9 Cat Breeds With Big Ears

  • 01 of 10

    Cat Breeds With Big Ears

    siamese cat on a bed
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    Big ears always up the cute factor, making animals look extra endearing. In the wild, oversized ears serve important functions for some animals’ survival. For instance, an elephant’s enormous, flapping ears help regulate its body temperature and allow it to hear far-away sounds. 

    Feline ears act like satellite dishes, helping cats in the wild detect the tiniest sounds so they can hunt their prey. At home, most domesticated cats use their impressive ears to listen for their favorite people coming home after work, the crinkle of a treat bag or the sound of you opening the lid on a can of cat food. Check out some of the cutest cat breeds that sport larger-than-life ears.

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  • 02 of 10

    Abyssinian

    abyssinian cat on a bed
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    The Abyssinian’s ears are alert, large and “set as though listening” according to the breed standard, which is the written description of the ideal example of the breed. The Abyssinian is one of the oldest cat breeds. Some disagreement exists as to the exact origins of the Abyssinian. Although the breed is named for Abyssinia, which is present day Ethiopia, it’s not because the breed is speculated to have originated in Ethiopia, but because the first specimens of the breed brought to cat shows in England in the late 1800s came from this area. Abyssinians are intelligent, playful and people-oriented cats, making them wonderful companions.

     

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  • 03 of 10

    Balinese

    Balinese cat
    According to the Balinese’s breed standard, its ears are “strikingly large.”. Фотограф:Анна Утехина - dizigner.ru, CC BY-SA 3.0

    According to the Balinese’s breed standard, its ears are “strikingly large.” The Balinese is thought to have originated due to a spontaneous gene mutation in the Siamese cat breed that created a longhaired version of the Siamese, which breeders began developing in the 1940s. Lithe, muscular and elegant, the breed is named for graceful dancers of Bali. The silky, flowing coat lies close to the body and resists matting. Longer hair on the tail forms a beautiful plume. Similar in temperament to the Siamese, the Balinese is affectionate, clownish and vocal, although not quite as outspoken as her Siamese relative. 

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  • 04 of 10

    Chausie

    Chausie cat
    The exotic-looking Chausie’s large, tall ears perch on top of its head. Wilczakrew-Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

    The exotic-looking Chausie’s large, tall ears perch on top of its head, set at a slight outward angle. This hybrid breed was developed in the 1990s after a breeding between a wild species, the jungle cat (felis chaus),and domestic cat. The result was a domesticated feline with the striking good looks of a wild cat. Although today’s Chausie is more “wild at heart” than wild, the breed is far from a lap cat. Most Chausies much preferring play and activity (even walking on a leash outside!) to lounging around. 

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  • 05 of 10

    Cornish Rex

    white cornish rex
    wildcat78/Getty Images

    With its distinctive curly coat and giant bat-like ears, the Cornish Rex is simply a delight to behold. The breed gets its name from its place or origin—Cornwall, England—where the very first Cornish Rex popped up amongst a litter of otherwise typical kittens born in a barn. The little cream-colored kitten with the curly, lamb-like coat was the result of a random genetic mutation. The owner of the mother cat, recognizing the uniqueness of this kitten, bred him back to his mother, producing more kinky-haired kittens, and a breed was born.

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  • 06 of 10

    Devon Rex

    devon rex cat staring at camera
    Troydays/Getty Images

    The darling little Devon Rex’s enormous ears lend to its “elfin” look and impish expression. This breed is highly social and fun-loving—some even describe the breed as dog-like. The breed’s small build and spunky personality makes them look and act like kittens throughout most of their lives. The Devon Rex’s coat, which comes in an unlimited rainbow of colors and patterns, is soft and wavy, and appears to ripple when you pet it.

     

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  • 07 of 10

    Oriental

    oriental cat breed
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    The Oriental was created from the Siamese, so it’s no surprise that this breed has the same giant ears as its Siamese cousin. Siamese only come in the pointed pattern (a lighter-colored body with darker “points” of color on the ears, tail, face and legs) and with short hair, but some breed fanciers wanted to expand upon the color palette and coat lengths. The Oriental looks much like the Siamese, but comes in hundreds of combinations of colors, patterns and coat length. 

     

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  • 08 of 10

    Savannah

    Savannah cat
    The Savannah’s big, tall ears set on the top of the head are very much a part of the breed’s overall wild look. Jason Douglas/Wikimedia Commons

    The Savannah cat was created in the 1980s from a breeding between a female domestic cat and a male African serval, a wild cat native to Africa. This breeding resulted in a female kitten that had traits of the domestic mother cat and wild serval dad. This kitten was the foundation of the Savannah breed. The Savannah’s big, tall ears set on the top of the head are very much a part of the breed’s overall wild look. In fact, the breed standard states that the ears should be “remarkably large.” In addition, the Savannah has long legs, a long and lean body, and a spotted coat reminiscent of the African serval. 

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  • 09 of 10

    Siamese

    siamese kitten in grass
    Kacy Kizer/Getty Images

    The Siamese is large, long and lithe, with enormous ears (like its Balinese cousin, the Siamese’s ears are also described as “strikingly large” in the breed standard). Named for its place of origin—Siam, which today is known as Thailand—this breed has been wildly popular with cat lovers since the late 1800s. Siamese are as loving as they are loud. Breed fanciers adore their cats’ vocalizations. A soft, smooth, pointed coat and almond-shaped blue eyes give the Siamese a distinctive look like no other cat.

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  • 10 of 10

    Sphynx

    Sphynx cat
    With their hairless bodies and those large ears, Sphynx cats always make a statement. Desaix83, d'après le travail d'Heikki Siltala, CC BY 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

    Whether you love their wrinkled look or think they look like space aliens with those large ears, Sphynx cats always make a statement. Not truly hairless, Sphynx do have some hair on their bodies. Some Sphynx cats seem almost hairless with just a little bit of short, fine hair on the feet, ears and tail. Others have a soft, downy, peach fuzz covering all over their bodies.