Cat lovers might posit that every cat is special and unique. While we wouldn’t deign to disagree, we might throw this into the conversation: some traits are weirder and less common than others. From the hairless to the controversial, if giving a home to a regular old feline isn’t good enough for you, there’s no shortage of options of cool cat breeds. Especially if you’re willing to shell out the bucks for an unusual breed.
Despite common perceptions, hairless cats are not completely hypoallergenic. The cat allergies that some humans suffer from are not, generally, from a cat’s fur. They’re from a protein on the animal’s skin. Hairless cats still posses these proteins, and those with cat allergies may still be allergic to hairless cats.
Ukrainian Levkoy Cats
Slender and lithe, the Ukrainian Levkoy has little or no fur. Their short ears curl inward toward their face. And they have big yellow eyes. They originated in the Ukraine, and are not a naturally occurring breed; they were selectively bred to look as they do, and they’re not recognized as a pedigreed breed outside of Russia. Their prickly exteriors do not represent the breed’s personality, as they’re said to be loving and sweet.
The Sphynx’s most distinctive feature is, clearly, their lack of a coat. The Sphynx’s body may be solid color or patched. Their ears are on the larger side, and appear especially large due to the lack of fur. There are a couple of variations of the Sphynx breed, including the Don and Peterbald, both of which are similar to the original, genetically speaking. Sphynxes share the same hairless gene as the Cornish Rex.
While not technically “hairless,” the Cornish Rex has only one of the three types of fur most standard cats posses. The Rex has only the downy undercoat. It’s especially soft and short, can be a little curly, and requires no extra grooming.
The fold in their title refers to ears that curl inward toward the face. Some breeders have managed to get ears that curl in more than once. Like many pedigreed cat traits, the curl in the ear was originally a deformity to which someone took a liking, and selectively bred to keep around.
As with many animals who are bred to have features that don’t make evolutionary sense, breeders of the Scottish Fold are not favored by some animal rights groups. Scottish Folds can develop cartilage and bone deformities; as well as, predictably, ear infections.
These cats have short bodies and short ears. Most notably, Munchkin cats have very short legs. They’re essentially dwarf cats. While there’s nothing controversial about being born with the gene that causes dwarfism, some do take exception to deliberately causing cats to be born this way. Munchkin cats can develop debilitating and painful joint and spine problems.
ONLY MARGINALLY WEIRD
Short fur isn’t the only short thing about these cats. They also have short, smushed-in faces, which gives them an adorable ornery look.
These spotted cats have an exotic look that might make you wonder: did an Ocelot just enter that litter box?
Bred to be curly of fur, LaPerms have a fun tousled look. They look as though they’ve just come in from a long day at the beach, followed by a ride home in the convertible.
More on Cat Breeds
Where Cat Breeds Come From - Infographic
The History of Cats
Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat Parents