Are you thinking of getting a new cat or kitten? The first thing to think about is what breed of cat you would prefer, as there are over 80 recognised breeds in the UK to choose from with varying personality traits and health considerations.
Whilst there are the common breeds such as Siamese, Persian, British shorthair, Ragdoll and Maine Coon, there are also a number of rare breeds to choose from, that will be perhaps more distinctive looking, but will be more expensive and harder to find. Have a read below of some rare breeds of cat in the UK.
Norwegian Forest Cat
With origins from Northern Europe, the Norwegian Forest Cat is very distinctive, with its long glossy coat and bushy tail adapted to colder climates. It is also quite a large cat compared to other dainty breeds weighing between 3.5-4.5kg in females and 5.5-7.5kg in males. The breed was officially registered in the 1970s and is now bred in Europe, though is still considered rare.
Originating in the USA, the Snowshoe Cat first came about in Philadelphia when a breeder crossed the Siamese with a bi-colour American Shorthair. Today they are considered quite rare and have distinctive fur colouration including black ears and a black mask over their eyes, powder white fur and black tails.
The woolly grey fur of the Chartreux cat along with its copper-coloured eyes are what make the breed so sought after. Originating in France, it is a large and muscular breed, but still quite short in stature. Fairly agile and a gentle personality leads many owners to seeking out breeders of the Chartreux, though kittens can be very expensive.
Formerly known as the African Shorthair in the 1970s, the Sokoke cat is now a very rare shorthair breed. It can be identified from it’s very lean physique, but with brown tabby fur, although there are a few Snow Sokoke’s in existence who have much whiter fur colouring. They are also identified from a ‘tip-toe’ gait when they walk.
The adorable and distinctive look of the Scottish Fold is what drives many would-be owners to seek out this rare breed, given the folded ears, large eyes and soft grey fur. These features give it a rather sad expression, that breeders often describe as giving it an ‘owl-look’. Exceptionally rare, as well as exceptionally expensive, these cats are available in the UK, but at quite a high price.