15 Cat Breeds That Didn’t Exist 100 Years Ago

With cute furry faces and mischievous characters, it is no wonder cats sit in second place in pet popularity, with a 2016 survey suggesting a quarter of U.S. homes enjoy a kitty’s company.

Like all other pets, new cat breeds can both naturally occur and be developed deliberately.

As a result, there are now scores of different breeds, meaning there is a perfect pussycat suited to every taste.

Newsweek picks out 15 cat breeds that have only come to exist in the last century.

American Curl

American Curl cat
Close-up portrait of a white American Curl cat with blue eyes. The American Curl is named after its characteristic ear shape
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The American Curl is named after its characteristic ear shape, which is controversial as this is associated with severe and painful degenerative joint disease.

The breed, which first appeared in the early 1980s, comes in all colours and coat patterns, and is often athletic in stature and build.

Highlander

Highlander cat
A Highland Fold cat (British Longhair Fold), with yellow eyes and gray fur
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The Highlander cat, also known widely as the Highland Lynx, has curled tufted ears, a short bobbed tail and can be both short-haired and long-haired.

The breed’s development began in 1993, with the specific aim of creating a domestic cat with a powerful “big cat” appearance.

LaPerm

LaPerm cat
Close-up of a LaPerm cat from the side
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These petite pussycats are often characterised as having a good sense of humor as well as being affectionate, gentle and patient pets.

The LaPerm cat breed was first recognised by The International Cat Association in 2002.

Lykoi

Lykoi
Kitten Lykoi cat, 3 months old, also called the Werewolf cat against white background
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This hairless breed, formerly recognised in 2012, is derived from a naturally occurring mutation common in the feral cat population.

These cats are active, and retain a strong hinting instinct, meaning they are not considered safe around small animals.

Minskin

The Minikin is a hairless cat with short legs, bred from the Munchkin and the Sphynx.

First bred in the late 1990s, Minskins are energetic, affectionate and are said to love playing with their owners.

Munchkin

Munchkin cat
Orange and white Munchkin Cat
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Munchkins are viewed as the cat equivalent of the Dachshund dog, due to the controversial breed’s short legs and stretched spines.

Munchkins’ movements are described as being like that of a ferret and the breed, first formally recognised in 1995, comes in short and long coated varieties.

Napoleon

Napoleon Cat
A Short-haired Minuet cat (as known as the Napoleon) playing with a toy
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The Napoleon, also dubbed the “minuet cat”, owes its name to the French emperor due its short stature.

This Munchkin and Persian crossbreed was recognised in 2002 and the cats are said to be loving, sweet and relaxed in company.

Aphrodite

The Aphrodite is a native of Cyprus that can have a short or longer coat in a variety of colours and patterns.

The breed, created in 1994, has acquired a reputation be social and affectionate, meaning they can build a particularly strong relationship with owners.

Cheetoh

First bred in 2001, the Cheetoh cat is a feline with the ferocious looks of a wildcat, combined with the gentle temperament of a domesticated shorthair.

This breed makes popular pets as the cats are highly intelligent, affectionate and playful.

Ojos Azules

Ojos Azules cat
Ojos Azules is short-haired and has strikingly blue eyes
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This Spanish breed of cat is short-haired and—as its name suggests— has striking blue eyes.

This very rare and sought-after breed began to emerge in the 1980s and this medium-sized and notable for being very friendly.

Peterbald

Peterbald cat
Peterbald cat lying with his brothers and relaxing
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The Peterbald is a cross between the hairless Don Sphynx and an Oriental Shorthair.

Named for the Russian city of St. Petersburg, where they were bred in 1994, the cats have a hair-losing gene, giving them a smooth and glossy coat.

Serengeti

The Serengeti cat is spotted with long legs and large ears, while breed standards allow for tabby, silver, smoke and black colorpoints.

The breed was created in the 1990s using primarily Oriental Shorthair and Bengal cats.

Tennessee Rex

This breed discovered in 2004 boasts wavy hair with a sparkly sheen and can come in a long or short coat.

The Tennessee Rex is considered a loving creature often content to spend hours quietly dozing in their owners’ laps.

Toybob

The Toybob originated in Russia in 1983 and is among the smallest of all breeds of cat.

Their playful personality and cuddly proportions make this breed highly prized as a companion cat.

Toyger

Bred in the 1980s to resemble a toy tiger with a short coat with mackerel tabby markings, the Toyget is based on the Bengal breed.

Although this designer breed is believed to be active and demanding they are also loving and affectionate.

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