10 Rare Cat Breeds: American Wirehair, Turkish Angora · Egyptian Mau · American Bobtail · Korat · Havana Brown · Turkish Van · Sphynx · LaPerm · Peterbald

All cats are treasures with their characters and looks but some rare cat breeds need more effort to find. Some people may prefer their cats to be unique or rare and want to draw people’s attention to their cats. Some others may prefer rare cat domestic breeds due to the breed’s specific features.

No matter what the reason is, if you want to find one of these cats you need to spend some effort to find a responsible breeder who pays attention to cats’ and kittens’ health as well as their lineage.

Here is our list of 10 rarest cat breeds.

1 – American Wirehair

Special Cat Breeds American Wirehair
American Wirehair

This little fella here is a true New Yorker! During 1960s these cats just started being born in Council Rock Farm in Verona, New York and the naturally occurring genetic mutation was so rare that there is no record of such a mutation anywhere else in the world. When the owner of the farm realized the sparse, wiry coat and friendly nature of the cat, the breeding process started.

These friendly and laid-back cats make excellent companions and although their curly coat may look awry, they don’t have any special grooming needs.

2 – Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora
Turkish Angora

As a natural breed, these cats are one of the ancient breeds that are accepted as national treasures in their homeland. They are originally from Angora (Currently Ankara, Turkey) region in Anatolia and brought to Europe due to their strong bodies and energetic but elegant nature. Some sources state that the first appearance in Europe was in 10th century when Vikings visited Anatolia but the historical records show that it was not until 16th century when the breed gained popularity among French royals.

They are very friendly creatures with long and soft hair. Although there are many Turkish Angoras with varying colors, white colored ones are accepted as the source of the breed. They may have blue, gold or odd (one blue – one gold) eyes.

3 – Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau
Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Maus are one of the few domestic cat species with naturally occurring spots on their coats. Once the favorites of Egyptian Pharaohs, these cats require a lot of attention as well as physical exercise. They are elegant and graceful cats just as you would expect from a royalty.

This breed has lightning fast reflexes and it was recorded to reach a speed of 30 miles (45 kilometers) an hour! As one of the oldest natural breeds, these cats are excellent hunters but don’t let this fool you, they are also very friendly cats who love the companionship of a human.

4 – American Bobtail

American Bobtail
American Bobtail

American Bobtail is one of the special cat breeds. When a vacationing couple discovered a feral domestic cat born with a bobtail they brought it home and started breeding it with their domestic cat in 1960s. After that a number of breeders worked to perfect this species.

Its natural gene pool and rugged appearance give it the outdoorsy looks but the truth is American Bobtails are not just about looks. They are very resilient creatures in terms of health and attitude. They have a very friendly and playful nature and even given the nickname “Golden Retrievers” of the cat breeds. They have short and flexible tails but the tail may come in many shapes and sizes.

5 – Korat


When we talk about rare, these cats carry the flag of rarity! Originating from Thailand, the silvery-blue colors of the breed make it easy to distinguish. Although it is rare to find them, Thailand imposes a limit to their breeding and it is considered that having a Korat places you among a chosen group of people in Thailand because traditionally it is only given as a gift for good luck.

Korats have heart shaped faces, energetic and playful natures with gentle attitudes. They have a lifespan of 20 years so you can expect these cuties to accompany you for a long time. These intelligent lap cats are loving and form deep bonds with their families.

6 – Havana Brown

Havana Brown
Havana Brown

Although they are called Havana Browns, these cats have no relation to Cuba. Originally bred by the English breeders using black cats and Siamese cats to achieve a solid brown Siamese cat, this breed of cats were on the brink of extinction in the late 90s but cats being cats, they stuck around.

Cat Fanciers’ Association can trace back every single Havana Brown in North America to one cat that was brought in 1950s from England. So if you have a Havana Brown and see another one, know that they are at least cousins.

Havana Browns have unique chocolate brown coats and unending love for their humans. They may follow you around home all day long like a puppy wondering what you are doing.

7 – Turkish Van

Turkish Van
Turkish Van

Another cat regarded as a national treasure in Turkey, Turkish Vans are protected by law in Turkey limiting their exportation. This hard to ignore cat breed has been known for centuries since the middle ages and although rare, some can even be found walking on the shores or swimming in Lake Van in eastern Turkey.

They are affectionate and intelligent cats who are also very good hunters. Although they are large and muscular, it is a joy to watch their graceful walks and elegant attitudes. Their semi-long coat make them basically waterproof and they enjoy this quality as they are very, VERY fond of water and swimming. The Turkish Vans that can be found today in US and Europe can generally traced back to a couple of Vans brought to England from Turkey in 1955.

8 – Sphynx


Favorite of cat lovers with sever allergies, the Sphynx has no hair. Although most people think that it was bred intentionally to have no hair, these cats descended from cats in Minnesota and Toronto, Canada with a natural mutation that prevents hair growth.

Due their lack of coat, these cats are almost always cold therefore they love snuggling which allows a deeper bond with their humans. They are full of love, affectionate and playful with high energy levels. They are also very intelligent and tend to vocalize a lot when they need something.

9 – LaPerm


Appropriately named LaPerm, has curly hair you just can’t miss. It is just a big coincidence that the hairstyle “perm” was very popular in 1980s and LaPerm just happened to be born from a tubby cat just the way it is on a farm in Oregon. At first the owner did not try to breed the cat but when she realized more of them being born, she isolated a few of them and started breeding.

They can be short or long haired with minimal grooming needs. Brushing them once a week would be enough as they don’t shed much. LaPerm is an extremely loving breed who would just stare deeply and purr at you. They are also playful and often mischievous. Coming in a variety of colors, these cats can make your day with clown-like attitudes.

10 – Peterbald


Originating in Russia, Peterbalds were created in St. Petersburg and have either no hair or very short hair hence the name Peterbald. They are a rare mixed cat breed, as a result of a breeding experiment. They are created suing Don Sphynx (or Donskoy) and Oriental Shorthair. They are considered a new breed of cat as they only date back to 1994. They have wiry bodies with large ears and they come in a variety of colors.

Peterbalds are very loyal, affectionate and playful cats with a huge love towards humans, adult or children. They also love to be around other animals and play with them. However a passive monitoring would be a good idea because the lack of fur make them susceptible to occasional injuries from cuts and scratches.

Do you also have a rare breed of cat? What is it like? Does it have any special needs? What are people’s reactions when they see it? Please leave a comment below.

Have a purrderful day!!!

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Author Yusuf Can Ekinci

Father of two cats named Tzatziki & Ouzo. Our small family tries to live without harming any living being. I am a small time farmer who tries to apply natural farming methods. Favorite activities: watching wild life at nature, passing time at home with my cats...

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