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September 4, 2018 |4 min read

Heard About The Kurilian Bobtail Cats?

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Kurilian bobtail cats come from a string of islands in the far east of Russia. Unlike other tailless cats, the Kurilian actually has a short but kinked tail. These playful cats love to hunt and play in the water. They are not very popular in North America and are present mainly in Russia and other parts of Europe.

Kurilian's History: Genetics or Spanning a Continent?

Kurilian bobtails have been on the Kurilian islands for at least 200 years. There is a disagreement as to how they got there, though. Some people believe that members of the Russian military originally brought the cats to the island. Others believe that the short bob tail is a genetic anomaly that developed due to isolation on the islands. Both of these theories could be true. The cats may be distantly related to the similar Japanese bobtail cat. It is a possibility since the country of Japan isn't far from the islands.

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Kurilian Bobtail Cat Personality Traits

Kurilian Bobtail Kitten
Kurilians are sturdy cats. They are quite muscular, supporting their hobbies of hunting and playing. They look somewhat wild, but are domestic due to their symbiotic relationship with Kurilian Island human residents. They became popular companions for those in need of some pest control.
While one Kurilian on its own can kill a mouse or other small animal, some local rumors suggest that Kurilians prefer to hunt in packs. When they do so, they can kill larger animals, even bears! Give your Kurilian lots of playful stimulation, and they will love you back. However, they do not do well in houses with small pets like hamsters or ferrets because those look more like snacks than friends to a Kurilian Bobtail.

Kurilian Cat Grooming & Common Health Problems

Kurilian Cats have two possible coat lengths. Both the short and semi-long varieties need little grooming. Just comb them once a week or so and they will be happy. They do not shed all that much. As with other cats, cleaning their ears, trimming their nails, caring for their teeth will go a long way.

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Kurilians are a hearty breed. They don't have many known health issues, but there is a lack of significant study of the breed. They are mainly popular as house cats in Russia and Europe, but there are less than 100 of the cats in the US! Because of this lack of study, there may be certain genetic health problems or tendencies that experts do not yet know about. 

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Lack of Popularity

Kurilians are rare in the US. One theory of why is that this breed has fewer litters than other breeds, meaning they aren't financially viable for some breeders. They only have one litter per year, whereas other breeds can have up to 5 each year. Breed enthusiasts hope to have more of these wonderfully lovable cats in the US in the near future. However, the challenge is that in order to register cats as official breed members, they must often have a recorded pedigree of a few generations, so it does take some time to build up popularity.
Kurilians are a loyal pet who will hunt for you. They are great with children and larger animals like dogs. They are smart cats who like to show their loyalty through obedience and playing. You can even train them to perform tricks or stop activities you do not appreciate. They make a great addition to any cat loving household.
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Christina Scamporrino is a lifelong animal lover and began working in the petcare space in 2019. Christina’s passion for the community of feline owners and enthusiasts have led her to designing premium packaging for PrettyLitter cat litter, PrettyPlease dry food, wet food, and treats, and a litter box designed to solve common litter box issues.

Outside of her professional work in the petcare space, Christina is a longtime kitten foster and has worked with several cat rescues throughout Southern California. When given the option, she favors orange cats, but loves all cats equally.