Kurilian Bobtail Cat

Kurilian Bobtail
Kurilian Bobtail
Kurilian Bobtail, The Cat 24
Temperament           Playful, energetic, affectionate, friendly
Origin                        Russia
Other Names             Kuril Islands Bobtail, Kurilean Bobtail, Curilsk Bobtail, Kuril Bobtail
Group                        Medium to large short-haired and long-haired
Height                       10″-14″
Body Length             14″-16″
Weight                      8-12 pounds
Life Expectancy        14-20 years
Price                          $700-$3,000

About the Kurilian Bobtail Cat

With a thick, luxurious coat that’s often beautifully marked to resemble a wildcat’s fur, the Kurilian Bobtail cat is renowned for having a sweet, gentle nature. Like the breed’s name suggests, Kurilian Bobtail cats have short to ultra-short bobtails. Kurilians have one of a kind tails. Sometimes compared with a snowflake or a fingerprint, no tail is identical to another.

Big, active, and intelligent, the Kurilian Bobtail cat has an intense play drive and a natural love for hunting. This breed is renowned for its fishing skill as well, so families with aquariums and tiny pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs will want to ensure that these vulnerable animals are kept far from the Kurilian Bobtail, which views all small creatures as prey to be captured.

Kurilian Bobtail cats typically get along very well with other cats, dogs, and children. They love to play, and anyone who is willing to spend time engaged in rousing games will automatically get this cat’s undivided attention.

Despite its hunting prowess and high activity level, the Kurilian Bobtail cat loves to snuggle with its favorite person. These cats do have a tendency to choose a preferred companion, and they are also known to give other family members the cold shoulder when it’s time to choose a lap for TV time or settle in at bedtime.

Kurilian Bobtail Cat, The Cat 24


Kurilian Bobtail Cat 1, The Cat 24
Nutrition Icon, The Cat 24
Kurilian Bobtail cats have no special nutritional needs, however it is best to offer a diet that is high in protein with limited carbohydrates. We recommend choosing fresh food or offering a commercial brand that lists real meat or fish as the number one ingredient.
Grooming Icon, The Cat 24

The shorthaired Kurilian Bobtail will appreciate a weekly brushing to remove dead hair and cut back on shedding, while longer haired Kurilian Bobtail cats require daily brushing to prevent mats.

As this is a large, active breed, you may wish to teach your cat to accept toenail clipping from a young age. This will help cut back on damage to your clothing, your furnishings, and your skin. You may also wish to teach your kitten to accept toothbrushing.

Exercise Icon, The Cat 24

This breed is exceptionally athletic and will show off its ability to reach high speeds, make sharp turns, and climb as high as possible anytime it is given the opportunity. Kurilian Bobtail cats are highly trainable, and may appreciate learning how to walk on a leash so that they may safely enjoy the outdoors.

Inside, Kurilian Bobtail cat requires multiple scratching posts, at least one sturdy cat tree, and plenty of exciting toys. These cats appreciate window seats that provide them with a view of the outdoors, particularly if a bird feeder is involved.

Health Icon, The Cat 24
The Kurilian Bobtail cat has a reputation for excellent health and can have an exceptionally long lifespan that extends up to 20 years. No known genetic issues are present.


The Kurilian Bobtail is native to the Kuril Islands, which give it its name. The breed is also native to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin Island, which are located in the same geographic region.

The Kurilian Bobtail is a natural cat breed, meaning that it was developed by natural selection over time rather than via any kind of human manipulation. It has been gaining popularity throughout Russia since the middle of the 20th century. Still, the breed is not  well-known outside of Russia, Europe, and Japan. So far, it has not been granted official recognition by the Cat Fanciers Association.

International cat breed registries are taking notice, though: Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe), The International Cat Association (TICA), and the World Cat Foundation (WCF) allow registration. Some clubs separate long and short haired Kurilian Bobtail cats into separate divisions while others allow them to be shown together.

Kurilian Bobtail, The Cat 24

Did You Know?

Even though Kurilian Bobtails make outstanding pets, this is one of the rarest cat breeds anywhere. The breed is more popular in Europe than it is in the United States, where only a few catteries specialize in Kurilian Bobtail kittens.

Thanks to its island origins, this breed loves to fish and is excellent at capturing its desired prey. These kitties have water resistant coats. They are not afraid to get wet and will sometimes join their favorite people when it’s time for a bath or shower, poking curious paws into the water.

Kurilian Bobtail cats are very slow to mature, not reaching full stature until about five years of age.

The Breed Standard

Kurilian Bobtail Cat Shutterstock, The Cat 24


A Kurilian Bobtail cat’s eyes are walnut shaped, rounder at the bottom, and more oval on top. They are set at a slight angle, between the base of the year and the tip of the nose. The eyes should be about one eye width apart. All eye colors are acceptable.


The legs should be of medium length, with the hind legs being longer than the front. The feet should be rounded. Long-haired Kurilian Bobtail cats should display tufts of hair between their toes.


The Kurilian Bobtail cat’s tail is its most distinguishing feature. It may have one or more kinks and or turns, and may be stiff or flexible. The hair of the tail often disguises its shape and gives it the appearance of a pom-pom.


The body is large, muscular, and well formed, with a generally athletic, well-balanced appearance. The chest should be broad, and the back may be slightly arched.


The head is large, with a modified wedge shape that features rounded contours. It is widest at the cheekbone level.


The Kurilian Bobtail has large, alert ears with elegant furnishings. Tufts may be present at the tips.


The coat may be short or of semi-long length. Long-haired Kurilian Bobtail cats should display a ruff at the neckline. The hair should have a soft, silky feel. Long-haired varieties should have a moderate undercoat.


All colors and patterns are acceptable. White is permitted and may include blazes, medallions, snowshoes, and any other white markings in any amount.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Kurilian Bobtail cat cost?

Kurilian Bobtail cats cost between $700-$3,000.

How big do Kurilian Bobtail cats get?

Kurilian Bobtail cats tend to be medium in size. A fully grown Kurilian Bobtail cat might weigh between 8-12 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 10″-14″ inches tall.

How long do Kurilian Bobtail cats live?

The Average lifespan for Kurilian Bobtail is 14-20 years.

Do Kurilian Bobtail cats shed?

Kurilian Bobtail are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don’t shed as much as other cat breeds.