Last Updated: 5 months ago

You want a cat, but a common breed like Tabby or Ragdoll just isn’t for you, right?

You want something a bit on the wild side, right? A unique cat for your unique personality?

Well, that’s where exotic cat breeds come into play. Now, we’re not talking about lions, tigers, and pumas (oh my!). They may be exotic, but they do not belong in houses!

Still, there are some more exotic cat breeds that you can actually adopt that make great family pets.

1. Bengal

bengal cat

Bengal cats feature an exotic appearance without the danger of wild cats.

These cats came about by breeding domestic cats with Asian Leopard cats.

They are not recommended for first-time cat owners because they are active, curious, and require a great deal of attention.

Bengals are also affectionate, intelligent, and social.

2. Chartreux

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The Chartreux cat originates from France and features a gorgeous blue plush coat.

They first made their way to the U.S. in 1970 and were recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1987.

The Chartreux is the perfect lap cat and TV-watching companion.

3. Devon Rex

devon rex with wide ears

Many folks have compared the Devon Rex with folklore pixies, both in appearance and personality.

Physically, these cats have big eyes, long legs and a slender body.

Personality wise, the Devon Rex are active, mischievous and smart.

4. Exotic Shorthair

Orange Exotic Shorthair on Cat Tree

The Exotic Shorthair cat breed is a lot like the Persian cat breed, in the fact that they both have the same beautiful, sweet face, but the Exotic Shorthair has a shorter coat and is more active than the Persian.

These cats are easygoing, loyal and peaceful.

5. Ocicat

Ocicat in a yellow background

The Ocicat looks like a wild cat because of its spots, but is 100% domestic.

The spots, randomly situated throughout the body, feature various colors including blue, chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, lavender or tawny.

These cats came about as the result of the pairing of a male Abyssinian cat and a female Siamese cat.

6. Pixie Bob

Pixie-bobs are among the dangerous cat breeds

The Pixie Bob cat breed looks wild and exotic, but they are really a mild-behavioral breed of cat.

What makes these cats stand out above the other cat breeds is that they feature a trait known as polydactylism, meaning they have more than the normal number of toes.

7. Scottish Fold

black scottish fold cat

The Scottish Fold looks somewhat like an owl because of its unique feature, ears that fold forward.

The Scottish Fold was created from breeding an array of cat breeds including American Shorthairs, Burmese, Exotics and Persians.

These cats are curious, dexterous and outgoing.

8. Singapura

Singapura cat breed

The Singapura cat breed hails from Singapore and developed as a breed in the U.S. during the 1970’s.

These cats are the smallest cat breed, weighing an average of 5-7 pounds

The Singapura cat breed is known to be curious, intelligent, and playful.

9. Sokoke

sokoke cat breed

The Sokoke cat breed originated from Kenya in Africa.

These cats somewhat resemble cheetahs with their wild cat appearance, but they are indeed domestic.

They are known for their unique features, including blotched tabby coat pattern, almond-shaped eyes and stiff tail.

10. Sphynx

sphynx with wide eyes and ears

The Sphynx is a hairless cat breed that hails from Toronto, Canada.

While it is true they are hairless, they are not considered hypoallergenic because they do produce dead skin cells, also called dander.

These cats make great family pets and are often used as show cats.


All of these exotic cat breeds make great family pets. Even better, they’re actually meant to be family pets.

Remember, even though lions and tigers and pumas look beautiful in the wild, they are supposed to stay in the wild.

They don’t belong in houses. In fact, owning one as a pet may not just be dangerous, in many places it’s illegal!

Do you have any of these gorgeous exotic cat breeds as a family pet? Share your experiences below!

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Deana Tucker
Deana Tucker

Deanna is a passionate cat lover and freelance writer. She lives with her Chi dog and a ragdoll cat. When she’s not writing, Deanna loves listening to country music or watching Dancing With The Stars.