The rarest cats of the world are very treasured and efforts are made to protect and preserve these breeds. While some are hybrid breeds, some of the rarest cat breeds in the world are actually some of the oldest as well, and thus, efforts are made to preserve these natural treasures from disappearing from the face of the Earth. Curly, hairless or tailless, these are the rarest of them all:
1. The American Wirehair
This is a cat which originated in New York suffered a random mutation which gave the American Shorthair kitten a curly, wiry coat instead of a normal one. It is a very rare breed, with few to none existing outside the USA and only 22 cats registered today,
2. The Burmilla
The result of crossbreeding between Burmese cats and long-haired Chinchilla ones, the Burmilla is a very sociable breed which originated in the United Kingdom in 1981.They have beautiful, silky coat which may come in different colors: blue, black, brown chocolate and lilac.
3. The California Spangled
The California Spangled is not only one of the rarest breeds in the world, but it is also one of the newest, having been created in the ’80 in order to resemble a small leopard. Despite its amazing look, which indeed is very close to that of the wild animal that the cat takes after, there is no single leopard gene in this cat. The California Spangled was created from many different breeds of cats. Today, the breed is fighting for survival, because it is not popular anymore, especially after the apparition of the Bengal cat.
4. The Elf cat
One of the rarest breeds in the world is most certainly the elf cat as well. It is not yet recognized by the cat associations. This is a hybrid which resulted after the crossing of the Sphynx and of the American curl. If you thought that the Spynx was weird, then this cat will surprise you even more: except for being hairless, it has strange, curled years as well.
5. The Turkish Van
One of the oldest cat breeds in the world, the Turkish van is nevertheless very rare, even in their hole land. They are white, with colored marks on the ears and on the tail and they are special because of their strange love for water. Unlike the other cats, Turkish Vans enjoy taking baths. It is not unusual that these cats have one amber eye and one blue eye.
6. Khao Manee
Another cat with an old history is the Khao Manee with occurred naturally in Thailand. It is very treasured in its native country, where it has been bred by royalty only for hundreds of years. Here, in the west, this breed is, as you may imagine, extremely rare and in Thailand their number is starting to decrease also. Breeders around the world are making great efforts to encourage the breeding of these beautiful cats, because it would truly be ashamed that a cat with such a long history to disappear.
There is much controversy when it comes to the origins of this breed, because the original breeder gave fake information regarding its roots, but the result, however, it is a gorgeous green eyed, small to medium cat with light brown coat that resembles that of a rabbit. The number of these cats is very little, but their sweet temperament will certainly help them increase both in popularity and in numbers.
This is another extremely beautiful yet rare breed of cats. It is a hybrid cat, with Siamese origins. Even though it originated in the ’60s, their popularity was never stable and thus, their numbers also increased and decreased over the years. Today, efforts are made to save this breed and it seems that they are not in vain, as this type of cats starts to become known to the world.
9. The Manx
Natives to the island of Man (thus the name) where these cats are common, the Manx are known as tailless cats, though not all of them are completely lacking their tails: the length of their tails varies from none to normal. Their strange characteristic was a natural occurrence that dates since centuries, these cats being known in their native land since before 1700.
10. La Perm
La perms deate from the early ’80s when Curly was born at a farm, in Oregon. The cat’s unusual fur made it an instant favorite at the farm and throughout the years, Curly transmitted her gene to her kittens and from them on. LA Perm breed soon gained recognition both in the US and in the United Kingdom. Today, there are both shorthaired and longhaired, with the longhaired being much admired for its beautiful fur.