When we think of cats, we think of fuzzy, cuddly creatures that we can curl up with. The reality is that cats are so much more. Some breeds of cats don’t fit the mold at all, yet their independence, boldness, and affectionate personalities make them wonderful pets.
There are 73 standardized cat breeds registered with the International Cat Association, and about 20 of them we find strange, funny, weird, and wonderful. Read on to learn more about the world’s wackiest feline breeds.
Top 20 Strange and Funny Cat Breeds
|Country of Origin||Greece|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Scraggly coat, wolf-like face|
The Lykoi has a unique appearance reminiscent of a werewolf. They have short, light-colored hair around their face, arranged in an interesting design that accentuates their features. Combine this with their scraggly salt-and-pepper fur, and you have one strange-looking cat. The name “Lykoi” is even derived from the Greek word for werewolf.
However, the resemblance ends there. Lykois are affectionate, loyal, and playful cats that make wonderful companions. They are closely related to Domestic Shorthair cats, with similar personalities. It was discovered in 2011 that their odd fur is a result of genetic mutation that has persisted through generations.
|Country of Origin||Russia|
Peterbalds are strange-looking felines with hairless grey skin, slanted faces, and large, pointy ears. Their name comes from their origin; this breed is a result of experimental breeding that took place in St. Petersburg in 1994, hence their name.
This cat is a crossbreed between a Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair. They must be kept as indoor cats because they have no hair to help maintain their body temperature. They also require extra care in the form of weekly baths to keep them clean.
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Short legs with normal cat bodies|
Munchkin cats have extremely short legs and normal-sized bodies, thanks to a dwarf-gene mutation. They are often called “sausage cats” in reference to their body shape. While there are many dwarf-cat crossbreeds, the Munchkin is considered the original. Sadly, they have been victims of many unethical breeding practices in an effort to propagate their short-legged gene mutation.
Munchkins continue to be plagued by controversy as people become more concerned with health issues caused by dwarfism. While they are still considered an official cat breed, they are no longer allowed to participate in competitions, and many organizations are ceasing to recognize them. However, their sweet, outgoing personalities make them desirable pets, and it is unlikely the breed will fade away anytime soon.
4. Scottish Fold
|Country of Origin||Scotland|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Folded ears|
Scottish Folds are round, fuzzy cats with tiny, folded ears. They look a bit like a teddy bear, with a face that’s often likened to that of an owl.
Their personality is just as adorable. These cats have sweet, gentle temperaments and low energy levels, making them ideal house cats.
Much like the Munchkin, Scottish Folds are the subject of controversy. It is a gene mutation that causes their ears to fold over, and if not cared for properly, they can have health issues. Despite this, they are low-maintenance and easy to groom.
5. Maine Coon
|Country of Origin||Maine, U.S.A.|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Large size, high energy|
Named after their home state, the Maine Coon is the largest domestic cat breed, measuring an impressive 1 meter in length from nose to tail. Don’t let this fool you, though; these cats are sweet and adaptable. They make great family cats because they love to play with everyone.
While they were originally bred as outdoor cats, they eventually became a working breed, keeping homes and barns free of rodents. Given their size, it should be no surprise that these cats need plenty of exercise, so consider your family’s activity level before bringing one of these cats home. They can adapt well to indoor life, but regular stimulation for them is important.
6. Selkirk Rex
|Country of Origin||Montana, U.S.A.|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Curly hair|
If you’ve been looking for a cat with curly hair, look no further than the Selkirk Rex. There are several breeds with curly hair, but they’re extremely rare and all Rex cats, making “Rexes” the curly-haired wonders of the cat world. Selkirk Rex kittens can even have ringlet-style curls in their whiskers when they are born!
The Selkirk Rex can be differentiated from other Rex cats by their round face and stocky body. They are energetic, lively, and playful cats that require plenty of attention. Most will be happy to sit on your lap and “chat” with you, and they get along well with other pets and children.
