Cats have been our pets for centuries, yet many cat owners will testify that cats can never be fully domesticated. No matter the breed, cats have a predatory and solitary nature, which makes them perfect for easy-going pet lovers who crave a pet’s company, but not the great responsibility that a dog might require.
Despite their independence, cats have won the hearts of millions of people, proof of which are the many domestic cat breeds. There are many categories of cat breeds; short-hair, longhair, no-hair, small and large, but all are loved and sought after. From newly developed to almost extinct, here is the top 10 list of the rarest cat breeds!
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The Burmilla Cat is an accidental, domestic breed that originated in the United Kingdom in circa 1981. The breed is a cross between the Chinchilla Persian and Burmese cats. Standards were produced in 1984, and the breed gained championship status in the United Kingdom in the 1990s. The cat could set you back a cool thousand dollars, as they are rather rare especially in the United States. It stays a rather gentle cat perfect for the family.
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This was no accident, unlike the Burmilla. It was indeed intended to be bred to look like a wild cat, resembling the leopard. But unlike the wild cats, they are seemingly gentle and docile, preferring the warmth of a home, and a lot of attention from the family. The relatively new breed started in the 1980s and is now unsurprisingly expensive reaching sums of up to 2500 US Dollars. Like its ancestors, the Californian spangled loves to go on a hunt, moving objects, and loves a good climb. Paul Casey was the founder of the new breed, due to the high volume of poaching back in the 60s and 70s of wild leopards, by creating the new breed, in his mind, fewer people would poach the rare wild cats, and focus more on the new domestic cat breed.
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The Kurilian Bobtail cat originates from the Kuril Islands, claimed by both Russia and Japan, as well as Sakhalin Island and the Kamchatka peninsula of Russia. Short or long-haired, it has a semi-cobby body type and a short, fluffy tail resembling rabbits. The lack of his tail is genetics and is seen as a problem rather than something normal, as this could cause spinal issues. These cats are a natural breed, meaning they were not subjected to human artifact handling. This makes them rather special indeed as they were created by nature only. They have a great repetition and are perfect for most families.
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Wanting to develop a breed that closely resembled wild Africa without actually incorporating one into the gene pool, conservation biologist, Karen Sausman, selectively bred an Oriental Shorthair and a Bengal to achieve the desired result. This breeding produced a graceful, leopard-like cat with unique markings and a docile and lovable temperament. The Serengeti is often compared to the Savannah, however, shares nothing with the wild cats. Only in looks. They are very confident cats, playful, and share a lot of patience. They are also very energetic, so if only homeschooled, one needs and must find activities for the cat, otherwise, your home might have surprises when you come back from work!
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As the name suggests, the cat hails from Germany. The German Rex can be traced back to the middle of the 1940s in Germany, but it only became recognized as a breed in 1951 after the Cornish Rex, also more popular than the German Rex himself, was discovered in 1950. As more of these cats were produced, they eventually made their way to America, though the Cornish Rex remained more popular, and because the two breeds are genetically similar, the German Rex is quite rare today.
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The history of this cat is extremely limited as it is rather new to the world and began in 2004, one of the newest cat breeds. It is believed that both breeders and cat enthusiasts Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom were the initiators of what was to become a new cat breed. They had both envisioned having a cat resembling the Sphinx, and indeed, their breed did just that. The Elf cat was successfully developed from crossing the Sphynx and American Curl cat breeds. Each of these two breeds has a single distinctive trait, and the Elf cat was designed to combine them. The cat is totally hairless which might surprise their owners at first. These cats can set you back a cool 2500 US Dollars
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Cat fancier Paul McSorley wanted to create a cat with points of fur similar to the color points on a Siamese cat. His work began in 1998, as he crossed a hairless Sphynx with a Munchkin and later crossed Burmese and Devon Rex cats. He achieved his desired results a couple of years later. Breeding efforts continued, and by 2005 there were 50 new cats. They are intelligent, playful and entertaining, and very affectionate which might be a dream for any cat owner. They have little hair, therefore, are low in maintenance and will not shed too much of their hair all-around your home.
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The Sokoke cat is a very lean, and medium-sized cat that has a long, graceful body and slender legs. The position of the hindlegs gives the breed a tip-toed gait, which becomes more pronounced when the cat is excited and playful. Sokokes have medium to long tails, almost whip-like in nature, which taper down to narrow tips. The Sokoke is a natural breed of domestic cat, developed and standardized, beginning in the late 1970s, from the feral kadzonzo landrace of eastern, coastal Kenya.
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The Khao Manee cat, or Khao Plort, also known as the Diamond Eye cat, is a rare breed of cat originating from beautiful Thailand, which has an ancient ancestry tracing back hundreds of years. They are mentioned in the Tamra Maew, or Cat Book Poems no less. Khao Manee cats are pure white with a short, smooth, close-lying coat. A rarest of the same breed are born with different colored-eyed tannin from emerald green, to the other being turquoise blue, fetching up to a whopping three thousand dollars. They are people loving and have the most beautiful purr and attractive voices.
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The Napoleon cat is also known as the Minuet Cat, and the breed’s name is a reference to Napoleon Bonaparte because of its short and tiny stature. This is yet another one of the many dwarf cat breeds that have been developed recently. Joe Smith is the breeder responsible for the Napoleon Cat, which he started to develop in 1996 when he crossed a Munchkin and a Persian. Even though he was a breeder of Basset Hounds, Smith was interested in the Munchkin Cat and its unique genetics.