Hybrid Cats That Evoke Their Wild Cousins

Illustration of different hybrid cats

The Spruce / Elnora Turner

A hybrid cat can be a happy medium between the appeal of a wild lion or tiger and domestic tameness. Pet hybrid cats are domestic house cats crossbred with wild feline varieties. They're often highly intelligent and athletic with a streak of unpredictability, but they're generally friendly around people. If you're looking to take a walk on the wild side, here are 10 hybrid cat breeds.

Tip

The American Association of Feline Practitioners discourages ownership of early generation hybrid cats due to concerns for public safety and animal welfare. In addition, crossbreeding certain cats can result in premature and unhealthy kittens, depending on their genetics.

  • 01 of 10

    Bengal

    Bengal cat sitting on weathered deck

    itsabreeze photography/Getty Images

    Bengals are one of the most common hybrid house cats. The breed resulted from crosses between domestic shorthairs and small Asian leopard cats, and its coat retains leopard-like spots. These are smart, active cats that always want to be on the move. They love climbing, playing fetch, taking on-leash walks, and even splashing in water.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 15 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Sleek, muscular body; striped and spotted coat

  • 02 of 10

    Chausie

    Chausie cat outside
    Satyendra Kumar Tiwari/Getty Images

    Resembling small mountain lions, chausies are the result of crossing domestic Abyssinians with wild jungle cats of Asia. These are high-energy cats that need a lot of environmental enrichment to stay entertained. And hide your breakables because odds are their boisterous jumping and climbing won’t be limited to their cat trees. Still, they tend to be very social cats that love interacting with their families.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 14 to 18 inches

    Weight: 15 to 30 pounds 

    Physical Characteristics: Long, tall body; elongated snout; sometimes tufted ears

  • 03 of 10

    Cheetoh

    Cheetoh cat walking in grass
     Chris Rue/Wikimedia Commons

    Despite the name, cheetoh cats do not resemble a cheesy snack. They are a cross between domestic ocicats and Bengals, which gives them a very wild look. Cheetohs tend to be playful cats that love to run, jump, and climb throughout their home. But they also have a gentle side and appreciate cuddling with their favorite humans.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 12 to 14 inches

    Weight: 15 to 23 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Spotted coat; large, muscular body

  • 04 of 10

    Desert Lynx

    The desert lynx might have some bobcat DNA in it, but this cat also has been crossed with several domestic breeds, including the Maine coon, Manx, American bobtail, and pixie-bob. Still, these cats strongly resemble bobcats with their muscular build, short tail, and spotted pattern. They’re typically friendly and loving with somewhat of a dog-like personality.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 16 inches

    Weight: 8 to 25 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Bobcat-like appearance; various tail lengths; large ears; spotted or ticked coat

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Highlander

    The highlander is a new cat originating from a cross between two hybrids: the desert lynx and the jungle curl. Highlanders tend to have bobbed tails and spotted or marbled coats, giving them an appearance similar to a bobcat. But because they come from two hybrids, they’re fairly tame, gentle, and affectionate cats.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 16 inches

    Weight: 10 to 20 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; curled ears; some have polydactyl paws and bobtails

  • 06 of 10

    Pixie-Bob

    pixie-bob cat sitting on a table
    Christina Griffiths/Getty Images 

    Some believe the pixie-bob resulted from natural mating between bobcats and domestic shorthairs, though there isn’t scientific evidence to back that up. The cat’s wild appearance and bobbed tail also could be from a natural genetic mutation. Regardless, this cat is a good choice for families who want an affectionate, interactive feline. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: 11 to 22 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Bobcat-like appearance; shorthaired to shaggy coat; various tail lengths

  • 07 of 10

    Safari

    Safari cats are a rare hybrid that resulted from a cross between domestic cats and the small, wild Geoffroy’s cat of South America. Safari cats typically have a compact, muscular body with a spotted coat. Just like their wild cousins, these cats are strong climbers and need lots of vertical space to get out their energy.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 12 to 14 inches

    Weight: 15 to 25 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Large, muscular body; short, spotted coat

  • 08 of 10

    Savannah

    Savannah cat sitting against a gray background

     Volchanskiy/Getty Images

    A popular hybrid, savannah cats are taller than typical house cats and look like small cheetahs. They are a cross between domestic cats and servals, an African wild cat. These intelligent, athletic, and spirited cats require lots of mental and physical stimulation to keep them entertained. They need ample room to play, especially vertical space.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 12 to 14 inches

    Weight: 20 to 30 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Tall, lean body; erect ears; golden coat with dark spots and bars

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Serengeti

    The Serengeti looks very similar to wild African servals, but it actually was developed from a cross between Oriental shorthairs and Bengals. This gave the cats their spotted coat and athletic build. These cats are typically affectionate with their families and extremely energetic, so they need plenty of space to play.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 8 to 15 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long legs; large, rounded ears; spotted coat

  • 10 of 10

    Toyger

    Toyger cat against a yellow background

    Erich Schmidt/Getty Images

    Toygers are not wild cats at all, though their striped markings might make you think otherwise. These "mini tigers" got their look from crossing domestic shorthairs with Bengal cats. And though they are typically intelligent, high-energy cats, their adaptable and friendly demeanor makes them good for many different living situations. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 7 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Orange to tan fur with black stripes; muscular build; gold to green eyes