About Kurilean Bobtails


Kurilean Bobtail is a natural breed that originates from the Kuril island situated between Russia and Japan. No one can say exactly when this breed first appeared there… there are numerous legends and incredible tales about the Kurilean Bobtails. They are compared to wild bobcats and linked with Siberian cats and Japanese bobtails.


The name “Kurilean Bobtail” comes from the original habitat of the breed –the Kuril Island and the shape of the tail, that is also gently called the “pom-pom-tail”. Every Kurilean Bobtail has a unique tail. One cannot find two identical tails. A tail that is typical to the breed consists of several arches and angles and is 3-8 cm long.


Kurilean Bobtail is a medium to large sized, muscular cat with a strong boning, powerful legs and round paws. Kurilean Bobtails’ long hind legs enable them to make very high leaps effortlessly. Males weight 5-7 kg and females somewhat less, 3-8 kg.


Kurilean Bobtails are divided into short haired (KBS –Kurilean Bobtail Shorthair) and long haired (KBL –Kurilean Bobtail Longhaired) cats. The fur of a Kurilean Bobtail is soft and fine and does not form knots. KBL has a medium-length coat with strong topcoat and some amount of undercoat. KBS has a short coat with well developed top coating, strong top hair and some amount of undercoat. Kurilean Bobtails are said to cause fewer allergies than other breeds.


The character of Kurilean Bobtails deserves to be mentioned. They are very social cats and, in addition to normal cat-like behavior, posses many dog-like qualities. Kurilean Bobtails choose one master from among the members of the family and follow that person everywhere. Some Kurilean Bobtails are told to have learned to play fetch.


Despite of the fact that Kurilean Bobtails have inhabited the Kuril Island for a long time, the breed was first noted in the 80’s. Interest towards cats as a free time hobby began to develop in Russia and the first standard for Kurilean Bobtails began to form.


After a hard work of cat enthusiasts, the first standard for Kurilean Bobtails was accepted in Russias’ pedigree cats organisation in 1991 and after four years it was used also by WCF (World Cat Federation). After that the interest towards Kurilean Bobtails began to increase both in Russia and abroad. The recognition of Kurilean Bobtail as a new Russian cat breed by FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline) took place in year 2003 and after that it was introduced also at TIKA.


Our cattery name is registered at FIFe and the breed is introduced on our web pages according to the standards of FIFe.

Main Forms Of The Tail


WHISK –form


This form of tail consists of 5-15 vertebrae. The length usually runs up to 5-13 cm or 2/3 of normal tail length. The vertebrae curve at obtuse angle. They may keep partial flexibility in some junctions of the tail. The vertebrae may form one or two strongly pronounced kinks. Such type of “whisk” will look like zigzag. The tail of semi-longhairs is usually bushy and proportionates to the body. But the same tail of shorthairs may look somewhat absurdly.


The standard currently in force allows this form of tails. But a judge must record that the length exceeds 5 cm and the tail does not harmonize with the body.



SNAG –form


This form of tail mostly consists of 2-8 vertebrae, strongly deformed as if they stick between them. The vertebrae joint rigidly. The kinks are felt like knobs. The short-cut “snag” usually consists of 2-3 still and rigid vertebrae. The presence of a skin pouch on such a tail may testify that the laying of vertebrae was meant for bigger length. But for some reason, the vertebrae resorbed or simply deformed in the process of embryogeny. The vertebrae of such a tail may coil up, but it is impossible to determine the direction of cockling due to very close fitting. Sometimes, such a “snag” ends with 1-2 vertebrae, thin enough and pointed aside. As is often the case, the vertebrae of so-called “snag with outgrowth” keep partial flexibility.


It is difficult to count the exact number of vertebrae as, very often, only the outgrowth can be felt. So the expert may indicate by mistake on the result sheet that the tail consists of 1 vertebra only. The situation can be clarified when finding the tail base or having roentgenogram. In all cases, the expert must be very experienced.



SPIRAL –form


This type of tail is the most beautiful and preferable. This tail consists of 5-10 vertebrae deformed in the manner that they form sharp angles in their junctions. These sharp angles permit the tail to coil up. The “spiral” may look like a halfbagel or fishhook.


The vertebrae junctions can be articulated or semi-rigid. It can also represent the combination of articulated and rigid sections. In this case the cat is able to wag with one or several sections of its tail. Such tails may be long enough if the vertebrae are not so deformed. At the same time, semi-longhairs camouflage the tail length with hair. The shorthairs having spiral tail look very amusingly, if the tail size is in good proportion to the body.


The knitting of the spiral or fishhook-shaped tail base with or their close laying along sacrum is also possible. Then, it is difficult to measure real length of the tail. It is true especially for short spiral tail.





This form of tail commences as normal one. In other words it is straight and free from defects for the space of 5-7 vertebrae, but it ends with a hook consisting of some other deformed vertebrae of different degree of articulation. At bottom of fact, the hook represents a spiral or a zigzag. The alternation of curved and straight sections makes odd combinations. It is especially typical for the first descendants of female cats with normal tail