While first discovered (the breed sprung from a natural mutation versus an intentional one) in 1966, it didn’t earn full recognition by Cat Fanciers until 1978. They’re currently considered the rarest cat breed, mostly because they’re so new.
These shorthaired black cats were bred by Nikki Horner to look like pint-sized panthers, complete with striking golden eyes and muscular bodies. They are known to be inquisitive, loving and social.
However, they weren’t recognized by Cat Fanciers’ Association until 2011. Today, the CFA breed standard includes both long and shorthaired Burmillas.
The Chartreux cat breed originated in France and can be traced as far back as the 17th century. These medium-to-large cats have water-resistant short coats and fast reflexes. They are known to be engaging, intelligent, and friendly.
Although not yet recognized by any official organization, the Cheetoh is currently considered one of the rarest cat breeds mainly because it’s so new. Carol Dryman first created the breed in 2001, by mixing a Bengal and an Ocicat. She wanted to create a very friendly feline with a wild animal appearance.
One of the few rare cat breeds to make the top 10 list, the Devon Rex is an all-around wonderful cat that loves everyone – including dogs. They’re often called the Pixie Cat, a name that’s suitable not just because of their appearance but also their personality.
The Egyptian Mau is an ancient breed that originated – as the name implies- in Egypt. It was first brought to the United States in 1956. These cats are small-to-medium-sized cats with short-haired coats. They are known for being independent yet loyal cats.
They are the result of breeding Red-point Siamese cats with British Shorthair cats. These cats have a rounded, contour body with wide cheekbones and expressive eyes. They are known to be intelligent and loyal.
While the name makes you think they originated in Cuba, the Havana Brown cat breed actually comes from England. First bred in the 1950s, they are the result of breeding Siamese cats with domestic black-colored cats.
The Khao Manee has a few distinctions that make it not just one of the rarest cats, but also one of the most unique. First, it tops the list of the most expensive cat breeds (just wait until you see the average cost below).
Like the Khao Manee, the Korat cat breed originated in Thailand, back in 1959, where locals considered them a “good luck cat.” At first glance, it’s easy to confuse them with the gray cat, Russian Blue, with their similar shiny blue-grey coat and striking green eyes.
They’re a naturally occurring breed of cat that’s adored by locals for their hunting prowess. However, their small litter sizes make them among the rarest breeds.