Cats have been around for thousands of years, and in that time they have had a chance to evolve into some interesting varieties. Sometimes you can see a cat with an odd color, or really large or with a crooked tail. Well, the following breeds are unique to say the least; in fact, they take unusual to a whole new level.
- Khao Manee is actually a very old breed that has been in the Philippines for over 650 years. It is considered to be a very lucky animal to own and as such was kept by the Indonesians until finally a breeding pair was allowed to leave to the United States in 1999. The cats look like a Siamese cat but are pure white and have one gold eye and one blue. They are so valuable that kittens can sell for $8-10,0000 dollars apiece.
- American Bobtail is a large sturdy cat that is very playful and can be easily taught to play fetch. Although it resembles a bobcat, it does not have any of that breeding in it, although to be a registered cat, it must have a short stub tail that stands up straight. It can be trained easily to walk calmly on a leash. They are very clever and can free themselves from almost any crate or enclosure, and this may reflect their strong bond onto their owners.
- Don Sphynx was just developed in 1980 in Russia. It is a genetically bred hairless cat where the hairless gene is dominant unlike the regular Sphynx cat where it is recessive. Being dominant assures that this cat loses its hair by the age of 2. Being hairless, their skin does require extra care and a daily bath is recommended. They have elongated toes, which they can use much like fingers to play with their toys. They have higher body temperature which makes them more immune from disease, but increases their caloric demands.
- Peterbald is a cross between a Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthair and is a very new breed that was just recognized by the International Cat Association in 1997. It is a friendly breed that gets along with other cats and pets. It can be hairless, but also comes in 3 other coat types including a curly haired coat. They have a medium build with a whip like tail, long ears and almond eyes.
- Tea Cup Persians are actually regular Persians that have been bred to be very small by selection. They are not genetic mutants but can have more problems if highly inbred to be this small. They grow to be only 6 lbs or less at adult weight. They have become increasing popular in the last few years along with the popularity of teacup pigs, teacup dogs and miniature horses. They have the same features as the full size Persians along with the same health problems Persians have. Due to their rarity, they can be more expensive than full size Persians.
A good place to see many exotic cats and their enthusiastic owners is a local cat show. The exhibitors are always ready to share their knowledge and years of experience with visitors and it is amazing to see the variety of cats being exhibited at even a small event.