an American Bobtail. Over their lifetime of around 15 years, the total cost is estimated at around $20,000- $22,000. This includes their initial adoption/buying costs, food supplies, medical costs, grooming, one-time costs, and additional miscellaneous costs if any.

How Can Spot Pet Insurance Help?

Spot pet insurance plans offer various coverage options, from microchip implantation to surgeries and prescription food and supplements prescribed to treat your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. (Prescription food and supplements used for general health or weight maintenance are not covered). For an extra cost, Spot cat insurance plans offer preventive care coverage add-ons to help cover the costs of certain routine vaccinations, annual wellness exams, and other preventive care treatments. You can view the add-on preventive care coverage options. Get in touch with Spot Pet Insurance to learn more!


The American Bobtail is not just a unique-looking cat breed, they are also charming and playful. This breed has a bunch of good qualities which makes them a joy for the owner to have. They are also very adaptable and will fit right into your lives. This breed can be taught to do tricks as they are quick learners and very sociable. When thinking of adopting an American Bobtail, it’s important to have complete knowledge so you can make an educated decision if this breed is right for you. Now, what are you waiting for? Go get your furball.

Happy parenting to you and lots of love to your cat!


  1. “American Bobtail,” Daily Paws,, May 8, 2022

  2. “American Bobtail Cat,” Cats,, accessed Dec. 7, 2024

  3. “American Bobtail Cat Price,” Hepper,, Oct. 2, 2024

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