Domestic Cat That Hunts in Packs!

Yes, the words of the title is what is claimed or rumoured (or made up) in the Animal Planet Cats 101 Video about the Kurilian Bobtail. This is a video that is full of outlandish remarks, all designed to spice up the video but which in my opinion only serves to undermine it and the credibility of the internet.

One of the presenters in the video says words to the effect that it is ‘claimed’ that the Kurilian Bobtail cat hunts in packs and that it is ‘rumoured’ that a pack of these domestic cats can bring down a small bear! Come on guys please keep it at least half real.

Perhaps there is some sort of myth going around some remote corner of Russia that this cat does these sorts of things. But it has to be all fiction.

The general gist of the video is that the Kurilian Bobtail is the world’s best domestic cat hunter. In fact it must be a super hunter from another planet not Russia because not only can this largish domestic cat with a short tail take down a bear it can catch a 12 pound salmon. I suppose it catches the salmon between its teeth as it flies through the air swimming upstream. Just like bears do…come to think about it. Maybe the video’s script writers had a brainstorming session and got stuck on bears..

The presenters of this wild and desperate Animal Planet Cats 101 video also claim that the Kurilian Bobtail:

  1. has one litter per year rather than the usual four or five;
  2. the male cat looks after the offspring in equal measure to the female;
  3. has incredible mousing skills.

Number 1 appears to be incorrect too. Wild Cats Of The World, a reliable reference book, says that “In most areas domestic cats commonly have two litters per year.” So if it is true that the Kurilian Bobtail has one litter per year – and I don’t believe it is true – it is not exceptional.

As to 2 and 3 there is nothing to support these claims. The Kurilian Bobtail is a regular domestic cat that originates in Russia. Almost every area on the planet has their own short tailed cat: Japan (Japanese Bobtail), Great Britain (Manx) and Asia (Mekong Bobtail). Short tailed cats are seen throughout the world caused by a genetic mutation. Another presenter says the short tail of the Kurilian Bobtail is not a ‘defect’. Well yes and no. It is a defect in that a cat’s tail has a function; to help the cat keep balance so in that case it is a defect if it is missing. It is though a minor defect. I think what the presenter is saying is that there are no accompanying health issues associated with this shortened tail. That appears to be true but a shortened tail is still a defect.

At the end of the video they make the classic bland statement that this cat breed gets on well with other pets and children. In other words this breed as a whole is good with pets and kids. This is a misleading statement because all cats including all cats of all cat breeds will get on well with other pets and kids if the individual cat is socialized to animals and kids.

OK, why I have I written this post? The reason is not to malign and criticize a competitor. It is to criticize the froth and untruths that are frequently peddled on sites and web pages that are made popular by Google finding them and ranking them highly. This damages the reliability of the internet, which still has a dubious reputation after all these years.

The trouble is that Google cannot read text and see pictures. Google, the search engine, cannot gauge quality directly. It can only do it indirectly by measuring the length of time a person is visiting the page in question. This is a crude way to measure quality.

People who present information on the internet have an increasing responsibility to disseminate accurate information as young people are more dependent on the internet for education nowadays.

Click on this link to see my page on the Kurilian Bobtail. Click on this page to see the offending Cats 101 video.

Perhaps the best page on PoC on this rare cat breed is this one showing Russian bred cats. One last point: I get things wrong sometimes but I try and get it right. That is not the case with this video.

Black and white Kurilian Bobtail cat - Russian bred. Name: Kitty Shel Asterix

Black and white Kurilian Bobtail cat – Russian bred. Name: Kitty Shel Asterix

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Domestic Cat That Hunts in Packs! — 1 Comment

  1. Good article, Michael! I got a chuckle out of it, plus it contains some interesting, factual and accurate information. I like how you draw in larger points like the validity of information on the Internet and people’s perception of the value of it.

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