Top 10 RAREST Cat Breeds
They’re the world’s most indifferent pet and yet we love them anyway – but did you know that common breeds like Siamese, Persian, Burmese, Himalayan, and Domestic Short and Longhair are just a handful of the over 70 cat breeds that the International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance recognizes? In this all-too-adorable Archive, we’ll be looking at the ten rarest cat breeds in the world!
New Mexico, 1984 is where this rare breed of feline was first found in feral feline populations. By 1992, only ten of these blue-eyed beauties were known to be in existence, making it difficult to categorize their personality. Those bred in captivity were typically very active, very friendly, and enjoyed nuzzling up to their human counterpart. Physically, the cat is known for its namesake feature – a pair of dark blue eyes.
Short, stocky, and practically hairless, the Minskin is an easily recognized, albeit fairly rare, crossbreed of the hairless Sphynx with a Munchkin. The low-maintenance coat, low health risks, and affectionate personality make them a desired breed. By 2005 there were only about 50 cats that fit within the Minskin breed. Outside of their near hairless look, the Minskin is best known for having a small head, large ears, stubby forelegs, and large bug-eyes, much like a Chihuahua.
Must. Not. Submit. To. Cuteness. Oh, who can resist this dwarfed kitty?! Those short, stubby legs. That beautiful tail. That tiny little face. Ahem, pardon me. I, uh… let’s just move on! The Minuet cat, otherwise known as Napoleon, is a unique breed that was created in 1996 by Basset Hound breeder Joseph B Smith, who bred a Munchkin and Persian pairing. Easily recognized by their short, stubby legs and tinier bodies, the Minuet has an outgoing personality, is extremely loving, and is often referred to as the “puppy of the cat world.”
The exotic, slender looking Serengeti is a rare domestic feline that was first bred by crossing a domestic and wild hybrid Bengal with an Oriental Shorthair. The Serengeti is recognized by its long neck, spotted coat, and accentuated round ears. Though known for being shy, the Serengeti can also easily open up to their human owner for a friendly demeanor. Agile and active, they love to reach high places and run at high speeds.
The Sokoke Forest Cat or African Shorthair is a newer breed of the khadzonzo, originally found in feral colonies on the coast of Kenya. In the late 1970s, Jeni Slater began a breeding program that would essentially domesticate the feral Kenyan feline into the modern Sokoke. The Sokoke typically has a short, tabby coat and has a very active personality that favors climbing. Humans looking for a close bond with their feline companion will enjoy how close they can get with the Sokoke.
Since the middle of the 20th century, this stocky kitty has made a name for itself in Europe and Russia for its rodent-hunting capabilities. Originally found on the island chain of Kuril, the Bobtail is found either as a short- or long-haired variety. Along with its stout frame, these Russian felines are recognized by their unique tail, which is typically kinked and extremely short. This isn’t your typical housecat as the Kurilian Bobtail enjoys the hunt and can be an excellent fisher with an affinity to water. Though, to its human breeders, it can be very gentle.
Hailing from Russia, the Peterbald was first bred in 1994 in St. Petersburg through experimental breeding of a Don Sphynx and an Oriental Shorthair by Russian felinologist Olga S. Mironova. The resulting breed can be found with anything from completely hairless to a short, straight coat and is known for being highly intelligent, playful, athletic, curious, and forwardly affectionate. The medium-sized build is complemented by a slender frame, long legs, and a long, thin tail.
Similar to the British Shorthair, the Chartreux is a French breed that is large, muscular, and fast. The first mention of this distinguished feline dates back to 1558 in Vers Francais sur la mort d’un petit chat, a poem by Joachim de Bellay. (That translates, by the way, to “French verse on a small kitten’s death.”) In 1747, Jean-Baptiste Perronneau’s painting Magdaleine Pinceloup de la Grange includes a Chartreux, staring angrily in the lap of the human subject. Between World War I and World War II, the population of this French breed is believed to have been diminished greatly, though European breeders have worked to prevent complete extinction.
Described as having a “football player” physique, the British Shorthair cat is an affectionate feline, mostly rare outside of the United Kingdom. As the name implies, these short-legged kittens were believed to have first been bred in Great Britain. Dating back to the first century AD, it’s believed the Shorthair history started when Romans brought Egyptian domestic cats back to the area of Britain, where they interbred with the European wildcat population.
Believed to have initially been imported from Abyssinia, or present-day Ethiopia, this domestic short-haired cat is distinguished by a tabby coat banded by hairs of different colors. Slender, fine-boned, and sporting a smaller head, Abyssinians are really prized for their extrovert personalities, loyalty, and incredibly high level of intelligence. Despite their name, geneticists believe they have traced the breed back to the coast along the Indian ocean and Southeast Asia.