There are 40-70 cat breeds known to cat associations, but the number varies depending on a specific organization. For instance, while TICA (The International Cat Association) recognizes 71 cat breeds, CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) believes only 42 breeds. However, they are both wrong, considering that none of these cat associations recognize the Ussuri, a cat breed from Russia. Very little is known about it, but we have researched and found a few facts as detailed below.
1. They are Not Lap Cats
Some cat lovers prefer felines that fulfill their emotional needs. While some cats are amiable and will even beg to be petted, the Ussuri do not appreciate such social proximity. They enjoy their own space, and if they must have that connection, they will choose only one person. According to allaboutcats.com, the cats will select a single person to whom all affection will be shown.
2. They Love Water
Rarely will you find a cat that loves water. Scientists explain that felines love grooming themselves; the more they lick their coats, the more they rid them of oils. As a result, cats’ skins are less waterproof, and when wet, the fur becomes uncomfortably heavy. Once you become a cat parent to an Ussuri, bath time will never be a moment to frown upon because they love water. The Ussuri cats even enjoy swimming, a behavioral habit similar to the Bengal and the Turkish Van breeds.
3. They Have a Strong Prey Drive
Usually, we adopt cats for companionship, and they have proven their worth, given the many hilarious videos we watch on social media. Unfortunately, the Ussuri is not one to be tamed into being a docile domestic cat. They prefer being in the wild hence cannot thrive in a tiny enclosed space. For this reason, if you live in a small apartment, the Ussuri is not the ideal pet to have around; even if you have a backyard, it has to be sizeable and enclosed to prevent your furry friend from escaping. That being said, you should expect the cat to bring you gifts of whatever it captures.
4. Their Diet is Mainly Meat
Cat owners sometimes prefer feeding their pets on kibble or other dry food. Dry food has many advantages, including affordability. Besides, food such as kibble has a texture that promotes oral health since it reduces tartar formation and plaque accumulation. Despite these pros, the Ussuri cannot live on dry food alone. They require a diet mainly composed of fresh meat and other veterinary-formulated nutritional supplements.
5. They are Among the Rarest Cat Breeds
The Ussuri is thought to be a crossbreed between the Amur Leopard and domestic cats. In February 2015, World Wildlife Fund published that Amur Leopards are the rarest cat in the world. A conservancy was even established in 2012 to prevent the endangered species from going extinct. In 2007, there were only 30 Amur leopards, but by 2015, the number had nearly doubled to 57. Since the leopards are believed to be the origin of the Ussuri, their small number also translates to the Ussuri being one of the rarest cat breeds worldwide. To make matters worse, the Ussuri have continued interbreeding with other domestic cats resulting in the purebred Ussuri number declining.
6. Their Lifespan
Indoor cats usually have a much longer lifespan than outdoor cats due to the reduced risks associated with being in the world. While an indoor cat lives for between 10 and 15 years, outdoor cats can survive for five years. The Ussuri can live to be 15 years which is considered super-senior age for a cat. It is not an impressive figure because cats have a median lifespan of 14 years, although some felines are known to die in their 20s.
7. Their Cost
Buying a cat can set you back as little as $50 or as much as $15,000. Costhelper helps to outline why cats have different prices attached to them. As per the article, show quality cats tend to be the most expensive since they have to be worthy of being shown off at cat shows. Some factors that determine cat prices include quality based on coat color, breed, and coat quality. Exotic colors such as those found on the Bengal make felines costly. It is, therefore, strange that a rare cat like the Ussuri only goes for between $800 and $1,200; you would expect the figure to be much higher.
8. Ideal for People with Hectic Schedules
Some cats are generally lazy and expect you to be at their service whenever they meow. Such cats even seem to coexist with the rodents you hoped they would eliminate because they are used to eating kibble and canned fish. Such felines can make it impossible to be away from home for long because you will be worried that they will go hungry without you around. Having an Ussuri cat removes such worries; they are independent creatures that will hunt even the lizards and rats in your home. Such independence makes them the perfect companions for cat owners with hectic schedules that prevent them from being at home most of the time.
9. Best for Homes without Small Pets
Although the Ussuri cats can be friendly, you should be wary about their interaction with your children and other pets. Since the cats have a high prey drive, other pets may be fair game for the Ussuri cats. Remember that a fully grown Ussuri can weigh up to 15 pounds and stand at 11 inches which is quite tall and heavy for children. Therefore supervised play is essential.
10. Confining Them Can Lead to Stress
The Ussuri cats are meant to be in the wild. Even when you adopt one, you have to ensure that you keep a close watch because the likelihood of going back to the wild is high. Still, as much as you would like to boast of having a rare cat breed in your home, confining results in stress. They prefer being outdoors and roaming freely; thus, limiting their movement can adversely affect their mental health.