The domestic cat (house-cat) has been in human culture since ancient Egyptian times. There is even evidence of feline domestication in China over 5000 years ago! Today there are over 70 domestic cat breeds recognized by the International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance. Here are 15 of the cutest/rarest cat breeds you need to see.
Developed through selective breeding in the 1960s the Sphynx is a breed of cat known for its lack of a coat (contrary to popular belief it is not completely hairless). Their skin is the color, tones an patterns are the colors that their fur would be.
The Sphynx is one the more dog-like breed of cats, they are friendly with strangers and greet their owners at the door when they come home. They are high energy, curious, affectionate and intelligent.
European breeders have been working on the Sphynx since the early 1960s. The more contemporary Canadian Sphynx was started in 1966 Roncesvalles Toronto when a hairless kitten was born to a black and white shorthair in Ontario. The kitten was then backcrossed with its mother which produced a more naked kitten.
They were originally referred to as “Moonstones” and “Canadian Hairless” until being referred to as the Sphynx after a series of successful breedings.(source)
2. Ukrainian Levkoy
The Levkoy is a man made breed developed in Ukraine between 2000 and 2011. It was created by outbreeding hairless Donskoy females with Scottish Fold males. The breed is know for their ears that fold inward and their “bald” appearance. Their skin is soft, elastic and has a wrinkled appearance. The cat is only recognized by Ukrainian and Russian cat clubs.
They are friendly playful cats that enjoy the company of humans and other pets. Levkoys need special skin care (or clothing) to protect them from direct sunlight and cold conditions. The average litter size is about 3 to 5 kittens. The kittens need constant care and attention for about 16 weeks and the hairless ones need extra attention.(source)
The Peterbald is a Russian cat breed that resembles Oriental Shorthairs. Their hair losing gene causes them to be born bald, flocked, velour brush or with a straight-coat. Those that are born with hair can lose their hair over time.
The Perterbald was created in the early 90’s in St. Petersburg, Russia and was a result of experimental breeding of a Don Hairless Donskoy male and a female World Champion Oriental Shorthair. By 1996 the breed was accepted in the Russian Selectional Feline Federation and in 1997 it was adopted by the International Cat Association. In 2008 the Peterbald was accepted for Championship class competition.
The Peterbalds are sweet, affectionate, peaceful, curious, smart and high on energy. The are known to follow their owners and average when it comes to vocalization.(source)
4. Colorpoint Shorthair
The Colorpoint Shorthairs are only recognized as a stand alone breed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. Other registries consider them a part of the Siamese and Oriental breeds. While some debate that this cat must be a Siamese and some debate they should be considered a Siamese crossbreed they were created by crossbreeding Siamese with American Shorthairs.
The origin of these cats stem from an effort to produce a Siamese style cat in colors other than the traditional colors known to the breed. In the 1940s breeders bred the Siamese, the Abyssinian and the red domestic shorthair eventually adding the American Shorthair to the equation in order to achieve the right colors in the right places.
The breed is highly intelligent, playful, friendly, affectionate and outgoing. They are described as extroverts but do not adapt well to changes of environment or strangers. They demand attention and can be very vocal with over 100 vocal sounds.(source)
5. Tonkinese Cat
The Tonkinese are a crossbred cat breed developed using the Siamese cat and the Burmese cat. They are lively and panful medium-sized cats and are deceptively muscular and much heavier than they appear.
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association Tonkinese come in 4 base colors: brown, champagne, blue and platinum although some European associations accept red, cream, caramel, apricot an tortoiseshell as well.(source)