A Kurilian Bobtail cat. Photography ©Tierfotoagentur | Alamy Stock Photo.

The Kurilian Bobtail — 9 Things to Know

Meet the Kurilian Bobtail — a naturally-occurring breed sporting unique tails, avid hunting skills, tons of energy and much more.

Mild in manners and wild in looks, the Kurilian Bobtail is a domestic cat that will strut her way into your heart with just one twitch of her cottonlike tail!

1. The Kurilian Bobtail is a natural breed

A Kurilian Bobtail lying down.
The Kurilian Bobtail came about due to natural circumstances. Photography ©Volchanskiy | Getty Images.

The Kurilian Bobtail may have a physique that looks savage, but she’s as sweet as they come — not to mention au naturel. While many breeds are developed with human assistance and manipulation, the Kurilian Bobtail is a natural breed — developed on her own on the Sakhalin Island of Russia and Kuril Archipelago. This island origin explains why she is so fond of playing in the water and known for her amazing hunting skills.

2. No two tails are alike

No two Kurilian Bobtail tails are the same — so they serve as a fingerprint of sorts for the breed. While some may think that the tail is docked, it’s not — it’s another natural characteristic that ups the breed’s cute factor. The tail is like a pom-pom puff that waves to and fro with movement and can be seen in a spiral, snag or whisk shape. Tails range from 1½ to 5 inches, with each containing between two and 10 vertebrae — all dependent upon the structure of the tail!

3. The Kurilian Bobtail isn’t a small kitty

While the Kurilian Bobtail appears compact to the eye, upon lifting her, you’ll find that she is incredibly solid, brawny and rippling with muscle. Males frequently reach 15 pounds, while females tend to range between 8 and 11 pounds. The real clincher? Kurilian Bobtails often don’t reach their full size until they hit 5 years of age!

4. What colors do Kurilian Bobtails come in?

Kurilian Bobtails appear in a multitude of solid colors, in addition to tabby, tri-color, tortoiseshell and even silver highlights! Coats can be found in either semi-long or shorthair, and are soft and silky to the touch. The coat is also water-resistant, making her passion for water play even more prevalent.

5. This breed is a mighty hunter

A Kurilian Bobtail.
The Kurilian Bobtail is a mighty hunter. Photography ©GlobalP | Getty Images.

The hind legs of the Kurilian Bobtail are long — a characteristic that makes her an incredible jumper. They also aid in her hunting endeavors. And speaking of hunting: Though a sweetheart through and through, the Kurilian Bobtail is, first and foremost, a hunter. She can fish like no other and catch even the smallest of critters. Moral of the story: If you have a fish pond or share your home with small animals (like mice, hamsters or rabbits), she may view them as prey, so keep her away.

6. The Kurilian Bobtail’s energy levels

While not wild per se, the Kurilian Bobtail is active to the 10th power. Does that mean she won’t take time out of her play schedule to enjoy a little petting and cuddling with the people she loves? Most definitely not! In fact, she loves curling up in bed with her humans — and even has a tendency to play favorites, giving other family members the cold shoulder.

7.  Is this breed family friendly?

The Kurilian Bobtail is extremely trusting, adaptable and outgoing, making her the ideal feline for a family. She loves children, digs dogs and adores chilling with other cats. Bonus points to any species that takes time to play with her, because she’s always ready to go!

8. The Kurilian Bobtail is a rare breed

The Kurilian Bobtail is more recognized in Europe than she is in North America, but numbers speak even louder. The current Kurilian Bobtail population in North America hovers around just 100. So she truly is a gem!

9. Intelligence of this breed

The Kurilian Bobtail is a highly intelligent, trainable breed. So intelligent, in fact, that she only needs to be told once what behaviors are allowed, and what behaviors are frowned upon. If she’s in a sassy mood, however, she may act naughty just to get a rise out of you!

Thumbnail: Photography ©Tierfotoagentur | Alamy Stock Photo.

About the author

Erika Sorocco has been writing about cats for more than 14 years. She shares her home with one finicky feline (Gypsy), one crazy pup (Jake) and not enough closet space. Find her online chatting about beauty, fashion and furbabies at www.cateyesandskinnyjeans.com

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. 

Read more about cat breeds on Catster.com:

2 thoughts on “The Kurilian Bobtail — 9 Things to Know”

  1. I adopted a cat that has a bobtail. He’s big and solid – a little shy but he was three when I adopted him and I suspect he may have been abused. His tail is corkscrew with a tiny little tail on the end. Could he be part kurilian bobtail? Wish I could send a picture. He’s gorgeous and loving!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.

Let Catster answer all of your most baffling feline questions!

Starting at just


Follow Us

Shopping Cart