Kurilian Bobtail cats may look wild, but they are actually very gentle and affectionate. This active, playful breed with the stubby or missing tail is the perfect companion for the pet parent who wants a devoted feline friend to keep them on their toes. Where does this affectionate cat come from and what is it like as a pet? Keep reading to find out!
Kurilian Bobtail History
The Kurilian Bobtail is a natural cat breed (meaning it developed in the wild without human intervention) that can be traced back at least 200 years to the Russian island of Sakhalin and the Kuril archipelago for which they are named. When Russian scientists and soldiers on the island brought the cats to the mainland in the mid-20th century, Russian breeders quickly became enamored and established the breed on the continent. Since then, Kurilian Bobtails have become relatively common throughout Europe, but they remain rare in North America.
Kurilian Bobtail Appearance
The most notable feature of the Kurilian Bobtail is its stubby tail. The bob is a natural genetic mutation in which between 2 and 10 vertebrae in the tail are kinked, which in turn forms a very short tail that is often little more than a hump on the cat's rear end. In the Kurilian's case, the tail looks a bit like a pom-pom, and no two individuals' tails form in exactly the same way, lending each a little more uniqueness.
Pet owners should be aware that like all bobtail breeds, the area around the tail is still sensitive and full of nerve endings, so the cat should be supported under the rump when held, not directly on the tail stub.
Kurilian Bobtail cats can have short or long hair in a variety of solid colors and in tabby and tortoiseshell patterns. They might also have white or silver highlights. Further, their coats are soft, silky, and water-resistant. That's a good thing considering these cats usually enjoy playing in water, and their strong bodies make them naturally talented swimmers.
These playful kitties are medium- to large-sized cats and can be deceptively heavy due to their solid muscle. Adults can weigh as much as 15 pounds when fully grown and still be at a healthy weight.
Their compact bodies, broad chest, and long hind legs all combine to make them powerful cats who are terrific jumpers. Expect them to seek out and claim the highest point in their surroundings to check out everything going on below.
Kurilian Bobtail Cat Personality
Kurilian Bobtails are perfect (or "purrfect," if you will) for the more hands-on pet owner. They are very active and playful, so be sure to have lots of toys available for them. They are also highly intelligent, which means they learn tricks quickly and easily. They are highly adaptable to changing situations, making them ideal for pet parents who move frequently or who have company over frequently; Kurilian Bobtails are very sociable and are more likely to greet strangers at the door than to run and hide.
On the whole, thanks to its gentle nature and friendliness, this breed gets along well with children and dogs. However, bear in mind that Kurilian Bobtails are renowned hunters, so smaller pets like hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, rabbits, birds, and fish might be at risk. The Kurilian Bobtail might also hunt and kill birds, mice, and other small animals if allowed outside to hunt, so try not to be surprised if your furry friend brings you an unwelcome "gift" and drops it at the door for you.