The Kurilian Bobtail is a natural breed that originated from the Kuril Islands, a remote volcanic chain of islands between Siberia and Japan; making these cats the ultimate survivor experts. This cat is highly valued by the islanders because of its incredible mousing skills. In fact, it has been claimed that the cat hunts in packs, and the strength and skills exhibited in such pack hunt could bring down a small bear. The cat is just as efficient when hunting alone.
The Kurilian Bobtail cat has been kept as a much treasured breed by the islanders for over 200 years. It was not until the 1900s that the cat started to become popular in Russia; it fact it has become one of the most popular breeds of cat in Russian for the last few decades. However, the Kurilian Bobtail is still considered rare in America. One of the main reasons is due to its low fertility rate as compared to other cat breeds; it typically produces only one litter a year. Moreover, existing in the Kuril Islands also means that it is not easily obtainable.
Nonetheless, it was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1994 and respectively by the World Cat Federation (WCF) as well as Federation Internationale Feline (FIFE) in the subsequent two years. It claimed its championship status under the TICA in 2014. The Kurilian is slowly but surely gaining popularity with its highly prized personality and exotic appearance.
Physical appearance and attributes
Kurilian Bobtail is considered a large cat with a wild look. Their average weight ranges between 8 to 15 pounds, with the females falling in the lower ranges. It has a compact body with good musculature and solid boning. The back shows a gentle curve from the shoulders to the rump, with the rump being slightly higher than the shoulders. This is due In part to a pair of longer hind legs as compared to its forelegs. The legs are medium in length, extending into well-rounded paws. They should be strong and sturdy to the touch. The distinctive feature of its body is its bobtail; each one is as unique as a fingerprint. The bobtail is not a defect, but a naturally expressed genetic trait. It can range from 2 – 10 vertebrates in length and can have one or more kinks. Facing any direction, the tail can be either flexible or rigid, and it can appear as a brush or a pom-pom.
Head of the Kurilian Bobtail is large and of a trapezium shape with rounded contours both in the frontal and profile view. The head is widest at the cheekbone level. Atop the head is a pair of medium sized ears that are wide at the base and rounded at the tips with lynx-like tufts extending from it. They are set at one-ear length’s apart. Viewed in profile, the nose appears long and straight with gentle dip between the eyes. The tip of the nose is in alignment with its firm chin, forming a well-developed and compact muzzle. Eyes of the Kurilian Bobtail are set wide apart. The upper lid is of an oval curve, coming together with a lower lid that is a rounded curve. Eye color can come in any varieties that complement the coat color.
This breed wears a short coat for the Shorthair variety and a semi-long one for the longhair variety. In either variety, the coat lies flat, has a little undercoat and is fine and silky to the touch. In the longhair variety, a ruff, toe tufts and britches are desirable. The coat can come in any colors or patterns; from reds to greys to bobcat stripes with the exceptions of chocolate, cinnamon, color-point, fawn and lilac. Kurilian Bobtail that carries silver highlight is absolutely stunning.
Personality and temperament
This breed is blessed with a well-balanced temperament that is not readily reflected in its wild appearance. It has a laid back personality that does not demand much for attention and that retains its independence. That being said, because of its sociable and active nature, it still needs care and affection from interactive play, cuddling and belly rubs. Its friendliness extends to little children and other family pets, often initiating play with those who are willing. The Kurilian Bobtail is also recognized for its high astuteness in mastering tricks. This is also evident in its manipulation of puzzle toys and in it finding its way around the house. This breed has also developed an intrinsic ability to hunt and even fish. Unlike most other cat breeds, the Kurilian Bobtail evidently has a liking for water.
Care and health issues
As a natural breed, the Kurilian Bobtail is a robust and healthy cat that can live 15 to 20 years. To ensure that the cat is not contracted with any common feline diseases, do obtain a written health guarantee from the qualified breeder when purchasing the cat.
While the cat may look wild, its coat is in fact soft and smooth to the touch. The coat will do well with a weekly brushing to help remove accumulated dead hair. As long as a cat-safe shampoo is used, bathing can be carried as needed. To prevent periodontal diseases, brush the teeth frequently with vet-approved toothpaste. Other areas of grooming concern included its nails and ears. Trim and clean them whenever necessary to maintain an overall good health and hearty growth.
The ideal family
This active breed is best suited for outdoor living, and this means a safe and enclosed garden that is escape-proof. This outdoor space will allow it to maximize its explorative and hunting skills as well as expand the inventory of games and interactive play.
Most breeders would insist that the cat should be kept indoors, and the curling can also be. However, it is important that the indoor environment is cat-friendly. Adventure space will need to be created and it needs to be provided with cat toys and cat gym sets for brain stimulation and for its energy to be expended well. The friendly Kurilian Bobtail makes great companions to members and pets of most types of household as long as responsible care and attention is given. The Kurilian Bobtail will reciprocate with its loyalty, trust and affection.