Kurilian Bobtail

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Kurilian Bobtail

11-15 lb
9-12 inches
Muscular, unique bobtail
15-20 years
Best Suited For
Any cat loving household, including those with children and pets, as well as singles
Comparable Breeds
Japanese Bobtail, Manx
Playful, intelligent, gentle, friendly, social
Kurilian Bobtail Breed History

The Kurilian Bobtail is a feline breed that naturally evolved on the Kuril Islands between Japan and Siberia. The people of the Kuril Islands have valued these cats for more than 200 years because they are incredible hunters who can manage rodent populations with ease. In fact, these kitties are known for hunting in packs, making them especially formidable to prey, though they can certainly hunt alone as well, even fishing salmon out of the water.

Over the last 20 years, the Kurilian Bobtail has become a popular breed in Russia, though they are still very rare in other parts of the world, such as in America. This is because Kurilian Bobtail cats don’t produce as many litters as other breeds, having only one litter each year. But what’s unique about these cats is the fact that a male will help with rearing his young as much as the female.

The Kurilian Bobtail is a great family pet, as these cats will get along really well with other species, including dogs.

Breed Traits

The Kurilian Bobtail is a great family pet, as these cats will get along really well with other species, including dogs. They are also wonderful with children of all ages. And Kurilian Bobtails are known for their adaptability as well, so they can pretty much fit into any household and environment.

These cats are known for their high level of intelligence, their ability to be trained, and their gentleness. These are social animals who enjoy playtime, and they are also quite inquisitive and clever.

Those seeking a cat who will be devoted to its human family will be pleased with the Kurilian Bobtail, as these kitties enjoy plenty of lap time and sharing the bed at night to sleep with their owners.

Overall Description

The most distinctive physical feature of the Kurilian Bobtail is their — you guessed it –bobbed tail. The extremely short tail is not a defect, but rather, a naturally occurring genetic trait. It can range from 2 to 10 vertebrae, and it resembles a puffy pom-pom, but every cat has a unique tail structure, much like a fingerprint all its own. In other words, it’s pretty much impossible to find a pair of identical Kurilian Bobtail tails.

These cats also have a muscular build, which causes them to weigh as much as 15 pounds. Their bodies are medium to large in size, though compact with a large head, broad chest, and walnut-shaped eyes. They are solid and strong, with males being larger than females, and the coat length can range from short to semi-long.


The Kurilian Bobtail comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, including red, gray, and bobcat stripes, as well as silver highlights, solid, tabby, and any color with white.

Grooming Requirements

This breed features a thick, double coat, but it is smooth, soft, and unlikely to mat. Therefore, this cat’s coat will remain healthy with a simple weekly brushing.

Photo credits: ingret/Bigstock; Koljambus/Bigstock; kovalvs/Bigstock

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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