Last Updated on April 28, 2024 by themubbi63

Unlike dogs, who have literally thousands of breeds all cross-bred from one another, the number of cat breeds is actually quite small. It wouldn’t even total a hundred. And while few cats are purebred and we have to start accepting mixed-breed cats, the process is a slow one. However, there are a few breeds that are relatively newer to the cat world. Let’s take a look at some of these.

List of New Cat Breeds

Selkirk Rex

As per the Guinness Book of World Records, the Selkirk Rex is the newest recognized breed of domestic cats. While it was officially developed in 1987 in Montana, USA, it was only officially recognized as a breed in 2015. It’s also known as a poodle cat because of the tightly curled fur. With a plush and thick coat, the Selkirk rex might be of shorthaired or longhaired varieties. Unlike the Devon rex and Cornish rex, which are mostly hairless cats, that’s not the case with this breed.

Aphrodite

The name given to the energetic and lively Cyprus cat, the Aphrodite is not really recognized as a standardized breed yet and is just being developed for cat fancier and breed organizations. This attempt started in 2006 and they only became an acceptable breed around the world in 2012. They’re also called Saint Helen cats and Saint Nicholas cats, they have short but thick hair and are very athletic in nature. Feral populations are found all over Cyprus, from the cooler mountainous regions to the warmer coastal areas. 

Savannah

A hybrid cat breed first developed in 1986 by crossing an African serval with a domestic cat, savannah cats are generally lean and tall and quite exotic to look at. They have tawny fur with black stripes and spots and long legs thanks to their African serval heritage. Their lean build makes them look bigger than they actually are. Savannah cats were only accepted as a properly recognized breed in 2012. They’re known to be a very loyal breed and often follow their owners all over the house as a sign of affection. They can be trained to walk on a leash.

Minskin

A hybrid cat that is derived from breeding together the relatively new munchkin with the Burmese cat along with bits of sphynx and Devon rex, the minskin is a dwarf cat breed. Mostly hairless or with very short hair, it only has fur on its extremities. The breed was first developed in 1998 in Boston by a man called Paul McSorley and became a standardized breed in 2005. It’s still one of the rarest cat breeds in the world. By 2005, only 50 cats were included in the breed. It is susceptible to several health issues because of its hairlessness.

Highlander

The highlander, which was originally called the highlander lynx, is still an experimental breed. This means that it hasn’t been recognized as a standardized breed yet. Indeed, the highlander is a crossbreed between two other experimental breeds – the jungle curl and the desert lynx – so the likelihood of this new breed being popularized very soon is not high. The development of this breed started in 2004 and it was only in 2022 that the highlander was accepted as a championship breed by the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA). It has a bobtail and black patterns on a tawny coat.

Serengeti

Unlike the highlander, the Serengeti is recognized and registered as a distinct breed by The International Cat Association (TICA). This hybrid was developed in 1994 by a biologist named Karen Sausman of Califonia, USA. She crossed a Bengal cat with an oriental shorthair to create a breed that looked like an African serval but didn’t have any wildcat blood. (It should be noted that Bengal cats are descended from leopard cats but most Bengals nowadays are too far removed from their wild ancestors and don’t have much genetic contribution from them.) These long-legged, spotted cats have large ears with rounded tips and don’t suffer from too many health problems.

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Lykoi

With a name meaning ‘wolf cat’ and an extremely scruffy, patchy appearance, it’s not hard to believe that the lykoi is descended from colonies of feral cats. In fact, these cats are largely hairless around the eyes and snout and are an experimental breed descended from cats with a particular genetic mutation. They’re also nicknamed werewolf cats because of their rather scary appearance. However, they’re extremely sweet-natured and they thrive on human affection, which has led to a reputation of being dog-like.

Cheetoh

The cheetoh, bred from Bengal cats and ocicats, is quite a fun-loving and playful breed. It’s large in size and looks quite exotic, thanks to being distantly descended from the Asian leopard cat. However, despite their wild appearance they make for great lap cats. There’s nothing better that a cheetoh likes than curling up with its owners. However, they can be active felines and love climbing trees. They’re vocal in nature and will make their needs understood. They tend to get bored quickly and destructive as a result of that so you have to keep them physically and mentally occupied.

LaPerm

So-called becasue of their curly fur (LaPerm basically means ‘the perm’), this breed has the tightest fur at their throats and at the base of their ears. They’re a relatively new breed that first emerged in the 1980s and has subsequently been accepted as a standardized breed. Developed by Linda and Richard Koehl in Oregon, USA, after their cat gave birth to a curly haired kitten, they’re considered a rex breed. All LaPerms are descended from Curly, that original curly-coated kitten. 

Tennessee Rex

The Tennessee rex comes from a natural mutation that was first discovered in 2004. The mutation gives them naturally occurring curly hair and a shine to their coats. The first Tennessee rexes came from a stray cat called Satin Surprise who gave birth to a litter with two curly-coated male kittens. The shimmer could never be washed off the coats of the kitten and gave the fur a satiny look. Thus, the owner of Satin Surprise, Franklin Whittaker, began breeding these cats. The Tennessee rex is still an experimental breed and is supposed to be registered as a championship breed with TICA.

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