Kurilian bobtail

A young breed with short tail. Because their wild appearance, they are called “domestic lynx”.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 4—5 kg
male: 7—8 kg
female: 30 cm
male: 30 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
3—6 kittens
Russian Federation
in 1991
Life span
Life span:
12—15 years


Kurilian bobtails are active and smart cats. They can identify around one and a half thousand words. These cats can be trained. They understand what is allowed to do, and what is not. Kurilian bobtails remind dogs. During games, they excitedly bring back toys or balls that were thrown for them.

By their nature, Kurilian Bobtails are innate hunters. These pets feel comfortable outside. Their well-developed legs let them jump two meters in height. That`s why it is not recommended to take Bobtails for families which keep rodents or parrots.

Despite having instincts of hunters, Kurilian Bobtails are friendly. They get on well with other cats and dogs. While playing with kids, Bobtails will never show any aggression. If your child accidentally hurts a cat — it will simply run away. 

The special characteristic of this breed is independence. These cats will not be asking for attention, laying next to you, or be held on hands for a long time. Freedom is important for Bobtails. They like living according to rules, on their territory. They cannot be called indifferent, though. Kurilian Bobtails can keep the gap between being involved in family activities and having personal freedom.


Kurilian Bobtails are of medium size. Their body is muscular. Males grow much bigger than females. Two standards of the breed are registered: short- and long-haired. 
Depends on the breed. Short-haired Bobtails have thin and short hair. It is longer at the lower part of the body. Long-haired cats have long fur that is thicker on the chest and legs. Both standards of Bobtails are described having a thick undercoat.
Any color is allowed. The most common are: smoky, tabby, calico. Not acceptable colors: chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, colorpoint. 
Of a triangular shape, with wide cheekbones and well-developed chin. 
Widely set, oval. Their color conforms to the coat color. 
Small, triangular in shape. Tips are rounded. Longhair Bobtails have tufts at the tips of ears. They make these cats look like lynxes. 
Short and muscular.
Hind legs are shorter than front ones. The length of hind legs and their well-developed muscles make Bobtails good jumpers. 
Short and bent upwards, from 3 to 8 cm long. Tails of Kurilian Bobtails can be of four types: stumpy — consists of 8 vertebrae, curled — 5–10 vertebrae, the most common — «panicle» — also consists of 5–10 vertebrae, but is straight, and «moved bobtail» consists of 5–7 vertebrae, it is considered to be the breed`s defect.

Basic Care

Kurilian Bobtails do not need much time to be groomed. Their hair does not get matted, that`s why longhair Bobtails should be brushed only once a week. It is recommended to buy a brush with metal bristles. 

Kurilian Bobtails are neat. These cats like water, but they should not be given a bath too often. It makes their skin dry. Bobtails should be washed in warm water with special shampoos. After the bath, shorthair Bobtails can be dried with a towel, longhair cats — with a hairdryer. The frequency of how often their eyes and ears need to be cleaned with cotton pads depends on how quickly they get dirty. You should buy a special solution for that in a pet-shop. Kurilian Bobtails cannot retract their claws, that is why they should not be trimmed. Claws become shorter because of movements of the pet. However, it is recommended to buy a claw-point.

Kurilian Bobtails are not picky in food. They should be fed with high quality feed or natural food. There should be a lot of animal proteins in the feed. Because of wild origin, the diet of Bobtails should be close to the natural one. Such natural ingredients can be given: boiled meat — beef or chicken, chicken stomachs, boiled vegetables apart from potatoes, beans, and eggplants.

Health and Illnesses

Kurilian Bobtails can live up to 15 years if treated well. They have strong health. Hereditary health issues are absent. Problems with health occur mainly because of: age, bad feed and care. Because of bad nutrition, diarrhea and urolithiasis might starts causing problems. When cats get older, issues with eyesight might also occur.

Kurilian Bobtails enjoy walking. During the walk, infection and parasites might get on the fur. That`s why it is important to give them vaccines and visit a vet regularly.

History of the Breed

The homeland of the breed is Kuril Islands. They are located between the Kamchatka Peninsula and a Japanese island Hokkaido. A legend suggests that ancestors of Kurilian Bobtails were short-tail cats that lived on the island in the 18th century. These cats appeared after breeding Japanese Bobtails with Siberian cats. 

Selection of the breed started at the end of the 20th century. Until that time, all breeders regarded Kurilian Bobtails as Japanese ones. In 1991, the Soviet Felinological Organization accepted the first standard for the breed.

In December of 1994, Soviet felinologists suggested improving the breed to get it accepted by the international organization called WCF. One year later, the breed was registered. These cats started participating in European shows and attracted much interest. Felinologists started breeding two types of Bobtails: long- and short-haired.

In 2001, the FIFе organization officially registered the breed. In 2012, the breed was added to lists of TICA.