The Kurilian Bobtail originated on the Sakhalin and Kuril Islands in Russia and are considered as a natural cat breed – which means developed without the intervention of humans. They are robust, solid cats with a semi-cobby body, unique short, fluffy tail, and wild appearance. They are recognised for their high level of intelligence and trainability.
Kurilian Bobtails are known for being adaptable, friendly and tolerant. Hence, having the reputation of being an excellent feline companion and family cat. Moreover, they get along very well with children and other animals. They are playful and sociable; that’s why they get so much attention from both fanciers and enthusiasts.
These cats are best identified for their pom-pom-like tails. Independent, smart and loving, they enjoy sitting on the lap of or sleeping in bed with their human companion. Their calm nature makes them an excellent fit for families with children, other cats, cat-friendly dogs and other household pets.
Kurilian Bobtail cats have a mild activity level. While they are known to be the clowns of the feline world, they are always curious, approachable, chatty and playful. They are extraordinary jumpers and tend to survey their surroundings from the highest point of the house. A bright cat, they must be shown or told only once what is permitted or what is not.
Despite boasting luscious long hair, their coat does not tangle or mat easily and only needs regular combing or brushing to keep it in excellent condition. This cat breed is medium to large in size, combined with their wild appearance and substantial, robust boning. But despite their strong and hefty appearance, Kurilian Bobtails are very gentle.
- Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
- Shedding: Medium 6/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: Medium 6/10
- Playfulness: High 10/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: Medium 6/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: High 10/10
The Kurilian Bobtail is a natural cat breed tracing its roots to the Island of Sakhalin and Kuril, Russia, an archipelago of approximately fifty-six volcanic islands, stretching seven hundred miles between Kamchatka, Russian and Hokkaido, Japan.
For at least 200 years these cats have been documented in Russia with short tails. It is believed they were transported from the islands to central Russia in the mid 20th-century by scientists or military members.
Because of their hunting instinct and mouse-chasing skills, they became famous as domesticated cats in Russia. Over time, they also became popular in Europe because of their easy going temperament. However, they are still unknown in North America, with less than one hundred of the cats in the United States.
In 2012, Kurilian Bobtails were accepted to Championship status by The International Cat Association.
One trademark of the Kurilian Bobtail is the pom-pom appearance of their tail. Their tail has a unique structure, just like a thumb mark, which gives them their own personal signature. It is a known fact that it is impossible to find two identical Kurilian Bobtail tails.
Their short, busy tails can appear in shapes like a whisk, snag or a spiral and consist of anywhere between two to ten vertebrae kinked multiple times in different directions and with various degrees of articulation.
They are medium to large in size. They are also compact and semi-cobby, with a wide chest. Their head is large, with a moderate wedge and rounded contours, wide at their cheekbone. Their walnut-shaped eyes are oval on top and rounded on the bottom. Their medium-sized ears are triangular in shape, wide at the base and slope a little forward.
The first time you see this cat breed, you may think they are not particularly hefty, but once you lift it for a cuddle, it is obvious that these wonderful felines are very solid and muscular. Kurilian Bobtail males can weigh as much as 6.8 kilograms while their female counterpart is quite smaller, weighing only 3.6 to 5 kilograms.
The coat of a Longhaired Kurilian Bobtail is soft and silky, typically doesn’t mat and is very pleasant to touch. It is medium long with slight guard hair, well-developed awn hair and a slight undercoat. For shows, a fully-coated cat is desirable and should have a shirtfront, breeches and a full frill.
They also come in a wide array of colours in solid or tabby, and these colours can have any amount of white on their body. Some of the most remarkable Kurilian Bobtails showcase silver highlights.
Most owners of this cat breed acclaim just how friendly Kurilian Bobtails are, both towards humans and other animals. They will eagerly seek out people and other pets to play with. The Kurilian Bobtail is a very loving cat who will definitely want to snuggle up to you when it's bedtime.
Kurilian Bobtails love to play so make sure to give them ample time, love and attention to satisfy their daily exercise requirement. This cat breed is intelligent and curious. This means adding interactive toys is a must. Kurilian Bobtails are also very active, high-spirited, and look for the house's highest point to examine everything that is going on in the household.
However, you must remember that you will need to socialise them and do early interactions with smaller pets due to their strong hunting instincts. So, if you have hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, birds or fish, you may want to reconsider getting a Kurilian Bobtail. If you allow your cat to go outdoors, be cautious as they may hunt and harm birds.
