Karelian Bobtail

The Karelian Bobtail is a rare, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind feline breed native to the Republic of Karelia, which lies between Finland and Russia. It's also a naturally bobtailed breed, and it shouldn’t be confused with the Kurilian Bobtail.

Because the bobbed tail gene is recessive, both parents of Karelian Bobtail kittens must have a bobbed tail to pass this distinguishing feature to their kittens. Here's everything you need to know about the Karelian Bobtail breed.

Karelian Bobtail



Karelian Bobtail


10 - 15 lb

Karelian Bobtail



Karelian Bobtail

Life Expectancy:

15 - 18 years

Breed History

Karelian Bobtail is a Russian cat breed that originated in the Republic of Karelia, near the Finnish border. It appeared naturally at least 200 years ago on the Lake Ladoga islands and developed with little human intervention.

The breed is likely to have shared ancestors with the Norwegian Forest Cat, a Scandinavian breed with a natural origin. However, no DNA studies have been conducted yet to demonstrate this relationship. The Karelian Bobtail was adored by the people of their native region not only for his exceptional ability to hunt vermin. According to an ancient legend, owning a cat without a tail brought good fortune to its owners. Breeders from modern-day Saint Petersburg, members of the commission of the Kotofey KLK, a major Russian feline association, first became interested in the breed and accurately described it in the 1980s.

Karelian Bobtail

The first standard was created in 1987. The breeder had about 15 short-tailed cats, descendants of parents discovered on Lake Ladoga's north shore. The breed was first recognized in Russia in 1990 by the Sovetskaya Felinologicheskaya Federatsiya (SFF), a now-defunct Russian organization. The breed made its debut at a cat show in 1993. The cat show in question was a prestigious Eurasia Intercontinental Exhibition in Yekaterinburg. The first specimens were registered by the Kotofey KLK in 1994.

Cat Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Amount of Shedding
Social Needs
Affection Level
Kid Friendly
Pet Friendly
General Health


The body of the Karelian Bobtail is medium in size and not elongated or stocky. Its legs are also medium in size and very solid. Their hind legs are longer than the front legs.

A Karelian Bobtail's tail is bent, twisted, kinked, and usually short. Here are the remaining essential characteristics you should be aware of:


The fur can be long or short in length, and it is incredibly dense. It also has a well-developed and soft undercoat, with a glossy and firm top coat.

Coat color

All colors are acceptable except for tan, chocolate, fawn, lilac, and colorpoint. White, black, blue, and blue cream are the most frequently observed colors. The coat can be bicolor, tricolor, or brindle, and many cats have silver and gold reflections in it.


Females are typically lighter and smaller than males. Kittens, regardless of gender, take a long time to mature because they don't reach full physical maturity until they're 5 years old. These cats typically weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.

Karelian Bobtail


Like other bobtail breeds, the Karelian Bobtail makes an excellent family pet. These cats are extremely friendly and enjoy being around people and other pets, including other cats.

Karelian Bobtail cats are also adaptable and quiet, and they are well-known for their curiosity. They are generally laid-back and enjoy playing and spending time with their human companions.


The Karelian Bobtail is generally thought to be healthy, with no known genetic problems or diseases to which they are predisposed. Their average lifespan is 15 to 18 years, making them one of the breeds with the longest lifespans.

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World Cat Finder Team

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Updated at15.03.2022.