Cats are beautiful, majestic creatures and that applies as much to wild cats as it does to domesticated ones. But there are also wild cat breeds that combine these two types, bringing together the wild aesthetic and nature and combining it with the domesticity of the house cats that we all know and love so much.
Here on Can Pets Eat we have shown you the Most Popular Cats in the UK, we have covered the Fluffiest Cats and the Blue Eyed Cats. Now it’s time to take a trip on the wild side with these beautiful wild cat breeds, focusing on pet cats that are not too far removed from their wild brethren, as opposed to actual wild cats.
A Word on Wild Cat Breeds
Before we start listing these breeds, there are a few things that need to be said. And we mean “need”, because Jackson Galaxy, the lord of all cat-kind, would be disappointed in us if we didn’t say them.
Wild cat breeds are prized because they are beautiful and exotic. Far too often they are seen as centerpieces for the home. They are considered walking, meowing ornaments. That’s not how you should treat any cat, let alone a wild cat breed.
These guys need a lot of exercise to get all of that primal energy out. They are quicker and a little more feral than their fully domesticated cousins and if you don’t put lots of cat toys, trees and other catification things in your home, then that energy may be directed at you or your furniture.
Perhaps the most famous and popular of all wild house cats, this breed is as beautiful as it is energetic. It has gorgeous markings and bags of energy, and these cats have been bred with others to create additional wild cat breeds.
It took years of breeding for this cat to actually be considered a house cat, because prior to that it was too ferocious to be classed as a pet. Some still consider that to be the case and there are all kinds of stories of people owning Bengal cats that were out of control and overly aggressive.
However, as with all cats, that’s more nurture than nature. As mentioned at the outset of this guide, if you treat them right and make sure they can expend that energy, then Bengals can be great companions.
This breed came into existence when a breeder took a bobcat and allowed it to mate with a domesticated cat, which means they are a product of nature and not human curiosity, or so the story goes (we can’t help but think that a human was involved somewhere, cajoling wild and domestic cats into getting it on just so they could see what resulted from it).
These cats are said to exists naturally across the United States, basically anywhere that Bobcats get close and personal with domestic cats.
They have larger back legs than front legs and they are pretty large cats in general, by domestic standards anyway. They have been given championship breed status and while they have a wild cat as a direct descendant, they are also said to be friendly and loyal, making for the perfect pets.
Despite the name, this wild cat breed doesn’t have any ocelot genetics in it. It was given that name simply because it resembles an ocelot. As it happens, this is not a true wild cat breed and therefore probably shouldn’t be on this list. However, you wouldn’t think it to look at it and because we know many of you are here to shop for a cat that simply looks wild, this could be the perfect fit.
The ocicat is a breed of three popular house cats, all of which have some wild breed traits (at least aesthetically) and combined to create a cat that wouldn’t look out of place in the wilds of Africa.
This is a stunningly beautiful cat that is basically a cross between a domesticated cat and a pure wild breed. It is actually considered to be too wild to be a house cat, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. There have also been hybrids of this cat.
Illegal to own in many states and countries, these cats are super intelligent and they are also one of the biggest pet cats you can get.
Just like the ocicat, the name of this cat comes from the fact that it looks like a Cheetah, and not because it has Cheetah blood in it. And quick frankly, we think that’s a good thing. House cats are quick enough and mischievous enough as it is, if your cat was a direct descendant of the fastest thing on four legs, you’d never get any peace!
This is a house cat through and through, but it does look like a mini-cheetah. It was actually created by breeding the ocicat with a Bengal, and those Bengal traits means it can be a little more wild and troublesome than the ocicat.
The goal of the breeder who created this cat was to breed a house cat that looked like a tiger. It’s fair to say that they didn’t quite accomplish their goal, but the face of this wild cat breed is probably as close as you will get to a tiger’s face in a house cat.
This breed is technically “still in development”, which is an unnerving thing to hear said about a living creature. It conjures images of monster cats being bred in laboratories, right before they go on a rampage befitting of a Stephen King story.
However, what this actually means is that there are still traits being bred into and out of it, but the breed itself is available and there are many Toyger cats living in homes worldwide. It is actually considered a Championship breed.
Actual Wild Cat Breeds
If it’s actual wild cat breeds you’re looking for, which is to say cats that are not pets, live in the wild and would sooner eat you than let you pet them, here is a quick list:
- African Golden
- African Wild
- Asian Golden
- Canadian Lynx
- Desert Cat
- Snow Leopard