Rare Cat Breeds: From Hairless to Curly and Exotic

Posted by Megan Swinney
rare cat breeds

A tabby cat may be a dime a dozen, but these rare cat breeds are really something to admire.

Domestic cats make cuddly friends. But when all your friends have the same type, you may want to venture into something just a little bit different. As you search for the best cat for your home, you may want to take a look at the rarest cat breeds. From munchkin cats to hairless breeds, here is a look at the rarest cat breeds.

15 Rare Cat Breeds

1. Korat

The beautiful Korat cat is known for its bluecoat. They were first found in Thailand and are thought to be good luck. Korats only come in the silver-tipped blue color. According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, their head is made up of three heart shapes. One heart you can see looking straight at their face, while the second heart can be seen by looking at the top of their head. The third heart is their nose. The short hair on the cat does not fly off when they are being pet, so those with cat allergies find them easier to be around.

2. Sphynx 

The Sphynx cat originated because of a genetic mutation. The first cat was born in 1966 in Toronto, Canada, to a domestic cat. Interestingly enough, these cats aren't always hairless, and their hair pattern can vary over time. Since they do not have fur, they can get cold. But since they are relatively bright, they will find a spot to sit and keep warm.

3. Devon Rex

The Devon Rex's signature look is its elf-like face and large ears. These curious cats are full of personality and love being a member of the family. Overall, they are low-maintenance cats that are easy to care for. However, be careful where you set your morning bagel; Devon Rex cats are notorious food thieves!

4. Minskin

This rare kitty cat is a mix of the hairless Sphynx and the Munchkin cat. The new breed first slinked onto the scene around 2008.

5. LaPerm Cat

The LaPerm cat was born to a barn cat in Oregon in 1982. The first one was born without any hair, but as the kitten grew, it developed curly hair. The owner tried to breed the cat to single out just the curly-haired variety. When she entered into a show with her LaPerm, people were fascinated by the breed.

6. Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau has more of an exotic look. They are great companion cats who are friendly with the owner but can be reserved around strangers. Egyptian pharaohs and kings worshiped the regal-looking cats. They are the only domestic cat whose spotted fur pattern occurs naturally.

7. Chartreux

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This breed of cat hails from France. Early references to the breed date back to the 16th century. They are known as very quiet cats. Legend has it that the cats took a vow of silence along with the monks they lived with. It is speculated that they originally came from Syria and were brought to France during the Crusades. A breeding program was established for the cats in the 1920s in Europe, and the cats came to North America in 1970.

8. Burmilla

The Burmilla is a mixed breed cat, part Burmese and part Chinchilla Persian. The blend of the two cat breeds makes them quite friendly and affectionate. The Burmese cat is known for being rather needy and naughty, so the Chinchilla Persian's easy-going personality balances out the breed. The breed descended from a lilac Burmese and a Chinchilla Persian's accidental meeting. Cat lovers can choose from a long-haired Burmilla or a shorthair.

9. Sokoke

?This rare cat breed came from Kenya and is full of energy. They love to run and climb as much as Abyssinians do. They are medium-sized cats with large green eyes and slender legs. Their coat is more of a tabby color, but some snow Sokoke's are pale with a few tabby markings.

10. Siamese Cat

Siamese cats are known for being expert communicators and for their intelligence. They are said to come from the sacred cats of Siam or Thailand. They are known as one of the original pedigreed cat breeds and were accepted into the CFA in 1906. They are known for their deep blue eyes that since in stark contrast to their fur.

11. Turkish Van

The Turkish Van comes from the countries of Iran, Iraq, Russia, and eastern Turkey. They came to England in 1955 and eventually to the United States in 1982. The cat is known for being primarily white with colorful patterns only on their heads or tails.

12. Peterbald

Peterbald cats are friendly and active. They usually are great companions for their owners and get along well with children and other animals. Their coat can be hairless, or they can have soft wavy hair. These kitties have a lifespan of 12-15 years.

13. Kurilian Bobtail

The Kurilian Bobtail is quite common in its native country of Russia. However, there are very few in North America, according to the International Cat Association. They have short bobbed tails with a large variety of colors. Since they were initially wild cats, the bobtail cat can live up to 20 years.

14. Serengeti

The Serengeti cat was bred to have a wild appearance similar to the African serval. Their coat has a soft silky appearance with yellow and gold coloring with black spots. Their eyes tend to be gold or amber in color. The cat's body structure is close to an oriental shorthair. They love to climb and run around at full speed.

15. Tonkinese

The Tonkinese loves to play games with its owner, including fetch and hide and seek. They love to meet new people and will be the first to say hi to any new visitors. The friendly cats are a blend of Siamese and Burmese cats and have beautiful aqua-colored eyes.

These rare cat breeds join the ranks of Bengals, the American bobtail, the Cornish Rex, the American Wirehair, and the Norwegian Forest Cat. All unique and beautiful cats with distinct markings and great personalities.

Do you have one of these rare cat breeds? Show us on our Wide Open Pets Instagram!

READ MORE: 10 Black Cats That'll Change Your Mind About "Superstitions"

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Rare Cat Breeds: From Hairless to Curly and Exotic