There are numerous cat fanciers and adventurous cat owners who are looking for breeds of extraordinary domesticated cats. Because of this, many breeds have been developed from cross-breeding small wild cats with domestic breeds, resulting in a number of hybridised cats, namely Bengals, Toygers and Chausies.
Chausies, similar to numerous hybrids, have many endearing characteristics that make them distinctive to other “average” domestic relatives. They are highly intelligent and trainable, extremely active, adventurous, water-loving and very social.
These affectionate cats are all about pleasing their human companion by giving out lots of attention and love. They are very talkative too. You can expect to have very entertaining moments whenever you interact with this cat. And because they are highly intelligent, you can train your Chausie to play fetch and walk on a leash. They also remain playful even until adulthood.
The cat breed name, Chausie, is derived from its Latin name, felis chaus. The Jungle Cat is a unique cat breed living by rivers and lakes from the Nile Valley to the Caspian Sea and can also be found in South Asia as far as Vietnam.
Chausies are a tall, long-legged, statuesque cat that is made for jumping and running. Similar to the Jungle Cat, Chausies have a body type like that of an athlete. With a slender body type, Chausies are built with an agility that projects a sense of elegance and balance. Chausies have a deep chest that allows them to breathe deeply, so they seem to have an infinite source of energy.
Like the Jungle Cat, these cats have upright, large, preferably tufted ears. They also have a long oblique forehead and muzzle with a slightly shortened tail. Their eyes are flattened with a little rounded bottom. Their cheekbones are exotically oblique.
Chausies are wonderful feline companions. They get along very well with other pets in the household. However, due to their high energy and constantly in motion, this cat may not be suitable for families with small children.
- Grooming: Once a Week 2/10
- Shedding: Low 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: High 10/10
- Playfulness: High 10/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: Low 2/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: High 10/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: Low 2/10
The Jungle Cat has a broad history dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Chausies were domesticated by the Egyptians due to their laidback temperaments and proficiency in hunting skills. There were mummified Jungle Cats discovered in Egyptian tombs proving to the high regard they were held. These glorious cats were frequently mummified with their owners in formal funeral rights to join them in the afterlife.
There are also people who say that the statues of the Goddess Bastet were modelled after the Chausie cat. The resemblance is definitely seen in her long slender body, graceful appearance, and large ears.
Occasionally, the Jungle Cat mated with domestic cats, and there have been several reports of hybrids from across North America to Southeast Asia, which include India dating back centuries. The first-ever recorded breeding of a Jungle Cat and a domestic cat was documented in 1990.
After cat breeders started working together, Chausies were awarded foundation registration status in 1995 with The International Cat Association (TICA). Because of cat breeders' effort and their work, Chausie was given Championship status on May 1, 2013.
Bred to keep their appearance to the Jungle Cat, this cat breed is a short haired medium to a large-sized cat that is tall and has an elongated body. Chausie cats have a deep chest, rectangular torso, and flat sides. Moreover, they have angular, long, and high set cheekbones balanced out by their long muzzle. Their large ears are tall and set at a little outward angle on top of their head. Sometimes the top of their ears have tufts that enhance the cat's somewhat cougarish appearance.
There are three colour patterns that this cat breed displays. They are solid black, grizzled tabby, and brown-ticked tabby. Cats with brown-ticked tabby have barring on the inside of their front legs and down to the hock on their hind legs.
Exclusive to this domestic cat, the grizzled tabby pattern originates from the cat breed's ancestor, the Jungle Cat. Their hair shaft is lined with a lighter colouration at their skin, similar to a mouse coat, which has a black base coat and alternating light bands with a black tip.
Below is depth description of the colour varieties that TICA recognizes:
- Solid black – Lighter tabby areas may appear in this type of coat in kittens. As they grow and mature, their coat becomes black. If the cat spends a lot of time under the sun, they may have a lighter, somewhat brownish coat.
- Black grizzled tabby – Inherited from the jungle cat, this colour is considered a characteristic colouration for the cat breed. This colour never appeared in domestic cats unless they are related to jungle cats. In this colour, kittens are born completely black with elements of a different colour on their chin and neck. As they mature, they look more and more similar to tabbies. By around 3 years old, the bottom part of the hair is mousy grey, while the end part is black.
- Black ticked tabby – Black stripes appear on the inner side of their upper legs and are less visible on the outer part. The tip of their tail is black, with black rings along its length. Moreover, you can see markings around their eyes. Occasionally, their undercoat is brown, golden, beige, reddish or light grey.
Note that the Chausie cat is a relatively young breed. Thus, they may have numerous colourations and patterns that have not been accepted in The International Cat Association.
