All cat breeds are special in their own unique way. But there are certain breeds that really set the bar when it comes to uncommon looks and amazing features.
“Cat breeds run the gamut in looks — from those that are an ‘acquired taste’ to those easily imagined the laps of queens,” says Vickie Fisher, immediate past president of The International Cat Association (TICA). “Ditto for personalities, which run from fun-loving and active to quiet and regal.”
Whatever your preference, there’s bound to be a breed on this list that will catch your eye. Here are some unique-looking cat breeds, along with some of the qualities that make them so compelling.
With huge, round eyes and tiny ears that are always folded forward, giving the head an overall rounded appearance, Fisher warns that Scottish Fold owners might think they’re looking at an owl (an adorable one, albeit) and not an actual cat.
There’s no such thing as a bad hair day for the Selkirk Rex.
“These cats in sheep’s clothing look like little stuffed toys you’ll want to hold and cuddle,” said Fisher. “Plus their thick, curly coat is simply amazing to feel.”
The smallest of the TICA cat breeds is big on energy, says Fisher.
“Impish and fun loving, these little cats are always on the go,” she says. “Their little bodies, super inquisitive personalities and huge, brilliant, round eyes will melt your heart.”
Bald. Is. Beautiful.
“This breed, [with their] wrinkles, pot bellies and lack of hair might be an acquired taste for some, but those who live with these loving little creatures are constantly in awe of their comic activities,” she says.
Plus, it’s super fun to dress this breed up and take them with you on the go. “They truly are fashion divas,” says Fisher.
With a sweet face and a beautiful, flowing coat, this short-legged cat is equally happy being a lap cat or the court Jester, says Fisher.
“Don’t let the short legs fool you, though,” she adds, “you can’t keep this people-loving cat down.”
Dubbed the “werewolf cat,” Fisher calls this particular breed “way cute” for its unique appearance.
“The sparse hairs of black and white and the lack of hair around its eyes, chin and muzzle give this little cat’s face the appearance of a mask with mystic, penetrating eyes,” she says.
With big eyes and outrageously large ears, the Devon Rex may evoke a “beam me up, Scottie,” reaction, says Fisher, but the breed’s personality makes them oh so lovable.
“These busy, people-loving cats are always around, checking things out,” she says. You’ll be checking them out, too, thanks to their crinkled, stubby eyebrows and whiskers that contrast with their soft, wavy coat, she adds.
Cheryl Lock is a writer and editor who lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter and cat, Penny. Her work has appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines and websites, and she’s written about everything from pets and politics to parenting, travel and food. Find more of her work at CherylLock.com, or follow her passion for travel on her blog at WearyWanderer.com.