7. Oriental Longhair
|Country of Origin||United States and Thailand|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Almond-shaped eyes, learn tricks|
The long, silky coat of the Oriental Longhair makes for an elegant-looking cat. They have an odd face that resembles their cousin, the Siamese cat.
Oriental Longhairs are intelligent and curious cats. They love attention and are talkative. Well-suited to children, these cats are known to follow their owners around and stay by their sides. They train easily and can be quite dog-like in their ability to learn tricks but will retreat to their own personal space when it’s time to rest.
|Weight||Up to 4 pounds|
|Country of Origin||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Short legs, hairless|
As a hairless breed, the Minskin cat is eerily reminiscent of a Sphynx but with a stockier body. They’re a relatively new breed that was first developed in 1998 by breeding a Sphynx with a Munchkin. The goal was to create a healthier version of a Sphynx cat, and it seems to have been successful.
9. Devon Rex
|Country of Origin||England|
The Devon Rex is a loyal, loving, and mischievous cat breed. These cats make excellent companions and welcome attention from visitors, kids, and other animals. That said, they are active and require regular stimulation to prevent boredom.
Devon Rex cats are jumpers and prefer to spend their time at or above head level, so it’s crucial that they have cat trees and perches to lay on. They are trainable and love to play fetch, and they don’t require grooming because their fur is prone to breakage.
10. American Wirehair
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Springy, crimped hair|
The American Wirehair is a rare breed known for their unique crimped coat. These cats are strong and stocky but have a sociable, calm demeanor. They love to play with their family and often bond with more than one person. As sun-bathing enthusiasts, American Wirehairs are happiest when they can nap in the sun, so it’s best to place a perch or bed for them near a window.
Wirehair cat breeds can be traced back to a spontaneous genetic mutation that was first documented in 1966. It’s this “accidental” mutation that makes the breed so rare. Since it wasn’t done on purpose, it’s impossible to replicate their unusual coat.
11. Cornish Rex
|Country of Origin||United Kingdom|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Triangular head, golden eyes, curly down fur|
Cornish Rex cats have triangular-shaped heads and extremely large, prominent ears. They tend to have golden-colored eyes, although they can be other colors. While the breed isn’t classified as hairless, Cornish Rexes don’t have fur, only fine, curly down that resembles the feathers of a newborn duckling.
This breed is frequently compared to a Greyhound dog due to their long, sleek appearance. These cats are adventurous explorers that will maintain kitten-like energy levels well into adulthood.
|Country of Origin||United Kingdom, United States|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Aqua eyes, social|
The playful Tonkinese loves to run, play fetch, and greet guests at the door. These cats are incredibly social and get anxious when left alone for too long.
While the breed originated in the U.K. in the 1800s, they were developed separately in the U.S. in the 1960s by crossbreeding a Siamese and Burmese. This breeding gave the Tonkinese cat unique aqua-colored eyes that are unmatched by any other breed.
13. Savannah Cats
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Black spots, high jumpers, hunters|
The Savannah breed is a hybrid of the Persian and the African Serval. Their wild roots make them the most expensive domestic cat breed in the world. They have coats with distinctive black spots and tall, pointed ears.
These cats are known for their loyalty and will bond with only a few people. They have an impressive jumping ability that enables them to scale high walls and reach cupboard tops from the ground. Their Serval genes give them a strong hunting instinct, so they are prone to knocking off birds and fish.
Savannahs are banned as pets in some areas, so it’s important to know your local laws before investing in this unique feline. The restrictions are in place to prevent these large cats from threatening native species.
14. Egyptian Mau
|Country of Origin||Egypt|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Runs up to 30 miles/hour|
The Egyptian Mau is a historic cat breed whose routes date back to ancient Egyptian pharaohs. This medium-sized, muscular cat has longer hind legs than front ones, making them the fastest domestic cat breed in the world.
These cats are well adapted to hot environments but don’t do well in the cold. Egyptian Maus are active and prefer being outdoors. They also love to play in the water and have been known to turn on faucets just to splash around!
