Rare Cat Breeds in Europe

Europe has a bred a few weird and wonderful cat breeds over the years.

These distinctive cats, some new to the world and some new, are very rare in the United States.

 

Peterbald

peterbald photo
Photo by NancyK!

This bald cat made its first appearance in Russia 1988 with the birth of an odd hairless kitten.

Its deliberate breeding started in the 1990s in St. Petersburg, hence its name.

The Peterbald is recognized by The International Cat Association, but is very rare outside of Russia.

 

The Peterbald has a long, elegant body, and is also known for its high metabolism, which gives it a high body temperature and ability to heal from wounds quickly.

A typical Peterbald is completely hairless, but it might instead have a very short velvety coat that feels like suede or peach fuzz, or an uneven wiry coat that feels like a man’s beard.

Some individual cats may even have a soft downy coat, though uneven, and a rare few are even born with a normal cat coat.

 

A Peterbald is an owner’s constant companion. These cats are very cuddly and affectionate, will wait for their owners to get home, and loves to meet all their owners’ friends.

If you would like this elegant cat as your companion, be aware the fully bald ones need sunscreen when going outside, and, unlike cats with a full coat, Peterbalds will need weekly baths.

 

Aegean

aegean cat

Here is another cat named for its birthplace—this Greek cat evolved naturally centuries ago on the Cycladic Islands in the Aegean Sea, and is one of the oldest breeds in the world.

Although rare outside of its home, these cats are seen everywhere in Greece. They may fend for themselves, often living in groups, or be kept as pets.

They love to hang out around fishing ports, catching fish for themselves or helping out their fisherman friends.

 

Aegeans have lean and strong bodies, with medium sized paws ideal for fishing, and striking almond shaped eyes.

Their coats may have two or three distinct colors, always including white.

Since they evolved naturally without intervention from humans, their natural adaptation includes a semi-long coat in the winter that sheds short in the summer.

 

Aegeans were first kept as domestic companions for their mousing skills, but even if you don’t need a mouser, these Greek treasures make affectionate and playful companions.

Everyone is their friend and playmate, including children and dogs!

 

German Rex

german rex

The German Rex first appeared in 1947 in what was then known as East Germany.

Regular breeding was prevalent through the 1950s and 60s and it was recognized as a breed by American associations. 

In the 1970s, the German Rex started to be cross-bred with the Cornish Rex in the United States and was absorbed into that breed. Pure German Rex breeding is rare today but is still occurring.

 

Yet this German cat is not the same as the Cornish Rex. It has a silky, curly coat like other Rex cats, but what makes the German Rex unique is that it has awn hairs are thicker than the undercoat hairs.

This gives the German Rex’s coat a distinctive woollier appearance.

 

A German Rex may have difficulty adjusting to a new environment, but it loves to meet new people and is a loyal and lively companion.

They get along well with children because of their playful nature.

They have even been known to wake up their owner to remind them of playtime.

 

Ukrainian Levkoy

levkoy cat photo
Photo by Nickolas Titkov

Ukraine has recently produced a bald cat of its own. The Ukainian Levkoy was developed in the 2000s when a female Sphynx was crossed with a male with folded ears.

The result was a new hairless breed with inward-folding ears. It is also unique for the its soft elastic skin, which feels like a peach to the touch.

The first kitten was named “Levkoy Primero,” which is how the breed got its name.

 

The Ukrainian Levkov makes a loving, affectionate, and lively pet who gets along with children and other pets.

These cats are very active and need some time for exercise every day.

Like the Peterbald, these hairless cats will need regular baths. They are very vocal and won’t hesitate to give you their opinion—especially when it’s dinnertime!

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