I have pet a lot of cats since childhood but they have all been strays. I have found all of them equally cute and equally unique. I have seen cats at adoption centers too. Some of them were exotic to me. But of course, they were all individual entities with their own distinctive traits. But after a little breed-wise research about the most unique cats, I came up with this list.
Abyssinian: Abyssinians have a special trademark feature – they have a ticked coat! Their individual hairs are banded with different colors which gives their coat a ticked look. Kittens are born with a darker coat that lightens as they grow older. Abyssinian is a very beautiful breed of cat. It has a slender body and is medium in size. Its head is a little wedge shaped, with a slight break at the muzzle. It has large pointy ears that give it a look of alertness all the time. Its remarkably expressive eyes are either golden, green, hazel or copper in colour and are almond shaped depending on the colour of its coat. Its legs are longer in proportion to its body and its paws are small and oval in shape. The same goes for its tail- it is long and tapered on the end.
Bengal: It looks like they apply mascara to their eyes, which is a unique trait in the Bengal cats. The Bengals have a cute body structure. Their head is small and a rounded wedge shape. Their eyes are large and oval and set slightly slanted. They have a strong chin and broad chest. They have a long torso which gives them a foreign as well as oriental look. Their paws are large and rounded with prominent knuckles. Their hip region is pretty muscular, especially in the male. The tail is thick, medium length and rounded at the end. Their hind legs are smaller than their forelegs too. Their coat hair length differs from short to medium. Bengal cats have “wild-looking” markings, such as large spots, rosettes, and a light or white belly. A Bengal’s rosette-d spots occur only on the back and sides, with stripes elsewhere. They have an interesting wild look and an exciting personality!
Toyger: As the name suggests, Toyger looks like a ‘Toy Tiger’! With a striped coat, it is reminiscent of the tiger’s coat. It has a very well defined, long, broad and deep muzzle with rounded muscular contour and the shape of its face resembles an inverted heart shape that makes this cat very adorable looking! Its head medium-sized and has a dominant muzzle on an oval head. It has small, round ears that are set toward the back of its head and has short and thickly furred temples and its eyes are set wide apart like a predator’s. Usually its eye colour is rich and deep. Its torso is long, muscular, athletic and robust. Its tail is very long but not thick, with a blunt, rounded tip. Its fur is dense and short. It has short hair. Its colour markings are very dark and are either black, brown or tan, with an extreme ground pattern contrast i.e. the colour of its stripes and the rest of its coat.
Egyptian Mau: If you have watched Halle Berry’s ‘Catwoman’, then you know which breed I am talking about. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs, which gives them the appearance of standing on their toes when they are upright. They also land on their back feet more often than their front. Maus are small to medium sized and have short hair. The spots of the Mau occur only on the tips of the hairs of their coat rather than on their skin. Maus are the fastest of the domestic cat breeds.
Norwegian Forest: The equilateral triangle-shaped head of the Norwegian Forest Cat contributes to the unique appearance of this breed. It is a large, semi-longhaired breed whose rugged appearance fits the name. They have large almond shaped eyes and have very hairy tails that gives them a very enchanting look. ‘Wegie’ is short for the gentle and friendly Norwegian Forest Cat. Because of their place of origin, Norway, they have woolly undercoats and long topcoats that shed water with ease. ‘Skogcatt’ is the local name for this breed.
Manx: Not having a tail doesn’t make them any less of a cat and that is exactly what a Manx proves! They have a naturally occurring mutation that either shortens their tail or makes them entirely tail-less! Apart from this distinctive feature, Manx cats are just like other cats. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are known by another name ‘stubbin’, since their tails are like stubs. People have also sub divided them into two categories- ‘rumpies’ that have absolutely no tail and ‘stumpies’ that have a small hint of a tail.
Maine Coon: The Maine Coon is the official Maine State Cat! It is the oldest and largest domesticated breed of cats in the world. It is also known as the American Longhair. They have a sturdy, rugged appearance, which includes an uneven, shaggy coat of three distinct lengths and a long, well furnished tail. They carry that tail proudly and use it to surround themselves for warmth and protection in the harsh cold of Maine. They have well tufted paws to allow ability to walk on top of snow despite their size and weight. Their ears are large and well tufted for protection and warmth. They have been dubbed the “Gentle Giant” of the cat world!
Munchkin: Munchkins are ‘regular cats’ with short legs. They owe their short legs to a naturally-occurring genetic mutation, and not from human manipulation. Don’t think that their short legs preclude them from jumping on the owner’s sofa or chair. They might not go as high as other cats, at least not in one leap, but they get there eventually. They have a moderate body type and medium-plush coat. They come in all coat colors and patterns due to its outcross with many other breeds. They also comes in a long-haired variety has a semi-long silky coat. They also have an endearing way of sitting up, rabbit-like, on their hind legs, a trait which gave the Stalingrad cat the name of “Stalingrad Kangaroo Cat.
Ragdolls and Ragamuffins: They are perfectly named as they become very limp like a ragdoll when they are picked up! They all have oval shaped blue eyes and a distinct colour point coat. Ragdolls come in six different colors – red, seal, chocolate, flame, blue, lilac and cream, including the tortoiseshell pattern in all colors. Ragdoll kittens are born white and their colour starts to develop after two months. The four different patterns are: Pointed (One color darkening at the nose, ears, tail, and paws), Mitted (Pointed with white mittens on paws and abdomen), with or without a blaze (a white line or spot on the face plus a white belly stripe that runs from the chin to the genitals), bicolor (white legs, white inverted V on the face, white abdomen and sometimes white patches on the back) and lynx (any of the above patterns with tabby markings). They are medium long in height and have plumed tails and their fur gets matted. They can be 3 times the size of other cats. They are muscular and semi-long haired. They have a bunny like coat which makes them very endearing. Ragamuffins are the same as ragdolls only their walnut shaped eyes can be any colour including blue and their coats cannot be pointed. Their fur does not matt and a weekly brushing will do. They tend to overeat and become obese. Owners should keep an eye on what their cats are eating. They love attention and love kids.