20 Rare Cat Breeds From Around The Globe

Cat Breeds August 11, 2021


20 Rare Cat Breeds From Around The Globe

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There are a wide variety of cat breeds that exist across the world. As a cat lover, you’re probably aware of popular cat breeds such as the Persian or the American Shorthair. But did you know that there are some felines that are so rare that many people don’t know that they even exist?

What makes a cat rare you might ask?  According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, pure breed cats are considered rare as only two to four percent of cats meet the pedigreed cut. New cats that haven’t been bred extensively are also considered rare due to their low numbers.

So without wasting any more time, let’s look at some of the rarest cat breeds from across the globe.

1. American Bobtail

The American Bobtail was developed by natural selection. But in the 1960s breeders started selectively breeding this feline.

American Bobtails are known for their large almond-shaped eyes, long back legs, and short tails. This cat has an intelligent, affectionate, and playful personality. They get along with children, dogs, and even strangers. American Bobtails also love to play fetch and can even be leash trained.

2. American Wirehair

american wirehair rare cat breeds

The American Wirehair resulted due to a spontaneous mutation from a litter of farm cats that were born in New York in 1966.

This feline has a straight, curved or kinked short tail and a harsh wiry coat. This distinct coat cannot be replicated making this feline a rare cat breed.

American Wirehairs are quiet, even-tempered, and loving which makes them excellent pets.

3. Bombay

The Bombay cat is a cross between the sable-coated Burmese cat and the black American Shorthair cat.

This cat has a flat face, round head, black glossy coat, and copper eyes. These cats make the best companions since they are intelligent, playful, and affectionate.

4. Burmilla

A rare cat in the United States, the Burmilla cat was developed in England from a mix of the Chinchilla Persian and Lilac Burmese cats.

The Burmilla feline has a round head and a shiny coat with silvery markings. This is a playful and pleasant feline that comes in long and shorthair versions.

5. Chartreux

The Chartreux is a sturdy small cat whose roots can be traced to France where it was bred for its hunting prowess. Often referred to as the smiling cat, Chartreuxs have round heads and very expressive eyes.

This cat is loyal, calm, and affectionate and will often nap the whole day. Chartreuxs are extremely quiet and it’s believed that they took a vow of silence together with the French monks.

6. Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex rare cat breeds

The Cornish Rex is native to Cornwall in the United Kingdom. This breed came about due to a genetic mutation that occurred in a litter of kittens born on a Cornwall farm in the 1950s.

Cornish Rex cats have triangular-shaped heads, large ears, big golden eyes and curly-textured coats. The soft, short wavy coat is a result of spontaneous natural mutation.

This cat is extremely playful and adventurous.

7. Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau is known for its elegance and exotic look. These cats that were once worshipped by Pharaohs have almond-shaped eyes, sleek spotted coats, and long hind legs.

The Egyptian Mau is the only domesticated cat with a naturally spotted coat. Egyptian Maus are brilliant, loyal, and playful but demand lots of attention from their owners. The Egyptian Mau is also known to be one of the swiftest domestic cats.

8. Korat

korat rare cat breeds

The Korat is native to Thailand where it’s considered a symbol of good fortune.

Korats have green eyes and heart-shaped heads. This cat’s coat is only found in one color- silvery blue. An energetic cat, Korat is also intelligent, friendly, easy-going, and quite vocal.

9. Siberian Cat

Like its name the Siberian cat originated from Siberia, Russia. It’s very rare to find this cat outside its home county.

Siberians have long thick coats, round heads, and fairly built bodies. Siberian cats aren’t afraid of the water and they also make wonderful and loyal companions.

10. Minskin

minskin rare cat breeds

Minskin is a new breed developed in Boston in 1998 by crossbreeding a Sphynx and a Munchkin.

This breed inherited the Sphynx hairless body and the Munchkin’s diminutive stature. Minskins have short legs, large ears, and stocky bodies. This is a playful and affectionate cat who loves spending time with family.

11. Norwegian Forest

The Norwegian Forest cat is known for its long, dense waterproof coat. This cat also has a triangular-shaped head and large almond-shaped eyes.

The muscular feline is a rare breed in the United States and is believed to have been brought from Norway to the US by the Vikings’ ships. These cats are loyal, disciplined and affectionate despite their rugged look.

