6 Exotic Cat Breeds You Need To Know

Having one of the exotic cat breeds is a fantastic feeling for a few reasons. The first is that there's something fun about having a cat that few others have. For a feline enthusiast, it represents something of a challenge. Rather than having a classic tabby or Calico, you have something unique and exciting. It's also exciting because some of the exotic breeds look, well, exotic. They have a certain air and grace to them that other cat breeds do not have.

If you're looking at getting an exotic cat breed, here are the top six you should consider!

Exotic Cat Breeds: Himalayan

The characteristics of this cat blend two breeds: the Persian and the Siamese. Like the Persian, the Himalayan has a wide, boxy trunk with short, thick legs and a long-haired coat. This breed's head is big, it has a round face, and its eyes are bright blue. This breed's markings resemble the Siamese. You'll see a seal point with a soft tan body (its ears, face, paws, and tail will have brown).

Since this cat has long fur, you'll need to groom it quite frequently. Otherwise, you'll see it mat. However, the long coat makes it a joy to look at and hold!


The Manx is one of the more fascinating cat breeds. It's a cat without a tail, which looks strange at first, but you don't notice it as much once you get used to it. The Manx has a short and wide body, with a pear-shaped head with wide-pitched ears. This exotic breed comes in various colors and designs of the eyes and fur coat. 

This cat is quiet and affectionate and could spend most of the day curled up in your lap. Therefore, if you're looking for a cat with which you can cuddle, look no further than the tailless Manx!


This breed is one of the most different cat breeds in that it has a short, tightly waved coat. The closeness of the fur makes it look like it doesn't have any fur coat at all! Because of how little hair this cat has, you should not expect much shedding, just like hairless cat breeds. That's a definitive plus for allergy sufferers and those who do not like lots of cat hair around the house!

Fascinatingly, there were two strains of this cat in the early 1960s: the Devon Rex and the Cornish Rex. Both came from England. Both breeds come in all colors. The difference is that the Cornish Rex has a "tucked-up" abdomen that looks like a Greyhound. The Devon Rex isn't as slender. However, both breeds are fundamentally similar, so if you pick up one of these rare cat breeds, you won't notice much of a difference, whether it's Cornish or Devon.

Another one of the Most Exotic Cat Breeds: Balinese

This breed looks like a long-haired Siamese cat. It has an average size, but one of its distinctive features is its long, delicate legs. Despite this breed's long fur coat, you won't see it mat as quickly as you might expect. Therefore, owners don't need to be quite as vigilant about grooming this breed as some of the others. The Balinese are usually quieter than the Siamese. This elegant, gentle cat enjoys attention and is extremely outgoing and smart.

Egyptian Mau

This distinctive spotted cat is a favorite of the exotic cat breeds. It also has a storied history, as you can see it on centuries-old Egyptian tombs. It's one of the oldest cats in the world. The colors of the coat can range from silver, black smoke, pewter, or bronze. You'll find black or dark brown, leopard-like spots across its ivory, beige, fawn, or bronze coats.

Part of what makes the Egyptian Mau such an exciting exotic breed is that it looks like a little leopard. If you're interested in having something that will stand out when others see your cat, this breed is the one to get!

Scottish Fold

This breed is unique for one reason in particular: its ears fold forward instead of standing up. This ear mutation was discovered in a domestic short-haired cat in Scotland in the early 1960s. The Scottish folds are short-bodied cats with broad round heads and expressive eyes. The coat color varies, but tabby-marked cats are the most common.

Other than this cat's ears, there isn't much different about it than some of the other more common breeds. However, those ears are not only adorable, but they look quite exotic!

Exotic Cat Breeds Can Be Awesome for Cat Aficionados

Exotic cat breeds have a definite benefit for cat enthusiasts. They represent something unique and exciting, which is a welcome change if you've had more common cat breeds up until now. Fortunately, these breeds aren't too much different or challenging. With enough food, water, and lots of love and affection, these exotic breeds will thrive in your home.

If you're contemplating getting one of these pets, please check your local shelters first. It's unlikely you'll find one there, but if you do, you could give a cat a second lease on life!

How many cat breeds are there?

Much like dogs, the answer to this question depends on who you ask. According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, there are 45 pedigreed breeds. The International Cat Association recognizes more, while the Encyclopedia Brittanica recognizes less. Most bodies recognize somewhere between 40 and 80 cat breeds in total.

How to identify cat breed?

Identifying your cat's breed isn't quite as challenging as it initially seems. You can typically identify it by looking at your cat's characteristics and searching for those online. In particular, the fur (color and size), markings, body size, mannerisms, facial shape, vocalness, and body type are all things you can search on to figure out what breed your cat is.

Can you have a lynx as a pet?

There's nothing about the lynx's personality or demeanor that prohibits you from keeping one as a pet. Although they are wild animals, they "domesticate" relatively quickly and have a natural bond with their owners. However, some states and local jurisdictions prohibit possessing a lynx. Before getting one, be sure to learn the relevant laws in your area.

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Written by Leo Roux

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