Claire is a long-time cat owner/rescuer who is interested in different cat breeds and eventually adopting her own purebred cat.
Do Your Research Before Adopting a Cat
I have been interested in getting my own purebred kitten for a long time. Before making a decision, it is important to do your research for a number of reasons such as preventing funding of irresponsible breeding, health issues breeds might be known for, and making sure the breed you choose will match your lifestyle. During my research, I have come across a lot of interesting facts, including some bizarre cat breeds! Read ahead to learn about some of the world's strangest kitties.
It is rumored that the Pixie-bob cat breed is a result of a bobcat mating with a barn cat. However, even though this cat looks wild, DNA testing has shown no scientific evidence that this is true. It is more likely that it was selectively bred to look like an American Bobcat. Owners of this breed often describe it as "dog-like" due to its liveliness, leash trainability, and some even learn to play fetch!
Although some Pixie-bobs can be born with tails varying from short stubs to full length, you should be aware of the health conditions that can affect cats with shortened tails. Like the Manx breed that often suffers from a very serious condition known as Manx Syndrome, Pixie-bobs can also be susceptible to spinal issues that are caused by the deformities at the end of their spines. This really makes you consider if this is an example of unethical breeding and question if you want to be part of that by buying a breed like the Pixie-bob.
Pixie-bobs are also often known to be polydactyl (having more than the normal amount of toes). While this is not usually a serious issue, it may mean more grooming maintenance by their owners.
This breed can be traced back to an Oregon barn kitten born in 1982. The kitten, named "Curly," was apparently born hairless and only developed fine curly hair after eight weeks. After a decade of allowing the mutation to be passed on to generations and increase in instances did the owner realize how special this mutation was. After some selective breeding, the owner entered the breed into a show and named it "LaPerm" which means wavy or rippled.
The breed comes in all colors and patterns but red, calico, and tabby variations are most common. LaPerms are known to have playful and affectionate personalities. Personally, I think they sound like they are your normal friendly domestic house cat with cute permed hairdos. As long as it is socialized as a kitten you can expect it to do well with other cats and children (as long as the kids treat it with respect).
Minskins are a relatively new breed of cat which was created by crossing a Sphinx and Munchkin cat. They are described as a hairless cat with possible fur points-that is fur on the tail, legs, ears, nose, and face.
Due to their short legs, Minskins can suffer from a condition known as Lordosis. This is a condition that causes the spine to dip down and apply pressure on internal organs like the heart, trachea, and lungs. This can prove to be fatal as the organs grow. It sounds cruel to continue breeding animals for looks that can literally kill.
Peterbalds hail from Russia and were originally called "Don Sphinx" after the city where the first Peterbald was born, "Rostov on Don". While one in four kittens of Peterbald x Peterbald litters are born without hair, their littermates are born with hair. Some retain their fur and some lose it, and the genetics for why this happens are still not fully understood today! Kittens who do manage to keep their coats have extremely short velvety fur. Peterbalds are described as elegant, intelligent, and aggressively affectionate.
6. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds are originally from Scotland and were first bred in the 1960s. They are most known for their ears which bend forward and give them a cute, owl-like appearance. This is caused by a deformity of the cartilage which is unable to support and hold the ears up. These genetic mutations, which affect all cartilage in the body, can develop into incurable and painful diseases like arthritis. The UK's pedigree cat registry, known as the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), stopped registering Scottish Folds over concerns for the breed's health issues. Still think it's cute?
The Donskoy is a truly hairless breed, with all of its ugly, wrinkly, and alien-like glory. Even its whiskers look bizarre. The Donskoy originated from Soviet Russia (starting to see a trend with hairless cats..) when a woman saved a kitten being abused by two boys. The kitten, who was then named Varvara, became the foundational cat from which the breed was born. They are certainly some of the strangest looking cats.
4. Cornish Rex
Most cats have 3 types of fur which make up its entire coat: the outer fur or "guard hairs," a middle layer called the "awn hair"; and the down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Cornish Rexes have only a soft undercoat which, even stranger, is curly. Other characteristics of the Cornish Rex are his large ears and egg-shaped head. This is a truly strange and unique looking cat.
The Munchkin cat, or sometimes also referred to as the Sausage cat, is characterized by its comically short legs. The breed has gained tremendous popularity around the globe, but at what cost? Some breeders have even began to crossbreed Munchkins with Scottish Folds which have given rise to dismal health conditions. Many people purchase seemingly healthy kittens but soon begin to witness the serious health issues associated with the selective breeding.
As they age, the pain from the deformity in their bones are so great that they can no longer walk or jump into their litter box. Cats like this end up having to be put on life-long regiments of medication. The GCCF strongly discourages people from breeding and purchasing these cats as their genes are considered damaging to their kitten's health and general welfare.
2. Khao Manee
The Khao Manee, which means "White Gem" in Thai, is one of the rarest breeds of cats in the world. In ancient Thailand, the odd-eyed Khao Manee was thought to bring good luck and its eyes were thought to have mystical powers. Although their eyes come in different colors, the odd-eyed combination is the most coveted. The most amazing part of this breed is that it is natural, and not a result of selective breeding.
Aside from occasional deafness which is connected to genes that produce white coats in animals, the Khao Manee is not known for any breed-specific illnesses.
Coming in at number one is the Lykoi. The Lykoi got its looks from a naturally occurring mutation from a domestic shorthair living in a feral colony. The result from this was a partially hairless cat that resembled a werewolf. Even the name is a playoff of the Greek word "Lycos" meaning wolf.
At first look, you might think this is just another variant of many Sphinx breeds. However, after genetic testing done by UC Davis, the Lykoi has no genetics related to the Sphinx. Nothing compares to a Lykoi in terms of unique looks.
- Manx: Manx Syndrome (UFAW)
- Cute and condemned to suffering: it’s time to ban the breeding of mutant cats
Scottish Folds are adorable cats with folded ears and owl-like faces. But their cuteness also condemns them to a life of suffering.
- Lykoi Cats: The Catnip Times
Lykoi's are known for a gene mutation that prevents them from being able to grow hair. The lack of hair makes them look like werewolves.
- 'Munchkin' Cats Can Have Serious Health Issues: Here's Why (The Dodo)
They can't even jump right.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on January 30, 2020:
I love cats, but some of those cats I find scary-looking! Thank you for an informative read!