10 Cats That Look Like Tigers, Leopards, and Cheetahs
Ever dreamed of owning a wild cat with a mild temperament? It's entirely possible! Well, the cats on this list are not exactly wild (in fact, they're domestic), but they sure look exotic and have markings and features that make them look like miniature versions of cheetahs, tigers, and wild mountain cats.
You'll find that all of the cats on this list have more in common with each other than just their looks: they are also all social and active. So, if you're searching for a pet that looks exotic and wants to play, the following wild-looking cats will not disappoint.
1. ToygerClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 7-15 lbs.
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Personality: Intelligent, social, easy going, highly active
The Toyger is a designer breed that was first created by Judy Sugden in 1980. While this little "toy tiger" looks exactly like a miniature version of a real-life tiger, it actually posses no wild blood and descends from a line of purely domestic breeds. Judy mixed a Mackerel Tabby and a Bengal cat to create a breed that has tiger-like colors and markings and an affectionate and laid-back personality.
The Toyger requires ample time outdoors and can be leash trained.
2. BengalClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 6-15 lbs.
Lifespan: 14-16 years
Personality: Curious, playful, intelligent, active
In 1963, Jean S. Mill (who is the mother of Judy Sugden who bred the Toyger) developed the Bengal by crossing small wild Asian Leopard Cats with regular domestic shorthaired cats. The result is a cat that looks wild but gets along with people and other animals, including dogs.
The Bengal is a highly intelligent, active, and curious cat that enjoys climbing trees and being outdoors and can be leash trained. It requires stimulation, entertainment, and attention. Do not plan on getting this cat if you're going to be away from home for most of the day.
3. SavannahClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 12-25 lbs.
Lifespan: 12-20 years
Personality: Highly intelligent, involved, devoted to family, wary of strangers, active
The Savannah is a hybrid cat created in the 1980s by Judy Frank. Frank bred together an African Serval and a domestic cat, and the mix was developed further in the 1990s by Patrick Kelley and Joyce Sroufe.
Depending on where you obtain this breed, the Savannah can have anywhere from 50% Serval blood or a lot less. Because of their hybrid ancestry, some states may not allow Savannahs to be kept as domestic cats. Check your state laws and adopt from a rescue or reputable breeder.
4. AbyssinianClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 8-12 lbs.
Personality: Active, affectionate, playful, curious, alert, intelligent
The Abyssinian is constantly moving—whether it be jumping, running, or exploring every corner of the house and yard. He requires plenty of interaction with humans and toys to play with, especially puzzles to keep his brain active. If you think this cat will be happy sunbathing and napping when left alone, you couldn't be more wrong. He needs company and someone to play with and will act out if he finds himself bored.
5. Pixie-BobClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 8-11 lbs.
Lifespan: 15 years
Personality: Loyal, social, playful
The Pixie-bob was a result of unplanned breeding between a bobcat and a barn cat. While he looks like he belongs in the wild, the Pixie-bob is mild mannered and affectionate. He is extremely devoted to his family and gets along with everyone he meets, including dogs.
6. BombayClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 8-12 lbs.
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Personality: Tolerant, easy going, playful
The Bombay looks like a miniature black panther, but he is anything but fierce. He prefers to play and lounge around the house in the company of his people. The Bombay is laid back, affectionate, and tolerant of dogs and other people. However, because he likes to be the center of attention, he may get jealous of other cats.
7. Egyptian MauClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 7-9 lbs.
Lifespan: 13-16 years
Personality: Love heights, active, strong willed
The Egyptian Mau has long, slender legs and the personality of an Egyptian god/goddess. They love to climb and hang out on high perches to observe their kingdom and subjects. They are also fast runners and require plenty of space to run and play.
8. SerengetiClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 8-15 lbs.
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Personality: Active, loves heights, friendly
This designer breed was created in 1994 by Karen Sausman, a conservation biologist who selectively bred an Oriental Shorthair and a Bengal together to create the wild markings you see today. The Serengeti is a friendly cat that enjoys jumping and climbing. If not given stimulation in the form of human companionship or interactive play, this cat find its entertainment (a.k.a. destroy your house).
9. American BobtailClick thumbnail to view full-size
Size: 7-16 lbs.
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Personality: Friendly, intelligent, devoted, easy going
This wild-looking cat is a softie at heart. He will endear himself to anyone who gives him attention and enjoys company, whether it be with humans, other cats, or even dogs. He is easy going, affable, and adaptable. They are great travelers and therapy cats because they get along so well with everyone and have calm and friendly temperaments. If you've ever dreamed about owning a cat with a dog's personality, the American Bobtail is the cat for you.
Size: 7-14 lbs.
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Personality: Confident, active, social, loyal
The Ocicat looks like a little cheetah, but he has no wild blood in him. He is a busy body and is well-suited for a family that is busy and active. He loves to play, talk to his humans, involve himself in family activities, and get to know guests who stop by. Overall, the Ocicat is friendly and energetic, so he requires attention and interaction.