Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed

Considered as a natural cat breed – which mean that this breed was developed without the intervention of humans, Kurilian Bobtail is robust, solid and has a wild appearance. These cats originated in Japan, and later appeared in Sakhalin and Kuril Islands in Russia. Whether this cat breed is shorthaired or longhaired, they have a semi-cobby body and a unique short, fluffy tail. They are recognised for their high level of intelligence and are quickly trained and very calm, perfect for families with children.

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, other animals. They are playful and sociable; that’s why they are getting so much love and 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 sleep 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. Shorthair or longhair, their coat does not tangle or mat easily and only needs regular combing or brushing to keep it in excellent condition.

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 they are permitted or what is not.

This strong cat breed is medium to large in size, combined with their wild appearance and substantial and robust boning. But despite their strong and hefty appearance, Kurilian Bobtails are very gentle. 

Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

22-30 cm
5-9 kg
Life Span:
15-20 years
Intelligent, Curious, Sociable, Playful, Gentle
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws
  • 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


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 that separates the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean.

It is documented in Russia for at least 200 years that these cats with short tails have been on the islands and were transported back to central Russia in the middle of the 20th century by scientists or military members.

Because of their hunting instinct, they are famous as domesticated cat in Russia for their mouse-chasing skills. While well-known in Europe because of their easygoing temperament, they are still unknown in North America, with less than one hundred of the cat breeds in the United States.

In 2012, Kurilian Bobtails were accepted to Championship status by The International Cat Association. 

Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

One of the trademark of Kurilian Bobtails is their pom-pom appearance of their tail. Their tail has a unique structure, just like a thumbmark, which gives them their own unique 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 a lot of times in different directions and with various degress of articulation.

They are medium to large. They are also compact and semi-cobby, with a wide chest. Their head is large, with a moderate wedge with rounded contours and 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 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. It also comes in a wide array of traditional colours in solid or tabby, and these colours with any amount of white on their body. Some of the most remarkable Kurilian Bobtails showcases silver highlights. 


Most owners of this cat breed acclaim that Kurilian Bobtails are extremely friendly. This is a cat that is friendly towards humans and other animals. They will eagerly seek out people and other pets to play with. Kurilian Bobtail is a very loving cat who will definitely want to try and snuggle up to you when it's bedtime.

Appropriate for their social streak, 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 socialize them and do early interactions with smaller pets due to their origin as cats with excellent 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 that 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 Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

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. Their owner can show these cats something only once, and the Kurilian Bobtail knows what is permitted and what is prohibited – like where to go when they need 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 domesticate very quickly, and they recognize seamlessly well what is acceptable and what is not in the new house.

You can begin by training them at kittenhood. As mentioned above, you can show them simple tasks such as using scratching post and litter boxes. As they grow and develop their intelligence and characters, you can acquaint them with more stimulating commands and tricks. You may teach them to play a game of fetch, interact greatly with children and follow commands with just one look.

They need to keep their mind stimulated. With that in mind, providing them with plenty of toys they can share and play with other cats is recommended. 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 the trick correctly or for behaving well.

Kurilian Bobtails are great at training, and any owner will surely enjoy training them. They can quickly remember commands and specific words that they can react to with their special meow. Cat owners may even find themselves having a heart-to-heart chat with their Kurilian Bobtail.

Like other cat breeds, when Kurilian Bobtails are appropriately trained and familiarized 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

Kurilian Bobtails have a low-maintenance coat. Their coat is soft and silky and typically non-matting. Weekly brushing or combing should be enough to eliminate dirt and keeping it shiny, healthy and free from tangling and matting.

Suppose you allow your cat to go outside, make sure to provide fresh and clean water that is easily accessible and enough shade so if they decide to rest. In that case, they are readily available, especially on hotter months.

Commit some time weekly to inspect your Kurilian Bobtail’s ears. Keep it 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 away 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. Remember to check their paws too if it is well, dirt and injury-free.

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 the spread of the risk of eye infection.

Because of their long coat, it is vital to keep their litter boxes clean at all times. Soiled and clumped litter can stick to their gorgeous coat. If not monitored, your Kurilian Bobtail might gulp the dirty litter and may result in blockage in their digestive system. It may also result in other health and coat issues. 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 elsewhere in the house.

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 that they may acquire from feral cats. Moreover, it will prevent any animal attacks and other accidents that your cat may encounter outside. 

Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Kurilian Bobtails are normally a hearty, natural and healthy cat breed. They do not have many identified health problems. Like any 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 are endeared by 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 familiarize 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, so, small pets like ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, birds, or fish may not be a good idea to be in the same room with a Kurilian Bobcat. 

Kurilian Bobtail Longhair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws