This rare, short-tailed breed is said to thrive on company and affection, and it is highly intelligent and trainable.
This solidly handsome cat takes its name from the Kuril Islands, an archipelago of volcanic islands in the North Pacific, where it is thought to have its origins. Since both Russia and Japan have laid claim to several of these islands, it is uncertain from which country the Kurilian Bobtail longhair really comes.
Although it is considered a modern breed, the forebears of the Kurilean Bobtail have been popular on the Russian mainland since the 1950s, as has the shorthaired version, but it is uncommon elsewhere and particularly rare in the US.
The breed is known for its distinctive short tail, which is highly variable. The Kurilian Bobtail adores family life and can never get enough fuss and attention from its owner, although it also has a strong streak of independence.
Each Kurilian Bobtail has its own personal version of the breed’s trademark pom-pom tail, and no two are ever quite alike. Through natural genetic diversity, the vertebrae in the tail kink and bend in any direction, and can be rigid or flexible.
Between two and 10 vertebrae may be affected, with any combination of curve and mobility. In the breed standard, different tail forms are variously described as “snag,” “spiral,” or “whisk,” depending on their structure.
Origin: Kuril Islands, North Pacific, 20th century
Breed registries: FIFe, TICA
Weight range: 7–10lb (3–4.5kg)
Grooming: 2–3 times a week
Colors and patterns: Most solid colors, shades, and patterns, including tabby.