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18 Big-Eared Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

devon rex tabby cat is laying on a soft blanket

With over 100 cat breeds populating the world, you have several cats to consider when looking for a new pet. Although feline critics describe cats as being emotionally distant and lacking the loyalty of canines, we found 18 extraordinary big-eared felines that defy the stereotypes. They’re affectionate towards humans, and some act more like dogs in how they cling to their owners. We have a diverse group of cats that will steal your heart from the very exotic to the completely bald.

 

Top 18 Big-Eared Cat Breeds:

1. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat standing on white surface
Image Credit: Osetrik, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Red, ruddy, fawn, blue

As one of the oldest cat breeds, the Abyssinian looks similar to the African wildcat, Felis lybica, which is the ancestor to domestic cats. Although it’s not considered a lap cat, the Abyssinian is devoted to its human family, and it cannot tolerate being away from them for too long. With large ears and a wedge-shaped head, this energetic feline is curious and incredibly intelligent. Frequent travelers are not the best pet parents for Abyssinians because the cats can become destructive if their family is not around to play and cuddle.


2. Bambino

bambino cat standing
Image Credit: Jaroslaw Kurek, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 9-15 years
Colors: Black, cream

The Bambino is a new breed that appeared in 2005. It’s a cross between the Sphynx and Munchkin cats; the cat borrows the hairless trait from the Sphynx and short, stubby legs from the Munchkin. Like the Sphynx, the Bambino has a fine, down-like coat, but they’re much shorter in stature. Bambinos are lap cats that love humans, and they make exceptional pets for families with small children. Although they’re affectionate, they also have a wild streak that gets them into trouble. Allergy sufferers may be able to tolerate the Bambino more than other breeds, but the cat is not hypoallergenic.


3. Chausie

a Chausie in dark background
Image Credit: Tania__Wild, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Grizzled tabby, black, brown-ticked tabby

The Chausie is a large, short-haired cat developed by mixing an Abyssinian with the jungle cat Felis chaus. The name “Chausie” comes from the Latin word for jungle cat. This tall feline is an athletic breed that loves to run and leap, but it’s also devoted to its family. They’re loving, loyal cats that enjoy playing fetch and even walking around the neighborhood on a leash. Their playful, kitten-like personality continues through adulthood. Pet parents must spend time with Chausies every day because they crave human attention.


4. Cornish Rex

bicolor Cornish Rex in gray background
Image Credit: Okssi, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Brown, black, lilac, blue, red, chocolate, cream

The Cornish Rex may look like a delicate creature with long legs and an elongated body, but it’s an agile cat with boundless energy. It has a short curly coat, large expressive eyes, and an egg-shaped head. Cornish Rexes enjoy playing games like fetch, and they get along well with children and other pets. They’re devoted to their families but tend to have a mischievous streak. A sturdy cat tree and plenty of toys are essential for keeping the Cornish Rex entertained and happy.


5. Devon Rex

Red Devon Rex cat sitting in a gray background
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Blue, bi-color, black, cinnamon, cream, white, red, fawn, chocolate

Hailing from Devonshire, England, the Devon Rex is the result of a genetic mutation that occurred in England in the late 1950s. You’re unlikely to find another cat with alien-like features. It has massive ears, a tiny, impish face, and large round eyes. Devon Rexes are very fond of humans, and owners should be prepared to sleep, eat, and relax with their curly-haired cats right beside them. They’re notorious for begging for human food, and you have to guard your dinner plate closely to avoid the clever cat sneaking a bite.


6. Donskoy

Donskoy cat lying on bed
Image Credit: Viachaslau Herostratos, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Variety of colors with four coat types: rubber bald, velour, flocked, and brush

The Donskoy may look similar to the Sphynx, but it’s a Russian original. Also called the Russian Hairless, the Donskoy originated in 1987 when a concerned professor rescued a kitten wrapped in a paper bag that was being used as a soccer ball. One of the breed’s coat types is entirely hairless, and some cats lose their coats after a year and become bald. The wrinkly feline is an excellent family cat, and it quickly makes friends with strangers and other pets.


7. Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau cat in gray background
Image Credit: MDavidova, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 9-13 years
Colors: Bronze, smoke, black, silver, blue spotted, blue silver, blue, and blue smoke

Frescos dating back to 1550 B.C. depict the Egyptian Mau; citizens and pharaohs worshiped the cat. As the only naturally spotted domesticated cat, the Egyptian Mau is a gorgeous, exotic creature that still retains some of its ancestors’ exotic features. Although they’re considered gentle cousins of the Abyssinian, the Mau is said to have some of the fastest reflexes in the feline kingdom. The cat is intelligent and athletic and warms up to humans in its family, but it’s hesitant around strangers and typically picks one human as a life-long friend.


8. Javanese

a javanese cat sitting outdoor
Image Credit: Irondaru, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Colorpoint colors, red/cream, lynx, and tortoise

The Javanese, created from the Siamese and Balinese, has a unique medium-long coat and long muscular body. Unlike most breeds, the Javanese has a single, soft coat that’s easy to maintain. If you like a cat that follows you around like a dog, the Javanese is an ideal pet. Although they have similar personality traits as the Siamese, Javanese are more muscular and known for twisting their bodies when they leap. The feline loves playing games with humans and requires a large indoor space to run and jump.


9. Korat

Korat cat resting on furniture
Image Credit: Gino Santa Maria, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Silver and blue

The roots of the Korat breed date back to the 14th century, when the adorable feline was described as a “good luck cat” in Thailand’s Tamra Maew. Although the Korat looks similar to a Russian Blue, it has a shorter, muscular body and a large, heart-shaped head. They’re difficult to find outside of Thailand but make exceptional, family-oriented pets. Korats love being the center of attention and families who provide challenging games and plenty of love. They get along well with children, but they’re not fond of other species. If you get a second pet, most breeders recommend only adopting another Korat.


10. Ocicat

ocicat cat in brown background
Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Silver, cinnamon, blue, tawny, ebony, fawn

The Ocicat looks like a wild beast, but it’s 100% domesticated and does not have wild cat DNA. The Siamese, Abyssinian, and American Shorthair breeds were used to develop the Ocicat, but it has a personality all its own. They’re intelligent and energetic but adore spending time with their families. Their spotted coats make them look like Ocelots, but they’re gentle and loyal companions. As a show cat, the Ocicat is a champion that has wowed judges with its calm demeanor and exotic features.


11. Oriental

grey oriental shorthair cat
Image Credit: TalyaPhoto, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Over 600 colors, including ebony, red, white, cream, blue, cinnamon, fawn, lavender, and chestnut

With its long legs, sleek torso, and enormous ears, the Oriental is a striking feline that comes in hundreds of colors and patterns. Although the cat’s frame appears delicate, it’s muscular and agile. Orientals are curious felines that cling to their owners like glue and become depressed when they’re separated. They’re energetic pets known for their creative talents for opening doors, cabinets, and drawers. If you’re looking for a cat with a dog’s personality, the Oriental may be the pet for you.


12. Peterbald

Peterbald with black background
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Silver, white, fawn, ebony, and lilac

Like the Donskoy, the Peterbald cat carries a dominant gene for hairlessness. Its five coat types include one that’s completely bald and one with ordinary short hair. The tall, wiry cat is strong and agile but lovable towards its human family. The Peterbald is a reliable lap cat that may never leave your side. It’s very vocal and will announce its displeasure when you’re gone for too long. They’re challenging to find in North America, but if you’re lucky enough to adopt one, you’ll have a friend for life.


