Kurilian Bobtail

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Is the Kurilian Bobtail right for you?

The basics:
Though a rare breed outside of Russia, the Kurilian Bobtail is beloved companion to those who get to know them. Though they may have something of a wild bobcat look, this cat is actually very friendly, confident, and social. They developed naturally on the Kuril Islands near Russia and Japan, and they’ve been a valued part of the communities there for over 200 years, respected for their rodent-hunting prowess. They’ve since earned their place as devoted and trustworthy companions, quick to pick up on the household rules, and gentle with children.

If you want to find a Kurilian Bobtail of your own, you may have a difficult time. While Europeans and Russians have known about this laid-back feline for quite some time, there are probably less than 100 of them in North America.

Appearance / health:
The Kurilian Bobtail is a short-tailed cat, medium to large in size, and with a compact, stocky body and broad chest. Their back legs are slightly longer than the front, which raises the hind end slightly higher than shoulder level. The tail may be anywhere from half an inch up to around 5 inches, and consists of one or more kinks, curves or spirals. It may be rigid or flexible and even in shorthaired cats is fluffy and pompom-like. The head is large and somewhat wedge-shaped, broad at the cheekbones and with rounded contours. The ears are medium-sized with a forward slope, and may be tufted with hair on the inside. The eyes are walnut-shaped and slightly angled, and may come in any traditional color. The muzzle is slightly wider than it is round, and the nose is broad and straight.

Both a short and semi-long coats are possible in the Kurilian Bobtail. The short coat is soft and silk, lying flat on the body. The semi-longhaired coat is fine and silky, with longer hair around the britches, ruff, and plumed tail. They may also have tufted hair on their toes. Both lengths of coat have a moderate undercoat. All traditional colors and patterns are accepted except for colorpoint, though variations of tabby are most common.

The Kurilian Bobtail is a naturally developed breed and as such tends to be a very healthy cat. The average lifespan for this breed is 15 to 20 years.

Behavior / temperament:
The Kurilian Bobtail is an outgoing, friendly, and inquisitive cat. They are quite clever and pick up on “house rules” quickly, and may also enjoy learning tricks. While active, this is not an overly-energetic breed, though they do have a strong hunting instinct and enjoy games that involve pouncing. Because this breed developed on an island, they seem to have a particular affinity for playing in the water.

Their powerful legs make them excellent jumpers, and they’ll make good use of the skill by exploring the highest points in the house.

The Kurilian Bobtail is adaptable to many situations, and does well around other cats and dogs. They’re gentle with children, and enjoy having someone who will play with them. They can be somewhat independent, but they still enjoy some lap time, or curling up at the foot of the bed.


smart, versatile, healthy, active cats, playfull cat


lynx appearance, robust, short hair variation, long hair

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