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The Chausie Cat Breed: An Exotic and Wild Domestic Hybrid

Stephanie has been a professional freelance writer since 2007 and likes to write about a variety of topics including unique cat breeds.

The Chausie cat is a hybrid domestic cat breed.

The Chausie cat is a hybrid domestic cat breed.

What Is a Chausie?

Cat fanciers and many adventurous owners are seeking breeds of domesticated cats that go beyond the ordinary. Developed from cross-breeding small wild cats with domestic breeds, there are now a number of tame, hybridized cats: Bengals, Toygers, and Chausies.

The Chausie cat, like many of these hybrids, possesses numerous endearing characteristics that differentiate it from its "average" domestic relatives. These cats are:

  • Extremely active
  • Intelligent and trainable
  • Adventurous and enjoy walking on leashes (much like dogs)
  • Water-loving
  • Social (get along with other animals in the household)

What Makes This Breed Unique?

The Chausie is a bit larger than the domestic Bengal cat and the Toyger, and weighs in at about 25 pounds when full-grown; they can be nearly twice as tall as regular domestic cats. This breed is also known as a "Jungle Curl," a "Stone Cougar," or a "Mountain Cougar."

Some people also refer to Chausies as "Jungle Cats," although they actually descend from this wild species. Therefore, the breed is the result of crossing a Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and a domestic cat (often the Abyssinian).

Chausies descend from the Jungle Cat.

Chausies descend from the Jungle Cat.

Information About the Chausie's Wild Relative

Also known as the "Swamp Lynx," the Jungle Cat surprisingly is not related to the lynx cat family. It is a medium-sized feline, about 28 inches long, and 2 feet tall. They weigh approximately 35 pounds. The cat has pointed ears (resembling a lynx) and long legs. It lives in Egypt, Asia, India, and Sri Lanka, and populates the savannas and dry forests, but prefers grasslands near water.

Jungle Cats that live close to rivers and lakes actually dive for fish. They also feed on frogs, birds, and small rodents. The species is not classified as endangered, although many are captured and killed for their fur. They are regularly hunted in the Middle East and have basically disappeared from African regions. This may explain why so many people are interested in a domestic cat breed related to the Jungle Cat.

The breed retains the striking traits of its relative the Jungle Cat.

The breed retains the striking traits of its relative the Jungle Cat.

History and Characteristics of the Chausie Cat

Chausies were first bred in the 1960s to provide owners a safe (and legal) alternative to keeping wild Jungle Cats as pets. Even today, however, prospective owners should check local laws and regulations. In a few locales, hybrid pets are illegal. It is important to note that your pet must be at least F4 (four generations from its wild ancestor).

Chausies are good-natured felines and described as "fearless but not aggressive." These animals generally have exquisite beauty, grace, and characteristics that some would say make them more akin to owning a dog (including their love of water, trainability, and fierce loyalty to their owners). No wonder this breed is so popular!

Breed Appearance

  • Body Type: A premier Chausie specimen will have tufted ears (although not required as a breed standard), a 3/4-length tail, and a long, lean body.
  • Coat Colors: Accepted colors include brown-ticked tabby, silver-tipped, and black.
  • Maturation: Because they are larger than most domestic cats, kittens can take two to three years to reach full maturity. Kittens are often born with stripes or spots all over their body, but when they reach adulthood, only stripes on the tail, legs, and face should remain.

Are Chausies a Recognized Breed?

The Chausie breed was recognized by TICA (The International Cat Association) for registration status in 1995. This was changed to Advanced New Breed Status in 2003.

What Is the Price of a Chausie Cat?

Are you thinking about adopting one of these cats? They come with a pretty steep price tag. Depending on pedigree, age, whether they will be bred or shown, and characteristics, plan on spending at least $500-$2,000 for a Chausie.

The breed is extremely active, so be sure to offer your cat plenty of environmental enrichment and stimulation.

The breed is extremely active, so be sure to offer your cat plenty of environmental enrichment and stimulation.

Are You Thinking of Adopting a Chausie Cat?

Owning a Chausie is similar to most domestic cats with several exceptions. Be sure to do your research:

  1. As mentioned above, you should check to make sure that it's legal to own a hybrid domestic cat breed in your city or state.
  2. These cats are larger and more active than most, so be sure to have plenty of toys and time to spend with them (or risk having them get into trouble).
  3. Some owners have reported that their Chausies develop a gluten allergy, which may require a special diet. Commercial cat food is usually made with wheat and other grains that may irritate the digestive system. Be sure to have your pet thoroughly checked by a veterinarian.
  4. As always, unless you will be breeding, be sure to spay or neuter!

