Chausies are hybrid cats, that originated from cross breeding between a domestic cat and a wild cat, known as the Jungle Cat (or Felis Chaus) native to parts of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and to which it owes its name. Tall, athletic, and extremely active, these wild-looking cats love big open spaces.
Key facts about the Chausie
Origins and history
Archaeological findings of mummified Felis Chaus (Jungle Cats) in the coastal regions of the Nile testify to contact between these wild cats and humans, going back several thousands of years. It is therefore unsurprising that they were selected as potential hybrid candidates for the purpose of obtaining wild-looking cats, with domestic cat behaviours.
The first cross breeding between a Chaus and a domestic cat dates back to the early seventies in the USA. Since then, crosses with Abyssinians, Bengals and wild looking non-pedigree domestic cats have also taken place. The Chausie was recognised as a breed due to two American breeders, Judy Bender and Sandra Cassalia. They were registered in 1995 and they were awarded new breed status in 2003.
Physical characteristics of the Chausie
Female : Between 16 and 18 in
Male : Between 16 and 20 in
These cats reach their adult size around the age of 2, but don’t reach their final coat colour until they’re 3 years old.
Female : Between 13 and 20 lb
Male : Between 13 and 24 lb
Black, brown, silver
The brown ticked tabby has agouti hairs over its entire body, with alternating brown and black bands on each individual hair.
Black coated cats have silver tipped hairs all over their bodies. Each hair is black for two-thirds of its length and the last third is silvery.
Type of coat
Yellow, green, hazel
Chausies are medium to large cats. Their bodies are long and rectangular, and they have medium sized frames that are well complemented by their strong muscles. Their athletic jumping and running abilities are down to their incredibly powerful back legs. Their tails are quite thick and generally three-quarters of the length of a normal cat’s tail. Their heads are triangular and are topped with large ears that are broad at the base, and are sometimes tufted at the tip. Their eyes are oval-shaped and are quite close together.
Good to know
Chausies are the only breed that have black coats with silver tips.
Chausies love human contact and cuddles in between their bursts of activity.
They are very active cats who absolutely love to play. Interactive play sessions to help them expend their energy are highly recommended.
Thanks to their physical attributes the Chausie is constantly searching for stimulation, which means they are not calm cats at all!
They are very intelligent cats who learn quickly. Thus they are ideal for training.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Although these cats generally build a strong relationship with a single person, they can be sociable with strangers, as long as they’re introduced smoothly and gradually.
Chausies do not respond well to being left alone, particularly if they are not regularly stimulated. They need companionship.
Behaviour of the Chausie
Miaowing isn’t their main form of communication.
Need for exercise / Sporty
These cats are athletes and constantly need to expend energy. Their body type makes them spectacular at running and jumping.
Tendency to run away
These cats are curious and absolutely love to explore. It won’t take much for them to run away if there is an open space for them to go and charge around in!
Greedy / Gluttony
Their appetites are linked to their energy expenditure. Interactive bowls will allow you to regulate their consumption and will provide them with additional stimulation.
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Chausie and cats
Cohabitation with other cats is possible, as long as strict rules are put in place. However this is not particularly desirable.
Chausie and dogs
Sociable, curious and playful they can get on very well with dogs, as long as the cat has high hiding places to escape to when needed.
Chausie and children
Due to their active and playful nature, these cats are excellent playmates for children.
Chausie and the elderly
Chausies can become difficult and unmanageable if they aren’t given the chance to expend their energy. Therefore they make poor pets for elderly people.
On average, a Chausie cat costs between £850 and £2000 depending on their lineage, upbringing, age and sex.
It also costs approximately £25 per month to provide for their needs and to ensure that they stay healthy.
Their short coats only need one weekly brush, and require no special care.
These cats lose an average amount of hair, although they lose more during their moulting periods.
Nutrition of the Chausie
They need high quality food to replenish their energy reserves. Some are gluten intolerant and thus cannot consume foods that contain gluten.
Health of the Chausie
12 to 14 years.
Strong / robust
Their dense coat and undercoat make them good at adapting to both cold and hot climates
Tendency to put on weight
Their massive appetites are heavily linked to their daily energy expenditure.
Pyruvate kinase deficiency: a disease that causes the destruction of red blood cells leading to anemia.
Progressive retinal atrophy:This causes blindness.
In addition to the hereditary diseases mentioned above, F1 to F3 or F4 males are often sterile (F1 is the direct offspring of a hybridisation between a cat Chaus and a domestic cat). Some individuals may have intestinal problems related to gluten intolerance. They can also develop the same illnesses as any other cat such as oral diseases.
Cross breeding is permitted with other Chausies, Abyssinians and domestic cats.
Cross breeding with Chaus (Wild Jungle Cats) is also permitted provided that the legal requirements imposed by CITES regarding the holding of wild cats are met.
Good names for a Chausie: Blaze, Hailo, Mars, Vizzy