Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed

Kurilian Bobtails are one of the few breeds that are considered natural breeds. It means that this cat breed was developed without the need for human intervention. Kurilian Bobtails originated in Japan. They have a wild appearance and are robust, and has a solid body. Shorthaired Kurilian Bobtails have semi-cobby and a distinct short and fluffy tail.

These playful cats are recognized for their high level of intelligence. They are easy to train and a joy to interact with. Kurilian Bobtails are known to be great for families with children and other pets due to being friendly, tolerant and adaptable. They get along very well with kids and animals. They are gentle yet friendly; that’s why this cat breed is getting the attention of both fancier and enthusiasts.

Kurilian Bobtails are best recognised for their pom-pom-like tails. They are intelligent, independent, and affectionate. They love sitting on the lap of or sleep in bed with their human companion. Their gentle nature makes them an exceptional fit for families with kids, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs. Whichever coat length, their coat does not mat or tangle easily and only require regular brushing to maintain it in excellent condition.

This sturdy cat breed is medium to large and has a wild appearance and substantial and robust boning. But even though they appear to be strong and hefty, Kurilian Bobtails are very calm and gentle.

Kurilian Bobtail cats have a moderate activity level. Though they are branded as the clowns of the cat world, they are constantly inquisitive, friendly, chatty and playful. These agile cats are remarkable jumpers and incline to study their surroundings from the house's highest point. An intelligent cat is shown or told only once what they are allowed or what is not. 

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair 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 Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Once a Week 2/10
  • Shedding: Low 2/10
  • 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 Bobtails traces its roots to Sakhalin and Kuril Islands in Russia, one of the few natural cat breeds in the feline world. It is an archipelago of roughly fifty-six volcanic islands, stretching seven hundred miles between Kamchatka, Russia and Hokkaido, Japan. These areas separate the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean.

The existence of the Kurilian Bobtails has been documented in Russia for at least two hundred years. These cats with short tails have been living on these islands and in the middle of the 20th century were brought to central Russia by either military members or scientists.

Due to their excellent hunting skills, they are well-known as domesticated cats in Russia for their mouse chasing ability. Although they are getting popular in Europe because of their gentle and laidback nature, they are relatively unknown in North America, with only less than one hundred of these cats in the United States.

The International Cat Association accepted Kurilian Bobtails to Championship status in 2012. 

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Kurilian Bobtails’ pom-pom tails are one of their trademarks. Their unique tails have a distinctive structure, similar to a thumbmark, that gives them their exclusive signature. It is acknowledged that it is impossible to discover two identical Kurilian Bobtail tails. Their tails can appear in shapes like a snag, a whish, or a spiral and consist of anywhere between two to ten vertebrae kinked many times in numerous directions and with various degrees of articulation.

If this is the first time you see a Kurilian Bobtail, you may assume that they are not heavy. But once you held them, it is apparent that they are muscular and solid. The males can weigh as much as 6.8 kilograms while their female counterpart is relatively smaller, weighing only 3.6 to 5 kilograms.

Kurilian Bobtails are medium to large. They have compact and semi-cobby built and a broad chest. Their head is big, with a modest wedge with rounded curves and wide at their cheekbone. Their walnut-shaped eyes are oval on top and rounded on the bottom. Their medium-sized ears are triangular, wide at the base and slant a little forward.

The coat of a Shorthaired Kurilian Bobtail is soft and smooth. It naturally doesn’t mat and very nice to touch. It is short with well-developed guard hair, firm awn hair and a moderate undercoat. It also comes in a wide variety of traditional colours in tabby or solid, and these colours with any amount of white on their body. Some of the most outstanding Kurilian Bobtails show silver highlights. 


Most cat owners praise just how friendly and sociable Kurilian Bobtails are. They are both very welcoming and approachable to humans and other animals. They will enthusiastically seek out human companions and other pets to play with. Kurilian Bobtail is a very affectionate cat who will positively want to attempt and snuggle up to you when it's already bedtime.

Suitable for their social streak, Kurilian Bobtails love to play. So, make sure to give them a lot of time, affection and attention to satisfy their daily exercise needs. This cat breed is bright and inquisitive – which means providing puzzle and interactive toys is a must. Kurilian Bobtails are also very active, cheerful, and always searching for the house's highest point to observe everything that is going on in the house.

Though, you must put in mind that you will need to mingle them and do early interactions with smaller animals because of their origin as cats with outstanding hunting instincts. So, if you have rabbits, hamsters, birds, ferrets, or fish as a pet, you may want to think again about getting a Kurilian Bobtail in your home. If you permit your cat to go outside, be careful that they may hunt and harm birds.