Sources and Further Reading

© 2008 Stephanie Marshall


Donna Rayne from Sparks, NV on November 09, 2019:

Wow! I enjoyed reading this excellent article! Thank you!

Carie5150 on March 06, 2015:

I acquired an exotic kitty a few yrs back and he may be a chausie. Coolest cat ever! He is black ticked and beautiful:)

brandon on May 10, 2013:

MYA talk about BEING ignorant? You can't even spell let alone use english. Kinda an oxy moron (sure u dont know that one). were somone trolls a blog to type smack, and cant even SPELL now THAT'S somone BEING ignorant. Perhaps you ment ignoramous or idiot and BTW its spelled HEALTH not healt. Least try and sound intelligent. That is all awsome cats tho ;)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on December 06, 2011:

Thanks craftybegonia,

A baby tabby cat sounds wonderful. Its been a while since we've had a kitten in our home. Appreciate the comment and vote. Best, Steph

craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on December 06, 2011:

Beautiful animal, but I have my hands full with a wee bee tabby! She's smarter than smart, though, and loves her leash! Voted up.

Kara on November 04, 2009:

My daughter found an abandoned kitten and brought him home last year; appears to be a hybrid of some sort. He now weighs about 15 pounds and is very aggressive at times. He bit me really badly 2 nights ago, and I'm left with no choice but to euthanize him due to his unpredictable behavior (yes, he's neutered). I agree with Mya that it's irresponsible to "invent" new animals when only 1 in 10 cats in the world actually find homes. Whoever breed this poor guy must've known they'd made a mistake and dumped him in a townhome development to be "someone else's problem".

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on June 23, 2009:

Hey Dorsi - thank you so much!! Yes, I loved putting together the cat series last year. We have a Bengal cat which also is very energetic.

Thanks for the kudos for Peachy Green. I'm having a lot of fun...

Dorsi Diaz from The San Francisco Bay Area on June 23, 2009:

Cool hub Steph about some very cool cats. Boy that cat in the video DID have tons of energy, didn't he? BTW- great blog you have over there at Peachy Green. Very nicely done!

Thumbs up!

vicki on May 02, 2009:

why do all this mix breeding when there are so many unwanted cat all over the world, so many die

Mya on April 04, 2009:

It is an irresponsible thing to do crossess with this animals. You are an ignorant person, crosses like just result in abnormal animals, and healt problems. You should search for more information, and stop being an ignorant. Also apllies to all of those who are searching for a hybrid pet. This is like crossing a human with a chimpanse.

Emily on December 28, 2008:

The cat you have pictured as a "Jungle Cat" is actually a Caracal, and the last video are actually 100% Jungle Cats not hybrids. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Beautiful photos though. I have an F2 33% Chausie myself. :)

Michael on July 18, 2008:

Thanks for this page. I've never been to your site before. There is not much on the internet about the early history of this cat, though.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on April 22, 2008:

Thank you so much, rmr!

rmr from Livonia, MI on April 22, 2008:

Another beauty! You are rocking the cat hubs!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on April 21, 2008:

Yes, Angela - the one thing you can do is see if there is a rescue organization. That may bring the price down a bit. But, I'm with you (with 4 kids, 2 dogs and a cat), I'd best not add to the mix. :-)

Thanks solarshingles! I appreciate the comment.

solarshingles from london on April 20, 2008:

Thank you for so nice and thorough description of this 'state of the art' cats.

Angela Harris from Around the USA on April 20, 2008:

These cats are beautiful. I was interested until I saw the price tag. ;) But I have enough animals to keep me busy, anyway.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on April 20, 2008:

Thank you, pgrundy and John! I must dedicate this series to Romeo (our Bengal cat) - and John has kept me going! There are a few more exotic cats to explore, so stay tuned! Thanks for the great comments and support. :-)

John Chancellor from Tennessee on April 20, 2008:


This you have been doing a very great job of educating us about all the exotic breeds of cats. BSH (before Steph Hicks) my knowledge of cats was limited to Tom, Alley and pampered domestics ones.

pgrundy on April 20, 2008:

Wow. I never heard of these animals. I have a cat that I really love, but he's just as cat. A big cat, but just a cat. The idea of walking a cat on a leash is very exotic. I tried it with my house cat and he liked it but I wouldn't say he walked on the leash exactly---more like, wandered around on his own and balked at it when it stopped him. Thanks for a really fascinating hub. I will look for these cats, I'm intrigued!