13. Russian Blue

russian blue cat outside its box
Image Credit: milivigerova, Pixabay
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Colors: Grey, blue, and silver

As a naturally occurring breed, the Russian Blue’s origin is not known, but it may have first appeared in the port city of Arkhangelsk in the mid-19th century. The cat has beautiful emerald eyes, a silky grey/blue coat, and a lean, muscular body. Their double coats are soft and silky but straightforward to maintain. Although their fur is thick, they do shed very little. They’re friendly creatures that enjoy humans and other pets, but they aren’t clingy and like time alone to explore. Russian Blues, when properly kept, enjoy long lives; some cats live over 20 years.


14. Savannah

savannah cat looking up
Image Credit: kuban_girl, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Colors: Black, silver, smoke, and brown

If you’re unfamiliar with the Savannah and see one stalking around in your yard, you may think that a Cheetah escaped from the zoo. The Savannah is a new breed developed by mixing a wild serval with domesticated species like the Egyptian Mau, Bengal, and Oriental Shorthair. They’re tall cats that can reach 16 inches, but they come in various sizes with the heaviest cats weighing in at 30 pounds. Savannahs are friendly and loyal animals that enjoy playing with children and other dogs and cats. Although they have similar features as Bengals, Savannahs typically have more spots and are close to twice their size.


15. Siamese

siamese cat sitting on the floor
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Colors: Seal, fawn, lilac, blue, and chocolate

The world-famous Siamese was once treasured by Thai royalty in the 14th century, but the breed was not known in the United States until Lady Lucy Webb Hayes, the president’s wife, received a Siamese kitten in 1878. The Siamese has a long slender frame, brilliant blue eyes, and large ears resting on a wedge-shaped head. They’re one of the most vocal breeds with an impressive vocal range. Siamese are dedicated lap cats who demand attention from their families and cannot be alone for long periods.


16. Singapura

Singapura cat lying on couch
Image Credit: VictorTaurus, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Sepia agouti (dark brown ticking on ivory)

You might mistake the adult Singapura for an infant, as the tiny cat only averages 5 to 8 pounds. The Singapura is named for the Malaysian word for Singapore, and the breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1982. Singapura mature slower than other breeds and do not reach adulthood until they’re 15 to 24 months old. They remain loyal to their families through old age and are curious and playful. They have small round heads, large eyes, and of course, large ears.


17. Snowshoe

Snowshoe on grey background
Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 14-20 years
Colors: Cream, seal, blue, and tan

The Snowshoe is a new breed developed in the 1960s to produce a Siamese-like breed with white feet. Snowshoes are born completely white, but after 3 weeks, their color points and markings become more prominent. They have short to medium-length coats, bright blue eyes, large ears, and a medium-sized athletic frame. Snowshoes are people cats that love playing with children, and unlike most cats, they enjoy splashing in the water. They typically bond to one family member, and they’re timid around strangers until they get to know them. Snowshoes like to talk like their Siamese cousins, but they’re not as loud as Siamese.


18. Sphynx

grey sphynx cat on a wooden table
Image Credit: Igor Lukin, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: White, red, tan, cream, beige, lilac, cinnamon, chocolate, brown, sable, silver, fawn, and lavender

With the ears of a bat and a slim, muscular body, the Sphynx cat is one of the strangest looking breeds of the feline world. Sphynx have loose-hanging skin that appears wrinkled and a peach fuzz coat that makes them appear hairless. Although they look like they were grabbed from another planet, Sphynx are affectionate, active cats that enjoy curling up on the couch with their owners. They interact well with children and enjoy playing with other cats and dogs. If you provide Sphynx with plenty of attention and love, you’ll spend many enjoyable years with the unique cat.

 

Conclusion

Each of the long-eared felines we examined is a fascinating creature, but one trait every cat has in common, aside from its darling Dumbo-like ears, is its devotion to humans. Whether you choose a Sphynx, Savannah, or Ocicat, you’ll have a loyal friend that loves spending time with the family. All the long-eared cats have different care requirements, but they typically need daily human interactions to stay healthy and happy. If your family likes staying close to home, a big-eared cat may be the perfect pet.

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Featured Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

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