Prepare to be charmed by the Chausie — a fearless feline with Jungle Cat looks and an unmatchable air of assertiveness! Not for the laid-back lap kitty lovers, these playful cats are a mix of both intelligence and athleticism.
Before we proceed, let’s get down to the important bit: the proper pronunciation of that name! It’s not sha-see; rather, it’s chow-see. The name stems from the Latin term for Jungle Cat — Felis chaus.
As you may have gathered from his wild looks, the Chausie’s origin story dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. First discovered in the 1960s in parts of the Far and Middle East, the Chausie is a hybrid ancestor of the highly worshipped Jungle Cat species, which became domesticated by Egyptians who were impressed by their admirable hunting skills and laid-back personalities.
Although Jungle Cat hybrids have been around for centuries, the Chausie is the first domestic/Jungle Cat breeding to have been officially recorded — earning registration status from The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1995.
In terms of kitties, the Chausie is quite large. Males tend to weigh between 15 and 25 pounds, and females clock in at an impressive 15 to 20 pounds. Though their bodies are large, they are not rotund in any way; rather, their shape is long and slender, with males being considerably larger than their female counterparts.
Chausies appear in three pretty patterns — brown-ticked tabby, solid black and grizzled tabby. The brown-ticked tabby is the hue obtained from the Chausie’s Jungle Cat ancestor and features barring on the interior of the front legs all the way down to the hock of the hind legs.
Although their assertive nature does make them prone to bossiness, Chausies are fiercely loyal to their preferred person and love to spend time with their adored ones. That said, their love of socializing makes them quite happy to meet new people. They are good with other pets and children, especially if they came into the household as kittens.
Are they demanding? They can be. As affectionate, active, people-oriented cats, Chausies are all about pleasing their humans and lavishing them with love and attention. They don’t do well being left home alone for long periods of time. They get along great with other animals, though, so as long as you have a companion available for them, you can knock their demands down a notch!
Chausies have deep chests, which allow them to breathe deeply — an unusual trait that makes it seem as if they have unlimited amounts of energy.
Chausies are highly intelligent and love learning new tricks —playing fetch and walking on a leash are two of their most successful abilities. They’re constantly curious, with a playful demeanor that stays with them long into adulthood, making them seem forever young.
The Chausie’s topcoat is coarse, designed to withstand the harsh elements of the jungle, while the undercoat is short and dense. The breed requires minimal grooming — weekly brushing does the trick.
With a physique synonymous with that of an Olympian, the Chausie is programmed to run and jump like a high-flyer in a circus — no leap is too great, no height too daunting.
Mummified Jungle Cats have been found nestled away in Egyptian tombs, proving just how highly they were regarded by Egyptians. Even more interesting? Jungle Cats were often mummified alongside their owners during formal funeral rights in Ancient Egypt. It was believed that this process would cause the cats to accompany their owners into the afterlife.
Erika Sorocco has been writing about cats for 12 years. She currently shares her home with two finicky felines (Minky and Gypsy), one crazy pup (Jake) and not enough closet space. Find her online chatting about beauty, fashion and furbabies at Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans.
Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you!
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