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The Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair is a natural-occurring Russian cat breed originating from the Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin Island. They have been in existence since the 20th century but have only gained popularity throughout Europe in the last 20 years.
The Kurilian Bobtail is a fabulous family pet because of its gentle, friendly, and easygoing nature. They are also intelligent, curious, and natural hunters. Aesthetically, they are unique, with a thick short coat that resembles a wildcat’s fur and a fluffy shortened or bobtail that gives the appearance of a pom-pom.
Meet the Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair
The Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair is medium to large but slow to mature. They take up to five years to reach their adult weight of 7 to 16 pounds and height of 10 to 14 inches.
Their bodies are muscular with solid legs, perfectly designed for jumping and sprinting to catch prey. Their chests are broad, and their backs can have a slight arch as their hind legs are longer than the front ones. Their heads have a rounded or rectangular appearance with large, alert ears and walnut-shaped eyes, which can be any shade of green or yellow.
Of course, though, this breed’s most distinguishing feature is their bobtail that varies in appearance between cats. It can be ultrashort, at just half an inch, or anywhere up to five inches long. Moreover, it can have kinks and be stiff or flexible. Standard cats have 30 vertebrae; however, the Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair will have between two to ten, a significant difference from the standard moggie.
The Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair sports a short but thick double coat that feels soft and silky. Unlike the long-haired variety of this breed, their short coat is the same length all over, so their tails are not as fluffy as their siblings. However, it doesn’t mat or shed much, so they only require brushing once a week.
Their fur can be many colours and either solid, tabby, or tortoiseshell. This breed commonly has white markings (in any amount) and, less commonly, silver streaks.
The temperament of a Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair
The Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair is renowned for its sweet and gentle nature and friendliness towards humans. They show affection to everyone and develop deep bonds with their owners but may latch onto one family member. They are equally loving towards pets they grow up with and even adapt quickly to any new furry friends that join the household.
Their affectionate disposition makes them fantastic lapcats, and they prefer to sleep with their owners than in their cat bed. Even so, they are not one to laze around all day as they have high energy levels. Thus, they are always looking for their next adventure and exploring every part of their environment. Moreover, they love discovering new things, whether it’s a new cat toy, cardboard box, or any household item that they have never seen before.
This breed has excellent hunting skills and will keep your home free from rodents. As you can imagine, they adore the outdoors, where prey is abundant. If you choose to let them play in the garden, they will thank you by bringing you a gift! Along with being skilful felines, they are intelligent, trainable, and learn quickly. This is music to the ears of any cat owner who knows the challenge of training other cats breeds to stay off the counters!
Another unique quirk of the Kurilian Bobtail cats is their love of water. As their ancestors grew up surrounded by it, these kitties don’t show fear towards baths, showers or ponds, as many other breeds do. Instead, they enjoy playing in the water, so they will splash in their water bowls and may even cool off in a shallow paddling pool during the summer.
10 reasons to add a Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair to your family
- Their tails look like pom-poms - Their stubby but fluffy tail is unique amongst other bobtail breeds and makes it look like they have a pom-pom attached to their backend.
- They have a wildcat appearance - The fur, colouring, and build all give the Kurilian a somewhat wild appearance, a stark contrast to their personality.
- They are kind, gentle and loving - As one of the most gentle cat breeds, Kurilians are ideal for families with young children and other animals.
- They are trainable - You don’t have to worry about scratched up furniture or broken ornaments with this breed. You can easily teach your Kurilian to understand where is off bounds.
- They are perfect for one person households - The Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair does tend to pick a favourite human. So, if you live alone, you’re guaranteed to be the apple of their eye!
- They are fun and easy to live with - Kurilians are playful yet easygoing, making them a superb companion.
- They will keep pests away - Their innate ability to hunt and catch everything means you’ll never have a pest problem.
- Their grooming needs are minimal - Their short fur pretty much takes care of itself and needs no more than a weekly brush.
- They take five years to reach adult size - While they are a medium to large breed, it takes them up to five years to fully mature, so they stay small for a long time.
- They are a natural and healthy breed - The Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair occurred without human intervention, has no health predispositions and has naturally developed over hundreds of years.
Best homes for a Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair
Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair cats are adaptable and social, making them a good fit for many types of families and homes. Although they enjoy being outdoors, they are happy as indoor-only cats, too. However, they need an enriched environment and receive plenty of interactive play with their owner.
The Kurilian Bobtail Shorthair is easygoing enough to accept and enjoy the company of other cats and dogs. However, as they have a strong prey drive, we don't recommend this breed if you keep hamsters, gerbils or any other typical cat prey as pets. Luckily though, Kurilian Bobtail cats are excellent around children and enjoy gently playing with them.