Feline Wonders: 11 Rare Cat Breeds You’ve Never Heard Of

Turkish Van 

What Is The Rarest Cat In The World?

Cats have been around since the dawn of humanity, and they are still dependable companions today. Some cat breeds, on the other hand, are rare in comparison to their feline companions. 

According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), all purebred felines can be considered rare, with just two to four percent of owned cats making the pedigreed cut.

The reasoning can be traced back to the breed’s inception, whether ancient or modern. Similarly, a cat breed can be rare due to a scarcity of breeders. The breed could not thrive unless there are breeders who are committed to keeping the breed alive.

So whatever the reasons are, here are 11 rare cat breeds you probably didn’t know about!

1. Korat


Name– Korat Cat

Price– $500–$700

Country of origin Thailand

Average lifespan–  10–15 years

The Korat was first found in Thailand’s Korat province and it is considered one of Thailand’s “Good Luck Cats”. In 1959, the first known pair of Korats were imported to the United States. It has a heart-shaped face and a shimmery blue coat. 

Simultaneously, it is energetic and lively, at the same time gentle as well. Surprisingly, it has luminous green eyes. This breed’s average height is 10 to 12 inches and its weight is 6 to 10 pounds.

2. Burmilla

Burmilla Cats Breed

Name– Burmilla cat

Price– $500–$700

Country of origin– United Kingdom

Average lifespan–  10–15 years

In 1981, a Chinchilla Persian and a Lilac Burmese formed the first litter of Burmilla kittens. This silvery-hued cat comes in long-haired and short-haired variants and has a beautiful and distinct profile. 

Burmilla cats have broad, shallow muzzles and large round eyes, making them one of the most expensive flat-faced cats breeds these days. It is very rare in the United States. 

However, it is gaining popularity in the United Kingdom. You will find this breed very friendly and playful as well.

3. Chartreux

Chartreux Cats Breed

NameChartreux cat

Price– $1000–$1500

Country of origin– France

Average lifespan–  12–15 years

If you live on your own or remain busy most of the time, this unique cat breed is ideal for you. Chartreux enjoys playing, but it does so in fits and starts. And this is a breed that knows how to keep itself entertained. 

People from France affectionately referred to it as “The Smiling Blue Cat of France” and is considered the national cat of France.  

This muscular cat has a blue short-haired coat. Most importantly, it is a kitty that doesn’t like to complain and will be your companion as well as a friend to any visitors.

4. Minskin

Minskin Cats Breed

The Minskin is a newer cat breed recognized as an official breed by the International Cat Association in 2008. It is a cross between a Munchkin and a Sphynx that has a very distinct appearance. 

With a body that sits low to the ground, wide ears, and round eyes, you will be impressed at first sight. Besides, you will find it playful and intelligent. The Minskin is a canine version of the Corgi. 

5. Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau

Name– Egyptian Mau cat

Price– $800-$1,800

Country of origin– Egypt

Average lifespan–  13–16 years

The Egyptian Mau is one of the most uncommon cat breeds, among the  6,700 registered cats with the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). It’s also one of the few rare domestic cat breeds with spots on its coat that appear naturally. 

This active and rare feline has a short-haired coat and has quick reflexes and a distinct sense of grace and elegance. Egyptian Mau was introduced to the United States in the 1980s. It has a fun fact- With a top speed of 30 miles per hour, this cat breed is considered a speed demon!

6. American Bobtail

American Bobtail Cats Breed

Name– American Bobtail

Price– $600-$1,000

Country of origin– United States

 Average lifespan–  11–15 years

Since the 1960s, American Bobtail has been in North America. However, until the 2000s, it was not so popular. Experts believe that the original Bobtail was a cat found at a motel in Arizona and he was abandoned there.

 The short tails of American Bobtails may be straight, slightly bent, slightly kinked, or have bumps running the tail’s length. The American Bobtail is a big cat that takes two to three years to reach full size. Once it grows up, there are no major health problems, and it is strong and healthy as well.

