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18 Rare Cat Breeds From Around The World You’ve Never Heard Of

These photos of cats will change your understanding of variety within the species. In other worlds, kitties are even more adorable than you thought!

1. Norwegian Forest Cat

Astrid Gast / Thinkstock

Prill Mediendesign & Fotografie / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Norway

This badass little kitty is as tough as nails.

Any cat hearty enough to travel the high seas with the Vikings must be exceptionally energetic and fiercely loyal.

2. Egyptian Mau

Bigandt_Photography / Thinkstock

Bigandt_Photography / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Egypt

Clocking in at over 30 mph, this fearless feline is the fastest domesticated cat known to man. In ancient Egypt, these cats were so revered they were even mummified.

3. Devon Rex

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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Country of origin: United Kingdom

These sultry, devilish-looking cats are known for being pranksters. Their large eyes and pointed ears also help to give them an elflike allure.

4. Sphynx


Birute Vijeikiene / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Canada

Arguably the most bizarre-looking cat in existence, the Sphynx is actually pretty strong and surprisingly rare. If you’ve ever wanted to know what cats look like without their fur, this is as close as it gets.

5. Chartreux

Ysbrand Cosijn / Getty Images

Ysbrand Cosijn / Thinkstock

Country of origin: France

These gorgeous kitties are equal parts intelligent and seductive. They won’t complain to you the way some other breeds will, and will usually respect your personal space as long as you respect theirs.

6. Kurilian Bobtail

Bigandt_Photography / Thinkstock

Bigandt_Photography / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Russia and Japan

These ingenious mousers are such ruthless hunters, they’ve been known to bring down small bears when hunting in packs. No wonder they’ve become such a popular fixture in Russia.

7. British Shorthair

Vyacheslav Oseledko / Getty Images

Gutzemberg / Thinkstock

Country of origin: United Kingdom

These adorable cats are easy to groom and love being smothered with attention. It’s easy to see why people fall head over heels for one of the (obviously) cutest breeds around.

8. Peterbald

Denis Sinyakov / Getty Images

Natalia Belotelova / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Russia

Peterbalds may look weak and ineffectual, but they’re anything but. In fact, their average body temperature hovers over 105 degrees, which helps them maintain a speedy metabolism to combat illness and disease.

9. Japanese Bobtail

Flickr / Creative Commons / Flickr: dirtbikedba

Flickr / Creative Commons / Flickr: jfchenier

Country of origin: Japan

These clever little kitties weren’t just responsible for keeping the rodent population down in ancient Japan, they’re also the inspiration behind the wildly lucrative Hello Kitty franchise.

10. Siberian

User10095428_393 / Thinkstock

annadarzy / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Russia

Although Siberians are known to be quite the shedders, this is as close to a hypoallergenic kitty as it gets. They lack the protein in their saliva that causes most people to sneeze and scratch their eyes out, so if you’ve ever thought about getting a cat but couldn’t for this reason…you’re finally in luck.

11. Cornish Rex

RAUL ARBOLEDA / AFP / Getty Images

Anna Utekhina / Thinkstock

Country of origin: United Kingdom

These poor little squirts get mistaken for dogs all the time, and they’re known for their nearly perfect hearing.

12. Manx

Flickr/ Creative Commons / Flickr: gazeronly

Flickr/ Creative Commons / Flickr: gazeronly

Country of origin: Isle of Man

The rumor of how the Manx lost its tail dates back to biblical times, with Noah slamming the door shut before it was able to jump (fully) inside the ark.

13. Colorpoint Shorthair

MilaSemenova / Thinkstock

Flickr / Creative Commons / Flickr: sasha_kopf

Country of origin: United Kingdom

While Colorpoint Shorthairs may not shed as much as their Siamese and Abyssinian relatives, they are known for being extremely high-maintenance. Try to avoid if you’re a person who fancies quiet time to themselves.

14. Tonkinese

Chris Syrimes / Getty Images

jstankiewiczwitek / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Canada

While most breeds can birth up to five kittens per litter, one Tonkinese mother was credited with up to 19 — the largest number ever recorded.

15. Singapura

Flickr / Creative Commons / Flickr: nightmeeting

Jupiterimages / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Singapore

While they may resemble miniature cats, Singapuras are actually very lively and can live up to 15 years in a normal household. There’s been some debate over their origins as of late, but many agree they’re one of the most personable breeds around.

16. Scottish Fold

Annadarzy / Getty Images

annadarzy / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Scotland

These adorable, timid little kitties are ripe for kisses and hugs. Likened to an owl, their ears fold forward and downward — and surprisingly, it doesn’t hinder their hearing in any way.

17. Korat

Bart_Kowski / Thinkstock

Flickr / Creative Commons / Flickr: nickhodge

Country of origin: Thailand

Korats are so revered in Thailand that they’re often exchanged as gifts during weddings — most likely because they’re a symbol of prosperity, dating back to the 1300s.

18. Turkish Angora

Yanikap / Getty Images

BERKO85 / Thinkstock

Country of origin: Turkey

Turkish Angoras are purely majestic creatures. Nearly flawless in every way, their multicolored eyes are piercing, and their plush fur makes them a world-renowned pet. In fact, most long-haired cats probably owe their signature coats to this intrepid feline’s ancestral genes.



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