Rare Cat Breeds Most Pet Owners Don’t Even Realize Exist

While The International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance recognizes 73 breeds, the Cat Fanciers’ Association recognizes 44. We’re sure there are many more than that.

Below are 13 of the rarest cat breeds ever recorded:

1. Sphynx
rare cat breeds

Sphynx cats were selectively bread in the 1960s. Although it looks like they don’t have fur, they are actually covered with very fine fur called chamois.

Breeders consider them to be among the most “dog-like” of the domestic cat breeds because they are curious, sociable, high energy and affectionate with their owners.

2. The Serengeti
rare cat breeds

The Serengeti is a cross between the Bengal and an Oriental Shorthair. Although this breed was established in 1994.  They were bred to have a cat that looks like a wild serval cat without using any wild cat blood.

3. The Burmilla
rare cat breeds

This champion breed is a cross between the Chinchilla Persian and the Burmese cat. They were first created in 1981 by accident. A Chinchilla Persian named Sanquist and a Brown Tortie Burmese were waiting for a partner of their own breed in different rooms when the night cleaner left the door open. Months later, four adorable kittens were born!

4. The Minskin
rare cat breeds

This little cutie is referred to as the ‘corgis of the cat world.’ In 2000, the first Minskin was born in Boston, Massachusetts when Paul McSorley bred his Munchkin cats with the Sphynx. These stubby-legged kitties have healthier immune systems and weigh as little as 4 pounds.

5. The Norwegian Forest Cat
rare cat breeds

These majestic cats are a natural breed that have adapted to the cold winter weather. During World War II, they almost became extinct, but thanks to breeding programs, has been restored. This is a big, strong cat that can live up to 16 years and weighs up to 16 pounds!

6. Devon Rex
rare cat breeds

The Devon Rex is one of the most intelligent domestic cats. They’re capable of learning difficult tricks and can recognize their owner’s name as well as their own.

They love people and are so playful and mischievous that their owners often describe them as a “monkey in a cat suit!”

7. Chartreux
rare cat breeds

“Bonjour! I’m a Chartreux!” This breed of beauties was first mentioned in a French poem in 1558. It is believed that they are descended from the cats of Syria who were brought back to France during the Crusades of the 13th century.

They have shorty, water-resistant nappy fur. They are observant, intelligent and affectionate.  They usually bond with one person for life.