14 Exotic Cat Breeds: Fun Facts, History & Origins

There are over 140 different breeds of cats, and while many people are only familiar with the common house cat, there are a number of exotic cat breeds that are just as fascinating.

From the spotted Egyptian Mau to the striped Bengal, these 14 exotic cat breeds each have their own unique appearance and personality.

Here is a list of 14 interesting exotic cat breeds, along with fun facts and history about each one. Enjoy!

14. Bengal

Image from Paw.com

Bengal is an exotic cat breed known for its markings, which include large spots, rosettes, and stripes. The Bengal is a relatively new breed of cat, developed by crossing domestic short-haired tabbies with the Asian leopard cat.

This curious, relatively obedient, and intelligent cat is easy to train including tricks like retrieval which makes them quite impressive. However, they are quite independent and hard to keep focused so training has to be short and strategic.

13. Serengeti

Image from Instagram:@alf_the_serengeti_cat

Despite its wild appearance, the Serengeti is completely domesticated. In fact, they are quite clingy and are known to thrive when given lots of attention and affection by their owners. These cats are also very playful and will always find ways to entertain themselves.

They stand out physically with their spotted or short striped coats that give them their wild cat aesthetic. What is interesting is that even the black-coated Serengeti cats have โ€œghost spotsโ€ that are hard to see.

12. Tonkinese

Image from 1-800-PetMeds

This is a mix between a Siamese and Burmese but it takes more after the Siamese in terms of physical appearance. The mix is very hard to come by due to the rarity of the Burmese parent. However, those lucky enough to have interacted with them know it is a fantastic breed if you want a cat that will engage you and give you love and affection.

They are very lively and love to play and hang out with their human companions. They are also quite protective especially over young children that they get to grow up with.

11. LaPerm

Image from Instagram:@maria_laperm

This cat breed literally looks like it went to a salon and asked to get a perm. It has curly hair that comes in a variety of colors from plain ginger to tricolor combinations. With its unique coat texture, this exotic breed is sure to turn heads.

This unique coat type is a result of a rare and spontaneous genetic mutation that occurs very rarely in nature. Therefore, most LaPerms are a result of selective breeding.

10. Devon Rex

Image from Basepaws

The Devon Rex is the kind of cat that will truly be the life of the party. This cat is very intelligent and obedient and has been likened to a dog in its eagerness to please its human companions. They can therefore be taught a number of tricks including fetch.

Generally, these cats love to play and are particularly good climbers. That is where they get their โ€œmonkey in a catsuitโ€ nickname.

9. Minskin

Image from Instagram:@minskincat

To say that the Minskin is a unique-looking cat would be a major understatement. With their thin coats and wrinkly skin, it is safe to say that this is the kind of aesthetic that you will either find wickedly awesome or weird and gross.

Whatever your stance is, there is no denying the popularity of these alien-looking kitties. However, there are not many Minskins around as the cat breed was developed very recently and is yet to stabilize in popularity and population.

8. Turkish Angora

Image from Basepaws

The Turkish Angora is one of the most beautiful cat breeds there is. With their white fur and blue, yellow, or even green-colored eyes, these cats are real exotic beauties.

The best part is that they have an awesome personality to match their adorable aesthetic. They are known to form very close bonds with their human companions, especially with exposure from an early age. They are also very intelligent and easy to live with.

7. Burmilla

Image from Instagram:@mrleodicatrio

The Burmilla is a unique cat developed from breeding between Burmese and Chinchilla Persian cats. The latter is a rare variation of the Persian known for its unique white coat shade. The result is a stocky kitty with a permanently serious expression.

However, do not let their intimidating faces scare you away. These cats are actually quite affectionate and generally very sweet with both strangers and their owners with early socialization.

They also happen to be hypoallergenic which is perfect for cat lovers with allergies.

6. Peterbald

Image from Instagram:@peterbald_cattery

If you want a cat that will turn heads at this hypothetical party then the Peterbald is the cat breed to go with. They may not be very rare but they are very unique-looking for that exotic vibe. There is nothing that starts a conversation quite as well as a hairless, alien-looking cat will.

What makes them unique from other hairless cats is the fact that they are often born with fur. However, they have a hair-losing gene that makes them shed without replacement resulting in progressive baldness.

5. Norwegian Forest Cat

Image from Basepaws

This is one of the most popular, exotic cat breeds there is. While there is nothing aesthetically novel about this breed, it stands out mainly with its large size. In fact, they can grow up to 16 pounds or even more which is more or less the size of a small dog.

These cats are also very intelligent and can be taught basic tricks which you will be able to show off proudly to any fellow cat lovers.

4. Egyptian Mau

Image from Instagram:@baguette_mau

The Egyptian Mau holds the title of the fastest cat breed there is. This is thanks largely to the compact and muscular build that makes the cats very agile and generally athletic. They naturally enjoy the outdoors where they get to run around and explore. If kept exclusively indoors, a lot of playtimes are important to keep them engaged and happy.

They are also some of the rarest cats with less than 200 registered each year.

3. Chausie

Image from Instagram:@chaponeige_wildcats

This cat breed has a wild origin having been developed from mixed breeding between wild jungle cats and domesticated cats. Over the years, the wild nature has taken a back seat to the more domesticated and gentle predisposition that makes them popular companion pets.

In fact, they are not only very friendly but also super loyal to people that whom they get to bond early on in their lives.

Chausies are relatively rare today as most of them are developed through selective breeding and not the more natural and common course of mixed breeding. This is due to the rarity of the wild jungle cat in the modern urban society in most parts of the world.

2. Korat

Image from House Carers

At first glance, it is quite difficult to tell the Korat apart from other blue cat breeds like the British Shorthair and the Russian Blue. However, the Korat is smaller than the former and more compact than the latter. They also have a distinct heart-shaped head that is a great identifier.

They are very rare to find outside their homeland of Thailand mainly due to the higher popularity of similar-looking breeds.

1. Toyger

Image from Instagram:@toygersx2ticotango2018

Contrary to popular belief, the Toyger cat is not actually a mix between a domestic cat and an actual tiger. That would be absurd to even attempt. Instead, this exotic breed is developed by mixing domestic tabby cats with striped coats and the very rare Bengal cat.

The stripes from the tabby and the feral aesthetic from the Bengal give the Toyger the appearance of a toy tiger which is what makes them such a hit.

What Is The Coolest Cat Breed? 

When it comes to unique aesthetics, how cool a cat is completely subjective. However, there are breeds like the Bengal that are arguably cooler cat breeds than most others. At first glance, it is like looking at a really small leopard. This is due to their genetic history as the cat breed is a hybrid between Asian leopard cats and a variety of other domestic cats.

What Is The Most Expensive Cat? 

The Savannah cat breed is the most expensive in most parts of the world, going for up to $25,000. The main reason for their high price tag is their exotic nature and the fact that they are very rare. It is also one of the largest domestic cats and is therefore also costly to maintain.

What Is The Rarest House Cat? 

The American Wirehaired cat is the rarest house cat breed out there. In fact, there are only a few hundred American Wirehairs in the world. American Wirehairs are known for their wiry coats, which can be either short or long. They come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, red, and cream.

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Pete Decker