Kurilian Bobtails are highly intelligent. You only need to show or tell them once what they are permitted to do or what is not allowed. However, keep in mind that it is still up to them to act out depending on their mood.
Kurilian Bobtails are highly intelligent cats. Cat owners do not need to explain the same thing many times, as they can understand their owner even without words. You only have to show these cats something once, like where to go to the toilet or where their scratching posts are. If you have moved to a new place, don’t worry about your Kurilian Bobtail as they settle and adjust very quickly, and quickly learn the rules of the new house.
You can begin by training them during kittenhood. As mentioned above, you can show them simple tasks such as using scratching posts and litter boxes. As they grow and develop their intelligence and characters, acquaint them with more stimulating commands and tricks. You can also teach them how to play fetch, interact with children and follow commands with just one look.
The Kurilian Bobtail’s mind needs to be regularly stimulated. Therefore, providing plenty of toys they can share and play with other cats is recommended. The Kurilian Bobtail loves interaction, and attention, so make sure to include these while training them. Remember to provide them with rewards like kibbles and treats for following your commands, doing tricks correctly or for behaving well.
Like other cat breeds, when Kurilian Bobtails are appropriately trained and familiarised with diverse people, animals and numerous environments at an early stage, they will blossom into a well-bred, well-rounded and well-behaved family pet.
Coat & Care
Despite having long hair, Kurilian Bobtails are low-maintenance. Their coat is soft and silky and typically non-matting. Weekly brushing or combing should be enough to eliminate dirt and keep it shiny, healthy and free from tangling and matting.
Because of their long coats, if you allow your cat to go outside, make sure to provide fresh and clean water that is easily accessible and enough shade so that they do not overheat in the hotter months.
Spend time each week inspecting your Kurilian Bobtail’s ears. Keep them clean by wiping away any dirt or wax buildup using clean cotton balls. Never use cotton swabs, as this may cause damage to your cat’s delicate inner ear structure. See if there’s any foul smell coming out of their ears, as this may be an indication of infection.
Weekly brushing for their dental hygiene is sufficient to keep their teeth free from tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. Use a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth and mouth effectively. Protect not only your skin but also your furniture by regularly trimming your Kurilian Bobtail’s nails.
Check their eyes each day for any stains, dirt or discharge. If left unclean, it may result in an eye infection that can be uncomfortable for your Kurilian Bobtail. Use a clean and soft cloth to clean the corners of their eyes. Just make sure to use a different part of the fabric for each eye to avoid spreading any infection.
Because of their long coats, it is vital to keep their litter boxes clean at all times. Soiled and clumped litter can stick to their gorgeous fur. Your Kurilian Bobtail might swallow the dirty litter when self-grooming, which may result in a blockage in their digestive system. What’s more, just like other breeds, they are picky about their bathroom hygiene. If their litter box is always dirty, they may look for other places to do their business.
Lastly, it is best to keep your Kurilian Bobtail as an indoor cat because of their friendliness and sociable nature. If you permit them to explore the outdoors, make sure you oversee it. Letting them roam around unsupervised may result in getting feline diseases from feral cats or attacked by other animals.
Kurilian Bobtails are normally a hearty, natural and healthy cat breed who do not have many identified health problems. However, like other bobtail cat breeds, there is a small risk that their shortened tail could cause spinal or neurological problems.
To ensure your Kurilian Bobtail is as healthy as can be, we highly recommend buying from a registered breeder. All reputable, ethical breeders run DNA health checks on their cats, which minimises the risk of the kittens inheriting any genetic conditions.
What’s more, like all other cat breeds, a yearly visit to their vet for vaccinations and regular checkups are highly recommended.
Children & Other Pets
Kurilian Bobtails are known to be curious, friendly and intelligent cats. They are also very gentle yet playful. That’s why a lot of families with children adore this beautiful wild-looking cat. They are an excellent match for kids as they can be trained to play a game of fetch.
Living with other pets is bliss for a Kurilian Bobtail. Because of their adaptability and friendly disposition, this cat breed can live happily and harmoniously with other pets, such as other cats and cat-friendly dogs. However, make sure to familiarise them slowly and in controlled spaces to make sure that they learn to get along well together.
Also, it is essential to note that because of their strong prey drive, small pets like ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, birds, or fish may not be a good idea to be in the same room with a Kurilian Bobtail.