The Chausie cat is an ancient, hybrid wildcat/domestic cat breed that originated in Egypt thousands of years ago. While it developed naturally among ancient Egyptians and along the rivers of Southeast Asia, breeders in the US began their own breeding project 1990s. The Chausie's medium to large, athletic build and grizzled coat resembles its jungle-dwelling ancestors. But, unlike its wild counterparts, its friendly, affectionate demeanor makes the Chausie a great house pet. Because the Chausie is a highly active and playful cat that needs lots of stimulation and company, it is not ideal for owners who are away from the home most of the day. They can live happily with dogs and cats when raised alongside them.
Other Names: Jungle Curl, Stone Cougar, Mountain Cougar
Personality: Intelligent, active, social
Weight: 15 to 25 pounds
Length: 20 to 22 inches
Coat Length: Short to medium length hair
Coat Colors: Black, brown, brown ticked tabby, black grizzled ticked tabby
Coat Patterns: Tabby, solid, ticked, grizzled
Eye Color: Yellow, green, gold
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
The Chausie cat has an amiable, playful, intelligent personality. It is even-tempered and well-suited for a family with children or other pets. The Chausie usually stops growing at two or three years old and can reach up to 22 inches in length. Like any non-hypoallergenic cat, the Chausie sheds, but usually at a medium to a low level.
|Tendency to Vocalize||Medium|
|Amount of Shedding||Medium|
History of the Chausie Cat
The Chausie breed is a hybrid of domestic and jungle cats. These hybrids are thought to have existed for thousands of years, originating in ancient Egypt. The Chausie has also historically been found in Southeast Asia and parts of the Middle East. The name "Chausie" is derived from the scientific name for a jungle cat, Felis Chaus.
Although jungle cat/domestic cat mixes have a long history of naturally occuring, intentional breeding began in the US in the 1990s. Breeders set out to create a domestic cat that looked wild, in part to provide an ethical alternative to owning big cats. The early Chausie breeding program used many different breeds of domestic cats. But, as time passed, breeders discovered that the Abyssinian and the domestic shorthair were the best options for creating the hybrid.
Eventually, the breeders succeeded in their quest to develop a new breed, which received recognition from the International Cat Association in 1995. In 2013, TICA granted the breed championship status, allowing them to compete in cat shows for titles.
Chausie Cat Care
The caretaking regiments of Chausie cats are standard to those of most domestic cats. Understanding how best to care for your cat makes it easier to do so and improves its quality of life.
Chausies are extremely active cats. While their curious and athletic nature will help them keep moving on their own, they still need ample facilitated exercise. Provide your Chausie with toys, play structures, and surfaces on which to jump. Chausies are highly intelligent and trainable, so consider training them to walk on a leash.
The Chausie tends to shed minimally but is not hypoallergenic. They are short-haired cats, meaning they shed less than their long-haired counterparts. Still, Chausies, like all cats, require a grooming routine.
The Chausie's short, slightly coarse coat is easy to care for. Brushing your Chausie's fur weekly with a soft slicker brush effectively keeps shedding to a minimum. Practice standard cat grooming regiments such as periodic nail clipping. Although Chausies are not particularly water-averse, bathing isn't necessary.
Common Health Problems
Chausies are thought to have inherited short intestinal tracts from their wildcat relatives. This can cause a lower tolerance to nutrients from various plants and vegetables. If repeatedly exposed, a Chausie can develop inflammatory bowel disease. Chausies are also prone to food allergies. Besides intestinal issues, the Chausie is considered to be a naturally healthy cat. All cats can develop health complications in their lifetime, so make sure to maintain its healthy lifestyle and visit your vet for checkups.
The Chausie is medium or large-sized with a lean, athletic build. It has a deep chest with flat flanks, jutting cheekbones, pointed high-set ears, and angular gold-colored eyes. Many of its physical characteristics are reminiscent of its wildcat lineage as well as a particularly large Abyssinian cat. The Chausie's coat varies in color, but typically (and preferably), it is a black or brown solid or tabby. Even solid black Chausies have slight tabby markings in their youth but tend to outgrow the pattern. Some Chausies have a grizzled coat, which is relatively uncommon in domestic cats and can be attributed to their wildcat genetics. Other Chausies have "ticking" on their coats, meaning that the tips of the cat's fur are darker than the rest of the strand.
The Chausie isn't hypoallergenic, although some cat owners with allergies may be less sensitive to its dander due to its short hair.
Diet and Nutrition
Because of a Chausie's shortened intestine and allergen sensitivity, it may require a specialty diet. Commercial cat foods won't always accommodate their sensitive stomach, especially since meat is a crucial ingredient for a Chausie. Some owners choose to make their cat's food from scratch and follow a keto diet. Remember, if making homemade food for your pet, it's essential to consult a veterinarian to ensure the presence of all necessary nutrients. There are high-end, less generic cat food options worth researching as well.
The Chausie makes a great addition to any family, although finding one may be difficult. Chausies are admired for their playful, social nature but, as a result, have trouble being left alone for long periods.
Intelligent and active
Friendly with people and pets
Rare; hard to find
Needs a lot of attention
Doesn’t do well if left alone
Where to Adopt or Buy a Chausie Cat
Chausies are rare and expensive. It's unlikely that you will find a Chausie cat at a shelter, but some breeders facilitate adoptions when one of the cats in the litter needs to be rehomed. The International Cat Association curates a list of active breeders on its website, and Chausies usually cost between 1000 and 2000 dollars.
Types of Chausie
While all Chausies have similar physical builds, there is some variation in color and pattern. The TICA breed standard accepts the following;
- Solid black: Solid black Chausies are relatively rare, and even the solid black coat can have extremely light remnants of grizzling. If a solid black Chausie spends excessive time in the sun, its coat may lighten and appear closer to brown than black.
- Black ticked tabby: Black ticked Chausies have black rings and a black tip on their tails, black striping on the inner leg, and black markings around the eyes.
- Black grizzled tabby: A grizzled coat pattern only occurs in domestic/wild hybrids. The grizzling appears as a series of alternating darker and lighter bands on the fur.
More Cat Breeds and Further Research
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Otherwise, check out all of our other cat breed profiles.
Is the Chausie dangerous?
Chausies behave like any other domestic cat. Although Chausies share DNA with wildcats, they are not dangerous. A Chausie sold by a breeder will be genetically distant enough from their wildcat ancestor to eliminate any wild behavior.
What's the difference between a Chausie and an Absynnian?
Many Chausie cats are 50% Abyssinian, so the breeds share many similarities but are different cats. Abyssinians don't have wildcat DNA.
Can I adopt a Chausie at a shelter?
Chausies are a very rare breed, so it is unlikely to find them in a shelter. Still, it may be worth looking into shelters specializing in purebred cats. Otherwise, a breeder is your best bet.