We’ve all heard of Siamese, Persian, and Maine Coon cats – but there are as many as 200 different cat breeds. Let’s look at 5 cat breeds you’ve probably never heard of!
While not widely recognized by the major cat registries, The York Chocolate cat is a relatively new American breed, characterized by a long, silky coat, a plumed tail, and large pointed ears. The breed was established in New York state in the 1980’s, hence it’s name. They were created by breeding select domestic long-haired cats chosen for their appearance and color. The owner of a New York goat farm had a cat named Blackie. One of Blackie’s kittens, named Brownie, had a litter of kittens that included a boy named Minky. Running out of names for all these brown cats, their owner noticed a similarity in the cats and initiated a breeding program.
Yorks are true lap cats! They’re happy to be held and snuggled, but they are also smart, curious, and energetic.
Surely you’ve heard of the popular Russian Blue cat? Well, Nebelungs are basically long-haired Russian Blues! Just like their short-haired cousins, Nebelung cats are most widely recognized by their dense, luminous, silver-tipped gray fur and striking green eyes. Russian Blues have been a recognized breed since the late 1800’s when British sailors brought the blue cats back from Russia. The Nebelung (German for “Creature of the Mist”) was created in the United States in the 1980’s when a Russian Blue male cat was bred to a female that carried the gene for long hair. While they are a fairly new breed, the Nebelung is recognized by most of the major cat associations.
These lovely, long-haired blue cats are known to be intelligent, affectionate, and good-natured. They are often described as shy, with quiet voices and a gentle nature.
Just like the Nebelung is a long-haired version of the Russian Blue, a Cymric is the long-haired version of the popular Manx cat! Immediately recognized by their lack of a tail, Cymrics have a soft, medium length, dense coat that gradually gets longer from head to rump. The short-haired, tailless Manx cats are said to be one of the oldest breeds, native to the Isle of Man. In fact, according to folklore, the Manx was the last of God’s creatures to climb onto the ark before Noah shut the door! Another tale claims that Vikings used to steal the cat’s tails as good luck charms, so wise mother cats bit their kittens’ tails off to protect them. For the record, their lack of a tail is purely genetic – a spontaneous mutation that was easily passed on for generations.
Cymric cats are said to be friendly, affectionate, and easy-going. They’re often described as “dog-like” because they are known to play fetch, growl, and follow their humans around.
LaPerms are immediately recognized by their soft, curly coats. While they can be long or short-haired, LaPerms with longer hair have unique ringlets of curls all over their bodies, accentuated by a curly plumed tail. The breed came into existence when a litter of barn cats in Oregon included one hairless kitten. That kitten eventually grew a coat full of curly hair. The tabby female, aptly named “Curly,” became the foundation cat for this new breed. LaPerms are recognized as a breed by several cat registries.
LaPerms are described as outgoing, curious, and affectionate. Unless they want something from you, they tend to be quiet. They are said to be hypoallergenic cats – producing a much lower allergic response than many other cats.
You may not have ever heard of a Korat, but they have been widely valued cats in Thailand for centuries! Korats are small, muscular cats most recognized by their shimmery silver-blue coats and green eyes. The Korat is one of the oldest breeds to exist today. In Thailand, they are considered good luck, and were traditionally given as gifts to new brides, and affluent members of society. However, it wasn’t until the late 1950’s when a pair of Korats ended up in Oregon that an official breeding program began.
Korats are known to be sweet, gentle, and quiet cats that love to be around their humans. They are also said to be stubborn cats who don’t like to be left alone.
Had you ever heard of any of these breeds? Let us know by posting a comment below!
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