GENERAL BREED INFO

Weird Cat Breeds: 18 Bizarre Breeds and Their Fascinating Quirks

weird cat
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

Perhaps some people are satisfied with a cat that is a perfect candidate for a cat food commercial, but some of us like to explore a more bizarre realm of the feline world. If you enjoy beauty that is not by the conventional standards, you might be interested in discovering some weird cat breeds, and we are here to indulge you.

There are more than a hundred cat breeds recognized or in the process of being accepted as standard breeds today. Some of them are very far from what we associate with a common cat, be that because of the human selection process or by the whims of nature. Whichever path led to their unusual looks, one thing is sure—the fact that they exist and thrive in human society means that they have a lot to offer.

This article consists of four sections. These four sections will present you with the weirdest looking cat breeds out there: breeds which have no tail, breeds with short legs, breeds with no hair and various unusual breeds that don’t fall into aforementioned categories. All of the cats presented in this article are purebred, although there are many mixed breed or domestic cats that have an unusual appearance.

Tailless Cat Breeds

Breeds described in this section are deficient in the tail department, making them look very unusual compared to the average cat. Although cats use their tails to improve and fine-tune their balance, these breeds don’t lack agility at all. These are happy, normal cats and some people think they are even cuter the way they are.

#1: Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail

These Nyan Cats are famous for their temperament more than anything. They are very devoted and like to travel with their humans, making them a truly unusual member of the feline family.

But physical appearance is also unique when it comes to Japanese Bobtails; their tails are never more than 3 inches long, and the coat is predominantly white in color. A good thing about this tail mutation is that it doesn’t affect the spine, and this breed has no inheritable bone diseases like some other tailless breeds.

They are very healthy and long living. These cats are very loving and fearless, and will physically defend their owner if need be. Great mousers, loyal companions, cute, sturdy, and beautiful… Obviously made in Japan.

#2: American Bobtail

American Bobtail

American Bobtail has a tail that is usually between a third and a half of the length of the normal cat tail. This is a sturdy breed, and although they are medium size cats, American Bobtails can take up to 3 years to fully mature. Not a bad thing, if you think about it, because you get a very extended kittenhood.

You can also choose between a longhair and shorthair type, depending on your willingness to spend time on grooming.

Even though this breed is relatively new, American Bobtails are generally described as friendly, doglike, and great for families with small children.

#3: Manx

Manx

This breed has a heart of gold. Manx cats are very loving and snuggly but not needy. They have a strong sense of territory and will readily embrace new additions to the family such as babies, dogs, or other cats. In fact, they love to have company so if you work long hours, you should consider adopting one more cat.

The Manx is known for the stubby tail, but there are really four varieties of the breed: “the rumpy,” “rumpy riser,” “stumpy,” and “longy.” The first two are the most popular choices.

Rumpies” have no tail at all, while “rumpy risers” have a short tail with only 1-3 vertebrae. “Stumpies” have a relatively short tail that is usually curved, while the “longies” have a normal tail which makes it a bit hard to differentiate the Manx from a normal domestic cat.

#4: Cymric Cat

Cymric Cat

This breed comes from the Isle of Man just like the aforementioned Manx. In fact, it is usually considered to be the same breed, just with a long coat. Then why do they deserve their own name? Because their coat is really something else.

It is a dense, silky goodness that feels incredible to the touch. In fact, many people who own Cymrics call them “the teddy bears of the cat world” because their fluffy coat and lack of tail gives them a somewhat rounded appearance.

As a bonus, you won’t need to groom the Cymric as much as you’d have to groom some other long hair breeds, because its coat doesn’t mat easily. Two grooming sessions per week are more than enough.

#5: Kurilian Bobtail

Kurilian Bobtail

These cats come from Kuril Island on the eastern shore of Russia. They are very feral looking, but their harsh appearance is only skin deep.

They are very gentle and intelligent, and incredibly eager to please that one human they bond with. They are probably the best mousers out there, and they thrive in big, busy families.

