Chausies: An Exotic Hybrid Domestic Cat Breed

The Chausie is a Beautiful Hybrid Domestic Cat Breed

Cat fanciers and many adventurous owners are seeking breeds of domesticated cats that go beyond the ordinary.

Developed from cross-breeding of small wild cats with domestic versions, there are now a number of tame, hybrid cats including Bengals, Toygers and Chausies. These animals generally have exquisite beauty, grace and characteristics that some would say make them more akin to owning a dog (including a love of water, trainability, and fierce loyalty to their owners). No wonder hybrid domestic cat breeds are so popular!

The Chausie (also spelled "Chaussie) is a bit larger than the domestic Bengal cat, and the Toyger, weighing in at about 25 pounds full-grown, and they can be nearly twice as tall as regular domestic cats. It is also known as a "Jungle Curl," a "Stone Cougar," or a "Mountain Cougar."

Some people also refer to Chausies as "Jungle Cats," although they actually descend from this wild breed. The Chausie is the result of a cross between a Jungle Cat (felis chaus) and a domestic animal. Abyssinians are most often used to achieve the strongest resemblance to the wild counterpart.

Chausies make a regal pet
Chausies make a regal pet

What is a Wild Jungle Cat?

Also known as the "Swamp Lynx," the Jungle Cat ancestor of the Chausie has no relation to the lynx cat family. It is a medium-sized feline, about 28 inches long and 2 feet tall. They weigh approximately 35 pounds. The cat has pointed ears (resembling a lynx) and long legs. It lives in Egypt, Asia, India and Sri Lanka, enjoying habitat in savannas and dry forests, but preferring grasslands near water. The cats that live close to rivers and lakes actually dive for fish! Other items in their diet include frogs, birds and small rodents. It is not classified as endangered, although many are captured and killed for their fur. The Jungle Cat is regularly hunted in the Middle East and has basically disappeared from African regions. This may explain why so many people are interested in a hybrid domestic cat breed related to the Jungle Cat.

The Beauty of Chausies

Who can resist a Chausie kitten?
Who can resist a Chausie kitten?

Read About Hybrid Domestic Cat Breeds

Your Chausie cat will enjoy leash walks!
Your Chausie cat will enjoy leash walks!

History and Description of the Chausie Cat

Chausies were first bred in the 1960s to provide owners a safe (and legal) alternative to keeping wild Jungle Cats as pets. Even today, however, prospective owners should check local laws and regulations. In a few locales, hybrid pets are illegal. It is important to note that your pet must be at least F4, that is four generations, from its wild ancestor.

These cats have many endearing characteristics that differentiate them from their "average" domestic relatives. They can be extremely active, yet intelligent and trainable. Like other hybrid domestic cat breeds, they enjoy walking on leashes, much like dogs. Chausies also love water play! If you are thinking about bringing one home, be prepared to invest more time playing with your pet than you might otherwise expect. They are good-natured felines, described as "fearless but not aggressive." These cats get along well with other animals in the household.

A premier Chausie specimen will have tufted ears (although not required as a breed standard), a 3/4 length tail, and a long, lean body. Accepted colors include brown ticked tabby, silver tipped, and black. Because they are larger than most domestic cats, kittens can take 2-3 years to reach full maturity. Kittens are often born with stripes or spots all over their body, but when they reach adulthood, only stripes on the tail, legs and face should remain.

The Chausie breed was recognized by TICA (The International Cat Association) for registration status in 1995. This was changed to Advanced New Breed Status in 2003.

Are you intrigued? Thinking about adopting one of these hybrid domestic cat breeds? They come with a pretty steep price tag. Depending on pedigree, age, whether they will be bred or shown, and characteristics, plan on spending at least $500-2000 for a Chausie.

Gorgeous features on a Chausie Cat
Gorgeous features on a Chausie Cat

High Energy Level!

Are You Thinking of Adopting a Chausie Cat?

Owning a Chausie is similar to most domestic cats, with several exceptions.

First, as mentioned above, you should check to make sure that its legal to own a hybrid domestic cat breed in your city or state.

Second, the cats are larger and more active than most, so be sure to have plenty of toys and time to spend with them (or risk having them get into trouble!)

