Cats are known around the world as being soft, cuddly companions that look generally the same. But many soon-to-be pet parents who are looking for something different, will be delighted to know that there are several cat breeds that stand out. Here is an alphabetical list of ten felines that broke the mold by being almost hairless, peculiarly small, in possession of folded ears, or just different from some of the more common breeds that you see every day.
A fluffy housecat in most respects, the American Curl’s claim to fame is its characteristic, kidney bean-shaped ears. This breed’s unique looks originated as the result of a mutation in a litter of domestic cats in California. A breeder liked the way the cats looked and began to develop a line of these funny-looking felines. Nowadays, the American Curl makes a great pet, although owners need to be especially careful not to damage their delicate, trademark ears.
The Cornish Rex
Known for its lack of an outer coat, the Cornish Rex is a unique-looking breed that is considered by many to be the softest cat in the world. Their silky appearance combined with their unusually alert and aware faces and large, erect ears make this a breed for the history books. The Cornish Rex is an avid hunter and often makes a wonderful family companion.
Originally hailing from Thailand, this beautiful breed features a pure white coat and shocking blue or gold eyes. It is not unusual for individuals to have two different-colored eyes, which lends them an exotic appearance and earned them the nickname of the “Diamond Eye” cat. These mystical cats are meant to bring good luck to their parents and were once bred by Thai royalty.
The LaPerm is the ideal breed for anyone who loves a good hairstyle. LaPerms have a tight, coarse, curly coat that makes them look like they just came from the beauty parlor. These cats come in many colors and feature trademark ear tufts and open, alert faces. They are typically considered a non-shedding breed and make wonderful companions for families with cat allergies.
The Munchkin breed is the result of a case of dwarfism in the family lines. This unique breed has a full-sized body but features short legs, which give it a unique and adorable appearance. Despite their short stature, these cats make wonderful hunters and are loving companions.
This Scottish-born breed features small ears that fold forward towards the face, giving it both its unique looks and its name. This breed’s folded ears were the result of a genetic mutation and have since become coveted among breeders.
Unlike other Rex breeds, the Selkirk has a thick, tightly ringlet coat that makes it look a bit like a mop. Although this breed comes in a long- and short-haired variety, the longhaired version is more popular among breeders.
Known around the world for their distinctive appearance, the Sphynx is often considered a hairless breed, although it does actually have a thin layer of downy fur that keeps it warm and protects its skin. This breed features large, erect ears and prominent eyes; some have no whiskers. You may recognize the Sphynx from the Austin Powers movies; Dr. Evil’s cat Mr. Bigglesworth is portrayed by a Sphynx.
A designer breed with a variety of accepted colors, these cats are the furry result of interbreeding the Burmese and the Siamese. They typically have three coat patterns: solid, like the Burmese; pointed (or pale with darker extremities), like the Siamese; and mink, a combination of the two.
Often recognized as one of the most unique-looking cats in the world, the Ukrainian Levkoy is a hairless breed with an excess of wrinkled skin, a dog-like face and forward-folded ears.
If you want a cat that is also a conversation starter, these ten fit the bill.
Photos : ©iStock.com/akinshin,Vof,wildcat78,ryonouske,grase,shaunl and By Alena Ivanchuk [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons,By Janet Poulsen [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons By Bebopscrx (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons,By Heikki Siltala (FINTICAt cat show Helsinki 2013-11-23) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons