Intense, complicated and gorgeous, the Chausie cat is not a fully domesticated cat. Like the Bengal and the Savannah, the Chausie is a hybrid, meaning a cross between two different animal species.
Depending on lineage, Chausie cats can be up to 30 pounds, making them one of the few giant cat breeds. They have long, powerful, supple bodies, and an unusually short tail, sometimes half the length one might expect given the size of the cat.
The Chausie cat is most easily described as looking like a miniature cougar or mountain lion.
In the early 1990's some breeders began crossing domestic cats with the Indian wild jungle cat from South Central Asia. The Latin name for this small wildcat, which ranges across India and China, is felis chaus, which gives the "Chausie" it's name.
Ancient Egyptians tamed these cats and kept them as pets. In fact, along with domestic cats, the jungle cat can be found buried with their owners in ancient graves. They were mummified in exactly the same process as their humans.
While refining and perfecting the breed, Abyssinian cats were used most often, because it too, was a favorite pet of the Egyptians. This pairing created the present day Chausie, a very large cat that looks like the Abyssinian's very big brother.
The Chausie is gaining in popularity, because it is far removed from its wild ancestor. Most Chausies today have two Chausie parents, and are quite domesticated.
Nevertheless, these are very intelligent, extremely active and inquisitive cats with a fairly high prey drive.
They are a challenging fit for inexperienced cat owners, simply because they are "allot of cat."
Best left for those with experience, and families that probably do not have small children, and small animals as pets, the Chausie can be a fantastic choice for the right situation.
Dog-like, responsive and athletic, this is an amazing companion in the appropriate circumstances.
The Chausie cat is a very social animal, seeking attention and longing for interaction. This is a cat that needs companionship.
Another cat may keep them company, but they are quite people oriented, especially their person. They may bond deeply with one member of the family, and be anxious, or even seem to mourn that persons absence. This doesn't mean their affection is limited to one family member, just that they have been known to form unusually tight bonds with individual people.
Because of this ability, Chausies can make exceptional pets for single people, as long as they aren't left alone for long periods. This is a very large, very active, and very intelligent cat, that needs stimulation. A bored Chausie can become destructive, and with 30 or 35 pounds of pure muscle, their activities may lead to serious damage of personal property.
This is actually a common tendency of all of the hybrid cats. It may be more a problem with boredom due to high intelligence than with a lack of domestication, but the hybrids tend to also have a higher prey drive and less of a desire or need for sleep than fully domesticated cats as well.
Some owners confine their cats to one room, or even a crate when they aren't home, and encourage their pet to take a nap while they're away. Avoid these problems by only considering a pet Chausie if you have lots of time to devote to them. You won't be disappointed.
The Chausie is a loving, expressive and surprisingly gentle cat. They are happy, curious, dog-like and affectionate.
They can even make a very good companion for the right child, (probably 10 or older) because of their high activity level, love of strenuous play, and devotion to their people. Just an awesome animal, get to know one!
Chausie kittens look like tiny, wild creatures, with bright eyes, active bodies and insatiable curiosity. They are highly intelligent and very active kittens. Establishing boundaries at a very young age is vital for anyone considering a Chausie kitten. Remember, this tiny kitten may someday be over 30 pounds, and will be much easier to live with if they understand a few rules, and even some commands.
Chausie kittens are like little puppies. They learn all their kitten things very quickly, like using the litter box, but now is the time to teach them to walk in a harness and lead and to come when called. They are even smart enough and willing enough to be taught stuff like going into their cat carrier willingly, and now is the time to take them on occasional car rides that don't include an unpleasant stop at the vet.
Teach your Chausie kitten limits like what furniture they can go on, that you don't want them on the kitchen counter, and that the table leg is not an acceptable scratching post. Be consistent from a very early age, and don't make exceptions because your kitten is cute and tiny. The first 3 months will set the tone for the next 16 years.
Getting your kitten used to regular handling is vital too. Groom them, put their harness on and off, teach them about tooth brushes, and accustom them to having their paws and ears touched.
Kitten-proofing the house is important as well. Close up gaps under the toe-kicks in the kitchen, and block off the garage before your little explorer gets lost in your own home. Many a new kitten has sent its family on a wild goose chase as it happily napped in a closet or under the bathroom sink.
The Chausie is a very rare cat, and finding a Chausie breeder may be very difficult. Once found, you may find a Chausie kitten to be a bit pricey too! Do your research and meet the parents before taking the plunge.
Head Shape: Head is long and angular with high cheek bones. The ears are large and very tall, set close at the base with a slightly outward flair. Ear tufts are highly desireable but not required. They occur about 30 percent of the time, but breeders are working toward that trait, which adds to the exotic appearance.
Body and Tail: The body should be very tall and long with a deep chest, flat-sided rib cage and rectangular torso. There should not be any barrel-quality or roundness to the overall impression. The tail is very slim and gently tapered. It is generally much shorter than the body length and may even have a bobbed appearance.
Coat: The coat is short and somewhat stiff, with sparse undercoat. Sheen is uncommon.
Pattern: There are three accepted color and coat patterns: brown-ticked tabby, solid black, and grizzled tabby. The brown-ticked tabby has barring on the inside of the front legs and down to the hock on the hind legs. Solid black is a cat that remains black throughout its life, with only minor greying of the muzzle seen in senor years. The grizzled tabby pattern is a coat color that is not seen on any other domestic breed of cat. It has an overall salt and pepper look, where each individual hair shaft is banded with a lighter coloration at the skin, with a black base coat, and alternating light bands with a black tip.
Many cats will show some tabby type markings or striping, particularly on the face, tail and legs. The nose leather should be pink or salmon colored and there should be very dark or black nose and eye-liner. Eyes should be a clear, rich to light lime-color, yellow, and turquoise eyes are also seen.
Overall Appearance: Big, powerful, cougar-like, bold and friendly. Athletic and well-boned without any softness of form. Good-natured and amiable.