15. American Curl
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Backward-curling ears|
American Curls are loving, talkative cats that have backward-curling ears. Much like Wirehair cats, they are descended from a single gene mutation. The American Curl has only become a pedigreed breed within the last decade, making them the newest recognized cat breed.
The American Curl’s people-loving personality makes them excellent family pets. They love to rub against people’s legs or greet them with a head bump. They are also adaptable and active, known to maintain kitten-like energy well into adulthood.
16. Exotic Shorthairs
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Flattened face, plush coats|
The mustachioed face and laidback personality of the Exotic Shorthair are tough to forget. This breed has a stocky body, large paws, and a short tail. Their coats are extremely soft and come in 140 different colors.
This cuddly and calm breed is closely related to the Persian and is known for loyalty to their owners.
|Country of Origin||Canada|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Hairless, wrinkly skin|
It’s hard to make a list of strange and funny cat breeds without the Sphynx cat. This well-known, hairless cat breed has wrinkly skin covered in peach fuzz, tall ears, and a rounded belly. While one would think that being hairless would make them hypoallergenic, it doesn’t. Unfortunately for those with cat allergies, cat dander comes from a cat’s skin and not their hair. Since the Sphynx’s skin is exposed, they actually shed more dander than many other breeds.
The hairless coat of the Sphynx is a result of a naturally-occurring gene mutation that was crossed with a Rex cat. The result is an animal that’s more dog-like than cat-like. Sphynx cats will greet their owners at the door and announce the presence of guests.
Contrary to popular belief, the modern Sphynx is not Egyptian. They are a distinct breed that was developed in Canada in the 1960s. This breeding line produced the famous “Ted Nude-Gent,” the feline star that played “Mr. Bigglesworth” in the Austin Powers movies.
18. Japanese Bobtail
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Rabbit-like tail and bounce|
The strange-looking Japanese Bobtail will make you wonder whether you’re looking at a rabbit or a cat! They have a rabbit-like puffy tail, and some of them even hop like rabbits when they run. These Bobtail cats have longer back legs than front ones, giving them a unique athletic ability.
These cats are affectionate and playful, with endless energy. They can learn and respond to their name, bring you toys, and play fetch. A Japanese Bobtail will have no problem becoming the boss of the house, claiming everything as theirs. This includes bossing around other animals and staking their claim on furniture and favorite hangout spots. These cats are quite vocal and use their sing-song voice to persuade people to cater to them.
19. Khao Manee
|Country of Origin||Thailand|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||Blue, green, or gold eyes, white coats|
Khao Manee means “White Gem” in Thai. This breed has been coveted for a thousand years due to their white coat and bright-colored blue, green, or gold eyes. They often have two different colored eyes, adding to their unique look. As this breed originates from a tropical environment, they don’t have an undercoat to keep them warm in the cold.
In ancient times, these cats were thought to bring good luck, and their eyes had mystical powers. In their native Thailand, they are also called the “Diamond Eye Cat.”
|Weight||8–17 pounds, some up to 25 pounds|
|Country of Origin||U.S.A.|
|Distinguishing Characteristics||“Bobbed” tail, polydactyl|
The Pixiebob is a domestic cat that looks like a wild Bobcat. This breed is thought to come from a line of naturally occurring Bobcat hybrids, but there is no evidence of shared genetics. The breed carries a distinctive bobbed tail and is prone to polydactylism (having extra toes).
They may look wild, but the Pixiebob has a fun-loving personality and is known to be rather mellow. They love car rides and leashed walks, making them great family pets. They easily bond with humans and exhibit exceptional amounts of patience with young children.
There are tons of cat breeds that don’t fit the stereotypical mold of what a cat should look like, and this list of 20 strange and funny breeds proves it. If you’re looking for a unique breed, any of these will fit the bill. Despite their somewhat strange and wacky appearance, these cats make fantastic companions, proving that they are best judged on personality rather than looks.