An interesting fact about this breed: no two Kurilians have the same tail! Yes, they all have short tails, but they can vary in length (from 2 to 10 vertebrae), shape (some are even curled), and position.

Short-Legged Cat Breeds

Cats are known as able jumpers. Right? Well, yes, but the breeds presented in this section are a bit vertically challenged. That doesn’t mean they are any less capable of running around and making a ruckus—they are cats, after all.

In fact, most of these breeds are super fast and highly active, so don’t be fooled by their shortened appearance.

#1: Bambino

Bambino

Bambino is not only short-legged, but also hairless. Is it a piglet? Is it a monkey? It’s both, and so much more. They are very active and rambunctious, and stay playful throughout their lives.

Bambinos are an absolute joy to be around because they love to goof off and do tricks, and they have a distinctive wobble which just adds to their charisma. The skin of a Bambino is very wrinkly and elastic, making the owners jokingly say that it’s two sizes bigger than it should be.

#2: Munchkin

Munchkin

Here is the world’s favorite feline rug hugger. These dwarfs of the feline world are very active and agile, as long as you don’t ask them to jump high. They have a genetic mutation which stops the legs from growing to full length, much like wiener dogs.

Unlike their dog counterparts, Munchkins don’t suffer from spine problems as long as they are bred responsibly.

#3: Lambkin

Lambkin

Lambkin aka “Nanus Rex” is a very new and rare breed. In fact, there is less than a hundred of them in the whole world! They are a mix of the Selkirk Rex and a Munchkin, although they look more like a mix between a ferret and a sheep.

The unique genetic cocktail gave the Lambkin very short legs and a wool-like coat. Their coat might look wiry, but it’s actually very silky and soft. Lambkins are very affectionate and easygoing cats, great for families and single people alike… If you can find one, that is.

#4: Napoleon

Napoleon cat

Although Napoleon was not as short as his adversaries described him, he was definitely an inspiration when this breed got its name. It is actually a mix between the Munchkin and the Persian cat.

Napoleons have beautiful, plush fur that can be long or short. They are very playful and active, like most short-legged breeds. Make sure to invest in a good grooming brush if you choose the long hair type, because they need a lot of grooming.

#5: Skookum

Skookum

Apart from the short legs, this breed has one very recognizable characteristic—Skookums are curly! This breed comes in extra small size. Females can weigh 3 to 5 pound only.

They are so unusual looking that your guests might have to take a moment to process that curly, fuzzy-tailed creature that just came out of a bag to greet them.

They are very inquisitive, intelligent, and endearing. And much to everyone’s surprise—amazing climbers. Although jumping is not their strong suit, Skookums can climb a vertical surface better than most normal cats.

If you plan on talking your Skookum for walks, better beware, because you might spend most of the walk begging your cat to get off the tree.

Hairless Cat Breeds

Breeds with little to no coat have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. We guess one reason for this is practical—minimal or no shedding is preferable in small apartments; the other reason is that many people learned about the lovely personalities of these breeds. Whether you like them or not, these breeds are very weird looking and sometimes even scary. But just at first glance.

#1: Donskoy

Donskoy cat

Donskoy is a Russian hairless breed with a couple of distinct traits. These cats have very large ears, a muscular body, and long, webbed toes, which make them look like some amphibious creature on steroids.

Furthermore, their huge, almond-shaped eyes make the overall impression quite… scary. Not odd enough for you? They also have a “fat sack” on the lower part of their belly, just because.

Some might find them bizarre, but these creepy kitties have a lot of jumping, goofing, and warmth to offer. And when we say warmth, we mean literally; their body temperature is higher than the average!

#2: Minskin

Minskin

It’s small, it’s short-legged, and it’s bald. No, we are not talking about a senior hobbit. We’re talking about the Minskin!

This miniature breed deserves every weird look it gets, because it is unusual on so many levels. Satellite dish-grade ears, rat tail, and huge eyes combined with little to no fur and stubby legs are too much for some people, but those who own a Minskin say they wouldn’t ever trade their cat for a “normal” cat.

