Exotic Cats: Everything You Need To Know

If you’re buying a cat more striking and unusual than the normal house cat, these exotic breeds are designed to be pets but appear to be their wilder cousins.

Everyone understands the pretty Persian and magnificent Maine coon — and it’s likely you have a beloved domestic shorthair snoozing in a patch of sun next for you right now. For a few cat lovers, though, only Exotic Cat for Sale — breeds that still bear the appearance with their wild ancestry or just turn heads using their unusual appearances — can do.

This active, playful cat is noted for its wildcat appearance which is an extremely “hot” breed right now. These are mid-sized, with a brief coat and rosette spots that resemble a leopard’s. Bengals are alert, curious and confident, nonetheless they can get aggressive if they’re bored, so they’re not so good with children.


Always wanted a tiger as a pet? The toyger could be the cat for you. But this orange-and-black striped cat is approximately as friendly as its wild cousin is fierce. Toygers are intelligent and easy to teach, and they go along well with children and other pets. The downside? They have nonstop energy and will keep you on your toes.

Selkirk Rex

This striking cat has thick hair arranged in tight waves and loose curls. They’re affectionate, fun-loving and social. The flipside of this is, of course, that they don’t really well in isolation. Their coat also needs special care to look its best.


Just recognized in 2011, the lykoi breed’s name comes from the Greek world for wolf. One look at its werewolf face explains why. “Their coat looks very wiry and not soft by any means, but that isn’t true — they are incredibly soft cats and just about as sweet as the day is long,” says Hogan. Lykois have a sweet personality and are highly intelligent. However, much like the wolves they resemble, they can likewise have a solid predatory instinct and can be overly protective with their toys, food or people.

Donskoy/Don Sphynx

Not related to the similarly hairless Sphynx, the Donskoy is a Russian breed whose hairless trait at first arose from a mutated gene. Their flocked and velour coats are soft and pleasurable to touch, like chamois. They’re tender-hearted and intelligent, and their look is definitely striking. That distinctive look, however, might not exactly be everyone’s cup of tea.


Not actually a cross with an ocelot, their short and smooth coats are banded everywhere except the tips of these tails, resembling an ocelot or a leopard. Ocicats are playful, good with children and dog-friendly, but you’ll have to put up with moderate shedding.

Scottish Fold

These kitties because of their cute round faces and folded ears. Hogan, who breeds them, says, “They’re not wild and crazy — they’ll not swing from the rafters. Kids can play dress-up with them.” They’re good with children and also have soft, dense fur coats. But that soft coat will need a lot of grooming.

Japanese Bobtail

These stunning cats are represented in much Japanese art as the symbol of all the best. They have high cheekbones, large eyes and large ears, but their main distinguishing feature is of course their “pompon” tail. These cats are playful, curious and active — but that also means they’re always on the road.


The ever-popular ragdoll is an “exotic” breed? Perhaps you don’t think of them as everything that unusual now, however the ragdoll was one of the first cats bred for specific physical characteristics. These large blue-eyed cats are known for going limp and relaxed when you select them up, as being a ragdoll. They’re very affectionate, have super-soft fur and make great family cats. However they shed in spring and fall, so anticipate to vacuum.


First intentionally bred in 1990 by crossing a wild jungle cat with a domestic cat, most chausies are actually several generations beyond their wild ancestor and also have fully domestic temperaments. These classic beauties boast tall and slender lines, with sculpted muscles reminiscent of their jungle cat ancestor.

Chausies are playful and affectionate with owners, but they’re very active and may easily bolt out an open door or window. In addition they don’t like being left alone and prefer to really have the company of humans, other cats or even a dog. Their active nature means they’re most likely not the best breed for families with children.

It is important that you know what you are getting into before you buying any variety of cat, but it’s especially essential to analyze exotic breeds to totally understand their personalities and must determine whether they’re a good fit for your loved ones. A kitten that appears like a baby tiger or a wildcat might appear like fun, but are you — and the whole family — ready for everything that is included with it?