Being highly agile and energetic, Chausie cats are practically always in motion while interacting with their human companion. These domestic cats are good-natured and loving. They often develop strong bonds with their human companion and family. Friendly and outgoing in nature, a Chausie cat will regularly walk on a leash and loves to play fetch. This playful behaviour frequently lasts well into their adulthood, making them fascinating and amusing feline companions.
Note that there is no getting around the fact that the Chausie holds many wild cat characters and behaviours. This cat breed will be vigorous and energetic for extended times of the day and choose to act in an agile manner rather than a subtle and graceful one.
Chausies are the type of cat that tends to be clingy and can make many demands on their human companion. Thus, they require a high degree of playtime and interaction. In many cases, this cat breed has displayed a willingness to play fetch with their toys.
This gorgeous cat is also characterised to be very intelligent, so you will need to continually keep their bright minds challenged with several smart and interactive toys that you must rotate regularly. Despite their active traits, they are also a feline companion who can form solid and devoted bonds with the human companion in their life, and there's absolutely a warm side to this feline.
The energy of this cat breed is scaled as an eleven. They are very active, playful and sociable. If you are considering this breed, you should be prepared for this high-spirited cat all the time. They love the challenge of opening cabinets and cupboards and removing their contents. Because of this, cat owners have been known to install child-proof locks to prevent these smart cats from opening cabinets and doors.
Moreover, Chausies are active for long periods during the day and may need to have a lot of playtime and interaction. With their athletic build, they are fond of running and jumping. They are known to leap up to six feet. So, expect to see them in high places in your home, like atop your doors and furniture.
Even being a ball of high energy, they are very loving and form a deep bond with their families. Chausies are ideal for adults and families without young children. However, because of their high activity level, these athletic cats do not like being left alone for long periods of time. So, if you leave your home every day to work , it will be best to have a companion cat for your Chausie to interact with.
Chausies are highly intelligent and highly trainable cats, thanks to their wild cat lineage. Stimulate their minds by teaching them tricks and to obey commands and give them plenty of puzzles and interactive toys. As they love human interaction and attention, take advantage of this trait to train them not to open cupboards and cabinets and follow commands should they misbehave. Don’t forget to give them small rewards whenever they follow and behave well during the training session.
Start training your Chausie at a very young age. When they are properly trained and socialised during kittenhood, they will blossom into a well-mannered and well-rounded feline companion.
Coat & Care
Chausies are a very low maintenance cat breed when it comes to grooming. Brush or comb their coat once a week, which will help lessen the formation of hairballs or mats. All in all, this is not a cat that sheds much or needs a lot of hands-on grooming from their human companion.
Introduce a grooming routine from an early age so they can get used to being brushed or combed. You can start by using a very soft bristle brush that does not pull their fine hair or damage their delicate skin. Each grooming session, prepare a small reward to give them for behaving well during the session. If their regular coat care does not cause any problems, you can upgrade to a better, more age-appropriate brush or comb for their coat needs.
Although daily dental brushing is ideal, not every Chausie owner may agree that this is an easy task. So weekly brushing is sufficient to prevent your cat from having any tooth and gum diseases. For their nails, you can trim them twice a month or when needed.
To keep their eyes healthy and clean, you can wipe using a clean, soft, damp cloth to remove any eye discharge. Just make sure to use different parts of the clean cloth to avoid any risk of infection.
For their ears, check for dirt, wax or debris every week to keep them healthy and clean. You can use a vet-approved cleanser and a clean cotton ball or soft cloth. Should you notice any foul smell coming out of their ears, contact your vet immediately for care and treatment.
As a new breed, there is limited information on any health predispositions but it does seem like Chausies are generally a healthy cat breed. Their life expectancy is between twelve to eighteen years with proper care, exercise and provided with a high-quality ad age-appropriate diet. Still, it is recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are up to date.
In addition, only buy from a registered breeder who breeds ethically and runs DNA health checks on their cats. This will ensure they are free from any genetic health conditions.
Children & Other Pets
You may think that because Chausies are playful and energetic, they are suitable for the equally energetic toddlers of the family. However, unfortunately, they are not a match; because of their constant movement; they may accidentally knock down young kids and cause accidents. Instead, this cat breed is best for families without young children.
Chausies are perfect, though, for adults who can spend quality time with them. They will adore all the love, attention and interaction, and they will giddily give it back to you.
Chausies love company, and they can live in harmony with other cats, especially their kind. They can also do well with cat-friendly dogs in the same household. But make sure to introduce pets gradually and in controlled environments to make sure that they learn to get along well together.