Thursday, 2 May 2013

The A-Z of Cats The Kurilian Bobtail

Pedigrees of the World - The Kurilian Bobtail

I have written about so many different breeds and have my own favourites (although the simple moggy comes high on the list for me), I have to admit to being fascinated by the Kurilian Bobtail and would love to own one in the future.  Still a rather unusual breed, the Kurilian Bobtail comes from a chain of volcanic islands known as the Kuril islands between the easternmost tip of Russia and Japan‘s Hokkaido Island. These islands are largely uninhabited and it is believed these cats existed on the Kuril Islands for hundreds of years in isolation as wild animals. The cat was discovered sometime between the early 1950’s & the late 1970’s.  Russian hunters and geologists first brought these cats to the main land in the early 1950’s but they were only recognized as a breed in the late 1980’s. Many people were charmed by the bright personality and incredible loyalty of these cats.  For many years Kurilian bobtails were considered the same breed as Japanese bobtails.  However,  thanks to the real enthusiasts of this breed, Kurilian Bobtails are now recognized as an independent and very popular breed.  Breeding stock taken from the Kuril Islands are the base for today’s catteries. After multiple generations of offspring, the “wild type” look of the Kurilian Bobtail has remained intact. The first breeders to establish a standard for the Kurilian Bobtail were Li Lialovanova & Tatyana Bocharova.
In its natural, wild habitat, this cat is known to be both an excellent fisher and small game hunter. It is said to be no problem for this cat to catch a 5 kg fish or a hare in the wild.  Although it looks wild, this is not reflected in the temperament of the breed.  In a domestic environment, the Kurilian Bobtail makes swift work of house flies & mice, enjoying the game thoroughly.  Due to its relative isolation for so long, the Kurilian Bobtail shows excellent health & no harmful consequences of the bobtail gene like those seen in the Manx and other bobtail breed cats.  The main feature of the Kurilian Bobtail is a tail. It can be bob, pom-pom, spring or rabbit’s puff tail but they are always different. 

The Kurilian, although wild looking, is renowned for being both a clever and gentle creature. It has a great love for both human company and other species of pets, and it is perfectly happy living in an apartment in the city. In fact, the breed is smallish in the wild but it has developed considerably in size through being domesticated. The Kurilian's skill as a “fisherman” may explain why the Kuril is an excellent swimmer who loves nothing better than to play in a bath with a dripping tap! In fact, many Kurilians would probably like to join their owners in the bath, if allowed.
There are many breeds that are said to be doglike and the Kurilian Bobtail is outstanding in its accepting and gregarious nature. They will run to the door to greet their owner coming home and will also be friendly with family or strangers who visit the home. They easily adapt to changes in their environment and seem to have an incredible trust of humans and are quite easy to train to respond to voice commands. Whilst they enjoy human company, they also enjoy long periods of quiet companionship.  They may not be a lap cat but the breed loves to lay at the feet of their owner.
Unlike other breeds, the father of a litter spends as much time tending to the kittens as their mother does.  The Kurilian Bobtail is almost exclusively bred in Russia but breeders are appearing in the USA.

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