Cat Breeds 101: Kurilian Bobtail – Image To Repin / Share
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The Kurilian Bobtail is a cat breed originating from the Kuril Islands. These cats can be short or long haired and have a semi-cobby body type with a distinct short, fluffy tail. Their back is slightly arched with hind legs longer than the front similar to those of the Manx. The breed is also called the Kuril Islands Bobtail, Kuril Bobtail and Curilsk Bobtail. 
The Kurilian Bobtail is a natural breed of cat tracing its origins to the Russian Island of Sakhalin and to the Kuril Islands, an archipelago of approximately 56 volcanic islands stretching 700 miles between the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka and the Japanese island Hokkaido. It is documented in Russia that cats with short tails have been on the islands for at least 200 years and were brought to central Russia in the middle of the 20th century.
Due to their natural instinct for hunting, they became popular as a domesticated feline for their mousing abilities. These cats are popular in Europe because of the laid back temperament but they are still quite unknown in North America, with less than 100 of the breed in the United States. 
It is still unclear how the cats arrived in the U.S., but the breed was officially recognized by The International Cat Association in 1994 and was awarded championship status in 2012. The World Cat Federation recognized the breed in 1995 and the Federation Internationale Feline followed suit just a few months after. 
A Kurilian Bobtail is independent, loving, friendly and trusting. They are intelligent cats that make excellent hunters, enjoy climbing and athletic exercises. They like to play with water and may actually swim in ponds out of choice. They are considered to be “dog-like”, being versatile, adaptable and easy going.
Generally, the Kurilian Bobtail is a healthy cat breed that has not been subjected to the negative effects of selective breeding or too much human intervention. The average lifespan of a Kurilian Bobtail is 15 years.