Every cat owner will tell you that their cat is the best, and they’re not wrong! No matter which breed we have, we love our cats!
Different cat breeds have their own sets of unique characteristics and traits. Every cat is beautiful and deserving of love, but some of them have unique features that separate them from the crowd.
To showcase how diverse the species is, we gathered the coolest cat breeds, some of which you may have never even heard of before. You may think that you know what a cat looks like, but some of these beauties will make you look again!
The Bengal is a cross between a domestic cat and a wild Asian Leopard Cat, although the domesticated Bengals today are six generations removed from their wild ancestors. Their plush coats are patterned with marbling or spots. Some Bengals have coats that glitter like diamonds, especially in the sunlight.
2. Turkish Van
This playful cat has a white body with red or brown coloring on the face and tail. They may also have two blue eyes, two amber eyes, or one of each! The flourishing, bushy tail is another telltale trait of the breed.
This breed originated off the coast of England and was a participant in the first cat show in London in 1861. These cats often lack tails, making them easy to identify. The missing tail is due to a mostly dominant gene, but sometimes a Manx is born with a full-length or short tail. They have a round body, with the hind legs longer than the front legs. This causes the cat’s back end to be higher than their shoulders. Their short backs are arched. They can have short or long coats in various colors and patterns.
The Siberian hails from Russia and was built to survive the roughest climates. Their thick, water-repellent double coats were designed to help them brave the Russian winters. Their stocky bodies are strong and powerful. They make excellent jumpers. A Siberian’s face is rounded with large circular eyes, giving them a sweet expression. Their rounded ears can have tufts of fur in or on top of them, giving them a pointed look. These social cats love interacting with people and get along well with other animals.
The Abyssinian is thought to be one of the oldest cat breeds in existence. This vocal cat can have a coat in several colors, including chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, lilac, and fawn. The coats are ticked, meaning they are spotted and flecked with color on a white background. This gives them the appearance of a wild cat. The intelligent and energetic Abyssinian would rather find the highest spot in the house and observe everyone from there than sleep in your lap. They do love their families and enjoy being around people, but they also have things to do. They’re constantly on the move, exploring their surroundings and entertaining you with their antics.
6. Scottish Fold
Despite appearances, the Scottish Fold does have ears! They are simply folded flat against the head. These stocky cats have rounded heads, large round eyes, and short plush coats. They love to be with people and enjoy lounging on the couch as much as batting their toys around the house. For ethical reasons, Scottish Folds are not bred together. Since they are bred with other breeds, not every kitten produced will have ears that fold. The kittens are born with straight ears that then start to curl at around 3 weeks old. If the cat doesn’t have the gene that is responsible for folded ears, the ears stay straight, and the cat is then called a Scottish Shorthair.
7. Selkirk Rex
The origin of the Selkirk Rex was an animal shelter in Montana. A curly-haired female cat was found, adopted, and bred with a Persian. The unusual hair is due to a dominant gene that enables kittens with straight hair to be born in the same litter as curly-haired kittens. Kittens that will grow up to have curly hair are identified at birth due to their curly whiskers. Their plush curly coat can be long or short and is this breed’s defining trait. The coat has been compared to the feel of lambswool.
This breed has an exotic appearance created by the crossing of an Oriental Shorthair cat and a Bengal cat. The intent was to produce a domestic cat with a wild look. Serengeti cats are friendly, active, and confident. Their silky coats are yellow or golden and marked with black spots. In rarer cases, they can be silver or grey with black spots.
Ragdoll cats stand out with their stunning blue eyes, plush coats, and outgoing personalities. These large cats have single coats instead of double coats, making them less prone to matting. When showing affection, the Ragdoll goes limp in your arms or under your hand while you’re petting them, a trait that gave them their name. They can have various colors and patterns, but they’re all big, furry babies that love being held and cradled.
10. American Bobtail
This breed is a mix of a handful of domestic cats from all over the United States. Although they aren’t wild cats, they’re often compared to bobcats. They have bobbed tails and playful personalities. Often called the “Golden Retriever” of cats, they make friendly and gentle companions for people. The American Bobtail is considered rare. No two tails of this breed are alike and can vary in length from 1–4 inches.
11. Devon Rex
With their large eyes, impressive ears, and small faces, the Devon Rex resembles an elf. These playful, social cats remain kittenish in personality throughout their lives. The Devon Rex is medium-sized and covered in wavy fur. They’re curious, devoted, and entertaining, always surprising you with their antics. They can learn and perform tricks due to their high levels of intelligence.
These cool cats are still new to the scene, appearing first in the 1990s. Their short legs make them the “Dachshunds of cats,” but they can get around just fine — it just might take them a little longer! They also may not be able to jump as high as other breeds, but they enjoy climbing to the top of a cat tree to observe their surroundings. Keep your eye on these snuggly cats; they’re quick to steal shiny objects and stash them away in a collection to play with later.
The hairless Sphynx cat can be completely bald or covered in soft fur that feels like peach skin. Their bodies are warm to the touch, but they need help regulating their body temperatures in colder climates. Sweaters are a must for them in winter. Sphynx cats are affectionate and smart and enjoy human interaction.
14. Norwegian Forest Cat
The large, hardy cats have waterproof coats that were designed to protect them against Scandinavian winters. They are muscular and dense with bushy tails and long fur. Their appearance can make them seem intimidating, but the Norwegian Forest Cat is a friendly and social family pet that has been described as having the personality of a dog. They get along well with children and other animals.
This breed was created due to the accidental crossing of a Lilac Burmese Cat and a Persian cat. The result was a gorgeous cat with large green eyes and a soft coat that feels like chinchilla fur. Their laidback personalities make them fun family companions.
There are so many cat breeds that are beautiful and unique, we couldn’t possibly cover them all in one article. If you’re looking to add a cat to your household and don’t mind adopting your new friend, check for breeds you like at breed-specific rescues and your local animal shelters. Even purebred cats can find themselves homeless and in need of help.
All cats are beautiful and unique in their own ways. No matter which breed you choose, you’ll be getting a loyal, loving companion for years to come.
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