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Three rare cat breeds

As you probably already know, certain cat breeds are very well known and popular in Western culture—but there are also lesser-known Asian breeds that are just as interesting. Here are three examples of cat breeds that are extremely hard to find in Western countries.

Egyptian Mau

This cat breed has been recognised by the Fédération Internationale Féline since 1992, and belongs to category 3. Egyptian Maus are characterised by their well-developed musculature and high activity levels; medium size; and a layer of silver, bronze, or ash grey fur with distinctive black spotting (it’s the only domestic cat breed with this pattern of spots).

They’re very active and affectionate cats, and they tend to develop strong bonds with their families. They prefer to be around people and enjoy interacting with them, sitting and resting on them before going off in search of solitude.

The word ‘mau’ means ‘cat’ in Egyptian, and the most widely accepted theory is that this breed came from Egypt in the 19th century, when a female cat was given to the Russian princess Natalie Trubetskaya.

Kurilian Bobtail

This breed has two variants, long-haired and short-haired, both of which are classified in category 3 by the Fédération Internationale Féline. The Kurilian Bobtail comes from the Kuril archipelago, a group of volcanic islands located between Japan and the Kamchatka Peninsula. Because of this isolated natural habitat, it’s believed to be one of the few cat breeds that did not originate from crossing other preexisting breeds.

These cats’ most notable features are their short, kinked, fluffy tails that look like pompoms, which give the breed its name. They’re very docile and good-humoured cats, and they like to play games with family members. In Europe and the United States they’re still fairly unknown, and it’s rare to find specialised breeders.


Japanese Bobtail

This cat breed belongs to category 4 in the classification system of the Fédération Internationale Féline. As an Eastern breed of Japanese origin, it’s a highly unknown and hard-to-find breed in Europe and the United States. In Japan, however, it’s so popular that it inspired the ‘Hello Kitty’ character and the ‘Maneki Neko’ lucky cat figurine. Like other Asian breeds, Japanese Bobtails have very specifically shaped and set eyes, with high cheekbones and a straight nose—but their main physical feature is an extremely short and tightly coiled tail, with one or two curves. Because they’re sociable cats who seek out company and don’t like being alone, they’re known for being rather vocal. In Japan, this trait has led to various legends about their ability to ‘sing.’

They’re very interesting, without a doubt. Which of these three cat breeds appeals to you most? Have you met any of them yet?