20 Fascinating Felines

    Cats are man\’s best friend. That\’s how that saying goes…right? Well, whatever the case, we can all agree that cats are an interesting and diverse animal. According to the International Cat Association (the largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats), there are 71 breeds of domesticated cats. On top of that, you have their approximately 38 wild cousins, the big cats. We did some digging and want to share want we could find on the 20 most fascinating cats, big or small.

    1/20 Lykoi

    Lykoi
    The Happy Cat Site

    Nicknamed the “werewolf cat” after it\’s striking facial appearances and eyes, you won\’t find this funny feline howling at the moon or feasting on human flesh. This cat is rather “patchy” in that it typically only has hair in sparse patches throughout the body and face. Lykoi cats have only joined the International Cat Association in recent years. The first Lykoi kittens were born in Tennessee in 2011. The cats are said to be playful, loving, and intelligent.

    2/20 Ukrainian Levkoy

    Ukranian Levkoy
    Qubicle

    This fascinating cat breed was introduced in 2004 and is a cross between two older breeds, the Scottish Fold and Donskoy. This cat was bred with the rise of the popularity of hairless breeds within the fashion scene. This breed is playful and inquisitive and is recommended to be kept busy throughout it\’s day. The only real downside of this breed is, because of it\’s rarity, pinpointing breed-specific complaints can be challenging. 

    3/20 Donskoy

    Donskoy
    Pets4Homes

    Another hairless breed, the Donskoy is originally from Russia and is often referred to as an “extraterrestrial feline”, with it\’s long antenna like ears and large piercing eyes. This breed actually comes in four different coats, that usually end up in complete hairlessness. The skin is very similar to humans in that it sweats when it\’s hot and suntans/burns. Their demeanor is very loving and gentle. 

    4/20 Munchkin

    Munchkin
    Mascotas Facilisimo

    Munchkins are pretty typical cats. What makes them one of our fascinating cat breeds is their unusually short legs (and exceptional cuteness!). These short legs might seem like a downfall of theirs, but they actually make for great jumpers and speed demons. These cats are especially energetic, loyal, and love to corner prey. 

    5/20 Laperm

    Laperm
    Google Groups

    The Laperm cat has a Native American background and was bred accidentally in a barn in the 1980\’s. The Laperm is known for it\’s soft, wavy coat that forms in loose and tight ringlets all over the body. This breed is larger and well-muscled, requiring lots of activity throughout it\’s day. There are long and short hair versions and they are both known to be playful, loving, and loyal companions. 

    6/20 Scottish Fold

    Scottish Fold
    Pet Health Zone

    Scottish Folds are a well-known and loved lap cat originating from the 1960\’s. While they are most known for the fold of their ears and a rather “smushed” face, they are also known for their extremely loving personalities and loyalty to their “people”. The thing that makes this cat breed especially fascinating is that every Scottish Fold can trace it\’s ancestry back to the original, Susie.

    7/20 Sphynx

    Sphynx
    ASPCA

    The Sphynx is the original hairless cat icon. Dating back to the 1960\’s the Sphynx originated in the Canada. While the cat is basically hairless, individuals do have a short, fine soft down that makes them outstandingly soft and warm. Their skin is also oily, which requires frequent baths. Another prominent feature about the Sphynx is their outrageously tall ears that stand 2 or 3 inches in height. 

    8/20 Peterbald

    Peterbald
    World Atlas

    The Peterbald is another hairless cat, but it does have one truly unique characteristic. It has webbed feet! This breed will use it\’s webbed toes to pick up objects and even open doors. A truly fascinating cat trait. These cats have peach or suede like skin and are “addicting” to touch. This cat breed is relentlessly attached to their owner, crawling under covers to cuddle endlessly. 

    9/20 Teacup Persian

    Teacup Persian
    Reference

    While the Teacup Persian isn\’t an actual breed of it\’s own, it\’s a variety of the Persian breed, this cat is fascinating in it\’s own teeny tiny way. Literally…these cats have been bred to stay so small that they could fit in the palm of your hand. Personally, having a cat this small would make me a little nervous!

