10 Rare Cats You Probably Didn’t Know Exist

Unless you’re a devoted cat person, you might not realize that some of these unique breeds exist in the world.

They often have unique appearances and temperaments and not every breed is right for every owner. Here are some of the rarest breeds that you might not have heard of.

California Spangled

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Spangled

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Spangled

The California Spangled is a homegrown breed designed to look like a miniature leopard. Developed as recently as the 1980s, the Cali Spangled is incredibly active and acrobatic thanks to a long cylindrical body. That means they have no problem jumping onto your shelves and knocking all your pictures on the floor.

Kurilian Bobtail

iStock/asasirov

iStock/asasirov

The Kurilian Bobtail is a native of the Kurilian Islands off the coasts of Japan and Russia and has been found in the wild there for nearly 200 years. Surprisingly, these things love the water and are incredibly friendly and playful. Their cutest features happens to be their tails, which are short and curl up slightly over their backs, hence the name “bobtail.”

Ojos Azules

iStock/balticboy

iStock/balticboy

In case you haven’t brushed up on your Spanish lately, the Ojos Azules are named after their brilliantly blue eyes. Only ten of these cats were known to have existed as recently as 1992, though there are a little more than that today. They’re normally found among feral cat populations in Mexico, but as pets they’re friendly and affectionate companions.

Serengeti

iStock/KrissiLundgren

iStock/KrissiLundgren

Serengetis are vocal, playful cats with an extremely exotic look. The first thing you’ll notice when spotting one is the large ears sitting atop their heads and the often tiger-striped pattern of their coats. Serengetis are the cat world’s version of the “velcro dog,” meaning they tend to stick by the side of their owners at all ties.

Burmilla

iStock/jennybonner

iStock/jennybonner

It’s hard to miss the wide, green, child-like eyes of the Burmilla. It’s known for retaining its kitten-like personality throughout its life and loves affection and playing games. They’re incredibly innocent looking, but known to be a bit mischievous.

The Elf Cat

iStock/harma20

iStock/harma20

They’re called Elf cats, but they sort of look more like little hairless Gremlins, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Elf cats are new to the scene and are the result of crossing a Sphinx and an American Curl. The result is a elfish looking kitty with minimal to no hair and curled ears. The biggest perk with these guys is they love affection and are happy to be handled.

Lambkin Dwarf Cat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchkin_cat#Recognized_derived_breeds

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchkin_cat#Recognized_derived_breeds

The Lambkin looks somewhat like a traditional Siamese cat, except its coat closely resembles the puffiness of a baby lamb. Some owners claim it feels like running your hand through silk or cashmere. The dwarf part is thanks to its stumpy legs, making it the cat version of a wiener dog.

Skookum

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skookum_cat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skookum_cat

We take that back. If there’s a contender for the title of wiener cat, it’s definitely the Skookum. It’s one of the smallest breeds of cats alive, with some of the shortest legs, and is sometimes referred to as a teacup breed because of its small appearance. They’re surprisingly agile jumpers for such little fellas, too.

Sokoke

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokoke

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokoke

If you like the restlessness of a dog combined with the independent nature of a cat, the Sokoke might be right up your alley. Originally from Kenya, the breed has a distinct coat resembling a wood-grain pattern. They’re extremely intelligent cats that can be trained to walk on a leash, but they’re also very energetic and not the lap napping kind. They also “talk.” A lot.

German Rex

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Rex

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Rex

The German Rex stands out mostly due to its wooly appearance. The short awn hairs on these cats are thicker than the undercoat giving it a short of ripple effect. The German Rex is a natural athlete and is so intelligent it can be taught to play fetch and perform acrobatic tricks. They’re renowned for their ability to get along with everyone, including children and other animals.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

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