I did a list of 20 rare dog breeds, so why not make a list of 20 rare cat breeds? Not many people know about cat breeds, so I thought I would put together this list of cool cats from around the world to teach you a few things about cats. There are about 73 cat breeds worldwide, which isn’t nearly as many as dogs have, but people are getting more enthralled with cats, so more should emerge soon. I mean, there are so many cat people these days, so it was bound to happen sometime.
Here are 20 cat breeds from around the world!
1. American Curl
Origin: United States
The American Curl is new breed. The breed got it's start after a couple in California found a beautiful black cat on their doorstep with curled-back ears. They adopted the cat, registered it, and thus began the breed. Their cartilage isn't soft and pliable like normal cats, and is more similar to that of cartilage of human ears.
2. Scottish Fold
All Scottish Fold kittens are all born with straight ears. If their ears fold at all, it happens when they are about three or four weeks old. Scottish Folds who have straight ears are, rather obviously, known as "Straights." Additionally, this breed has both shorthair and longhair varieties. They are quiet, and they make small noises when they do make sounds.
3. Egyptian Mau
They are one of the oldest cat breeds. They were highly regarded in ancient society, as can be seen by records. They were worshiped as gods and were mummified with their owners when they died. "Mau" is Egyptian for "cat." They are the only breed to be naturally spotted, and are thought to be descendants of the African Wild Cat. They are also the fastest cat breed, clocking in at 30 mph (48 kph)!
4. Cornish Rex
Origin: United Kingdom
This breed got it's start in Cornwall, England in the 1950's when a curly-coated kitten was born to a litter of normal haired kittens, which was the result of a natural mutation. , Ennismore, the owner of the female who gave birth to the kitten, wanted to make more of them. He crossed the curly-coated cat with shorthairs to produce the Cornish Rex. This breed is friendly, following their owners around like dogs. They are even known to enjoy water, and enjoy swimming!
The Sphynx was accidental. It was the result of a natural genetic mutation that brought along a hairless kitten to a Canadian cat. The little kitten was nicknamed Prune, and his owner was on breeding him. He and his hairless offspring were crossed with furred cats to bring out the hairless gene. The hairless gene is recessive, so while some offspring had fur, some did not. They were originally called the Canadian Hairless Cats, which was changed to Shpynx as a reference to the massive Egyptian sand sculpture, the Sphinx. These cats are highly sociable, and draw attention wherever they go due to their unique appearance. They absolutely love people! Keep in mind, they may need sun lotion if they do go out in the sun, as their skin can be fragile.
6. Norwegian Forest Cat
The Wegie figure in Norse legend. They are mentioned among Norse gods, and legend says that they were giant cats that pulled chariots. That’s not even far from the truth. These cats are huge, and can be up to 20 pounds, which is huge for a cat. But hey, these cats are supposed to be warriors, so that isn’t so bad after all. Today, you can find these fluffballs in barns hunting and catching mice, or all the way up a tree. These cats are definitely true modern day warriors.
The Singapura is the chihuahua of the cat world, on average only reaching up to 8 to 12 pounds. The breed was developed in the 1970s when Singaporean cat fanciers adopted cats from shelters and bred them to get the small size. Today, they are known as the national cat of Singapore. Despite the small size, these cats are very mischievous and are known for knocking over water glasses and pouncing on keyboards.
From Russia with love, they are a well known figure in legends for 1,000 years or more. They were prized for their mousing skills and were held with high regards in Russian culture. One thing about the Siberian, is that they age very, very slowly, and do not reach full maturity until 5 years of age. Some neutered male Siberians weigh 25 pounds at full maturity!
9. Turkish Angora
They are considered to be one of the oldest cat breeds, and there are records saying that they originated in the 15th century from the Turkish city of Ankara, which was originally known as Angora. No doubt that they are one of the most popular cat breeds, sporting a luxurious white coat, and beautiful eyes. However, those beautiful eyes come with a price, as 60%-80% of cats sorting at least one blue eye have the chance of inheriting deafness.
That’s okay though, because the Angora is considered one of the most affectionate breeds of cat, and will repay you with love when you care for them properly.
