ALL CAT BREED PROFILES

Chausie: Half-Wild, Half-Domestic Cat Breed

Chausie cat lying down in the middle of the street
Jeremy Vaughn
Written by Jeremy Vaughn

What immediately comes to mind when you hear the words “wildcat?” Perhaps those words conjure up images of a fierce, powerful, and majestic creature that’s unfortunately also dangerous and unattainable. While it’s true that you shouldn’t underestimate wild cats, if you’re in love with them and you can’t get the thought of living with one out of your head, you’ll be glad to know that the Chausie may be able to satisfy your yearning for a taste of the wild.

The Chausie (pronounced chow-see) is a half-wild, half-domestic hybrid cat who traces their origins to Asia and the Middle East. Despite their wild looks, they are an active and highly loyal feline you’d appreciate having in your household. Make no mistake about it, though, this is a cat that’s not for novice cat owners. The Chausie is an active feline that will require a lot of playtime and love. If you’re up to the task, you’ll likely find a pet that will love and keep you company for a long time!

Close-up image of a Chausie cat looking at the camera

Think you have what it takes to care for a Chausie cat properly? Don’t worry if the answer is “no,” because that’s what we’re here for. Do you want to know more about Chausie cat personality? Would you like to learn more about the preparations you should make before you welcome one into your household? Read on and find out what you can expect from this smart, active, agile, and affectionate wildcat!

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: Average

  • Grooming: Average

  • Health: Very Good

  • All Around Friendliness: Good, but may be prone to tantrums

  • Exercise Needs: High

Cat Breed GroupShort-Haired, Hybrid
SizeMedium to Large
Weight9 - 15 pounds
Lifespan12 - 14 years

This is a hybrid wild cat that has the fierce look of their ancestors, the wild Jungle Cat found in Asia and the Middle East. These cats have a long and lean body with an unusual coat. Their face is also unmistakably different from that of a domestic cat.

They may look untamed, yet once you’ve gotten to know them, you will realize that this is a smart, active, and very loyal cat breed. They are far from your typical cat. Because of their athleticism and agility, they would take every opportunity to jump and climb.

This feature alone makes this cat breed not the ideal pet for novice pet owners. Even experienced pet owners who don’t have enough time to attend to the needs of their pets may find it hard to keep up with the energy levels of this feline.

Studio image of a Chausie cat looking at the camera

This is not a lap cat at all because of their hyperactivity. Yet, they are a highly sociable and affectionate cat who can form a close and strong bond with their master. They will always follow you no matter where you go. Despite their attachment to you, it is okay to leave them alone at home for a reasonable duration. Having other cats or even a dog around to keep them company will certainly help.

In terms of appearances, the Chausies will appeal to people who are fond of large and exotic felines. They have a look that can make heads turn. The coat is short to medium in length. It has three striking shades—black, brown-ticked tabby, and black grizzled ticked tabby. When you touch their overcoat, the first thing you’ll notice is its coarse feel. It’s in sharp contrast to the fluffy texture of the undercoat.

These cats are superbly athletic and agile with muscles in the right places. They aren’t bulky or skinny, but somewhere in between. They can quickly move from one place to another thanks to their well-proportioned body and their long, lean legs.

Chausie cat resting on a red sofa

Chausies are also big cats. The weight range of an adult cat is 9 to 15 pounds, but it is possible for a male to grow up to 25 pounds while the female counterpart can grow up to 20 pounds. Indeed, Chausies are like the cat equivalent of basketball players what with their size and amazing athleticism.

With the diversity in their genetic foundation, it is not surprising that this cat is generally healthy. But like other wild hybrids, Chausies have a shorter intestinal tract compared to the modern-day domestic cat. It is likely that they may have problems digesting cat food that has plant-based ingredients.

As such, it is recommended that you give them a grain-free diet with very minimal plant-derived ingredients. You don’t want to expose them to an inappropriate diet as they may develop food allergies or worse, chronic inflammatory bowel ailment.