Finally, some owners have reported that their Chausies develop a gluten allergy, which may require a special diet. Commercial cat food is usually made with wheat and other grains that may irritate the digestive system. Be sure to have your pet thoroughly checked by a veterinarian.

And, as always, unless you will be breeding, be sure to spay or neuter!

You can see why Chausies are also called Stone Cougars
You can see why Chausies are also called Stone Cougars

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Comments 19 comments

pgrundy 8 years ago

Wow. I never heard of these animals. I have a cat that I really love, but he's just as cat. A big cat, but just a cat. The idea of walking a cat on a leash is very exotic. I tried it with my house cat and he liked it but I wouldn't say he walked on the leash exactly---more like, wandered around on his own and balked at it when it stopped him. Thanks for a really fascinating hub. I will look for these cats, I'm intrigued!


John Chancellor profile image

John Chancellor 8 years ago from Tennessee

Steph,

This you have been doing a very great job of educating us about all the exotic breeds of cats. BSH (before Steph Hicks) my knowledge of cats was limited to Tom, Alley and pampered domestics ones.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you, pgrundy and John! I must dedicate this series to Romeo (our Bengal cat) - and John has kept me going! There are a few more exotic cats to explore, so stay tuned! Thanks for the great comments and support. :-)


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA

These cats are beautiful. I was interested until I saw the price tag. ;) But I have enough animals to keep me busy, anyway.


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Thank you for so nice and thorough description of this 'state of the art' cats.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Yes, Angela - the one thing you can do is see if there is a rescue organization. That may bring the price down a bit. But, I'm with you (with 4 kids, 2 dogs and a cat), I'd best not add to the mix. :-)

Thanks solarshingles! I appreciate the comment.


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

Another beauty! You are rocking the cat hubs!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you so much, rmr!


Michael 8 years ago

Thanks for this page. I've never been to your site before. There is not much on the internet about the early history of this cat, though.


Emily 7 years ago

The cat you have pictured as a "Jungle Cat" is actually a Caracal, and the last video are actually 100% Jungle Cats not hybrids. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Beautiful photos though. I have an F2 33% Chausie myself. :)


Mya 7 years ago

It is an irresponsible thing to do crossess with this animals. You are an ignorant person, crosses like just result in abnormal animals, and healt problems. You should search for more information, and stop being an ignorant. Also apllies to all of those who are searching for a hybrid pet. This is like crossing a human with a chimpanse.


vicki 7 years ago

why do all this mix breeding when there are so many unwanted cat all over the world, so many die


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Cool hub Steph about some very cool cats. Boy that cat in the video DID have tons of energy, didn't he? BTW- great blog you have over there at Peachy Green. Very nicely done!

Thumbs up!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hey Dorsi - thank you so much!! Yes, I loved putting together the cat series last year. We have a Bengal cat which also is very energetic.

Thanks for the kudos for Peachy Green. I'm having a lot of fun...


Kara 6 years ago

My daughter found an abandoned kitten and brought him home last year; appears to be a hybrid of some sort. He now weighs about 15 pounds and is very aggressive at times. He bit me really badly 2 nights ago, and I'm left with no choice but to euthanize him due to his unpredictable behavior (yes, he's neutered). I agree with Mya that it's irresponsible to "invent" new animals when only 1 in 10 cats in the world actually find homes. Whoever breed this poor guy must've known they'd made a mistake and dumped him in a townhome development to be "someone else's problem".


craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 4 years ago from Southwestern, United States

Beautiful animal, but I have my hands full with a wee bee tabby! She's smarter than smart, though, and loves her leash! Voted up.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks craftybegonia,

A baby tabby cat sounds wonderful. Its been a while since we've had a kitten in our home. Appreciate the comment and vote. Best, Steph


brandon 3 years ago

MYA talk about BEING ignorant? You can't even spell let alone use english. Kinda an oxy moron (sure u dont know that one). were somone trolls a blog to type smack, and cant even SPELL now THAT'S somone BEING ignorant. Perhaps you ment ignoramous or idiot and BTW its spelled HEALTH not healt. Least try and sound intelligent. That is all awsome cats tho ;)


Carie5150 19 months ago

I acquired an exotic kitty a few yrs back and he may be a chausie. Coolest cat ever! He is black ticked and beautiful:)

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