Very few cats today are purebred, and unlike the thousands of dog breeds, there are less than 100 cat breeds, depending on which group you subscribe to. The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes 71 breeds, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) lists only 44, and the Federation Internationale Feline (FIF) has the shortest list of just 43. Even if you include developmental and experimental breeds, the list is very limited.
It can take a lot of development to ensure that a breed is genetically stable and standards are met before being accepted into one of the registries. However, as rare as it is, new breeds are recognized, and several breeders are working on developing new and unusual breeds. Below are 15 new breeds; some are the most recent to be accepted as standard, and others have yet to be officially recognized.
The 15 Newest Cat Breeds
Originally named the Highlander Lynx, the Highlander and Highlander Shorthair is still an experimental breed. They were created by crossing the Desert Lynx and the Jungle Curl. They have the markings of the Desert Lynx with the curled ears of the Jungle Curl, and the refinement of the breed has progressed. They are now accepted as an Advanced New Breed by the TICA, and they could soon find their way onto championship podiums.
Unlike the Highlander, the Serengeti has achieved standard status with TICA, which means that they can be entered into championships. They were developed by crossing a Bengal with an Oriental Shorthair and were first bred in the 1990s.
The Serengeti is a spotted cat with long legs and large ears. The male is larger than the female, and the breed standards allow for tabby, silver, smoke, and solid black color points.
The Aphrodite Cat, or Cyprus Cat, is a shorthaired cat that is energetic and very lively. There are feral populations in Cyprus, and a domesticated version is being bred with breeders looking to have them accepted as a breed standard.
The Aphrodite is known to be social and affectionate, and TICA has described them as being dog-like in their relationship with their human owners.
The Minskin is a new breed first bred in 1998 and accepted as a standard breed by TICA. They were produced by mixing the Munchkin and Burmese and combining elements of the Sphynx and Devon Rex. They are often described as the Corgi of the cat world with short, squat legs.
Although energetic, the Minskin cannot reach the heights of other cats because of the size of its legs. They are affectionate, loving, and playful and thrive on human interaction.
One of the breeds used to create the Minskin was the Munchkin, which is a new breed. This is where the Minskin gets their short legs, and the Munchkin is widely considered to be the original dwarf breed.
Although some registries have refused to accept the breed because of potential health concerns (the short legs are a genetic mutation, after all), TICA accepted them in 1995.
6. Tennessee Rex
Discovered in 2004, the Tennessee Rex is a natural mutation, and the breed is recognized by their curly hair with a satin finish. The Tennessee Rex is a very loving cat that enjoys spending time in your lap.
They are quiet cats, but they may make some noise when they want food. They take time to adapt to new surroundings, but they may soon have to adjust to official championships.
The Toybob is a toy cat breed, which means they are very small. Unlike a lot of toy breeds, they are not a miniaturized version of another cat. They are a unique breed that originates from Russia. The Toybob is recognized by the CFA and is considered a loving and loyal cat.
They are intelligent and social and get along with all family members, including kids and dogs.
The Toyger is a designer breed, and their markings have been purposely developed by breeders. The original breeders intended to create a domestic cat with the look of a tiger, and they certainly succeeded. TICA recognizes them, but the other registries do not.
Despite having the appearance of a tiger, this domesticated breed is known for being loving and affectionate. They mix well with family members of all ages, two-legged and four-legged.
Lykoi translates as “wolf cat,” which instantly gives you some idea of the look of this breed. They are hairless cats with pointed ears, but they have light patches of fur in some areas. They are an experimental breed stemming from genetic mutations in domesticated cats.
The Lykoi has been bred to be friendly with humans, but they retain some feral qualities. They are very active and enjoy time outdoors, but they still have a high prey drive and are not considered safe around small animals. They are also more reserved than other breeds, especially in new surroundings and with new people.
10. American Curl
The American Curl is a medium-sized, athletic cat with a long tail. However, their most distinguishing feature is, of course, their curled ears. The breed not only looks athletic but also has considerable athletic prowess. They will enjoy having a cat tree to climb, and they love perches and high spaces. While the American Curl will unlikely want to curl up on your lap, they will enjoy being near you.
11. Cheetoh Cat
The Cheetoh was bred from the Ocicat and the Bengal. In 2001, breeder Carol Drymon hoped to create a domestic breed resembling a wild cat. The resulting house cat was energetic and playful. Cheetohs enjoy playing with toys and climbing cat trees before settling down to rest on your lap.
The Cheetoh is quite vocal, so you can expect them to tell you when it is time to be fed, walk, or say hello. Be prepared for destructive behavior if the Cheetoh gets bored. You can get two Cheetohs to prevent boredom and loneliness.
The LaPerm is so-named because of its incredible perm hairdo. They were first bred in 1982 and are recognized by the TICA and CFA registries. The breed’s a small cat, and owners consider the LaPerm not only intelligent but also to have a sense of humor.
They can be quite mischievous, are more than capable of figuring out challenges like doors, and will follow you around without being overly clingy. They are equally friendly with strangers and get along with other cats and dogs.
13. Napoleon Cat
The Napoleon Cat was given the brand because they are short, like Napoleon, and are one of several dwarf breeds that have recently been introduced. The Napoleon was produced by crossing the Munchkin with a Persian.
They are loving, sweet, and relaxed with all members of the family and will socialize with strangers. They can happily live with other cats and dogs, but they have quite a bit of energy that you will need to help them burn off.
14. Ojos Azules
Ojos Azules means blue eyes, and it is easy to see where they got their name because the Spanish breed has striking eyes. They’re a medium-sized cat that started to emerge in the 1980s. The cat remains very rare and can carry a genetic defect that leads to cranial defects.
Therefore, breeding has been suspended, at least for the time being. However, some cats still exist and are known to be friendly and loving.
The Peterbald Cat was named because they were first bred in St. Petersburg, and their most striking physical characteristic is their bald body, but there are various degrees of baldness. You might be forgiven for thinking that a hairless cat will take less time and effort, and while it is true that they don’t need to be brushed, they require weekly baths.
They also need to eat more because of a faster metabolism, but they heal quicker. The Peterbald is as close to a canine companion as you can get. They will play, sit with you, and even enjoy a good walk.
New cat breeds are constantly being developed, but it is becoming increasingly uncommon to find a new natural breed. Breeders work with existing breeds to combine them and get the best traits of each. Existing breeds are also being fine-tuned with the hope of inclusion in one or more global registries. We hope you enjoyed our list of some of the latest cat breeds.
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