Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat Parents Take a Walk on the Wild Side with these Fancy Felines

Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat Parents

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Some cats just look like creatures of the wild, prowling through dark forest... or hallways. Take a look at these domestic house cats who look and act more like their wild ancestors.

Wildcats are some of natureโ€™s most beautiful creatures. These spotted, striped, banded, or tabbied felines can be found throughout much of the world, living a mostly solitary life and hunting to survive. Of course, most wildcats such as the ocelot, serval, margay, and leopard are much too savage to bring home. However, a history of crossbreeding has resulted in some domesticated breeds that look exotic but have a tame temperament -- a perfect combination for cat lovers who want to take a walk on the wild side.


The Abyssinian is one of the oldest known breeds. These cats have large ears, almond-shaped eyes, and an elegant, muscular body that resembles that of their earliest ancestor, the African wildcat. Abyssinians are very intelligent cats, and though they usually do not conform to the behaviors of the โ€œlap cat,โ€ they are faithful, people-oriented pets that like to be involved in family life.

American Bobtail

The American Bobtail has a distinctive wild appearance with a natural bobtail that resembles that of the bobtailed wildcat. A sprightly yet easygoing breed, the Bobtail enjoys playing games, walking on a leash, and cuddling up with their owners at the end of the day. In some of the Bobtailโ€™s behaviors you will get a glimpse of their wild hunting instincts -- these cats love to chase insects and stalk their toys.


The sleek, black Bombay is often mistaken for a miniature panther. Though bred to resemble this famous wildcat, there is no wild blood in the breed. The Bombay is an outgoing, perceptive, and loving breed that likes to play, can be trained to walk on a leash, and adapts easily to lifestyles that include children, the elderly, or other pets.

Egyptian Mau

The strikingly exotic Egyptian Mau is a long, spotted breed that has retained several characteristics of their early wild ancestors. These include the galloping gate of the Cheetah and a loose flap of skin that extends from the flank to the hind leg, allowing the Mau range and agility in jumping and twisting. The Mau is a spirited and friendly breed, though they tend to be cautious with strangers and connect most closely with one โ€œspecial personโ€ in the family. These are affectionate cats, but on their terms and with their people.


The Ocicat originates from interbreeding the Abyssinian, Siamese, and American Shorthair breeds. They are the only spotted domesticated breed selectively bred to emulate cats of the wild. This large and active breed has a dog-like personality, enjoying regular interaction and becoming dedicated to their owners. Though bred for spots, the Ocicat can also have one of four other patterns: classic tabby, ticked, solid, and pointed.


The Somali (pictured above) is best known for their full plume tail that gives this breed the appearance of a wild fox. The breed came about as the result of a recessive gene in the Abyssinian cat. The Somali is a medium-sized cat with a soft and satiny coat that requires little grooming. With a lively, intelligent, and genial personality, these cats quickly become members of the family.

Your Cat Is Wilder Than You Think - Literally

Anyone who has seen their cat stalk a bug or rodent thought something along the lines of "my fluffy little pal still has some serious killer instinct!"But how deep do those instincts go? How wild is my cat?A team of scientists led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO asked the same questions. What they discovered may surprise you.Recently, these

scientists published research

in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition that analyzed data about the feline genome and helped shed some light on how domesticated cats are."Cats, unlike dogs, are really only semidomesticated," explained senior author Wes Warren, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics at The Genome Institute at Washington University?. "They only recently split off from wild cats, and some even still breed with their wild relatives. So we were surprised to find DNA evidence of their domestication."

Domesticated-Cat-Blog-2An African wild cat hunting in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The scientists looked at data from the Cat Genome Sequencing Project, which started in 2007. While the data from the project may be used for disease research, the researchers from Washington University School of Medicine compared the information to wild cat DNA to determine what was different between the two.The biggest changes they observed were in the cats' memory, fear and reward-seeking areas. These changes likely have to do with interacting with humans and being fed.Cats and humans have only lived together for about 9,000 years, compared to 30,000 with dogs, but the changes in domestication may be similar between the two. The researchers hypothesized that cats were beneficial to humans because they kept away pests like rats and mice that would eat harvested foods and grain. As a reward, humans may have given these cats food to keep them around. In addition , humans would have favored more docile, obedient cats, so this trait would have become preferable.

What genetics says about your cat's diet 

Aside from just looking at the traits that make your kitty different than a puma, the researchers also analyzed what the genes said about cats' abilities to hunt and eat meat. They found that a fat-metabolizing gene that changed, possibly to allow a "digestive advantage" for animals, like felines, who only consume animal protein.Help your furry feline get the food he needs by providing him with quality cat food like the Fancy Feast Savory Salmon Cat Food which are full of the meat and fats that help his digestive system operate well and coat look nice. Use your PetPlus membership to save on quality cat foods like the meat-packed Wellness Beef and Salmon Formula Canned Cat Food or the specialty Royal Canin Veterinary Diets.

More on Cat Breeds

Where Do Different Cat Breeds Come From? - Infographic
Hypoallergenic Cats for People with Allergies
Easiest Cats to Care For

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Abyssinian American Bobtail Bombay Egyptian Mau Ocicat Somali

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