We all know common cat breeds like the American Shorthair and the Persian, but have you ever heard of a Peterbald or a Minskin? Chances are that you probably haven’t as these two are on our list of the rarest cat breeds on earth. Let’s see if you recognize any others on this list of the rarest cat breeds in existence today:
Source: Nancy Kamergorodsky via Flickr
Much like the hairless Sphynx, this cat was developed in Russia in 1994. This breed is born with a small amount of down at birth, which they gradually lose while becoming sleek, elegantly beautiful cats. The Peterbald is incredibly sweet and lovable, and their care guidelines are quite similar to the Sphynx. Their build is strikingly similar to the Oriental Shorthair, and these super rare kitties come in a variety of colors and markings.
Source: Luis Perez via Flickr
2. Ojos Azules
Just like it means in Spanish, these cats were named for their distinctively blue eyes. This breeds population is so small, there aren’t many well-known traits to describe this cat that was discovered in New Mexico in 1984. Some pet owners have been noted as saying that the Ojos Azules are friendly, active, and affectionate.
Source: Nickolas Titkov via Flickr
3. Kurilian Bobtail
This “pom-pom” tail breed came to existence naturally and not through the process of selective breeding. Originating in the Kuril Islands, these cats are most popular in Russia and parts of Europe, with very few found in the United States. The Kurilian Bobtail is a highly intelligent breed that is known to be both independent and sweet. This breed shares some similarities to the Japanese Bobtail, but the Kurilian Bobtail is certainly more stocky with a wider-shaped head. These cats can be found as excellent hunters in the wild, with a knack for fishing from their love of water.
Source: Heiska74 via Flickr
The Sokoke also came to be from natural breeding, with origins tracing their lineage to Kenya quite some time ago. This striped breed is peaceful and easy-going, known by the people of Kenya as the free-roaming feral cats along the coastal region of the country.
The Serengeti came about in the mid 1990s after a cross between a Bengal and an Oriental Shorthair. While this cat breed is still very rare, they’re steadily gaining popularity due to their alert, outgoing and fun personalities. With this breeds spotted coat and long, agile frames they are thought to resemble cats of the African wild.
(purrfectcatbreeds.com has countless interesting facts about all felines, classified by breed qualities.)
Source: countrymunchkins via Flickr
Just like the famous French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, these cats are known for being vertically challenged. A combination between a Persian and a Munchkin, they are fluffy, small, and very soft to the touch. Although this breed comes from the Persian, it doesn’t retain the flat-faced nose, but only the roundness of the Persian head. Fun fact: Despite the homage, the real Napoleon had a serious phobia of cats.
Source: mac jordan via Flickr
A cross between the Chinchilla Persian and a Burmese, this cat came to be by accident in the United Kingdom during the late 1980s. And as crazy as this may sound, this cat breed came to be when a janitor actually left a door open and two kitties (a chinchilla Persian and a Burmese) met as sparks flew. The offspring were so adorable and desirable that soon after the Burmilla came to be a new breed in the cat world.
Like the ever-popular hybrid dog breeds, the Minskin was made from a cross between the Sphynx and the Munchkin. Given its origins the Minskin has the hairless body of the Sphynx combined with the short stature of the Munchkin. These hairless cuties are known for being friendly and of course, compact in size.
(catbreedsinformation.com is a great resource to learn more about any cat breed and discover a lot of fun facts you may not have known about your favorite cat breeds.)