Are you wondering which the most obscure cat breeds are?
Then you’ve come to the right place to see some cute cat pictures and learn more about the rarest cats in the world.
Just keep reading.
READ MORE: List of Most Quiet Cat Breeds
10 Most Obscure Cat Breeds
Do you know how many cat breeds exist in the world?
Currently, the largest cat organization – the International Cat Association – recognizes over 70 breeds for championship status, while the Cat Fanciers’ Association accepts only 45 pedigreed breeds.
But many more breeds exist around the globe, which is not part of these large cat organizations or are still in development. They’re the result of experimental breeding and genetic mutation.
So, I’m not here to talk about strange and weird cats, such as the Devon Rex, the Sphynx, or the Munchkin. Instead, I will show you some of the newly discovered or developed cat breeds.
Look at those curly ears, hairless coats, and short legs! Isn’t it easy to fall in love with the unique appearance of the Dwelf cat despite its lack of fluffy fur?
Interestingly, the Dwelf combines the genes of three breeds – American Curl cats, Sphynx, and Munchkin. That’s why they have a muscular body, short legs, and curly ears.
These hairless felines are very affectionate, playful, and have dog-like personalities. They can’t climb or jump as high as other breeds, but they’re still fast and curious.
Dwelf cats also make excellent companions because they’re intelligent, social, and well-mannered. They love to be close to their owner but won’t make much of a fuss when alone.
However, these obscure cats can suffer from various health problems, thanks to the genetic mutation responsible for their short legs. (1)
This hairless breed also requires more care than a regular domestic cat breed because their wrinkled skin requires frequent bathing.
Currently, the Dwarf Cat Association recognizes the Dwelf, and TICA has it included in its list of experimental breeds.
#2 Aegean Cats
Have you ever been to Greece’s islands near the Aegean sea? Then you’ve probably come across the Aegean – a medium-sized cat with semi-long fur, muscular body, and almond-shaped eyes.
These obscure cats are excellent hunters, love playing in the water, and make great companions for children. This mouser breed is also affectionate, smart, and likes to be close to people. (2)
However, the Aegean is an active breed with a lot of energy. If you keep it as an indoor cat, provide regular stimulation and cat trees to keep your kitty happy.
Interestingly, the Aegean’s coat is bicolored or tricolored, with one of the colors always being white. Their semi-long dense coat protects them in winter, but they shed it in summer.
As such, they aren’t the best choice if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic breed or one that won’t shed fur all over the house. But they’re a very healthy breed with almost no inherited diseases.
The Aegean is likely one of the oldest domestic cats, but its development into a formal breed started in the 1990s. No association recognizes it yet, and it’s very rare outside of Greece.
Here’s how they look:
The Bramble is one of the cutest cat breeds – a mix between Bengal and Russian Peterbalds. It’s very close in appearance to Bengals and has the unique large ears of the Peterbald.
And while the Bramble has a wild appearance, its temperament is affectionate and lovely. These cats love to spend time with their owner and tend to bond to a single person.
However, the Bramble has strong hunting instincts and is as fast as lightning chasing prey. You have to provide enough mental and physical stimulation to avoid destructive behavior.
But their short wire-haired coat is easy to maintain, and they won’t shed all over the house.
#4 Napoleon Cat
It’s no surprise if you’ve never heard about the obscure Napoleon cat or Minuet Cat.
The breed appeared in the 1990s when Joe Smith decided to cross Persians and Munchins to create a cat breed with a distinctive appearance. (4) And he did it.
The Minuet cat has the fluffy coat of the Persian and the stocky body of the Munchkin with its short hind legs. The face is round with large ears, a broad nose, and small ears.
As for its personality, the Minuet cat takes traits from both parents. It’s an active, social, and affectionate breed with a lovely disposition, mischievous streak, and a curious nature.
Its balanced temperament makes it the perfect breed for families with children. And its lovely coat comes in a wide range of colors.
However, the Minuet is prone to certain inherited conditions due to its short stature.
#5 Russian White
Thanks to its unique appearance, most cat lovers easily recognize the lovely Russian Blue. However, not many know about the existence of other Russian cat breeds, such as the Russian Whites.
Rusian Whites have a strong physical resemblance to Blues, except for their distinctive pure white coats. They’re all muscular animals with vivid green eyes, wedge-shaped heads, and long tails.
While Russian Whites are affectionate cats, they’re shy around strangers and need time to warm up to you. But their short coat doesn’t need much care, and they don’t mind being alone.
Since 2010, this Russian cat breed has been eligible for championship status by TICA, but other cat associations do not widely recognize them. (5)
The Russian Black and the Russian Tabby are also Russian breeds, other variations of the Russian Blue.