10. Japanese Bobtail
They were originally kept as mousers in silkworm barns, and therefore are considered lucky in Japanese culture. They are said to ensure prosperity and happiness. The luckiest of all bobtails is the Mi-Ke, or tricolored bobtail cat, most likely because the majority of calicos are female, and they produce the most beautiful of bobtails. The Japanese statue of a cat with its paw upraised is called a Maneki Neko or beckoning cat, and is an artistic interpretation of the Bobtail. These statues are commonly found in Japanese shops where they are thought to attract good people. Hello Kitty draws inspiration from this ancient breed.
Looks familiar? It is not a Russian Blue, and no, it’s not the French wine. Legend has it the Chartreux lived with the Carthusian monks of France in the order's head monastery, the Grande Chartreuse. In fact, there are also claims the cats and monks shared sips of the liqueur, Chartreuse, which manufactured at the monastery. Of course, many believe this is where the breed got its name. Another theory suggests the cats were found in the mountains of Syria and brought back to France by crusaders during the 13th century. Either way though, this is a cat held with high regards. These cats are very doglike, and will play fetch, follow you around, and, unlike most cats, will come when they are called!
Again, another cat that is not the Russian Blue. The Korat was discovered in Ampur Pimai of the Korat province in Thailand. The earliest known record of the Korat appears in The Cat-Book of Poems or Smud Khoi of Cats, produced some time during the Ayudhya Period of Siamese History (1350-1767). This book presents the seventeen “good luck” cats of Thailand, including the Korat, and is presently located at Bangkok’s National Library. Today, they are good family cats and are possessive of their people.
Origin: United States
These cats are the result of crossing a serval, an African wild cat, with a domestic cat. The first litter of these wild cats was born in the 80s, and one of the kittens was named Savannah. The two breeders than joined forces to create a new breed. Unles you’re rich and live in a place where they aren’t banned, you won’t be getting one any tine soon. They are banned in several US states and the kittens can cost anywhere between 2,000 and 30,000! They also desplay traits from their wild ancestors, so watch out for these big cat’s antics if you do manage to get one.
Origin: United States
A relatively new breed of cat, the Munchkin is characterized by its short little legs, which resembles a dachshund. This gene is the result of a naturally-occurring genetic mutation which runs in some lines of cats. It’s been around for a long time and has been known since the 1940s, but only recently have people started breeding them. The breed draws some controversy, due to it’s little legs causing back problems down the line.
15. Kurilian Bobtail
Origin: Japan and Russia
Unlike most rare breeds on this list, the Kurilian Bobtail was not developed by selective breeding. Rather, the rare cat developed naturally in the Kuril Islands, a remote archipelago claimed by both Russia and Japan. Best known for its cute bunny tail, the Kurilian Bobtail is an independent, gentle and highly intelligent cat.
Like the Kurilian Bobtail, the Sokoke is a naturally-developed breed. Though its roots in coastal Kenya date back quite a long time, a comprehensive breeding program for the Sokoke did not develop until just a decade ago. A peace-loving and playful breed, Sokokes adore their human companions.
17. German Rex
Does this curly-coated cat seem familiar? On the verge of extinction in the 1970s, the German Rex is making a comeback in Germany and other European nations with growing breeding programs. Like its relative, the Cornish Rex, the feline is intelligent and playful.
Origin: United States
You get these bad boys when you cross a munchkin cat with a Sphynx; a naked cat with short legs. They are another new breed which emerged in 2005 as an experimental breed, and are now growing in popularity. The first litter of bambinos was born in the US. Bambino is Italian for baby, and they got this name for looking like newborns.
19. Australian Mist
An Australian Doctor crossed a Burmese cat and an Abyssinian cat to get the beautiful markings of this cat breed. They are relatively new, only emerging in the 1970s. Their name used to be Spotted Mist, but was changed to Australian Mist when other coat patterns started emerging. They are outgoing and energetic, and will keep you on your toes.
Origin: United States
No, it's not a tiger. These cats are the result of bengal cats being crossed with domestic shorthairs in order for the offspring to resemble small tigers. They are a result of selective breeding, which is when breeders select traits that they want to incorporate in the next generation. They are fairly new, and as of now, there only 15 breeders in the US, and 20 worldwide.
Which was your favorite cat breed? Did you know of any of these cat breeds? Which cats were knew to you?
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed! <3