7. American Wirehair 

American Wirehair Cats breed

Name– American Wirehair

Price– $800-$1,200

Country of origin– United States 

Average lifespan–  14–18 years

The CFA first approved American Wirehairs for registration in 1967, and since then, the breed has remained at the bottom of the CFA’s registration list. The American Wirehair is the world’s rarest cat breed due to its chronically low registration numbers.

 In 1966, a natural mutation in Council Rock Farm in Verona, New York, resulted in this cat breed. While they have a coarse, wiry coat, the American wirehair is a comfortable and laid-back companion. They enjoy playing with humans and toys. 

8. Havana Brown

Havana Brown Cats Breed

Name– Havana Brown

Price– $600-$1,200

Country of origin– United Kingdom 

Average lifespan–  10–15 years

English breeders developed the Havana Brown to produce a strong brown Siamese cat, and the first Havana Brown arrived in North America in the 1950s.

 This short-haired breed has a chocolate-brown coat with alluring green eyes. Havana Brown cats are also known for their puppy-like demeanor, which causes them to chase you around your house to satisfy their curiosity.

 The inquisitive Havana investigates with more than just its nose. It touches and feels things of interest with its paws.

9. Peterbald

Peterbald Cats Breed

Name– Peterbald cat

Price– $1,700-$3,000

Country of origin– Russia 

Average lifespan–  12–15 years

Do you want to have an outstanding family pet who enjoys being around people? Peterbald, one of the rarest cat breeds in the world, can be your ideal choice. This breed originated in Russia, with the first litter being born in St. Petersburg in 1994.

 It has a wiry body, big ears, and a short coat and is very affectionate, resembling a puppy. You will find it adorable because of its sweet personality and incredible athletic feats.

10. Turkish Van 

Turkish Van 

Name– Turkish Van

Price– $400–$600

Country of origin– Eastern Anatolia (Iraq, Iran, Soviet Union, and Turkey nowadays)

 Average lifespan–  12–17 years

The Turkish Van is one of the most ancient cat breeds and one of the rarest. It was first discovered in Asia’s central and southwest regions, and it’s extremely rare. In 1982, the breed arrived in the United States. 

This elegant and muscular cat breed has a semi-long-haired coat. Regular grooming is expected to keep this coat looking its best. 

If you are fortunate enough to meet a Turkish Van, you will discover that they are a loving, intelligent, and active breed. This kitty is friendly and enjoys playing in the water.

11. LaPerm

LaPerm Cats Breeds

Name– LaPerm cat

Price– $400-$600

Country of origin– United States 

Average lifespan–  10–14 years

The LaPerm, like all the cats on this list of rare cats, has its distinct personality. This curly-coated cat may have a short or long coat. You will find it affectionate and it is active as well. 

A kitten in a litter of barn cats in Oregon in 1982 formed the foundation for this breed. This rare kitten was born with no hair due to a mutation, but after 8 weeks, it began to develop curly, fluffy hair. 

Cats with these mutations were eventually bred together to form the LaPerm, which means “wavy” or “rippled.”

How Many Cat Breeds Are There?

The International Cat Association, the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, recognizes seventy-one distinct breeds. On the other hand, Encyclopedia Britannica only lists fifteen cat breeds. Many other well-known registries and associations fall somewhere in between those two figures.

As of 2018, The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the largest American cat registry organization, recognizes forty-four breeds. With member organizations in forty nations, The Federation Internationale Féline recognizes 48 breeds divided into four groups.


The Cat Fanciers Association publishes a report every year that lists cat breeds based on the number of cats registered in the previous year. This, of course, is related to the number of cats born per year under that breed. The rarest breeds of cats emerge from the bottom of the list of breed births. Our 11 cat breeds are chosen from the list. We have tried to shed light on some of the more unique cat breeds out there.

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