I'm a freelance writer and IT tech. I love cats and studying various breeds.
1. American Curl
The American Curl is known for its ears, which curl back slightly. A fluffy tail is also a defining characteristic.
This breed originated from a stray that wandered into the lives of an unsuspecting couple in 1981. They named the cat Shulamith. She later had kittens with curly ears. Behold! The American Curl had arrived. By 1983, selective breeding was underway.
Later on, a geneticist determined that the curled ears are autosomal dominant, meaning any cat with just one copy of the gene will have the trait.
The irony here is that a stray cat was essentially responsible for a designer breed.
This hairless cat and Yoda lookalike is much more popular and well-known thanks to movies and television shows. A genetic mutation, hairless cats have always been around, but it wasn't until the 1970s that scientists began genetically engineering kittens to create a breed. So even though they look like they came from outer space, they came from the rather typical domestic short hair.
The genetic tinkering has caused the Sphynx to have all kinds of problems, not to mention that being hairless when you are a cat isn't really that great. Owners need to watch for skin problems, burns, and ear wax build-up. It is also important to give them baths on a regular basis.
They are, however, known for being super gregarious, and described as one of the more dog-like breeds. If dogs were hairless, feline, genetic mutations.
Kookies Kat Poll!
The Munchkin or Dwarf cat earned its moniker from its small stature and abnormally short legs. This cat is another product of genetic engineering after two stray kittens were discovered with the anomaly. Although they are cute and cuddly, Munchkins are, for the most part, disabled. Without the long legs and agility of regular cats, their mobility is severely limited. Turning cats into cripples just seems really wrong.
Also known as the "werewolf cat," photos of this sinister-looking feline hit the interweb, and viral action ensued.
Like most cats that don't look like cats, the werewolf appearance is due to irregular fur growth patterns. The patches of hair form tufts that give this cat the menacing appearance.
Other than the hair condition, these cats are strikingly normal. But they look cool!
5. Scottish Fold
The whimsical appearance of this breed is caused by yet another genetic mutation. Fortunately, the Scottish Folds' big selling point is the ears, otherwise, they look like regular cats.
Their owlish appearance is a product of selective breeding. The perfect Scottish fold has a rounded head, with ears that lay flat back. Bred with American and British shorthairs, they are now one of the more expensive breeds on the market.
Cynda Pike (author) from Springfield, Missouri on August 11, 2017:
Thanks for reaching out and adding your suggestions. You are right - Manx and Turkish Vans would be good to add to this list!
GalaxyRat on April 30, 2017:
How about the Manx? And the Turkish Van? Nice Hub tho!