There are over 250 different breeds of cats in the world - from super fuzzy to completely hairless, aloof and independent to warm and cuddly... you get the idea. The one thing that unites all of them, however, is that they are all gorgeous. Still, not all cats are made equal, and some breeds are so rare and/or exotic that they can cost a small fortune to own.
1. Norwegian Forest cat
This cat hails back to Viking times nearly 2,000 years ago. With its thick coat of fur, it's built to withstand the Nordic winter chill and also has great prowess as a hunter.
2. Himalayan cat
Though they closely resemble a Persian cat, Himalayan cats are known for their blue eyes and colorpoint fur (light body with dark face, ears, legs, and tail). These cats originated in the U.S.A. in 1950, and are known for their tender, obedient nature.
3. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds are "earmarked" by the fact that their ears don't stick up like other cats. They are highly intelligent and playful cats who can also stand on their hind legs like a person when they want a better look at something.
The Peterbald was bred in Russia in 1994, and is sometimes also referred to as the Petersburg Sphynx. They have long ears, slim bodies, and can be bald or fuzzy. They are highly sociable and easy to train,
5. Egyptian Mau
These cats have looked pretty much the same since the time of ancient Egypt - nearly 3,000 years! In addition to spotted fur, they also have spotted skin.
6. Maine Coon
Maine Coons are notorious for their size - mature cats can weigh up to 33 pounds and their bodies can be up to four feet in length. Despite their somewhat formidable appearance, they're really gentle, affectionate, and playful.
This is definitely one of the more unique cats out there, first bred in America in the 1980s. They're characterized by their curly hair and the fact that they are hypoallergenic, meaning this is one cat even I could own!
8. Russian Blue
Russian Blues are one of the most popular shorthair breeds in the world, and some say they bring good luck to the house.
9. Serengeti cat
Serengeti cats were first bred in California in 1994. Mature cats weigh around 17-26 pounds, with large ears, long legs, and a spotted coat.
10. Elf cat
Elf cats are relatively new to the scene, having first been bred in the U.S.A. in 2006. They're incredibly friendly, smart, and mischievous cats.
As the name suggest, this is a cat with fur patterns that make it look like a miniature tiger. The breed's founder says it was developed to bring greater awareness towards tiger preservation.
12. American Curl
The American Curl was bred in California in 1981. Newborn kittens look pretty average, but around the 10th day of their life, their ears start to "curl" back like little horns.
13. Bengal cat
Bengal cats are the result of crossbreeding an Asian Leopard сat with a domestic cat. They love to swim and often like to perch on their human's shoulder.
This rare breed, bred from domestic cat and a South American wild Geoffroy’s cat, was first developed in the USA in the 1970s to study leukemia. Mature cats weigh nearly 25 pounds on average, making them one of the larger cats out there.
15. Khao Manee
The earliest references to these cats comes from a book of cat poems from the 1350s. In ancient Siam (now Thailand), these cats were considered symbols of luck, longevity, and wealth, and used to be the exclusive pets of the royal family.
Chausies are one of the rarest breeds, and came about by crossing a domestic cat with a jungle cat. They're highly sociable, getting along with any kind of company - humans, other cats, and even dogs.
Caracals are an endangered species that went from being a wild cat to an expensive pet a few years ago as part of efforts to conserve the breed.
18. Savannah cat
This mix of an African Serval and a domestic cat comes in as being one of the largest in the world. Mature Savannahs can weigh around 33 pounds and reach nearly two feet in height. They are highly intelligent, well-tempered, curious, and active. They also require a lot of space to roam around.
The Ashera is the most exotic cat breed in the world, bred by crossing a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat. The Ashera is reported to by hypoallergenic, but this claim has been contested.
Remember to SHARE these fine felines with your family and friends.
H/T: Bright Side