Cats are one of the two most popular pets in homes around the world. There are so many breeds of cats to choose from, all with their own unique features, characteristics and quirks that you’d find common among their breed, that it’s not always easy trying to decide which breed is the right one for you and your family. While there are many common breeds that have been around for hundreds of years, more and more breeds have been born due to interbreeding and creating new ones and unless you are an expert in cats and cat breeding, then you are probably only familiar with a select few common breeds.
Most cats resemble each other in many ways, but there are some very different looking breeds that some people may even consider to be crazy cat breeds. If you’re in the market for a cat and want to go off the normal grid to adopt a different, or rare cat breed, or just want to learn about cat breeds you didn’t know existed, then keep reading because here are 20 of the craziest cat breeds you probably never knew about.
The Sphynx might be the most popular of the crazy breeds. Many people consider it to look rat-like, ugly or creepy. It is a hairless cat with big eyes, and one that people who are highly allergic to cats but would still like to own one, will sometimes turn to the Sphynx for a pet. Because the Sphynx is hairless, it tends to lose body heat easily, which means that this breed can get cold easily, although his skin will feel warm to the touch.
2. Ukranian Levkoy
This is a cat similar to the Sphynx in that it is hairless, but there are differences in the two. The Ukrainian Levkoy has folded-down ears and its eyes, though large, are very narrow. Some people think the Levkoy has more of a dog face as opposed to a cat face. Levkoys are another breed that are prone to getting cold easily as well as sun damage due to very little fur. They also require daily skin care to keep their skin healthy. These are highly intelligent cats and love the company of people and other domestic animals.
This is a cute little cat with short legs. Because of its short legs, it looks odd and disproportionate. It has thick, curly fur and sweet disposition. The Lambkin is a crossbreed between the Munchkin and the Selkirk cat. Lambkin kittens at born with very curly hair that suddenly straightens at about 16 weeks. Due to the breed’s short legs and normal-sized head, it gives the appearance that the head is too large for its body. The short legs can also make jumping up on high places more difficult for the cat. Lambkins are “people cats” and love attention from their owner.
4. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex is different than any other cat due to its fur. While most cats have an undercoat and top coat, the Cornish Rex only has an undercoat. The undercoat is like a down fur, much like you’d see on birds or a thick coat of dog fur, which makes cat extra soft and fluffy. This breed of cat hails from a mutation in genetics among different types of domestic cats and due to their stature, are referred to as the Greyhound of the cat family. These are playful cats. They love to play fetch, run with other pets and do acrobats.
5. American Curl
The American Curl cat is the result of a natural occurring genetic mutation among other domestic cats which resulted in curled ears. Where most cat breeds have upright ears, the American Curl’s ears fold downward and give the cat a very unusual look. These cats appeared on the doorstep of a woman in California in 1981. It was an unseen and unheard of breed until then. The female gave birth to the first litter of kittens with the same genetic mutation, and thus, the breed was born. Today, this breed is found worldwide and recognized as a breed of its own. The ears of this breed are delicate and need to be cleaned regularly. They should also be handled with care to prevent injury.
The Donskoy is another hairless cat. It derives from Russia and is the result of breeding the Ukranian Levkoy and Peterbald cats. It is a very unusual looking cat that many people would not find attractive to look at, but it is a sweet natured cat that has a good disposition and is popular in its home country. It is described as a muscular cat with large, almond eyes and webbed toes. Despite the breed not having fur, it still requires a lot of grooming in order to keep its skin healthy. These cats are not fully recognized as a breed by all feline registrations, a lot having to do with the concerns for this breed’s ability to develop health problems.
7. Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair cat is a version of the Persian, and it is the result of breeding the Persian with an American Shorthair cat to improve on the breed. It created a short-haired Persian but with a very short muzzle and flat face. The breed began being referred to as the Exotic Shorthair and it is its own breed today, and on the list as one of the most unusual cat breeds. There are more than 80 colors and patterns of the American Short Haired and they can liver more than 15 years. They are thought to have been brought to the country by settlers wanting to protect their belongings from rats and other rodents.
The Minksin is a mini, dwarfed version of the Sphinx that is the result of breeding the Sphinx with the Munchkin cat. What developed was a mostly hairless, short-legged cat with small amounts of fur found on its points; that is, its tail, nose and feet. It is very unusual looking, even compared to other hairless cats. The Minskin is a very playful and friendly feline and loves to be handled by its owners. They also like to show-off their hunting skills and chase toys. These cats get along well with children and other domestic pets, which makes them a great family pet.
9. American Wirehair
The American Wirehair cat is unusual due to its hair. Instead of fur, it has very wiry hair that is similar to what you’d find on a wirehaired dog, such as a Terrier, which is far more common than you’d see on a cat. Because of the texture of their fur, they require very little grooming. Other than their fur-type, the cat does have all the other similar features of a regular cat. These cats are gentle and sweet and love to fall asleep on their owners’ lap. They also been described as comical. When they get in a playful mood, they can be quite entertaining.
