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The Chausie cat is a cross-between a Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and a domestic cat, most commonly the Abyssinian. This hybrid breed has been around officially since the 1900s. Still, their wild ancestor's history dates back to Egyptian times, where they were highly regarded felines. Many mummified Chausies have been discovered in Egyptian tombs buried with their owners to serve as companions in the afterlife.
The Chausie is an athletic-looking cat with bundles of energy and affection. Thanks to their wild traits, they are playful, outgoing, and excellent runners and jumpers. However, this domestic hybrid has a highly loving side, too. They develop solid lifelong bonds with their owners, making them good-natured house pets.
Meet the Chausie cat
Chausies are large cats, weighing between 10 to 25 pounds when fully grown. Compared to other well-known breeds, they are bigger than the Siamese but smaller than the Maine Coon. What's more, like all cats, the females are smaller than the males, usually weighing less than 15 pounds.
Both males and female Chausies have lean, athletic bodies with long legs, made for running and jumping. They have a deep chest, shortened tail and a long, sloping muzzle. Furthermore, they have visually high cheekbones and tall, wide-set ears, often with small tufts.
Chausies have a short double-layered coat that is exceptionally easy to look after. Their fur can be one of these three colours and patterns; brown-ticked tabby, solid black or grizzled tabby. However, although these are the only ICA standard colours, it is possible to find Chausies in other shades.
As baby kittens, it can be challenging to determine the Chausie's coat colour as solid black, and "grizzled" tabbies can look similar. This is because solid black Chausies can have faint tabby markings initially, and grizzled tabbies may have minimal markings when they are newly born.
The grizzled black pattern is unique and comes from their jungle cat ancestors. Along with tabby markings, their fur can also have a ticking effect. It usually first appears on their neck, chin, belly, and ears and extends to other body parts.
The temperament of a Chausie
Chausies are certainly an energetic and playful breed, and it's easy to see that they have retained their wild cat instincts. They are excellent runners, jumpers and hunters, and as a result, they are much more likely to be on the move than lazing around.
Being an energetic breed, Chausie's need regular interaction and playtime. They can get bored of their toys quickly, so it's best to give them a few on rotation. However, they are super intelligent cats, so you can easily teach them to fetch or perform tricks.
While they may not be lap cats, Chausies are not aloof or affectionate by any means. On the contrary, they develop strong and lasting bonds with their owners. This deep connection strengthens with the more time their owners dedicate to interacting with them. What's more, despite their high energy, it's not uncommon for a Chausie cat to curl up close to their owner when they finally tire out.
10 reasons to add a Chausie to your family
- They make loving, social companions - Chausies love to be around their owners at all times. They make a fabulous pet who will constantly entertain you with their antics and always keep you company.
- They love to learn - Chausies are easy to teach anything to because they adore any interaction. Therefore, you'll be able to teach them tricks and commands, how to fetch and even how to walk on a leash.
- They inherit a special coat pattern - The grizzled tabby pattern is unique to the Jungle Cat and is not present in any domestic cat breed.
- They are great around other cats - Chausies like to have a feline companion or two. They develop strong bonds with other cats, especially if they are raised together from a young age.
- They require minimal grooming - Their short coat will rarely matt, and they are pretty good at taking care of it themselves.
- They can perform acrobats - Chausies have no fear of jumping and climbing. They will run and leap up onto the highest things in the house, so don't be surprised if you find them swinging from the curtain rails!
- They have wild looks - One of the main things that attract cat lovers to this breed is their exotic appearance, graceful face, and athletic body.
- They like to please their owners - Your Chausie may demand your attention, but they are always eager to please you, too. If you treat them well and give them plenty of attention, they will shower you with love and put a smile on your face every day.
- The Egyptians worshipped them - Their jungle cat ancestors were one of the most highly regarded breeds in ancient Egypt, thanks to their impressive hunting skills and laid-back personalities.
- They are the original domestic/Jungle Cat hybrid - Chausies were also the first domestic/Jungle Cat breed to be accepted by pedigree organisations.
Best homes for a Chausie cat
Because of their high social needs, Chausie cats do not like to be left alone for too long. Therefore, they will do best in a home where someone is present regularly. They also do well when they grow up with another cat as a furry friend will help keep them satisfied and entertained.
The second most important thing a Chausie needs from their home is an enriched environment in the form of toys, cat trees and scratching posts. Bear in mind that these kitties love to jump and climb, so having some high platforms that they can access will do wonders for their well-being.
Chausie cats typically get on well with dogs, provided you introduce them properly. However, they are not the best feline to have around young children due to their wild traits. Additionally, they do not adapt well to changes within their family unit. Therefore, bear this in mind if you plan to have children after getting a Chausie cat.