Like dogs, there is a new craze of cats that seems to be taking the world by storm: the designer cat. Like your labradoodle and maltipoo, designer (hybrid) cat breeds have gained popularity in recent years among many cat lovers. These hybrid cat breeds have been artificially created after cross breeding between two cat breeds with desired traits to create a specific new breed that shares traits from both breeds. Thus, the hybrid designer cats are born. Here’s a list of some of the most popular designer cat breeds and their origins:
Source: Sean McGrath via Flickr
These spotted exotic beauties originated in the United States after a cross between the wild Asian Leopard Cat and a domesticated cat. With their exceptional markings, glittering iridescent coats and outgoing personalities, these wild-looking cats have steadily gained popularity among cat lovers as one of the most desired cat breeds today. And did you know that they are even hypoallergenic, too?!
Source: Matthijs via Flickr
2. Oriental Shorthair
This hybrid breed comes to us as a result of cross breeding of a domestic shorthair with a Siamese in England during the late 1960s. The Oriental Shorthair is both fun and easily trainable, and classified in the Siamese family. While the Oriental Shorthair possesses the gracefulness and slender body of the Siamese, they also come in a variety of colors–well, 300 actually! That’s more variations than any other cat breed on record, and surprisingly almost all Oriental Shorthairs have green eyes.
Source: Jackie O via Flickr
The Ocicat is not only beautiful, but renowned for its lovable personality. This wild-looking kitty could fulfill someone’s dreams of having a cat that resembles a white tiger as their domesticated feline companion. As a result of breeding between a Siamese, Abyssinian, and an American Shorthair the Ocicat was created and although they may resemble wild cats, they have no wild DNA in their gene pool whatsoever.
This hybrid jungle domesticated cat breed comes to us from Egypt circa 1960. The Chausie came about from the breeding of shorthaired domesticated cats with that of wild jungle cats found in parts of the Middle and Far East. Pronounced “chow-see” these cats are both elegant and active, and despite that wild DNA, they are very affectionate and good with people. Just be careful if they wander outdoors, because that wild DNA has been known to get these kitties in trouble.
(chausiebreed.com is a website dedicated exclusively to the Chausie breed and full of information on this gorgeous cat breed.)
Source: Erlon Brasil via Flickr
Just like you would think from the name, this cat breed was created to resemble a tiny tiger safe for human companionship. From the distinct tiger-like markings to their rusty orange coats, these cats are beyond adorable. The result of selective breeding with mackerel striped tabbies by a breeder in the 1980s created the Toyger that allowed the closest thing possible to having your own pint-sized tiger. Just don’t fall in love too fast, these striped cuties are rather pricy due to their exclusivity.
Source: alasam via Flickr
6. Havana Brown
With their rich chocolate coats and sparkling green eyes, the Havana Brown is a beautiful breed that was first bred in England. Also referred to as the “Chocolate Delight” this breed is smart and mischievous and offers pet owners an equally talkative and playful cat. When a few England cat breeders decided to mate a Siamese with an all black domestic shorthair, the lovely Havana Brown was produced as a result.
Source: julicath/Cath (On- Off ;-)) via Flickr
A cross between the Siamese and the Burmese, these cats are just as playful and fun as they are easy on the eyes. This breed is loving and does well indoors, and loves to be as close as possible to their owners, even if it means cozying up right in their lap. Fun fact: the largest cat litter ever born was to a female Tonkinese cat, who became a mother to 19 kittens!