When talking about obscure cat breeds, I can’t miss the unique Safari with its spotted coat and large ears. It’s a hybrid between the wild Geoffrey cat and a domestic shorthair cat.
This spotted tabby has 37 chromosomes instead of the usual 36. (6) It’s also one of the largest breeds with a weight of up to 25 pounds.
Despite its wild appearance, the Safari has a lovely temperament and calm disposition. They’re an intelligent breed and make good pets for the right owner.
However, the Safari is a very rare breed since the males have fertility problems and only a few breeding programs exist.
Don’t be fooled by the name. The Lambkin isn’t a lamb but a mix between two unique cat breeds – the Munchkin and the Selkirk Rex.
Usually, the Lambkin has the typical Selkirk’s curly coat and the Munchkin’s short legs. They’re easy-going and playful cats with lots of energy and affection for their owner.
Both Munchkins and Selkirk Rex love attention, so a Lambkin thrives best when around the family. As such, they’re the ideal companions for people who don’t mind a cat sleeping in the lap.
If you’re in love with black cat breeds, then the Pantherette will smite you with their slender bodies, luxurious black coats, and gold-colored eyes.
Despite its strong resemblance to Panthers, the Pantherette is a hybrid between Black Bengal cats and Maine Coons or Pixie-Bobs. (7)
It’s larger than other fancy breeds, so it’s not the best choice if you want a lap cat. But its short coat requires occasional brushing to keep it, and it has a friendly temperament.
#9 Kucing Malaysia
As the name suggests, the Kucing Malaysia is a Malaysian cat breed, the first ingenious one. It’s a medium-sized cat, similar to the Tonkinese breed and Ragdoll in appearance.
The breeders strive to produce a cat with an egg-shaped head, medium-bone body, and almond-shaped eyes.
However, as the breeders explain, “The results at the moment however are still less than 50 percent perfect but are expected to get better.”(8)
#10 Jungle Curl
The Jungle Curl is one of the popular obscure cat breeds, thanks to its unusual appearance and friendly temperament. It’s a mix between the wild African Jungle Cat and the domestic American Curl.
In general, these cats can reach up to 25 pounds in weight, but they’re affectionate, playful, and highly adaptable.
Still, they have a wild streak, so they’re the best choice of cat companion for families with children.
Obscure Cat Breeds: FAQs
What Is the Rarest Breed of Cat?
According to The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the rarest cat breed in the world is the Sokoke. It’s a natural bred with a unique see-through ticked tabby pattern.
Tonkinese, Minskin, Norweigian Forest Cat, and the Egyptian Mau are also exotic and obscure cat breeds.
What is a Werewolf Cat?
The Lykoi looks like a wolf cat or werewolf cat thanks to a natural mutation, causing them to shed most of their fur. While its half-hairless body looks scary, the Lykoi is friendly and affectionate.
How Can You Tell If a Cat Is Rare?
You can tell if your cat is rare by doing a DNA cat test. It will show you how close your kitty is to other breeds.
You will rarely find these obscure cats among the most popular breeds or up for adoption in shelters. Some of them might not make it to an official breed, but you can’t help but admire them.
If you’re thinking about getting such a cat, you should know that newly developed breeds have health problems, and cat care can be expensive.
- 1. Dwelf Cat Breed Information and Pictures [Internet]. PetGuide. 2017 [cited 2022 Jan 31]. Available from: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/cat/dwelf/
- 2. Aegean Cat Breed Information [Internet]. Vetstreet. [cited 2022 Jan 31]. Available from: http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/aegean-cat
- 3. Bramble Cat Breed | UKPets [Internet]. UK Pets. [cited 2022 Jan 31]. Available from: https://www.ukpets.com/cat-breeds/bramble
- 4. Minuet Cat Breed Information and Pictures [Internet]. PetGuide. 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 31]. Available from: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/cat/minuet-cat/
- 5. Black / White [Internet]. Available from: https://russiancatsaustralia.com/black-white/
- 6. Mills M. What is a Safari Cat? [Internet]. F1hybrids Savannah Cats. [cited 2022 Jan 31]. Available from: http://www.f1hybridssavannahcats.com/articles/safari
- 7. Pantherette Cat | Cat Breed [Internet]. www.wotcat.com. [cited 2022 Jan 31]. Available from: https://www.wotcat.com/breed/Pantherette%20Cat.html
- 8. Malaysia Cat Club [Internet]. www.malaysiacatclub.com. [cited 2022 Jan 31]. Available from: http://www.malaysiacatclub.com/projects.html
What do you think about this list of obscure cat breeds? Which strange cat breeds would you like to add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.
Learn more about Grigorina here