12. Peterbald

The Peterbald cat originated from St Petersburg Russia. Due to the few breeders who breed this feline, the Peterbald is one of the rarest cat breeds in the world.

This cat has large pointed ears, a wiry body, and a slanted face. The breed comes in three coat versions – the hairless, the puzz-like, and the long-haired soft down coat. These cats are intelligent, playful, and affectionate

13. LaPerm

la perm rare cat breeds

LaPerm is reminiscent of the popular hairstyle in the 80s called the perm. The name LaPerm means wavy and ripped just like the soft and wavy coat of this feline.

Laperm resulted from a spontaneous genetic mutation of a tabby cat in a regular litter. This cat’s curly hair comes in a variety of colors and patterns. LaPerm cats are friendly but mischievous. This cat is also very intelligent and loves to learn new tricks.

14. Sphynx

Sphynx rare cat breeds

Looking at the Sphynx cat there is no doubt that bald can be beautiful. This feline originated from Toronto, Canada, as a result of a natural genetic mutation. Its hairless coat has an almost leather-like appearance.

The Sphynx has a lively, affectionate, and sweet-tempered personality but this cat is also known to be quite mischievous. This indoor cat also loves attention.

15. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora rare cat breeds

Turkish Angoras originated from Turkey, where they are considered a national treasure. In the 16th century the Turkish Angora was a well-established breed. Unfortunately, the breed almost became extinct in the 19th century. To preserve these cats, the Ankara zoo in Turkey started breeding them in the 1950s.

The Turkish Angora has a soft, silky white coat, large ears and almond-shaped blue or golden eyes. These sweet kitties have a quiet personality, making them the perfect family pets. They are also extremely loyal, intelligent, playful and affectionate.

16. Turkish Van

Turkish Van rare cat breeds

The Turkish Van is an ancient breed that originated from modern day Iran and Eastern Turkey. This cat is rare to find outside Turkey where it’s considered a treasure.

For years, the transportation of the Turkish Van was restricted. However, in 1955 two British ladies brought the first Turkish Van to the West after a vacation in Turkey.

The Turkish Van has an all-white waterproof coat with a dash of color on its tail and head. This large muscular cat loves to play with water and enjoys swimming. It’s an energetic, intelligent, playful, and fun-loving cat that loves attention

17. Sokoke

The Sokoke is the rarest domesticated cat breed in the world.

The Sokoke originates from the forested Arabuko-Sokoke area in eastern Kenya. This cat has a short lustrous coat, slim muscular body, and a pointed and tapered tail.  It’s an intelligent, easy-going, and social cat.

18. Singapura

The Singapura is one of the smallest cats in the world characterized by almond-shaped eyes and large ears. This cat’s origin can be traced back to Singapore.

Don’t be fooled by this feline’s small size as the Singapura makes her presence known in other ways. For instance, this cat loves to be the center of attention and is also known to be very cheeky and curious. Singapuras also make great indoor cats as they are playful and very friendly.

19. European Burmese

The European Burmese was first developed from a mix of the Burmese and the Wong Mau cat, resulting in solid and pointed kittens. The solid colored litters were selected and bred further.

The Burmese cat has large expressive eyes, a muscular body and a short countered coat. This is a brilliant and affectionate cat who loves being around humans.

20. Havana Brown

Havana Brown rare cat breeds

The Havana Brown is a cross of the Chocolate and Seal point Siamese cats with a black domestic cat. This cat has gorgeous green eyes and a chocolate brown short coat.

The Havana Brown cat is known to be affectionate and loyal cat making it a great family pet.

In conclusion, rare cats just like typical felines make great family pets. If you’re lucky to owe any of the aforementioned rare cats there is no doubt that you have a special animal. Hopefully, if you’re thinking of sharing your life with a rare feline you now know what to expect.


What is the rarest type of cat?

Sokoke is the rarest type of cat breed in the world. It originated in Kenya and was developed in Denmark.

Are there rare cats?

Yes, purebred cats are considered rare since they are hard to come by. Also, new breeds of cats currently being developed are rare because they have not been bred extensively.

Agnes is a freelance writer with big love for all fluffy creatures, especially her Maine Coon cat. She's written over 200 articles about animal care, ranging from how to raise kittens to the healthiest pet snacks on the market
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