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Karelian Bobtail
Karelian Bobtail
A Karelian Bobtail male.


Common Nicknames

Karelia Island Bobtail

Cat (Felis catus)
List of Cat Breeds

The Karelian Bobtail is a breed of cat that originated in the Lake Ladoga region of the Republic of Karelia, Russia.


The breed was first recognized by the World Cat Federation in 1994. And it ppeared on Finnish parts of Lake Ladoga 200 years before, along, it was highly appreciated by the inhabitants of their native region for their great abilities to hunt vermin.

This morphological peculiarity is the result of a genetic mutation that occurred naturally in cats that live on the islands of Lake Ladoga.. It is transmitted spontaneously from generation to generation and is different from Kurilian Bobtail. In the Kurilian Bobtail, the gene is dominant: it is only necessary that one of the two parents transmit it for the kittens to be carriers. On the other hand, in the Karelian it is a recessive gene, which means that both parents must have a short tail for the kitten to inherit this characteristic. It was in the years 80 when felinologists from present-day Saint Petersburg, members of the commission of the Kotofey KLK, a major Russian feline association, first became interested in the breed in detail and accurately described it.

The first standard was drawn up by them in 1987, based on the breeder's cats Liliya Dvoryaninovich. The breed was first recognized in Russia in 1990 by the Sovetskaya Felinologicheskaya Federatsiya (SFF), a Russian organization that no longer exists. He made his first appearance at a feline show at 1993, specifically at the Eurasia Intercontinental Exhibition, in Yekaterinburg. The Kotofey KLK registered the first representatives in 1994. However, not much has changed since then in terms of breed recognition, which is still limited to its country of origin. For example, nor international organizations such as the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé) o The International Cat Association (TICA), nor national structures like the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), el British Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), el Official Book of Feline Origins (LOOF) inglés o the Canadian Cat Association (CCA) they recognize the breed. Even in Russia, their number is very small. Various attempts have been made by enthusiasts to develop the breed and increase its numbers., but so far they have not been successful. The most important program was developed by the Kotofey KLK in 2012, but it quickly reached its limits as the organization does not allow any crossbreeding with other breeds. Thus, it is difficult to create a sufficient population to guarantee a bright future for the Karelian. Even if you go into the wild to find animals in your home region, is not enough. However, it must be taken into account that a large part of the population of the breed - in fact, the majority- live in nature and, Therefore, is not included in the statistics.


Karelian Bobtails can be either short-haired or long-haired. The tail varies from 4 to 13 cm in length, and has longer hair than that of the body. Unlike similar breeds such as the Kurilian Bobtail, the bobbed tail is recessive. All colours except cinnamon, chocolate, fawn and lilac are acceptable; all patterns are acceptable also except for colorpointing. The Karelian Bobtail has a soft undercoat and a glossy and thick top coat.