The LaPerm is actually a form of the Rex breed but this particular cat has naturally curly fur that resembles a woman’s perm. It came to be due to a genetic mutation after intermixing other domestic breeds. This breed is very affectionate and outgoing. They love to play and to be handled by people. They are athletic in build and one of the breeds that is considered hypo-allergenic. The LaPerm breed has grown in popularity over the years, due to its unusual coat and personality.
The Highlander is a lot like the American Curl breed except for the Highlander’s ears curl backward as opposed forward like the American Curl breed. This breed also has extra toes on their feet, sometimes up to 6 toes, and they are often referred to as the polydactyl cats. They also have either very short or bobbed tails. This is a very playful and affectionate breed of cats that make very good companions. Female Highlanders can grow up to 14 pounds, while the males are on average between 15 and 20 pounds at full maturation.
12. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is very similar to the Cornish Rex with its soft, short coat of fur and very slender body. These are highly intelligent and talented cats. They are able to perform tricks as well as they are capable of learning your name along with their own. Although this breed is similar, it is not a Cornish Rex, nor is it related to it. This was proven when genetic testing was done on the breed and determined not relation to the Cornish Rex. The Devon Rex is considered one of the most hypo-allergenic cats in the cat family, however, they aren’t technically recognized as hypo-allergenic cats.
The Lykoi has a look all its own. Some say it resembles what a werewolf would look like, and are actually referred to as the werewolves of the cat family. They also have fur similar to an opossum, both in looks and texture. This is another example of natural genetic mutation of breeding other domestic cats. Despite their almost frightening appearance, the Lykois are very friendly cats and make great cats for family pets.
14. Japanese Bobtail
The Japanese Bobtail is born with a bobbed tail that looks like a bunny tail. The tail is short, round and close to the body like you would see on a bunny. What makes them even more like a bunny is the fact that some Japanese Bobtails actually hop like a rabbit. The Japanese Bobtail was first bred in 1968 and now is being bred by several breeders who are mostly in the North American region, while there are a few breeders in Europe and at least one in Japan. They are considered to be a lucky breed, with each cat bringing you prosperity.
15. Khao Manee
The Khao Manee hails from the Philippines and although unusual, it is a beautiful cat. The primary reason these cats are so unusual is their eyes. Although they can have either green or blue eyes, it is very common for them to have one of each. These are muscular, highly intelligent, communicative, energetic and loving cats. They are so striking with their white fur and bright eyes that many people are attracted to their looks above any other characteristic they display.
The Pixie-Bob greatly resembles the wild Bob Cat family with its very pointed ears, markings and bobbed tail. It was even thought that they hailed from a natural line of the wild breed, but after genetic testing, it was revealed that they are not of the same genetics. This breed has little to no tail. When they are born, they will have blue eyes that turn to gold or green over time, usually within a few months. They are very athletic ad love to play and chase and exhibit their feline hunting skills.
The Savannah cat not only looks like a cat right out of the African Savannah, but it actually kind of is. A Savannah is the result of breeding a domestic with a Serval cat which created a large breed of cat with the look of something right out of the wild. The Savannah cat can weigh up to 30 pounds. This breed exhibits long, slender legs, a big, puffy nose, and their head is taller than it is wide. The tail has similar markings of a Cheetah that ends in a black tip. Savannahs are regarded as friendly cats that are accepting of strangers, and sociable with children and other pets.
18. Teacup Persian
The Teacup Persian was intentionally bred to be a small version of the Persian cat. The idea did work because what resulted from the breeding was a cat so small, most of them can fit in the palm of your hand. This is a very well-mannered, quiet breed that can be a bit nervous around loud noises. Because they are a version of the Persian, they are very similar to the regular sized breed. They are very quiet and laid-back and prefer a laid-back atmosphere; not a high commotion home. They are also very loving, and love to be held and get attention from their owners. When they are in the mood, they can be quite playful and entertaining.
The Ocicat developed during the attempt to breed the Abyssinians, Siamese and domestic short-haired cats together. The original result was a white cat with numerous spots, however, today, more and more bear orange spots which makes them look a lot like the dying wild cat, the Ocelot. This makes the Ocicat highly respected and appreciated. The temperament is a social personality. They love to be around people and most are accepting of children and other pets. This breed loves to play and is often thought of as the “dog” of the cat breeds. They can be trained to walk on a leash, fetch, and other dog-like tricks.
20. Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest cat has extremely long fur. It was bred to have this extra long fur in order to survive the Norwegian winters where it spent a lot of time traveling with the Vikings. It even has long tufts of fur in its ears to help protect and warm the inside of the ears. These are loving and personable cats. They love getting attention and love receiving it. They are often thought of as the nurturing breed. If you want to train your cat to do tricks, this is one breed that will be receptive to learning. They love to fetch and figure out puzzle toys you provide. The Norwegian Forest cat loves to communicate with their owners, chirping and purring when you’re around.