Kurilian Bobtail - Origin, Diet and Characteristics

Kurilian Bobtail: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Kurilian Bobtail cat or Kurilian bobtail was born less than...

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The Kurilian Bobtail cat or Kurilian bobtail was born less than 200 years ago in the Russian Kuril Islands. It is possible that it is a cross between Japanese bobtail cats and natural island cats, especially the Siberian bobtail, which is believed to be Siberian. They are friendly, active and highly intelligent cats, tolerant of change and people of all ages. Also, as they are very good hunters of fish, they don't dislike water, so bathing can be added to brushing in the hairball prevention routine.

On the other hand, they are very strong and he althy cats, therefore, with the correct preventive medicine, they can have a very high life expectancy, even reaching 20 years, if they do not develop early incurable diseases. Keep reading this article from PlanèteAnimal to learn more about the origin, characteristics, character, care and he alth of the Kurilian Bobtail.


  • Europe
  • Russia

FIFe Rating

  • Category III

Physical Characteristics

  • Strong


  • Large

Average Weight

  • 5-6

Life expectancy

  • 15-18


  • Active
  • Extrovert
  • Smart
  • Curious


  • Cold

Hair type

  • Short
  • Medium

Origin of the Kurilian Bobtail

Kurilian Bobtails are small felines that come from Russia, from the Kuril Islands, an archipelago that stretches from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka. The sovereignty of these islands is disputed between Russia and Japan, but it seems more likely that these cats are descended from the Japanese bobtail, although they are more muscular and larger, probably due to interbreeding with island cats, in particular Siberians.

After World War II, Russia managed to take control of the islands and Russian soldiers took some specimens of Japanese Bobtail, which were bred as house cats.Today, Kurilian bobtail cats can still be seen on the streets of the islands, showing great hunting abilities, especially for fish, high resistance to low temperatures and high physical strength.

The breed has reached the European continent, but is quite unknown even in America. In fact, in the United States, it does not exceed 100 copies. Finally, FIFE recognized it in 2004 and, since 2012, TICA has accepted it to be exhibited in competitions.

Characteristics of the Kurilian Bobtail

Kurilian Bobtails are medium to large sized cats. They measure 25-30 cm in height, and females weigh 4-5 kg and males 5-7. The most striking thing about the breed, and what gives it its name, in addition to its place of origin , it is its short tail of less than 12 cm with the aspect of pompom. No two tails are the same. His head is large and has wide cheekbones.Its eyes are walnut-shaped, rounded at the bottom and oval at the top. Its ears are medium, triangular and directed a little forward. They have a very muscular and strong body, with a wide thorax and very strong and sturdy limbs. Its coat is silky, tangle-free and very soft, which makes it very pleasant to the touch. It can be short or semi-long.

Colors of the Kurilian bobtail cat

The coat of Kurilian bobtail cats can be of the following types:

  • Solid colors, such as black, white, blonde, or silver.
  • Tabby or Brindle.
  • Turtle or tricolor.

Character of the Kurilian Bobtail

The Kurilian Bobtail is a very intelligent, playful and active cat. Unlike other cats, they adapt very well to new situations and changes in the environment, which therefore does not cause them so much stress.Moreover, since they are used to hunting fish, they are genetically programmed not to be afraid of water, they may even like to bathe. They are also very good hunters of rodents and small reptiles, so you will likely have a pest-free home if you live with a cat of this breed.

They are very sociable cats. They get along well with all kinds of people and are quick to come out to greet visitors and try to play with them. They will also greet you every day when you return home. In addition, they are very easy to train, thanks to their great intelligence. All these characteristics allow a perfect coexistence, but it must be taken into account that being such active and playful cats, without enriching their environment, especially when you are not at home, or without playing enough with them, they may become frustrated and depressed, which deteriorates their he alth and, in general, their quality of life.

Caring for a Kurilian Bobtail Cat

As we just mentioned, one of the main aspects of taking good care of these cats is getting them to release their energy. For this we can resort to games, interactive toys, racing games, scratchers, etc. The important thing is that they are never bored during the time they are not resting. On the other hand, his diet must be particularly rich in protein. In general, cats need large amounts of this macronutrient obtained from animal and basic tissues for the maintenance of their he alth, but in this breed they are even more important for maintaining their muscles, strength and physical shape.

Regarding hygiene, Kurilian bobtails can have medium length hair. It is therefore essential, in this case, to brush more frequently than that required by specimens with short hairs.Regular brushing will help remove dead hair, preventing it from being ingested during grooming and in this way you will fight the formation of hairballs. The risk of these balls is that they accumulate in the digestive tract, which can have consequences as serious as an obstruction, the treatment of which, sometimes, requires surgery. On the other hand, since these cats do not hate water, you can try giving your cat a bath to remove even more dead hair, which facilitates shedding while preventing the formation of hairballs. In accordance with hygiene, the ears of the Kurilian bobtail should also be cleaned and checked for any abnormal discharge, bad odor or other signs of infection or parasitism.

Kurilian Bobtail He alth

These cats have a life expectancy of between 15 and 17 years, although it is not uncommon for them to reach 20 years old, provided they are properly cared for and not in pain hereditary diseases or tumours.Like any other cat, Kurilian Bobtails can contract infectious diseases, such as immunodeficiency, rhinotracheitis or chlamydia. Many of them are prevented by vaccination. The presence of parasites, capable of transmitting diseases such as bartonellosis or leishmaniasis, can also be avoided by following the deworming guidelines established by the veterinarian. Veterinary check-ups, vaccinations and deworming are sanitary measures that you must put in place even if your cat does not have access to the outside. In addition, although Kurilian Bobtail cats are strong cats and have no predisposition to any specific disease, attention should be paid to the following pathologies:

  • Allergy: Atopic dermatitis, flea allergy, feline eosinophil complex or adverse food reactions seem to be the most common allergic diseases in these cats.
  • Oral diseases: infections, gingivitis or chronic gingivostomatitis are the most frequent pathologies that affect the mouth of the Kurilian bobtail.
  • Feline infectious peritonitis: Like many cats raised in catteries or living in communities, they are at increased risk of being infected with the feline enteric coronavirus, which can mutate and develop the devastating feline infectious peritonitis, with a form dry in which pyogranulomas form in various organs and a wet form characterized by the production of abdominal and/or thoracic effusions.
  • Feline leukemia: viral infectious disease transmitted in particular by saliva which can cause blood disorders, immune-mediated diseases and tumor processes which become fatal.

How to adopt a Kurilian bobtail?

Adopting a Kurilian bobtail in France isn't impossible, but it's far from easy. Ask in shelters or protection associations or, if you don't get any results, look in advertisements and associations on the Internet.

On the other hand, do not reject the possibility of adopting a cat with similar characteristics to the Kurilian bobtail in terms of personality and appearance. Many of them are waiting in shelters for a new chance.

Kurilian Bobtail Pictures

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