Kurilian bobtail: short fluffy tail and slightly pricked ears

 Harsh climatic conditions and life in the limited area of the islands made the nature of Kurilian Bobtail resistant and sturdy. Due to the natural mutation this breed acquired its famous short “bunny” tail and unusual body shape. And due to the efforts of felinologists Kurilian Bobtail became a true pride of Russian breeders.

Historical background

 Unfortunately, there is no reliable information about how and when the ancestors of these short-tailed cats appeared at the Kuril Islands. According to one version, some sailors brought ordinary cats to the Kuril islands once (between V and VII centuries), and these cats subsequently changed under the influence of external factors. However, it is possible that cats brought to the archipelago were already short-tailed back then. However, Kurilian Bobtail cats are the real aborigines, who manage to survive despite cold and hunger, on the islands surrounded with salt water.

 The modern history of this breed began in the 1950s. Semi-wild animals without tails were brought to the mainland by the military men. These wonderful animals drew the interest of Russian breeders who couldn’t ignore these unique cats – so the work on the creation of a new breed began. In 1991, the Kuril Bobtail breed have acquired official status in his homeland, and four years later the breed was recognized by the WCF, and then by the other feline organizations worldwide.


 Adult Kuril Bobtail cats should be massive, heavy and muscular. The back is slightly arched with hind legs longer than the front. When viewed from the side, a Bobtail resembles a typical lynx – a beautiful strong animal that commands respect only due to its appearance. The head is rounded, the muzzle is slightly wider than long. High cheekbones and massive chin emphasize the natural strength of a Bobtail. The ears are of average size, slightly pricked, set not widely apart. The eyes are oval and rather large, set wide apart and slightly slanted. The eye color can be different, but the harmony with the coat color is desirable.


 The coat of cats belonging to this breed can be short and semi-long.  The coat of the first type should be soft, silky and resilient, lying flat, the undercoat is moderate. The semi-long coat type is characterized by its prominent overhear that forms a collar, a cheek beard and breeches. It is desirable for a Kurilian Bobtail to have lynx-like tufts on the ears. The coat can be spotted or striped, evenly or unevenly colored. The coat color can be different, except for Siamese, chocolate, fawn, cinnamon and lilac colors. 

 Thanks to the touchy “bunny” tail Kurilian Bobtails are popular and recognizable all over the world. According to the standard the length of the tail should not exceed 8 cm.
It is surprising that each tail is unique, and it is believed it is impossible to find two identical tails on Kurilian Bobtails and such a great diversity of tails gives these cats even more charm.

 Breeders give a name to every type of the tail, for example:

  • Snag – the form of the tail, which consists of 2-8 vertebrae that are deformed, as if they stick to each other. 
  • Spiral – consists of 3-15 vertebrae deformed in a manner that they form angles in their junctions, one of the most beautiful types. The angles in the junctions make the tail coil up. Such a tail may look like a fishcook or a bagel.
  • Whisk – the form of tail that consists of 5-10 vertebrae, connected at obtuse angle. The length of such a tail usually makes up to 1/3 of the usual length.
  • Delayed bobtail – this form of tail is straight, with no visible defects for the length of first 5-7 vertebrae, but it ends with some kind of hook that consists of deformed vertebrae representing a spiral or a zigzag.


 Kurilian Bobtail cats are self-sufficient and independent. They never consider a human to be a master or some supreme being. A key to their hearts are warm and friendly relations and mutual respect.

 Kurilian Bobtail cats are resistant to stress, unruffled and fearless. They can easily tolerate staying alone and are not inclined to imposing themselves. However, they love people, especially their owner.

 Such a cat is very affectionate with the main person in its life. The other family members are treated like a part of the pride, with great care and protection.

 Kurilian Bobtail kittens are very active, curious and playful; they require a lot of attention from all members of the family. Growing up, a Bobtail becomes calmer and more thoughtful, but definitely not lazy. From a partner the pet turns into an interested observer, controlling everything around, looking very attentively at everything that is going on. 

 Bobtail cats aren’t aggressive, although they can stand up for themselves when it’s necessary. Nevertheless they tolerate games with little kids with dignity and patience. They can become friends with other cats and dogs, but it would be hardly possible for a bird or a mouse to live under one roof with a cat of this breed: do not forget that Kurilian Bobtails are inborn hunters.

Housing and care

 Primary training of a Kurilian Bobtail won’t be difficult and time-consuming even for a non-experienced cat owner. They are highly intelligent pets that are able to feel the mood and desires of their owners. 

 Bobtails aren’t sleepyheads, but they neither can be characterized as extremely active, that is why they feel comfortable both in a country house and in an ordinary apartment in the city. Cats of this breed are resistant to different temperature, they are glad to have a winter walk, but they don’t like when it’s hot and stuffy outside.

 Taking care of their coat is also quite easy. The only thing you should do is to comb their coat once a month. It is not recommended to give a bath to a Kurilian Bobtail very often, only when it is really necessary. 


Kurilian Bobtails are hardy and robust animials, free from any genetic diseases. The absence of tail does not affect the quality and duration of their lives. Most cats of this breed are long-livers.


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