Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Ussuri Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 24, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Ussuri Cat Featured Image

Ussuri Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Breed Overview


9-11 inches


11-15 pounds


12-15 years


Spotted, tabby, striped tabby

Suitable for:

Singles and families, those looking for a low-maintenance cat


Intelligent, athletic, skillful, playful, independent, instinctive

The Ussuri is a naturally occurring hybrid that originated from Russia in the Amur River region. There is very little information about this breed’s origin, and what we know is conjecture history at best. However, the general view holds that the cat is a crossbreed of small wild cats (Amur Forest cats) and a subspecies of the Asian Leopard cat (Amur leopard cats).

Allegedly, the semi-wild Ussuri later mated with the Siberian cat and the Domestic Shorthair, giving birth to what we call the Ussuri cat today. Most of the information available about this feline’s origin is also based on their appearance.

The Ussuri features a wild look and has an athletic, well-boned body with a graceful appearance. The medium-sized head is round, and the chin is perfectly shaped without being protruding. Its medium-sized legs are well-muscled, strong, sturdy, and appear rounded. Similar to the European wildcat, the tail is rounded at the tip.

However, not many have laid their eyes on the Ussuri due to their rarity. Even in its origin country Russia, the breed has declined significantly after interbreeding with domestic cats in the region. If no breeding programs are created to preserve it, the Ussuri faces imminent extinction.

Ussuri Characteristics

Ussuri Cat Characteristics

A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

cat face divider 2

Ussuri Kittens

3 Little-Known Facts About the Ussuri Cat

1. They Often Have Lynx Brushes on their Ears

Some individual Ussuri cats usually have “lynx” brushes at the tip of their ears. This is a rare occurrence that is often present in some wild varieties of cats.

2. The Breed Is Not Recognized by Associations

The Ussuri is a rare breed with no clear breed status. It is not recognized by most associations, including TICA and CFA.

3. It Had a Breed Status in the Mid-1900s

In the mid-1990s, a translated breed standard for the Ussuri breed got published. However, nothing has transpired since that time.

The Parent Breeds of Ussuri
The Parent Breeds of Ussuri: Left: Amur Forest Cat (Igor Pushkarev, Shutterstock); Right: Amur Leopard (Carol Gray, Shutterstock)

3 cat divider

Temperament & Intelligence of the Ussuri Cat

The Ussuri is an intelligent and adroit cat. Having been born in the wild, they have a natural talent for hunting, and they will rid your house of rats, lizards, mice, and other tiny intruders.

Their hunting prowess makes them independent. Ideally, you should not expect them to follow you around the house, meowing for food. Sometimes they can even disappear after breakfast only to return later in the evening.

But that does not mean the cat is not sociable. Ussuri cats usually form a strong bond with one member of the family. Moreover, they love attention and can be quite playful. However, don’t expect them to sit on your lap.

The Ussuri loves to spend its time outdoors hunting rather than snuggling up to you on the couch. Therefore, if luck brings one your way, be prepared to give it freedom.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

The Ussuri may be wary of strangers, but they can be the perfect pet for the right family. Although this is a one-person cat, they are affectionate toward all members of the family. However, they may not be suited for families with small children.

The cat’s independent nature makes them the perfect choice for singles and families who can’t handle needy pets. If you don’t like the idea of your cat following you around the house constantly meowing for your attention, this is the ideal feline for you. Its low-maintenance grooming needs also means you will have more time on your hands to do other things.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The Ussuri is a natural hunter. Therefore, their hunting instincts should be higher compared to other cats. That is unfortunate news for those with other pets living in the home. The cat’s high prey drive is likely to kick in when interacting with smaller pets.

Amur forest cat and Amur leopard
Image Credit | Left: Pavel Filatov, Shutterstock; Right: Aubord Dulac, Shutterstock

cat paw divider

Things to Know When Owning an Ussuri Cat:

The Ussuri’s wild origin gives it unique traits and characteristics that may not be present in regular domestic cats. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this rare breed, here is what you need to know beforehand.

Food & Diet Requirements

An Ussuri needs to eat a well-balanced diet that caters to their wild nutritional needs. Since they may not survive on commercial foods, you need to feed them fresh meat. Your vet can also recommend nutritional supplements.

Naturally, the cat is not a compulsive eater. A nutritious-packed breakfast is usually enough to last them an entire day of play. Plus, their hunting ability makes them less dependent on you for food. However, this is no excuse to underfeed your pet.


These cats are naturally gifted athletes with exceptional abilities, and they need adequate space to run, jump, and climb. Therefore, they are not suited for apartment living. Since they spend most of their time outdoors, you need to keep a close eye on them lest they disappear into the wild.

Toys such as scratchers can keep the cats busy. However, they must be sturdy enough to withstand tough clawing and chewing. If you buy flimsy toys, they will not stand the test of time. Additionally, the cat could swallow small loose pieces and choke if the toy comes apart.

amur forest and amur leopard
Image Credit | Left: Igor Pushkarev, Shutterstock; Right: Warren Metcalf, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The Ussuri boasts a short, glossy, close-lying coat and a thick undercoat below it. The shedding is seasonal, meaning that this cat requires minimal grooming. You only need to brush the coat occasionally (preferably twice or thrice a week) to maintain the coat’s glossy appearance.

However, the Ussuri is capable of looking after itself. In fact, one is likely to decline your help in grooming. But if you start handling these cats from a young age, they might even allow you to trim their nails and brush their teeth. If your feline doesn’t permit any form of handling, it is better not to force the issue.

Health and Conditions

The Ussuri is generally healthy and may not fall sick as often as regular domestic cats. Owing to its wide genetic pool, the breed is not associated with any genetically inherited health conditions. Nevertheless, the cat may attract general feline health issues, albeit rarely.

Therefore, you need to schedule at least one visit to the vet annually. Although Ussuri cats are healthy in the wild, confinement life puts them at risk of developing stress and other mental health problems.

Minor Conditions
  • Stress and other mental health problems
Serious Conditions
  • None

Cat ball divider 1

Male vs. Female

Male Ussuri can grow to be a bit bigger and more muscular than their female counterpart, but the difference isn’t vast. The major sex differences will be most obvious before spaying and neutering occur when behaviors like spraying will arise. Speak to your vet about getting your Ussuri fixed at the right age to avoid these pesky habits.

cat + line divider

Final Thoughts

The Ussuri is one of the rarest breeds of cats in the world, and it is not easy to find one. Moreover, its population continues to dwindle as more of its members interbreed with domestic cats.

With no hope for a breeding program dedicated to preserving the breed, the Ussuri will likely become extinct. Therefore, if you have any hopes of making this wild-looking cat your pet, there’s no time like now.

If you own a Ussuri, you have to give it freedom. The breed is independent and will usually ignore people and pets they have no interest in. Overall, the Ussuri is a reserved feline with an independent nature. But it is also affectionate and playful. Born with a natural talent for hunting, this cat will make an excellent mouser. However, it is not good with other pets and is not an ideal option for families with small kids.

Featured Image Credit: Feel free to use this image but please credit

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.