    10/20 Savannah

    Savannah
    F1 Hybrids

    These beautiful cats are a domesticated hybrid of perfection. The Savannah is a cross between a domestic cat and an African Serval. The striking, wild appearance is only one trait that makes it desirable. This cat also has an outgoing and adventurous personality that bonds strongly with it\’s humans. This is also the tallest domesticated breed of cat.

    11/20 American Curl

    American Curl
    Petcha

    The story of this curly eared cat starts in California in 1981 when a couple found a stray kitten with curly ears on their doorstep. Later that year, the kitten had her first litter and two of the four had the curly ears. The rest is history. These cats are very curious and love spending time playing with children or laying in the lap of their owner.

    12/20 Bengals

    Bengal
    Mental Floss

    Another hybrid between domestic and wild, the Bengal is a perfectly designed kitten machine. These cats are a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard Cat. Their markings are especially fascinating because they are the only domestic cats with the distinct rosette markings of leopards, jaguars, or ocelots. These cats are small to medium in size and have a more rambunctious personality. 

    13/20 Minskin

    Minskin
    Pet Advisor

    This fascinating cat is quite the fascinating mixture. In 2000, a man mixed a Munchkin and a Sphynx and got…a Minskin. With the short legs and mostly hairless body, it\’s not hard to imagine this mixture. These cats do have short, patchy hair around the face, ears, paws, and tail but always have a hairless belly. Minskins are intelligent, playful speed demons that require lots of love and attention.

    14/20 Toyger

    Toyger
    PetsInLife

    It\’s in the name. The Toyger. The toy tiger. This cat has been breed to resemble it\’s wild counterpart, the largest big cat, the tiger. Breeders are still working to accurately replicate the exact pattern of wild tigers to the domesticated doppledangers.

    15/20 Jaguar Power

    Jaguar
    Pinterest

    Some of nature\’s most raw and impressive powers comes from the big cats. Making these cats, some of the most fascinating, so we had too add a few of the most extraordinary to our list. The jaguar is a large, wild cat that is typically found in Central and South America and have jaws strong enough to crack a tortoise shell, which happens to be one of their favorite treats. 

    16/20 Lethal Leopards

    Leopards
    Hluhluwe Game Reserve

    Another fascinating (big) cat, the Leopard. Leopards generally live in Africa and Asia and are known for being skilled and deadly predators. These fantastic felines are also known for bringing their prey up into trees to eat and protect it from other scavengers. 

    17/20 Tantalizing Tigers

    Tigers
    World Atlas

    Tigers are an impressive species, being the largest “big cats” and the perfect predatory animal. Typically hunting alone, tigers will target their prey from the rear. Different subspecies of tiger exist across Asia, Russia, and China. Perhaps the most distinct feature of tigers are the banded stripes across the body. Each individual displays a different pattern and these patterns can be used as fingerprints to identify one from another. 

    18/20 Lion

    Lion
    The Star, Kenya

    African lions exist in, well…Africa, but a small population of Asiatic lions does reside in India. Lions are one of the largest big cats, but what\’s even bigger than their size…is their roar. One of the most impressive traits of a lion is it\’s communicative abilities through vocalizations. A lion\’s roar can be heard from up to five miles away! 

    19/20 Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Trust
    Snow Leopard Trust

    Seldom seen in the wild, snow leopards inhabit altitudes between 9000-17000 feet, from Afghanistan to Russia to India and China. These fascinating felines possess several interesting qualities. One being that they do not possess the ability to roar and they can execute leaps up to 50 ft.

    20/20 Don\’t Go Chasing…Cheetahs

    Cheetah
    Travel and Leisure

    Last, but certainly not least, on our list of fascinating cats, the fastest terrestrial animal to live today, the cheetah. Cheetahs primarily live in the grasslands and open savannas of Africa, and with all of that space and a body built for acceleration, it\’s no wonder they can reach over 60 mph. At top speed, they can complete over four strides per second.

    Sources

    International Cat Association – Cat Breeds
    Nat Geo Kids – Awesome 8: Big Cats
    Trendchaser – The Most Bizarre Cat Breeds of All Time

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