Kurilian Bobtail Cat Breed Guide

Excitable | Water-loving | Fisherman. The Kurilian bobtail cat is an intriguing breed of floof. With its origins nestled into the salty shores of a set of islands in far-eastern Russia, these cats throw cat tradition to the wind and actually enjoy playing in the water. And with a teeny-tiny tail that almost makes it look like a fluffy rabbit, this cat truly is a wonder of its own. So join us as we dive into the beguiling world of the Kurilian bobtail cat. 

Kurilian bobtail kittens


Average Lifespan: 15 - 20 years 

Average Weight: 3 - 7kg  

Coat Length: Short - Long

Colouring: All colours and combinations 

Shedding: Low


Like a lot of bobtail breeds, the Kurilian bobtail is not a man-made breed of cat. These guys are entirely the product of natural selection and are endemic to the Kuril Islands of far-eastern Russia. 

We don’t exactly know how these floofs ended up on these islands almost 200 years ago however it’s speculated that they arrived as second mates to sailors who appreciated the company of these floofs as well as their hunting skills, ridding the decks of nasty vermin. Other theories believe that they may be distantly related to the Japanese bobtail cat as the Kuril Islands aren’t too far from the northeast corner of Hokkaido island in Japan. 

Whatever their true ancestry is, they’ve remained popular in Russia due to their unique pom pom tail and hunting skills for the last two centuries. However, they remain extremely rare in the UK and US, lacking in favour of these countries’ own native bobtails. 


There are two varieties of the Kurilian bobtail, the short and long hair, however both have extremely thick and dense coats. Their coat can come in a variety of colours and combinations which paired with their broad chest gives them a wild and untamed appearance. Their tails are the most recognisable trait of these cats as they are short and fluffy resembling a pom pom. Each Kurilian’s tail is unique with no two being the same in shape and size.


Kurilian bobtails are exceptionally playful. They’re excellent hunters and are known to leave presents for their lucky hoomans from time to time. Island-dwellers at heart, Kurilian bobtails surprisingly enjoy the water, often pawing at a running tap or even putting their entire head under it for lols. Their coat is thick and waterproof which likely adds to the fun. Pair their love for water with their hunting prowess and you get an unfortunate new family member for your resident Nemo. Ensure to keep your Kurilian bobtail occupied throughout the day with plenty of games - think fish wand toys and cat food puzzles.


Kurilian bobtails are unfortunately very rare in the UK. They’re not currently recognised by the GCCF so there are no listed breeders within the United Kingdom. If you’re looking for a cat with a teeny-weeny tail, you can always look closer to home to the Cymric and Manx breeds.

Grey kurilian bobtail cat close up


As Kurilian bobtails are entirely natural cats they are exceptionally healthy and tend to live long into their nine lives. However just because they’re not predisposed to any health conditions doesn’t mean you can feed them fluff. Always read the label of the cat food that you’re picking up for your floof to determine whether it’s hitting all the marks on feline nutrition. 

This means it should be:

  • High in animal meat which is essential for carnivorous cats.
  • FEDIAF-approved and labelled as “complete”.
  • Include essential vitamins and minerals as well as approved levels of Taurine and Arginine.
  • As well as healthy levels of fats and small amounts of easily digestible carbs like rice.

Some brands (hint Scrumbles) even go the extra mile by adding gut-loving goodies like probiotics or prebiotics to improve gut health and digestibility, reduce tummy upsets and make for pretty poops at the kitty litter.

For all the details on how to read a cat food label like a pro, check out our Ultimate Guide To Cat Food.


Scrumbles Gut Friendly Cat Food hits all of these impawtent nutritional milestones and goes the extra mile in the way of gut health, taste and climate positivity. 

Scrumbles cat food

Here’s why:

    1. Our Recipes are Overflowing With Meat - Cats are obligate carnivores meaning they need a diet high in animal meat to maintain their general health. We load our recipes with up to a whopping 77% human-grade animal meat to keep Kurilian cats purring.
    2. Added Gut-Friendly Goodness - Glowing health starts from the gut. That’s why we use either prebiotics or probiotics in our recipes so that your Kurilian cat will glow from the inside out. We use natural ingredients and leave out unnecessary artificial additives or added salt or sugar which is unhealthy for cats and can lead to tummy upsets. 
    3. FEDIAF-Approved Recipes - All of our recipes are FEDIAF-approved. Our wet cat food and dry cat food recipes are also complete to provide your Kurilian cat with the 41 essential nutrients including Taurine and Arginine that they need to be healthy. This means these recipes can be fed to your floof daily with the confidence that they’re getting everything they need from their dinner bowl. 
    4. Climate Conscious - We’ve only got one planet and we should all be doing the best we can to keep it healthy too! That’s why we use eco-friendly packaging and are proud to be the second ever pet food brand to be B-Corp certified with a purrsonal commitment to reducing our carbon footprint on this Earth.
    5. Drool-worthy Recipes - Did we mention the over 4000 five-star reviews we have from satisfied British cats? Even the fussiest of furry princesses love our recipes, so why not give Scrumbles a go today?!

Whilst you're here, why not read:

  1. Siberian Cat Breed
  2. Ragdoll Cat Breed Guide
  3. 5 Cat Calming Tips to ease anxiety

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