Resembling a miniature mountain lion or cougar, the Chausie is a mixed breed cat, developed from crossing the Abyssinian and the wild jungle feline breeds. Renowned for being outgoing, vigorous, and playful, this cat possesses some of its progenitors’ best characteristics and traits. It has imposing size and is considered one of the biggest breeds in the cat fancy. And, given its wild ancestry, this stunning furball needs a lot of space to flourish with its hunting instincts.
Origin of the Chausie Cat
Many enthusiasts across the globe dreamt of having a domestic feline with a rugged appearance. However, breeders acknowledge that capturing and domesticating a wild jungle cat can be a daunting task.
With that, breeders resorted to crossing the domestic cat and wild jungle cats to turn the dream into a reality. The Chaus, also called swamp cats or reed cats, were bred with the Abyssinians, and the result was the Chausie cat.
Other cats that may have been used to develop the breed include the Orientals, Bengals, and the Moggies. Such an endeavor enabled breeders to produce a cat with a wild look but with a domestic feline’s temperament.
Chausies were first recognized as a “new breed” in 2003 and was granted full championship status in 2013. The breed is still being modified to bring out the best resemblance to Asia’s swamp or reed cats.
Physical Characteristics of the Chausie Cat
Length: 14 to 18 inches
Weight: 15 to 30 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Coat Color: Brown-ticked tabby, black, or silver-tipped
Type of Coat: Short, lustrous, dense
Eye Color: Gold, yellow
The Chausie cat is a fairish-sized to a largish-sized cat, with a long, lean, rectangular body, accentuated by strong muscles. The head is also triangular, with large, often tufted ears, sitting atop. Its hind legs are powerful, providing this feline with incredible jumping and running abilities. Meanwhile, eyes are oval-shaped and placed quite close to each other. The tail is relatively thick, but only about three-quarters of a typical feline tail.
This cat matures pretty slowly and takes about 2-3 years before they reach their full growth. Chausie kittens often have spots and stripes all over their coat, but only retain bands on the face, legs, and tail as they get into adulthood.
Chausie Cat Personality
The Chausie cats have the best of both worlds in terms of their personality. As a domestic feline, they retain their affectionate and loyal character. These felines relish the time they spend with their families, often following them everywhere in the house. They thrive in attention and will build strong bonds with their loving humans.
As a wild feline, Chausie cats keep their incredible athleticism and hunting instincts. They are active and agile and loves to run and climb around the house. Their vigor lasts throughout the day, making them unfit for families looking for a gentle and laidback breed. These furballs need high degrees of playtime and interaction to flourish!
Like its Abysinnian cousins, Chausie cats are brimmed with intelligence. They are easily trainable and would learn the game of fetch, tricks, or walk on a leash in no time. Puzzles and interactive toys will become their quick favorites as these keep them challenged and stimulate their sharp minds.
But while most cat breeds are deterred by water, the Chausie thinks otherwise. These furballs would grab any opportunity to play in the water, be it in the sink, a puddle, or a pool. With that, it would also be no surprise seeing them drinking in faucets, swimming laps, or showering with their owners.
Caring for the Chausie Cat
Given its short coat without too much undercoat, Chausie cats are generally a low maintenance breed in terms of grooming. Brushing them once a week is enough to remove any dirt, debris, and dead hair.
Plus, Chausies are not immense shedders, making it easy to keep unwanted fur from furnitures or clothes away. Bathing is rarely necessary, and will only be needed should they become smelly or dirty.
Other parts of their grooming routine include weekly teeth brushing to avoid periodontal disease, and ear and eye cleaning to remove dirt build-up and spot any infection. As a breed that loves to run around, it is best to trim their nails every couple weeks and provide a scratching post to keep their claws and paws healthy.
Given their imposing size, Chausies are not recommended to live with young children. These cats are highly active and keep some of their wild and hunting instincts. They do pretty well with dogs, but proper introductions should be observed to ensure that they live harmoniously.
In terms of wellness, Chausies are generally healthy without not much known significant illness. However, they can be gluten intolerant and may have a pretty sensitive digestive system. Visiting a vet for these felines’ diets can help prevent stomach mishaps and detect and prevent other potential conditions early.
Chausie cats are ideal for families looking for an exotic cat with a personality of the domestic feline. These furballs flourish in active households that can match their high energy. In return, they’d be happy to provide them with immense love and devotion.