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July 31, 2014

9 Weirdest Cat Breeds

weirdest cat breeds
Have you ever noticed how, if you say you have a dog, people will ask you what kind, but if you say you have a cat they just nod? For some reason, the general public seems to care about dog breeds, but not cat breeds. Hell, I had a cat for 15 years, and I have no idea what breed he was.

I think it’s time to change this. We should know more about cats. It’s only fair. So today I’m giving you a list of the worlds weirdest cat breeds.

Why the weirdest? Because this site is called “OddballDaily.com,” not “ABunchofNormalStuff.com.” But also so that, if you ever come across one of these unusual breeds, you’ll seem that much more impressive to whomever you’re with when you name it. After all, any old idiot can point out a Persian. (Before doing this list, that was the only cat breed I knew.)

9. Japanese Bobtail
Japanese Bobtail
The Japanese Bobtail looks like any other cat…except, of course, for its bobtail. But take it easy animal-cruelty police—they don’t dock this feline’s tail like they do for the tails of certain breeds of dogs. Rather, the Japanese Bobtail has a little nub because of a genetic mutation that has been selectively bred into the line.

What can I say, I guess the Japanese like their cats tail-less.

8. Khao Manee
Khao Manee
The Khao Manee is an ancient breed of kitty originating in Thailand that is known for its short pure white coat. Khao Manee eyes can be a variety of colors; however, the preferred variety has eyes of different colors. (Which is kind of cool, but also kind of creepy.) For the longest time this cat was pretty much just found in Asia, but more recently it’s been gaining popularity in the West.

7. Devon Rex
devon rex cat
The Devon Rex breed was “discovered” in England in 1960. I’m not sure how you “discover” a breed of cat in modern times, but hey, that’s how the story goes. Originally people thought this breed was just a variation of another breed—the Devon Rex (#6)—but it turns out that cat scientists have determined that the breeds are not that closely related.

Most cats have three types of hair: guard hair (the long outer layer), awn (the middle layer), and down (the fluffy bottom layer).

The Devon Rex is unique because it has very little guard hair. What hair it does have is curled, thanks to a genetic mutation. (FYI, any cat with curled hair is called a “Rex”…even though, yes, in Latin “rex” means “king.”)

6. Cornish Rex
cornish rex cat
The Cornish Rex, like the Devon Rex, has curly hair. (You read what I just wrote about the meaning of Rex, didn’t you?) The main difference between the Cornish and Devon, however, is the hair. Whereas the Devon Rex lacks only the outer guard hair coat, the Cornish Rex lacks both the guard hair coat and the middle awn coat. That leaves just a curly down coat. Sounds soft and cudly, right?

5. Munchkin
munchkin cat
Meet the Basset Hound of the cat world. How so? Because (as you can clearly see) the Munchkin has disproportionately short legs. This comes as a result of a selectively bred genetic mutation. Fortunately, unlike short-legged dogs (like Welsh Corgis, Dachshunds, and the aforementioned Basset Hounds), the Munchkin cat doesn’t have spinal problems as a result of it’s weird frame. Plus, he can still run and leap like his long-legged brethren.

4. Ocicat
ocicat
The Ocicat breed was originally developed by a Michigan woman named Virginia Daly in the mid-1960s. It comes entirely from domestic cat lines—Siamese and Abyssnian, to be precise. However, over the years, breeders have managed to produce wildcat-looking spots. You know, so the cat looks more awesome.

3. Savannah
savannah cat
Here’s another breed of house cat that looks like a wildcat. But unlike the relatively wussy Ocicat, the Savannah actually has wild blood in him.

The breed came into existence toward the end of the last century. It is a cross between a domestic cat (originally a Siamese) and a medium sized (20-40 lb) wild African cat called a Serval. In 2001, the Savannah was officially recognized as a new breed of domestic cat by the International Cat Association.

Interestingly, this guy is considered to be much more social than typical house cats. Also, its more loyal and can be taught to walk on a leash and fetch. So the Savannah looks like a wildcat and acts like a dog. What’s not to like? I’d get one myself, but I have a feeling these are pretty expensive pets.

2. Scottish Fold
Scottish Fold cat
The Scottish Fold gained formal recognition as a distinct breed in the 1960s. It’s most distinctive characteristic is the folded ears, which are the result of a dominant gene mutation that creates a natural kink in the cartilage. However, it seems to me that the folded ears wouldn’t be nearly as remarkable if the cat didn’t also have a big round face, giving it the overall appearance of an owl.

Cuuuuute!

1. Sphynx
sphynx cat
Wow. Not cute. Like, really not cute.

Meet the Sphynx. Of course, you’re probably familiar with this weird breed. Mr. Bigglesworth—you know, the cat of Austin Powers’ nemesis, Dr. Evil?—he was a Sphynx.

Now, with an ancient-sounding name like Sphynx, you would think this guy comes from ancient times. But in fact, the modern version of the breed can be traced to a single hairless cat named Prune that was born in Toronto, Canada, in the 1960s. (What is it with that decade and weird cat breeds?) From there, breeders worked tirelessly to find other hairless cats and create an entire breed.