Main Highlights

  • Chausies are elegant-looking cats gifted with a long and slender body. The males are big and can weigh 25 pounds while adult females can grow up to a weight of 20 pounds. Their coats come in three colors—black, silver, and brown.

  • These are assertive and active cats who need the time and attention of their owners. With their superior agility, these cats like to jump and run around. They are highly recommended for experienced cat owners.

  • Despite their hyperactivity, these cats are very affectionate. They are also people-oriented that they won’t hesitate to follow their master around all day long. But be careful going around with them because they tend to be fearless especially when outdoors, and they may get lost.

  • This cat breed originated sometime in the ‘60s when a wild species located in the Far East, the Jungle Cats, were bred to domestic shorthairs. Those Jungle Cats go a long way back, having been domesticated in Ancient Egypt. It was only in 1995 when the breed was registered in the International Cat Association.

  • Chausies are not cheap by any means. The most expensive type is the second generation Chausie which can fetch a price of up to $2,500. Kittens can range from $400 to $600.

Breed History

The ancestors of this cat breed, the Felis chaus, have lived with humans for many years despite having the wildcat gene—having been domesticated and revered in Ancient Egypt. This jungle cat used to live near lakes and rivers. The Ancient Egyptians loved them so much that these animals were interred in temples and even mummified.

Chausie cat walking on a field with flowers

In the late 1960s, people experimented by breeding the jungle cat with the intention to provide an alternative to nondomestic cat-lovers. But it took about three decades for the breed to really take off and get recognized.

The International Cat Association gave Chausies a registration status in 1995. However, they are not recognized by the FÊdÊration Internationale FÊline (FiFe) because they are a hybrid breed. Today, Chausies are widely found in North America and Europe.

Size

Chausies are medium to large sized cats. To give you an idea, most Chausies are larger than a Siamese cat. Male cats can weigh up to 25 pounds although most of them weigh from 9 to 15 pounds. On the other hand, an adult female has the potential to grow up to 20 pounds.

These cats are leggy and long-bodied which give them amazing agility. They are gifted with a broad chest that lets them breathe deeply; this trait further enhances their endurance. Indeed, Chausies can be considered as the basketball players of the feline world if we are to talk about their physical traits.

Close-up of a chausie-cat lying on a sofa

They also have a longer head compared to most domestic cats, making them appear like a cougar. Their eyes are shaped like an almond. Chausies have slanted earbones and a set of large ears. Their tails are also a bit shorter compared to their entire body length.

These cats have a short to medium-long coat. Their coats can be long enough for two bands of ticking to become apparent. They come in three colors. Those with a brown ticked tabby coat boast 2 to 3 bands of dark ticking in their tails and coats. They may or may not have necklaces around their necks. There’s also a light thumbprint on each of their ears. On the other hand, their underbellies can range from sandy gold to off-white in color.

Close-up of a chausie-cat lying on the grass outside in the sun

Chausies with a black grizzled ticked tabby are those with coat patterns resembling that of a jungle cat. There’s a noticeably lighter color at the skin with alternating light and dark bands of ticking. Their noses are a solid black.

Lastly, black Chausies have a solid black coat. However, it is also possible that Chausies who spend a lot of time outdoors will develop a slightly brownish coat. They have soft undercoats and a slightly rougher top coat. Chausies with black hair usually have softer coats while those with other colors have coarser coats.

Personality and Character

Chausies are hyperactive cats who like to be kept busy most of the time. Young Chausies are particularly always on the go. As they grow old, they would lose that energy, but they will still love and demand intellectual stimulation. Chausies are very smart cats. They learn new things quickly. In fact, you will have an easy time training young Chausies to use a scratching tower instead of your furniture. The sky is the limit in as far as the kind of tricks that you can teach them go.

Studio image of a chausie-cat

They love to be around their masters. They don’t really like to be left on their own for a long period although they can tolerate it as long as you prepare lots of toys or other pets to keep them entertained.

Chausies are very good-natured and affectionate. You’ll have your hands full with them because they love to interact with their owners. They can form strong bonds with their master. You can train them to walk around your neighborhood every day on a leash as if they were dogs. Their playful personality makes them a valuable addition to any household.

