The Chausie (pronounced chow-see) cat is a hybrid breed created by mating a jungle cat with an Abyssinian domestic cat. High-energy, sociable and intelligent — this is a feline who is best suited to experienced cat owners and families with older children.
The Chausie is a large bodied, large boned breed with a broad chest, plenty of muscle in a fairly long lean body, and reasonably long legs. Each leg ends in small round paws. The breed is available in a range of colours including black, black smoke, shades of silver, black with silver ticking, and ticked golden to reddish fawn. The body is relatively free of markings but there are some darker colourations on the ears, tails, and legs. In contrast to its long body, the Chausie has a relatively small tail.
High cheek bones, a head longer than it is wide, and a sloping forehead is topped by tall ears ending in lovely little tufts. The shape of the Chausie’s face will remind many of one of the great cats, the cougar.
Chausies are a hybrid cat created from crossing a Jungle Cat (Felix Chaus, native to North Africa, South East Asia, and India) with an Abyssinian domestic cat.
It wasn’t until the late 90’s though, that breeders began to cross the two breeds in earnest and start to register their stock. The year 2003 saw the breed receive full recognition and in 2013 the Chausie finally received full Championship Status.
Chausies are extremely intelligent and sociable cats who require constant mental stimulation and human interaction – they are not a cat for people who are out of the house for long hours every day. Wherever an owner is in the household the Chausie is sure to be close by, keeping an eye on the goings on of the household.
They are extremely athletic and require plenty of exercise, and will happily engage in games with you that bring out their natural hunting and stalking instincts. Their curious nature will also see them taking full advantage of a large yard as they need little excuse to wander off and explore.
The Chausie is not a laid back lap cat. They have an exuberant, outgoing personality so you need to consider your home life before bringing this breed into your home. They may not be suitable for people with small children or for those who like to keep fragile, delicate ornaments on display. They make the perfect pet for an active, outgoing family.
Did You Know?
The Chausie are one of the largest domestic cats, weighing up to 30 pounds (13.6 kgs) — that’s roughly the same size as a miniature dog.
Like the cougar, the Chausie is a cat bred for hunting and can regularly be seen clearing heights of up to 8 feet (2.4 metres) in a single bound – aided by their muscular hind legs which are slightly longer than the front ones.
Caring for Your Chausie Cat
The Chausie is a short haired breed so has minimal grooming requirements, but weekly brushing is recommended to help prevent hairballs and shedding especially during the summer months.
Chausies benefit most from a gluten free diet as grains have been known to cause them digestive tract issues. They also do best on exclusively meat diets as their bodies are unable to digest vegetable matter and absorb nutrients, which over time can lead to chronic malnourishment.
If you have a Chausie cat in your life, please share your experiences below.
Image: Lance Klausner via Wikimedia Commons.