Felis silvestris - Kurilian Bobtail

Family : Felidae


Text © Dr Didier Hallépée




English translation by Mario Beltramini



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The Kurilian Bobtail is race native to Kuril Islands © Giuseppe Mazza


The Kuril Islands Bobtail, or Kurilian Bobtail, is a cat characterized by the very short tail forming a pom-pom, native to the Kuril Islands, an archipelago placed between the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia and the north of the Hokkaido Island in Japan.

The rigid and humid climate of these islands explains the thickness of the coat, and it is not matter of a race created by the man, as it originates from a spontaneous genetic mutation.

Several types of tail do exist:

Snag: from 2 to 8 vertebrae highly deformed and joined to each other. The tail is often straight or slightly bent downwards.

Spiral: from 5 to 10 vertebrae forming a spiral or a hook. This is the most sought for type of tail.

Whip: from 5 to 10 vertebrae, carried straight and measuring about 2/3 of the length of a normal tail.

Delayed: from 5 to 7 vertebrae starting normally (straight) and then ending in a hook. This type of tail is considered as a flaw.

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Their short-cut tail comes from genetic mutation © Giuseppe Mazza

With short or long hair, it is found in a quite vast range of colours.


The Kurilian Bobtails are described as curious, sociable and much intelligent cats.

They easily adapt to the domestic life, even if they conserve certain independence.


Seen from the front, the muzzle is shaped like a trapeze, wide at the level of the cheekbones, high and prominent.

Seen from the side, the line of the front is prolonged by a slight concave slope reaching the nose, wide and straight.

Mighty and marked, the muzzle is strong. The chin is firm.

Almost round, the eyes are big and placed slightly slant.

All colours are accepted irrelevant to the colour of the coat.

Of medium size, the ears are spaced each other.

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All colours are admitted. In the upper photos a Red, here a Black and White © Giuseppe Mazza

The robust neckline is relatively short. Of format semi-cobby, the body is compact and powerful. From the blades to the croup, the line of the back is arched.

Of medium length, the paws have robust structure and powerful musculature. The feet are round.

Long from 3 to 8 cm, coat excluded, the tail is composed by several kinks or irregular nodes.

Kurilian Bobtail short hair: short fur and close to the body, with important guard hair and developed under-hair.

Kurilian Bobtail long hair: fur of medium length, with important guard hair and developed under-hair.

Authorized crossings: Kurilian Bobtail short hair x Kurilian Bobtail short hair; Kurilian Bobtail short hair x Kurilian Bobtail long hair; Kurilian Bobtail long hair x Kurilian Bobtail long hair.

Colours: All colours.


→ For general information about FELIDAE please click here.

→ To appreciate the biodiversity within breeds of cats, please click here.


The photographic file of Giuseppe Mazza

Photomazza : 70.000 colour pictures of animals and plants