18 Most Unique Cat Breeds You’ll Ever See

Written By Jill Taylor

Cats come in all shapes and sizes, but some have more unique features than others. Here are 18 of the most distinct domestic cat breeds in the world, including one so rare that you can only find it in a specific region.


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Hairless, with wrinkled skin and large ears, the sphynx is a highly social and affectionate cat that’s so welcoming that it’s sometimes regarded as dog-like. These cats come with unique grooming needs, as their lack of hair means they need to have regular, daily baths to get rid of oils and prevent skin infections.


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The savannah is a hybrid cat created by cross-breeding a domestic cat with a wild African serval, which results in unique behavioral characteristics. These cats take the shape of a serval but come with the tameness of their domestic parents. Purina shares that they also love playing with water and can be trained to play fetch or walk on leashes.


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We all know ‘munchkin’ to mean a small-statured person or a child. And with cats, the munchkin is exactly this. Munchkins are a special breed of cat that, due to genetic mutations, have very short legs—in fact, the shortest among all cats. They’re the original breed of dwarf cats, known to be affectionate and very playful.

Scottish Fold

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Scottish folds’ owl-like faces, featuring folded ears and a short nose, are what primarily makes them unique. But they have other unusual traits as well. These friendly and adaptable cats also have a sitting posture called the ‘Buddha pose,’ which is rarely seen with other cats.


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The Bengal has a wild appearance, enhanced by leopard-like spots, a slender body, and long legs. Of course, it has the energy and athleticism to match its look. Bengals are also intelligent cats that enjoy playing in the water, unlike many other breeds.


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LaPerms are distinctive due to their curly coats, which vary from wavy to ringlet curls and get tighter around their necks and ears. The name ‘LaPerm’ even comes from this curly, soft, and perm-like fur coat. In general, these cats are active and affectionate companions when they are with you.

Devon Rex

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With the Devon Rex, it’s all about its large, expressive eyes and short, wavy coat. Devon Rexes are also known to be very intelligent cats that can be trained to do tricks. Their hypoallergenic nature also makes them great for people with respiratory complications.

American Curl

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Rather than curly fur, this breed is characterized by curly, backward-curving ears. The American curl is one of the newest breeds of cats around, and kittens actually come with straight ears that start to curl only after a few days. These cats also retain kitten-like behavior in adulthood, which gives them the name “Peter Pan cat,” according to Spruce Pets.

Turkish Van

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The Turkish Van is a cat known for its intense love for running water and amazing swimming abilities, earning it the name ‘swimming cat.’ These cats come with soft, water-resistant coats, and thanks to their intelligence, they will even turn on faucets to get to the water.


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Peterbalds are some of the most expensive domestic cats in the world because of their rarity and specialized care requirements. They’re a loyal, playful, and nearly hairless breed from Russia developed by cross-breeding the oriental shorthair with a mackerel tabby, Donskoy.

Khao Manee

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The Khao Manee is another extremely rare breed, and it’s one of the most beautiful on our list as well. Known as the ‘Diamond-eyed Cat,’ these cats are made distinctive by their striking (mixed) blue and gold eyes and pure white fur. In Thailand, where they’re from, Khao Manees are also regarded as a sign of good luck.


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Lykois are called ‘werewolf cats’ due to their fur, which lacks an undercoat and makes them appear dry and shabby, just like a wolf. But even though their partially hairless, sparse coat gives them a wild look, they’re still just like your other regular domestic cats.

Selkirk Rex

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The GWR records Selkirk Rexes as the newest established cat breed in the world. Selkirk rexes originated from a spontaneous mutation in the U.S. in 1987. Like other Rex breeds, they have curly fur, too. However, theirs is longer and has a teddy bear-like feel.

Japanese Bobtail

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It’s quite easy to pick out what the Japanese bobtail’s unique feature is—and yes, it’s the tail! The tail of this Japanese cat is often said to be more similar to that of a rabbit than that of other cats. Along with having a vocal and social nature, the Japanese bobtail is seen as a symbol of good fortune in Japan.


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The Ocicat is an exotic-looking breed that resembles the wild ocelot but has completely domestic behavior. These cats love to play a lot, and they’re so social that they need a cat or even dog companion to explore their playful side and feel happy.


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Of course, we can’t leave out the Singapura, known to be the smallest domestic cat breed in the world. Singapuras are rare cats with muscular physiques that weigh only up to 6 pounds as adults. As revealed by the ASPCA, they give birth to some of the smallest litters around, too!


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If you’re looking for a ‘toy tiger’ without the risk of getting yourself injured, then the toyger is the perfect breed for you. These cats have a coat with tiger-like stripes, gotten from breeding short-haired tabbies and Bengals. They’re also so rare that they could sell for up to $50,000, depending on the breeder.


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We end the list with the rarest domestic cat, the sokoke. Sokokes are a breed native to the Arabuko-Sokoke area of Kenya, and they’re this rare because they aren’t extensively bred outside their native regions. They also have a ticked, tabby coat that allows them to camouflage well with their surroundings.

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