Kurilian Bobtails are bright. In fact, they are known only to need to show or tell them just once what they can do or what is forbidden. But, keep in mind that it is still up to these smart cat to act out rest on their mood. 

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Kurilian Bobtails are brilliant and curious cats. Cat owners’ acclaim that they do not need to tell the same thing several times, as they can comprehend their human companion even without saying a word. Their owner can present these smart cats something only once, and the Kurilian Bobtail knows what is acceptable and what is restricted – like where their scratching posts are or where to go when they want the toilet. If they are in a new place, don’t worry about how they will adjust. Your Kurilian Bobtail can domesticate very swiftly. They identify effortlessly well what is okay and what is not in the new house.

Kurilian Bobtails are excellent at training. Any cat owner will confidently enjoy training them. These smart cat can quickly learn commands and particular words to respond to with their special meow. Cat owners may even find themselves having a candid chat with their Kurilian Bobtail.

You can initiate their training while they are still young. As cited above, you can train them to do simple tasks such as using the scratching post and their litter boxes. As they grow and develop their characters and intelligence, you can familiarize them with more interesting tricks and commands. You may also train them to interact greatly with children, play a game of fetch, and obey commands with a look.

Their minds need to be stimulated regularly. So, providing them with many interactive and puzzle toys they can share with and play with other cats is suggested. Kurilian Bobtail enjoys interaction, and attention from their human companions, so make sure to add these while you are training them. Give them rewards like kibbles and treats for obeying your commands, doing a trick correctly or for behaving well.

Like other cat breeds, when Kurilian Bobtails are correctly trained and familiarized with many people, animals and several environments at an early stage, they will thrive into a well-bred, well-behaved and well-rounded family pet. 

Coat & Care

Kurilian Bobtails’ coat is easy to maintain in the grooming department. Their coat is soft and smooth and naturally non-matting. Weekly brushing should be sufficient to remove dirt and keeping it glossy, healthy and free from matting and tangling.

If you allow them to go outdoors, make sure to give them fresh and clean water that is accessible and adequate shade so if your cat chooses to rest, they are readily available, particularly on hotter months.

Take some time weekly to examine your Kurilian Bobtail’s ears. Wipe away any dirt or wax buildup using clean cotton balls and a vert-approved ear cleanser. Never use cotton swabs, as these may cause harm to your cat’s delicate inner ear structure. If you noticed any foul smell coming out of their ears, contact your vet for care and treatment as this may be a sign of infection.

Weekly brushing is adequate to keep their teeth away from tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. To clean their teeth and mouth effectively, use a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste. Shield not only your skin but also your furniture by regularly trimming their nails. Examine their paws too if it is healthy, dirt and injury-free.

Examine their eyes regularly for any dirt, stain or discharge. If the eyes are left unclean, it can lead to an eye infection that can be painful for your cat. Use a clean and soft fabric to clean the corners of their eyes. Make sure to use a separate part of the cloth for each eye to prevent the spread of the risk of eye infection.

Moreover, it is important to maintain their litter boxes clean at all times. Dirty and clumped litter can cling to their stunning coat. If not supervised, your cat might ingest the soiled litter and may lead to obstruction in their digestive system. It may also lead to other health and coat problems. Just like other cat breeds, they are choosy about their toilet hygiene. If their litter box is continuously dirty, Kurilian Bobtails may search for other areas to do their business somewhere else in the house.

Lastly, it is recommended to keep your Kurilian Bobtail as an indoor cat due to their friendliness and welcoming nature. If you allow them to wander the outdoors, make sure you supervise it. Letting them wander around unsupervised may lead to acquiring feline diseases that they may get from other cats. Besides, it will avoid any animal attacks and other accidents that your cat may come across outside. 

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Kurilian Bobtails are generally a natural and healthy cat breed. They do not have many known health problems. Like any other cat breeds, annual visit to their veterinarian for vaccinations and regular checkups are highly recommended. 

Children & Other Pets

Kurilian Bobtails are recognized to be inquisitive, approachable and intelligent cats. They are also very calm yet playful. These are just some of the qualities why many families with children are endeared by this gorgeous wild-looking cat. They are an exceptional match for children as they can be trained to play a game of fetch.

Living under one roof with other pets is a joy for a Kurilian Bobtail. Because of their compliance and outgoing nature, this cat breed can live happily and peacefully with other pets. However, make sure to acquaint them gradually and in controlled spaces to ensure that they learn to get along well together.

Also, it is vital to note that small pets like rabbits, ferrets, birds, hamsters, or fish may not be ideal to be in the same area with a Kurilian Bobcat due to their strong prey drive.

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws