Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed

Kurilian Bobtails are one of the few cat breeds that are considered natural. This means that they were developed without the need for human intervention. Kurilian Bobtails originated on the Sakhalin and Kuril Islands in Russia. They have a wild appearance, a robust, solid body, 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 other animals. They are gentle yet friendly; that’s why this cat breed gets lots of attention from both fanciers 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 sleeping in bed with their human companion. Their gentle nature makes them an exceptional fit for families with kids, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs. Their short coat does not mat or tangle easily and they only require weekly brushing to maintain its condition.

This sturdy cat breed is medium to large with a wild look 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. They are branded as the clowns of the cat world because they are constantly inquisitive, friendly, chatty and playful. These agile cats are remarkable jumpers and inclined to study their surroundings from the house's highest point. An intelligent cat, they only need to be shown or told once what is allowed and what is not. 

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

22-30 cm
3.6-6.8 kg
Life Span:
15-20+ years
Intelligent, Independent, Clever, 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


One of the few natural cat breeds in the feline world, the Kurilian Bobtails roots are traced back to the Sakhalin and Kuril Islands in Russia. It is an archipelago of roughly fifty-six volcanic islands, stretching seven hundred miles between Kamchatka, Russia and Hokkaido, Japan.

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

Due to their excellent hunting skills and mouse chasing ability, they have become favoured domesticated cats in Russia. They are also gaining popularity in Europe because of their gentle and laid back nature. Still, they remain relatively unknown in North America, with 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.

When you first see a Kurilian Bobtail, you may assume that they are not heavy. But once you hold 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 builds with broad chests. Their head is big, with a modest wedge and rounded curves, 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 slanted forward a little.

The coat of a Shorthaired Kurilian Bobtail is soft and smooth. It naturally doesn’t mat and is very nice to touch. It consists of short 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, which can have any amount of white. 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. The Kurilian Bobtail is a very affectionate cat who will always want to snuggle up to you when it's bedtime.

Kurilian Bobtails love to play, so they need plenty of time, affection and attention to satisfy their daily exercise needs. This cat breed is bright and inquisitive – which means providing puzzles and interactive toys is a must. Kurilian Bobtails are also very active, cheerful, and always searching for the house's highest point to observe the going ons

Because of their outstanding hunting instincts, they need to be thoroughly well socialised with any smaller animals they may live with. So, if you have rabbits, hamsters, birds, ferrets, or fish as a pet, you may want to think again about getting a Kurilian Bobtail. Moreover, if you permit your cat to go outside, be careful as they may hunt and harm birds. 

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws


Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws

Kurilian Bobtails are brilliant and curious cats. This is a feline that you won’t need to tell the same thing several times to, 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 to the toilet.

They also adjust to new environments and homes quickly. If you move house, they will swiftly identify what is okay and what is not in the new house.

Kurilian Bobtails are excellent at training and a join to train. These smart cats can quickly learn commands and will respond to particular words with their special meow. Many owners of this breed 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, familiarise them with more interesting tricks and commands. You can also train them to interact 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 and play with other cats is suggested. Kurilian Bobtails enjoy interaction and attention from their human companions, so make sure the training is interactive and rewarding. 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 familiarised with different people, animals and environments at an early stage, they will develop into a well-bred, well-behaved and well-rounded family pet. 

Coat & Care

The Kurilian Bobtails’ short coat is easy to maintain. Their fur is soft and smooth and naturally non-matting. Thus, weekly brushing is sufficient to remove dirt and keep it glossy, healthy and free from matting and tangling.

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 notice any foul smell coming out of their ears, contact your vet for care and treatment as this may be a sign of infection.

Weekly teeth brushing is adequate for keeping their teeth free from tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. To clean their teeth and mouth effectively, use a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste. Furthermore, shield not only your skin but also your furniture by regularly trimming their nails.

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 any infection.

Moreover, it is important to keep their litter boxes clean at all times. Dirty and clumped litter can cling to their stunning coat, which if they lick off and swallow, can lead to obstruction in their digestive system. Plus, 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.

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, attacks from animals, or other accidents. 

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 with no identified health problems. However, like other bobtail cat breeds, remember that there is always a small risk that their shortened tail can cause spinal or neurological problems.

To ensure your Kurilian Bobtail will live a long and healthy life, buy only from a reputable and registered breeder. All ethical breeders run DNA health checks on their cats and will happily provide you the results, which minimises the risk of the kittens inheriting any genetic conditions.

What’s more, like all other breeds, a yearly visit to the vet for vaccinations and a checkup is 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 reasons why many families with children fall in love with this gorgeous wild-looking cat. They are an exceptional match for children as they can be trained to play a game of fetch, becoming your kid’s new best friend.

Living under the same roof as 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 animals, whether dogs or cats. 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 an ideal match with a Kurilian Bobtail due to their strong prey drive. 

Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair Cat Breed | The Pedigree Paws