And this is a cat?

Cat has four lags and a long beautiful tail: But what if instead of long tail there is cute pompon? This small detail of cat body is the business card of bobtails' cats. We are glad to introduce aboriginal cat's (the one which was breed by mother nature itself) of bobtail breed from Kuril Islands- Kuril Bobtail.

This is a natural breed, which existed in isolation for a long period (at least 100-150 years) on a chain of islands collectively known as the Kurils, which are between Russia and Japan.

About Breed Kuril Bobtail by Svetlana Ponomareva

What follows is an overview. About the Kurilian Bobtail I can speak with some authority. For me it is a favourite breed, on a level with my love for only the American Curl and maine-coon.

Genetics and Breeding

This is a natural breed, which existed in isolation for a long period (at least 100-150 years) on a chain of islands collectively known as the Kurils, which belong to Russia and Japan. In Russia there are several documents referring to cats with a short tail, which were brought home from the islands by the members of the military or scientists in the middle of the 20th century. The character of these cats made them very popular even without being promoted as apedigreed cat. Many people brought these cats home from the islands, but historically in Russia there were no cat clubs and therefore no breed standards to guide those who raised them.

At the first cat fancy exhibitions of the Kurilian Bobtail (1990) many foreign experts were concerned that these Russian cats with a short tail were just a Japanese Bobtail of a heavier type. Even today, it cannot be said that the Kurilian Bobtail and the Japanese Bobtail have an entirely different genetics. In fact, it is probablethat the Kurilian bobtail was the original source of mutation for the short tail in the Japanese. Yet, the difference is that the Japanese Bobtail is a created breed with a similar tail. Russia has not enough Japanese Bobtail for the realization of research into a comparison of the genetic makeup of these breeds. However, the Kurilian are cats of the wild type with a wild origin. Russian Breeders have kept this distinction in the Kurilian, while the Americans have created the elegant Japanese Bobtail.

In contrast, the genetics of the Manx is entirely different from the genetics of the Kurilian. The bobtailed gene has absolutely no harmful consequences such as the Manx gene does and it has allowed these cats to exist in their natural environment and interbreed without intervention from man for centuries.

The Karelian Bobtail (though the name is similar) is also a separate mutation from either the Manx or the Kurilian. The Karelian Bobtail originated in the region of St. Petersburg, in the western regions of Russia. It has a recessive tail gene while the Kurilian Bobtail gene is dominant. In addition, if compared to other breeds, the features of the Karelian are more like the Norwegian Forest Cat while the Kurilian is closer in appearance to the Siberian population from the Far East.

As I already said, the mutation for the short tail of the Kurilian Bobtail has no accompanying illnesses that have come about to date. It is pleasant and dominant with an incomplete display. To further explain, when bred to the common domestic cat one (with a normal length of tail) all kittens will have the short or kinked tail. Length of the tail varies from very short up to almost normal length with several turns and fusing of the joints. The short tail is not generated by one gene and is very complex, butthe length of a tail is stable in breeding. For Kurilian Bobtail there is no outcrossing to other breeds, only Kurilian SH to Kurilian LH is permitted. The existing population on the Kuril Islands is numerous enough to support the development of the breed without out-crossing as it is always possible to bring a new animal intoa breeding program.


About the short tail of Kurilian bobtails we can speak hours. With what to start? Lets start with name 'BobTail'. What we mean by it? Usually bobtail in the cat's world means 'tail in the form of bean' that is having form of ball or drop. But it would be more accurate to define 'bobtail' as a shorten, spiral formed tail. There are no two identical tales. Bobtail tale can be compare to the human finger prints.

Appearance and character

The appearance is described in the standard. From my experience Kurilian Bobtail are strong cats, with a wild appearance, large and brawny. They have excellent health and a very well-balanced character. They love to be caressed and are very gentle. In the wild this cat runs in packs, similar to the wolves. It is also highly intelligent. I have many animals, which have arrived from the wild environment. Their character has no distinctions to set them apart fromthose raised in my cattery and domesticated for 3-4generations! When my kittens were shipped to Canada and America they had no extremes of nerves and shock (though it is a 2-day trip). For them it there was a pleasant game. Sharon Berg has bred the Pixie-Bob, but asserts that while these two bobtail breeds are both very sociable and gentle the Kurilians are far more adaptable and trusting in their nature.

© Svetlana Ponomareva, Ā«RussicatsĀ»