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The Chausie cat breed has a bit of mystery surrounding them. They are a relatively new cat breed, yet their lineage technically extends back to cats and breeding patterns from ancient Egypt.
These cats are closely related to wild breeds. They have a distinct wild heritage, yet their careful breeding has created a people-friendly and easy-going animal. They have just started to be recognized by clubs globally because their deliberate breeding only started recently.
Chausie Kittens – Before You Bring One Home
3 Little-Known Facts About the Chausie
1. The Chausie is a part wild cat and part domesticated pet.
The Chausie has an exciting heritage because they are bred with wild jungle cats, specifically the Chaus. The Chaus is a jungle cat, also called a swamp or reed cat, that’s native to the Middle East and most of Southern Asia. They live in places with dense vegetation, are medium-sized for a wild cat, and are quite beautiful.
Many people dream of having a wild cat with a feral cat’s distinct appearance and temperament. However, it is challenging to domesticate a cat that has been wild or if both parents were wild.
To overcome this, American breeders began to import and breed Chaus jungle cats with somewhat similar Abyssinian cats. The combination resulted in the Chausie, a cat with a triangular face and an agile and muscular body. They still maintain a wild cat’s overall appearance but are known for being people-friendly and affectionate.
The Chausie is a fairly new breed because they weren’t purposefully bred until the 1960s. The kittens were crossed with the Chaus and domesticated breeds like Orientals, Bengals, and Abyssinians, all domestic breeds that have a similar appearance to wild cats.
Although it has only been a short period, the Chausie’s breeding has been mostly stabilized. A foundation for the breed was registered in 1995 in the U.S., and they became an official new breed in 2003. Currently, the Chausie is only officially recognized in France, though, and the U.S.A. and breeders are still trying to tweak the cat’s appearance to resemble the Chaus more closely.
2. Egyptians used similar breeding methods to what we use today to breed cats like the Chausie.
Two cat breeds are native to Egypt, one of which includes the Chaus. Early Egyptians first respected these animals because they would hunt and destroy the populations of mice and other vermin that threatened their grain stores. The Egyptians would leave extra food outside these areas to attract the cats to their stores with greater frequency.
Eventually, these wild cats became more domesticated. They were brought inside and would raise their kittens in the safety of the Egyptian home. They came to be revered as bringers of good fortune and were dressed up with jewels and showered with food fit for kings. Over the years, the myths and legends surrounding these playful companions and skilled predators developed.
In the New Kingdom, cats began to appear more frequently on tombs and drawings. When they died, the Egyptians began to mummify them out of respect and treasure them as pets in the afterlife.
3. The Chausie is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds.
Although the Chaus is only a medium-sized cat in the jungle, their progeny is much larger than other domestic cats. The Chausie is currently one of the largest domesticated breeds, often weighing upward of 30 pounds, even though they are lean animals.
The Chausie is a shorthaired breed with a triangular face and ever-alert eyes. They have long bodies, but their tails are often shorter than many other domesticated breeds. These cats are mostly muscle, which is where they get their somewhat surprising weight.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Chausie
Adopting a Chausie means taking on a cat that retains plenty of their wild traits. Unlike many other lazy domestic breeds, the Chausie needs long stints during the day when they get to be active. They are athletic animals and their muscular bodies make that obvious.
Although the Chausie can live in an apartment, you will need to clear spaces for them to run around, climb, and play with vigor. They also require a high level of interaction during their playtime and will doubtlessly try to rope you into playing with them. They have even shown an interest in playing fetch with their toys.
When breeding the Chausie, breeders desired them to look wild but still want to be with their owners instead of being independent. Breeders specified traits like not enjoying spending long stints of time alone and needing plenty of one-on-one time with their family members.
Chausies are smart and will enjoy playing with all kinds of interactive toys and games. It is best to rotate them out frequently so they don’t have time to get bored and become somewhat destructive.
Are These Cats Good for Families?
The Chausie can be a good match for your family, although they will always retain a few of their wild traits. Because of this, it is best if they live with a family that has older children. Both the cat and the children must be taught how to interact with each other appropriately so neither gets hurt.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
Chausies tend to get along well with other pets, both cats and dogs. Since they are so large, they don’t seem to fear or feel intimidated by other animals. Sometimes it can even be better to have other pets when you own a Chausie because they can help keep each other company and play with each other during the day.
Things to Know When Owning a Chausie
Food & Diet Requirements
You can free-feed your Chausie if you want, or you can put them on a structured feeding plan, where they eat two or three times a day. If you adopt a kitten from a breeder, it is best to ask them about their feeding routine and brand of food and stick with it. If you want to make any changes to their diet, then you should do it gradually. Making changes too quickly can give your kitten major stomach upsets.
As a Chausie gets older, it is good to give them food to support a more active and muscular cat. They do not tend to be fussy eaters, but they will appreciate high-quality food.
Chausies need plenty of exercise during the day to keep them healthy and content. Without moving around as much as they need, they will become bored and might get destructive over time.
Play with your Chausie so they receive at least 30 minutes of activity during the day. If you cannot give them enough activity, it is best to get them a playmate.
Chausies are closely related to wildcats. They do not like to be trained, although they are quite intelligent. You might teach them how to play fetch since they are so keen on getting enough exercise and having playtime with their favorite people.
Grooming the Chausie is easy because they have such short coats that lay close to their bodies. They need to be brushed about twice a week to reduce the amount that they will shed around the house. You can brush them with chamois leather to keep them in good condition and shining brightly. They tend to shed more in the spring and autumn.
Other than brushing them intermittently, you should also check their ears weekly. Do not let wax or debris build up inside, to avoid painful infections. If they are getting enough exercise, you probably won’t need to clip their nails, but you should still check them monthly.
Health and Conditions
Their wild cat genes mean that Chausies tend to be robust and healthy animals. They can inherit a genetic disposition for some of the more specific diseases to the Abyssinian cat, though. Take note of the parents’ vet records, and alert your vet if there is anything that they should watch out for as your cat ages.
Male vs. Female
There are no recognizable differences between males and females of this breed.
Although finding these beautiful jungle cat mixes can be a challenge, they are an incredibly unique cat to own. They need plenty of space to run around and prefer to belong to a family where they get plenty of love and interaction. Don’t underestimate the amount of exercise they need, or you will find yourself with a discontented cat.
Featured Image Credit: Tania__Wild, Shutterstock
- 1 Chausie Characteristics
- 2 Chausie Kittens – Before You Bring One Home
- 3 3 Little-Known Facts About the Chausie
- 4 Temperament & Intelligence of the Chausie
- 5 Things to Know When Owning a Chausie
- 6 Male vs. Female
- 7 Final Thoughts