Photo by © Oleg Abonisimov

Kurilian Bobtail - Breed Profile:

Origin: Russia
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Shorthair, longhair
Grooming: Little (shorthair); two time a week (longhair)
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Average
Attention Requirement: Average
Easy to handle

Physical characteristics

The Kurilian Bobtail is a medium to large cat originated from the Kuril islands (the Far East of Russia). The main feature of these cats is their unique short tail. The short, bushy tail can be shaped like a whisk, a spiral, or a snag that consists of anywhere between 2-10 vertebrae kinked many times in various directions and with different degrees of articulation. It makes the tail have a tuft form measured either by 3 cm, or between 8 and 15 cm. Never will you find two Kurilians with identical tails, and no other breed has such a variety of tail forms.
The body is muscular, well-boned, compact and semi-cobby, with a broad chest. The back legs are slightly longer than the front ones. The head is a large modified wedge with rounded lines. The eyes are walnut shaped, usually yellow or green. White Kurilians may have blue eyes. The triangular ears are medium size, wide at the base, with a slight tilt forward. Adult males weigh up to 15 pounds, females are smaller and weigh 8 to 11 pounds. Overall, the cat looks somewhat wild.


Kurilian Bobtails are independent, intelligent, inquisitive, playful, trainable, and very gentle. In spite of their severe look, they have a very well-balanced temperament bereft of aggression. They will gladly sleep in your bed if only you allow them to. Devoted, loving, and sociable. Kurilians usually get on well with other cats, children, dogs and other household pets. Excellent jumpers, they love high spots in the house to better observe their domain. They are also very adaptable and, given enough attention, feel quite comfortable living indoors only. A special feature of this breed is their passion for water. They love to bathe, "fish" and play in water.

Coat and grooming

The double coat of Kurilians is soft, silky, and pleasant to the touch. It is not prone to matting, but occasional grooming is recommended anyway. Longhair Kurilians should be brushed at least two times a week. They have longer hair at the cheeks and back, and a distinct neck ruff.
Kurilians can be found in various shades and combinations of colours, in solid or tabby patterns, and those mixed with white. Some of the most stunning Kurilian Bobtails also exhibit silver highlights.


Kurilian Bobtails have naturally excellent health. Unlike the Manx, the tailless gene of Kurilians does not cause any breed-specific diseases.

Other interesting facts

The unique tail of Kurilians is a result of a natural mutation. Kurilians are considered a "natural" breed because they have evolved without any human interference.
The World Cat Federation (WCF) was the first to recognize the breed, it happened in 1995.