Minskins are exceptionally lovable and full of affection. They also stay kitten-like through their entire life, so you’ll have a playful, cuddly, bouncy cat for many years.

#3: Dwelf

Dwelf cat

Cute? Eh… That’s really a question of taste. Not only are Dwelf cats short-legged, wrinkly, and bald (well, to be accurate, they do have a fuzz-like coat here and there), but they also have ears that curl backward. So there you go. If you want a one-of-a-kind oddball, this is the cat for you.

#4: Ukrainian Levkoy

Ukrainian Levkoy

This naked beauty comes from Ukraine. Not only is this pretty kitty bald, but it also has floppy ears! Their face is very expressive because of the prominent cheekbones and eyebrows, with almond-shaped eyes which look somewhat narrow, as if they were squinting… or judging you.

Levkoys are very intelligent cats and like to be in the center of attention. If you want a cat that gets along with everyone and doesn’t take anything to heart, this is a perfect breed for you.

#5: Peterbald

Peterbald

Another Russian baldy. This cat is a descendant of the aforementioned Donskoy cat, with a touch of Oriental Shorthair. Just like their bald ancestor, Peterbalds have a high metabolism that makes their body temperature higher than usual. They have a long and slender build with a plethora of wrinkles. Petting this cat can be a whole new experience.

So why would anyone in their right mind go for one of these Russian aliens? Because they are extremely loyal, outgoing, and will roll with anything as long as it means staying close to their beloved human.

Cat Breeds That are Just Plain Weird

All cats, regardless of the pedigree, are born weird. That’s just a hallmark of felinity, and every owner will confirm it. However, there are some breeds that are just alarmingly unusual, to the point of causing unease in some people.

Now let’s look at the most notorious oddballs of the feline world!

#1: American Curl

American Curl

A fluffy tail, a long coat…and a set of curled ears. This weird mutation comes with the compliments of mother nature. It is not a defect as in some other breeds. In fact, the ears are made of firm cartilage, unlike in normal cats where the ears are soft.

Other than the curved ears, this is quite a normal cat; temperaments and activity levels vary from one individual to another. But one thing that is common for all American Curls is their everlasting playfulness.

#2: Lykoi

Lykoi cat

Forget the werewolf, because the werecat is here! Or maybe it’s just an opossum disguised as a cat? No, it’s actually a cat with a very unusual coat.

But there is more similarity to the wolf than just the shaggy coat—this breed has a very strong prey drive that needs to be exercised daily. If this is neglected, the Lykoi might start stalking children, other pets, and even grown-ups, hunting them down like the predator that the wolf is.

It’s all in good fun, of course, but small animals or children might get scared or hurt in the process, so make sure to give your werecat a thorough workout every day.

#3: Khao Manee

Khao Manee

This breed comes from Thailand. It was considered to be very special, even sacred. What makes this breed unique is that many individuals have odd colored eyes. They can be blue and green or blue and gold.

All Khao Manee cats have a pure white, short coat that is silky to the touch. This breed was usually accompanying royalty and living in the court, so they have a bit of a diva complex—they love attention and human presence.

The Khao Manee only left Thailand 20 years ago, so they are still very rare in the US. Nevertheless, if you can find one, make sure to check the pedigree and choose the breeder responsibly.

Wrap Up

weird gray and white cat

Some people will never dare to even consider owning one of the cats from the list given in this article. Others might be mesmerized by the unique looks and temperament of these eccentric kittens. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and physical appearance is only skin deep.

If you enjoy a shocked look on your friends’ faces from time to time, or just think outside of the box, consider adopting one of these beautiful creatures, because they will definitely bring a lot of joy and happiness to your life.

Which weird cat breed was your favorite? Do you know of any other delightfully unique cat breeds? Share with us in the comments section below! Next, check out our article on weird cat names. Need we say more?

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.

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