The indisputable native breed of cats that perfectly adapts to life in the apartment and in the wild forests is the Karelian Bobtail. Kind, versatile, hardy, charming and even recognized cats with a pom-pom tail are on the verge of extinction. The number of breeds is catastrophically rapidly declining and without the active work of breeders, the Karelian bobtail can only become history.
Lake Ladoga, located in the Republic of Karelia, is one of the largest inland freshwater reservoirs in the world. Water suitable for drinking became a source of life for animals and people who had no idea about the benefits of the civilized world. Along the coastal line and on the islands of Lake Ladoga, a habitable zone was formed and the ancestors of the Karelian bobtail, living next to people, multiplied absolutely spontaneously.
The first recorded species of short-tailed cats is Japanese bobtail, which lost their tails due to prolonged violent exposure. The Japanese believed that long-tailed cats bring misfortune and simply deprived animals of a "source of evil." After the “natural” mutation that led to the curvature of the spinal column, the bobtail became a happy talisman, and not only in Japan.
In the case of the Karelian bobtail¸, it is believed that shortening the tail is also a natural mutation, however, which has nothing to do with violence. Presumably, the animals shortened their tails to increase the chances of survival in fights with larger predators. It is also suggested that the blood of a Norwegian cat is present in the "pedigree" of the Karelian bobtail.
It is interesting! During research work, scientists have repeatedly confirmed the fact that most wild cats gave birth to ordinary babies, but bit off the tails of kittens during the day. It is believed that the instinctive deliverance of babies from the "weak spot" over time led to a natural mutation and the animals became short-tailed.
The "debut" of Karelian bobtail in the "big world" took place in 1987, animals were shown at an exhibition in Leningrad. However, the breed did not cause an “explosion of emotions” of the public or the interest of experts. Under the “guardianship” of Lilia, the Noble breed received a preliminary standard and prospects for active breeding. Despite the efforts of fans of the breed, WCF (World Cat Federation) recognized the Karelian Bobtail only in 1994. It is doubly disappointing that the short-tailed beauties did not interest even Russian breeders, the Karelian Bobtail is considered an exclusive guest at exhibitions, and the number of registered animals varies within a few dozen.
It is believed that the main population of Karelian bobtail continues to live in its "historical homeland." Hypothetically, the breed population can be restored, however, there are no active plans for the implementation of resuscitation measures. It is worth noting that on the territory of Russia all types of bobtail are scarce, except for the Kuril. However, Japanese, American and Thai tailless cats are popularized in Europe and the USA, and Karelian bobtail has to wait in the wings and “mercy” of Russian breeders.
Despite the fact that the pompom tail is a dominant trait and the result of a natural mutation of genes, experts consider the Karelian and Kurilian Bobtail to be fundamentally different cats. Indeed, if you carefully examine the standard of the Karelian breed, there are many signs of difference from the Kuril Bobtail. For example, animals have a different head shape, posture, back bend, the intensity of tail fractures, physiological and behavioral data, but the most obvious sign is the difference in size, Karelian bobtail is half the size of the Kuril bobtail.
A cat of the Karelian Bobtail breed is a pet with average dimensions, good indicators of physical health and endurance, excellent character and a chic "stuffed fur coat". The weight of an adult pet ranges from 2.5 to 6 kilograms, while cats are larger than cats. The average dimensions are explained by the close relationship with cats living in natural conditions, the smaller the animal, the greater the chance of a "well-fed" life.
Karelian bobtail differ in proportional physique, the body is strong, but not squat, wide or elongated. If you look at the photo of Karela in the exhibition stand, you can clearly see the straight back and rectangular, almost square, body shape. The legs are medium, muscular, approximately equal in length to the height of the body. Brushes are round, fingers are large. The gait of the Karelian Bobtail is similar to a lynx - swaying, the movement of the shoulder blades is clearly expressed, this is due to the fact that the front legs are slightly shorter than the hind legs. Karel has both a broken tail and a straight, but short tail. The maximum length of the tail in a straightened state is 13 centimeters, the minimum is 4.
The faceted triangular shape of the head of the Karelian bobtail is similar to the alleged ancestor - the Norwegian wild cat. According to the standard, the forehead, high cheekbones and cheeks should be flat, only the pillows are clearly visible on the muzzle. The transition from nose to forehead is completely flat. The chin is strong, but not heavy, the bite is correct. The ears are large, mobile, set high, wide and even. The auricle is open. The outer line of the ear continues the triangular shape of the head. The eyes are oval, expressive, set close to the nose.
Eye color is in harmony with the main palette of wool, all shades of yellow and green are recognized as standards. The color palette of wool is quite diverse, however, any shades and combinations of the following types are unrecognized colors:
- Of chocolate.
- Faun and cinnamon, including the presence in the drawings.
- Collor point in any variations.
The more common colors include "camouflage" patterns, and plain "fill", large spots and bright colors are considered rarer and more valuable. By type of coat, Karel is divided into:
- Shorthair - the outer hair is very thick, hard, shiny. The cushions are developed, soft.
- Medium-haired - longer outer hair with a soft down. Upon reaching 2-3 years of age, the animals fully develop the adorning hair of the collar, riding breeches and trot brushes. By the way, medium-sized Karelians are more popular and enjoy the greater favor of exhibition judges.
Note! Regardless of the type of the main cover, the hair on the tail is noticeably long, which creates the visual effect of the “pompom”.
Character and education
Karelian bobtail is friendly and responsive, quickly joining a new family and trying to occupy their "niche in society." Pets prefer to take on household chores, for example, bypass the perimeter after a night's sleep or protect the child. The peculiarity of the breed is the ability to defiantly be offended, they shouted at the animal just like that, get an upset muzzle and a drooping look.
Karela understands other people's emotions well, noticing the general tension in the house, the animal becomes meek, many owners say that the ward can try to “defuse the situation” by doing something atypical. The universal nature of the pet is focused on all living things. Karelian bobtail get along well with strangers, all family members, children, cats and dogs.
Note! Experts and breeders of Karelian bobtail say that males do not mark the territory.
Cats tolerate trips, travels, change of scenery, walks and noisy events. Karela perfectly adapts to the apartment and the house with a personal plot, is a playful pet and an ardent hunter. It tolerates temperature extremes, and frosty weather is not a hindrance for walking.
Maintenance and care
The proximity to wildlife is much more noticeable when it comes to animal sleep. Wild cats prefer to sleep 60-80% of the time of day and if Karelana is disturbed, he will do the same. The first thing you need to get a future owner - a cozy, soft and warm sunbed.
Hair care is quite simple - combing the remaining hair 1 time per week and daily combing out the fluff during seasonal molting. To care for the short-haired bobtail, a massage glove is suitable, a long-haired pet is combed with a metal brush with rare teeth. To maintain overall health, weekly examinations and hygiene procedures for the eyes and ears are mandatory. Pets that walk freely on the street must be inspected daily. Provided proper nutrition and timely care, Karelians have no problems with their teeth.
Nutrition is the main point of care. The diet of the Karelian Bobtail should be rich in protein and balanced. Preferred feeding is natural food, 50% of which is lean meat. Dry industrial feeds of super-premium quality are a worthy substitute for the "morning soup", however, do not forget that Karela is a hunter and if she is caught, she will be eaten.
Important! Medium-sized Karelians are recommended to feed the paste to absorb the wool that has got into the stomach.
The naturally formed breed has not yet gone through the winding path of selection "screening", so health problems are a convention. Observe the temperature regime after bathing, carry out preventive vaccination and measures to get rid of parasites, do not forget about the "standard" visit to the veterinary clinic and do not touch your pet about health problems.