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Kurilian Bobtail Breed at A Glance

Kurilian Bobtail Full BodyStrong, with a wild appearance, the Kurilian Bobtail originated on the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril. Short- or longhaired, they have a semi-cobby body type and a distinct short, fluffy tail. Known for their high level of intelligence, they are easily trained and very gentle. Find out more about this breed and if a Kurilian Bobtail is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful, and trainable
  • Size: Medium to large in size. Mature males can weigh as much as 15 pounds. Females are generally smaller weighing between 8 and 11 pounds.
  • Colors: The Kurilian Bobtail comes in a variety of traditional colors in solid or tabby, and these colors with any amount of white on their body.
  • Life Expectancy: The lifespan of a Kurilian Bobtail ranges from 15 to 20 years, owing to their breed being developed in the wild.

About the Kurilian Bobtail

Kurilian Bobtails are best known for their pom-pom-like tails. Independent, intelligent and affectionate, they love to sit on the lap of or sleep in bed with their owners. Their gentle demeanor makes them a good fit for families with cats, children, dogs and other household pets. Longhair or shorthair, their coat doesn’t tangle easily and only requires regular brushing to maintain.

Activity Level

Kurilians have a moderate activity level. Considered the clowns of the cat world, they are inquisitive, sociable, talkative and playful. They are excellent jumpers and are inclined to survey their domain from the highest point available to them. Highly intelligent, they need to be shown or told only once what they are allowed or what is forbidden. They adapt well to other cats, children, dogs and other household pets.

TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 


Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Kurilian Bobtail Kittens.

Kurilian Bobtail Head ShotCare

The Kurilian Bobtail can be shorthaired or semi-long haired with a low-maintenance coat. The coat is soft and silky and generally non-matting. A once-a-week brushing should be sufficient.

As with any cat, regularly brushing teeth and trimming nails is recommended. Talk to your vet for instructions and suggestions.

Due to being an active cat, Kurilians tend to maintain a nice weight and are not prone to being overweight. As with all cats, the Kurilian Bobtail needs proper protein and nutrients. A high-quality diet is recommended.

Fresh water should be available at all times. Water bowls should be washed and refilled with fresh water daily. As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily so they don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some cat behaviorists: place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less.

Kurilians are generally a hearty, natural breed. They do not have many known health issues. As with all cats, annual visits to the veterinarian for vaccinations and regular checkups are recommended.


The Kurilian Bobtail is a natural breed of cat tracing its origins to the Russian Island of Sakhalin and to the Kuril Islands, an archipelago of approximately 56 volcanic islands, stretching 700 miles between the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka and the Japanese island Hokkaido, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean.

It is documented in Russia that cats with short tails have been on the islands for at least 200 years and were brought back to central Russia in the middle of the 20th century by members of the military or scientists.

Because of their natural instinct for hunting they are popular as a domesticated feline in Russia for their mouse-chasing abilities. While popular in Europe because of their laid back temperament, they are still unknown in the North America, with less than 100 of the breed in the United States.

The Kurilian Bobtail was accepted to Championship status by TICA in 2012.

Similiar Breeds:

Japanese Bobtail and Siberian.

Opposite Breeds:

Bengal, British Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, and Sphynx.

Did You Know?

No two tails are alike. Every Kurilian Bobtail has a unique tail structure giving each its own signature. Their short, bushy tails can be shaped like a whisk, a spiral, or a snag that consist of anywhere between 2-10 vertebrae kinked many times in various directions and with different degrees of articulation.

The Kurilian Bobtail originated from the Kuril Islands, as well as Sakhalin Island and the Kamchatka peninsula of Russia.

From the Breed Standard

The Lykoi is an ancient Greek word that means wolf. Lykoi come in many colors, but only solid black roan is allowed to show. When one looks straight into the face, the cat has the appearance of the mythical werewolf. The Lykoi is a partially hairless cat that can be almost entirely hairless to almost completely coated, depending on the cycle of hair. The hair coat is unique in appearance in that it resembles the coat of an opossum when mostly coated. The Lykoi is a natural mutation that has been reported intermittently over the past few years. The Breed has been started from two separate sibling litters in 2011. The Lykoi is a very friendly cat and demands attention from people. Most people consider them unattractive when they first see them, but then want to do nothing but hold them when they recover from the first impressions. Some people, after seeing them, want a little wolf.

Click here to read the full TICA Breed Standard.

Additional information and an introduction to the breed can be found in the links below:


Best of Breed: Kurilian Bobtail

Click on thumbnails for larger image 

Best Kurilian Bobtail Of The Year: YUNAMARI ABREK

Best Kurilian Bobtail Of The Year

Color: Blue Classic Tabby
Owner: Natalia Lebedev
Breeder: Natalia Lebedev

Best Kurilian Bobtail Kitten Of The Year: CATPAL SVOBODA STRATTERA

Best Kurilian Bobtail Kitten Of The Year

Color: Brown (BLACK) Classic Torbie/White
Owner: Amy Holland
Breeder: Amy Holland

Best Kurilian Bobtail Alter Of The Year: NEMO SIGUR/WC

Best Kurilian Bobtail Alter Of The Year

Color: Brown (BLACK) Classic Tabby
Owner: Tatjana Sokolvskaja
Breeder: Rita Gindeliene

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