Health and Potential Problems

Chausies can live for up to 14 years when properly cared for. They are generally healthy and free from hereditary and congenital disorders. As mentioned earlier, they have a shorter intestinal tract compared to most domesticated cats. This means that they will have a hard time digesting food with plant-based ingredients like vegetables, spices, and herbs. Ingesting food with these ingredients can make them fall ill to inflammatory bowel diseases.

Beautiful Chausie cat in the nature

Symptoms of an inflammatory bowel disease include diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and depression. Chausies who are suffering from this disease may also experience abdominal pain and gas. Be on the lookout, too, for distressed coat hair and blood in their stool.  If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect that your pet is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, better bring them to a veterinarian right away.

Care Features

While these cats are very personable and affectionate, they aren’t exactly the best fit for households with small children. They are very active; children and even adults may find it hard to keep them still. In fact, they can also open cupboards and doors with their dexterous paws. Chausies like to climb cabinets and closets so be prepared for the damage they could potentially cause to your abode.

Close-up of a Chausie-Fluffy-Cat

Aside from being super active, Chausies are notorious for being demanding. They crave attention so much that it is not a good idea to leave them alone in the house for more than 12 hours. If you make that mistake, you can expect an unhappy cat who won’t hesitate to smash up valuables in your house.

Feeding Schedule

Due to their inherently short intestinal tract, Chausies should be fed with high-quality cat food with minimal or low amounts of plant-derived ingredients. You can also give them raw or cooked meat. Here’s one tip to keep you away from the vet’s office—feed your pet with the same food that the breeder was giving them.

chausie-female-lying in bed

Chausies like to stick to a routine. Thus it is recommended that they be fed at the same time of the day. They also don’t like it when their scratching towers and furniture around the house are moved. Let’s just say that they get stressed out when there are changes in their environment, so we recommend that you stick to one food brand.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Chausies are not high maintenance felines, although they are not low maintenance either because they have a light layer of undercoat. Their short hair and moderate shredding mean you can get away with twice-a-week brushing to keep their coat and skin healthy. It is also recommended that the nails of Chausies get trimmed once a week, too, as a part of their grooming routine. This can prevent them from tearing up your couch and causing general destruction in the household.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Chausies get along well with most household pests including other cats and dogs. However, it is best that you isolate them for at least two weeks before you introduce them to the rest of the household. This way, they will become accustomed to their new home and give others the chance to better bond with them.

close-up of a chausie kitten playing with a toy

Chausies, though, may not be the best choice of pet for young children due to their hyperactivity. They can be a bit too much for kids, especially those younger than six years of age.

Wrap Up

There’s no denying that Chausies are one of the most beautiful and powerful domesticated cats on the planet. These are cats who come from such a historical and proud lineage. They are gifted with a muscular and long-legged body that make them very attractive for many cat lovers. Chausies are highly recommended for people who have experience in taking care of cats. They’re also ideal for cat owners who have lots of time on their hands, given the demanding nature of these felines.

They can be demanding, but Chausies are generally low-maintenance cats. They are also healthy, though you may have to be more mindful of their diet because of their propensity to get sick when they are fed with low-quality feeds. Chausies are so full of energy that you can expect them to be jumping around at any given opportunity. They may not be the ideal pet for small kids and novice cat owners, but if you’re ready to add an affectionate, animated, and smart feline to your household, then Chausies should be on your shortlist.

Cute Chausie cat sitting

Interested in spicing up your life by adopting a smart and beautiful Chausie? It’s okay if you’re not ready; adopting cats, especially hyperactive ones like the Chausie is a huge commitment. In case you’re looking for an easier-to-care-for cat without having to give up on the wild looks that you favor, check this unique breed out. Before you go, don’t forget to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!

About the author
Jeremy Vaughn
Jeremy Vaughn

Jeremy Vaughn is a member of Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, who lives in Winnipeg. Creating new looks for cats and other pets is his passion. Jeremy shares his house with the wife and wonderful Siamese cat.

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