14 Rare Cat Breeds You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

  • It is not a substitute for the help of a professional veterinarian.

Most of us can easily identify a Siamese or Persian cat among a variety of cats. But how about a Peterbald? Or a sokoke? don’t you ring the bell

While everyone thinks their beloved cat is one in a million, purebred cat owners can take that description at face value.

The Cat Fanciers Association notes that all purebred cats can be considered rare, with only two to four percent of cats falling within the pedigree cutoff.

And like any rare wonder, these breeds are definitely something to appreciate. Here are 14 of the rarest cat breeds in the world.

1. Devon Rex

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This mischievous cat breed takes its name from its place of origin: Devonshire, England. With its big ears and playful mug, it’s no wonder the Devon Rex has earned the nicknames “pixie cat” and “alien cat.”

He’s a cat known for being stupid. The charming Devon Rex loves to play and interact with people.

2. Kuril Bobtail

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Although popular in its birthplace of Russia, the Kurilian Bobtail is rarely seen in North America. In fact, according to the International Cat Association, there are fewer than 100 Kuril Bobtails in the United States.

Interested parties be warned: These cats are notorious shedders. Whether their coat is long or short, they require more grooming than the average house cat. Honestly, we think these chubby beauties are worth the effort.

3. Norwegian Forest Cat

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Nearly extinct during World War II, the Norwegian Forest cat sports a thick, waterproof coat that protects it from the frigid winters of Scandinavia. Their tall, stocky build may seem imposing, but they are a people-oriented and social breed.

The Norwegian Forest cat has a loyal following in Europe, but they are rarely found in the United States.

4 minskin

Here’s a rare cat breed with a look that’s as unique as it sounds. The Minskin combines traits from its ancestral breeds, the hairless Sphynx and the Munchkin kitten.

The adorable Minskin is a new cat breed that was recognized as an official breed by the International Cat Association in 2008.

5. Egyptian Mau

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Sociable and exotic, the Egyptian Mau definitely makes the list of rare cat breeds. They are also one of the few domestic cat breeds that have natural markings on their fur.

Fun fact: This rare cat breed is a speed demon with recorded speeds of up to 30 miles per hour!

6. Tonkinese

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Originally from Canada, the charming and rare Tonkinese cat is a cross between the Burmese and Siamese cats. Mixing these two breeds has created a lineage of intelligent, friendly, and vocal cats. It’s hard not to be won over by her signature teal eyes.

7. Serengeti

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To create an exotic and wild looking domestic cat, the Serengeti was developed by crossing a Bengal cat with an Oriental Shorthair. It’s a relatively new breed with a handful of breeders in the United States, Europe, Australia and Russia.

In addition to their majestic demeanor, the Serengeti is an active cat that demands a lot of attention from its owners.

8. Charterhouse

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Affectionately called “the smiling blue cat of France,” this rare breed has a legendary history. The Carthusians are said to have enjoyed a quiet monastic life when the Crusaders brought them to the Carthusian monasteries in France.

Although the Chartreux is considered the national cat of France, it only recently made its appearance in the United States. Breeders can be hard to find in America, making the Chartreux a popular rarity.

9. Baldy Peter

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The small number of Peterbald breeders makes this cat one of the rarest in the world. Originally from Russia, the Peterbald can be completely hairless or have short “peach downy” hair.

Their charming personalities and remarkable athletic achievements make us wish there were more of these beautiful cats in the world!

10. Korat

The Silver Blue Korat is a cat that you are unlikely to see in the United States. The cat’s reproduction has been restricted by its native Thailand, making it a rarity outside of the country.

According to PetMD, “Breed and population limits may be quietly enforced as tradition dictates. This could be so that only the higher hierarchy or those lucky enough to have received a korat can get the chat.

Although finding a Korat breeder can be difficult, this rare cat can sometimes be found in rescue shelters.

11. The perm

This rare breed’s frizzy locks are reminiscent of the popular 1980s hairstyle, the perm. In 1982, Linda Koehl was shocked when a curly-haired kitten was born to her brown tabby. Aptly nicknamed “Curly”, this unique cat inspired Koehl to start a breeding program.

The friendly LaPerm has a dope personality and a habit of mischief.

12. Burmilla

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The origins of the Burmilla cat were set in motion by chance. After completing her chores, a housekeeper accidentally left a door open, giving a female Burmese lilac a chance to escape. She met an attractive Persian male and the two gave birth to the first Burmillas litter.

The Cat Fanciers Association urges those interested in bringing home a Burmilla to seek out reputable breeders and keep this “rare treasure” indoors.

13. Sokoke

The British Cat Fancy Board considers the Sokoke the rarest domestic cat breed in the world. This cat is from the Sokoke forest region of eastern Kenya.

Although it was previously believed to be a hybrid breed crossed with wild cats, DNA testing has shown the opposite. This friendly and energetic breed can actually trace its ancestry to Asian cats that were descendants of Arabian wildcats.

14. Turkish van

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The Van Turk didn’t come to the United States until 1982. According to the Cat Fanciers Association, this breed is considered a “regional treasure” in its Turkish homeland, prompting the government to restrict exports of this breed to other countries.

The CFA notes that “even in areas where the breed has been known for centuries, they are still relatively rare”.

If you are lucky enough to meet a Turkish Van, you will find that they are an affectionate, intelligent, and energetic breed.

There is something about these rare cats that scares pet owners. We have to admit that it’s hard to ignore these unique creatures. After all, it’s not every day you come across a bald cat or a cat with a perm. Which, to tell the truth, makes them even more special.

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