Today, domestic cats are most commonly found as house pets and human companions. There are more or less 70 cat breeds today that people have a wide variety to choose from if they really want one for a pet. No matter how many species are available for cats, there are still some notable ones that make you wonder if cats actually originated from leopards or some other animals due to the similarities they have. There are many domestic cats that look like leopards (often claimed as their elder cousins).
So, let’s see what they are but before that we will start with a quick introduction.
Also Read: 8 Incredible Cats That Look Like Hitler
There are a lot of cat breeds that can sometimes be misconstrued for their similarities in their appearance and temperament. However, no matter how similar some cat breeds are, they are still uniquely different from each other.
The history of cats’ relationship with us, humans, has been traced back some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago during the earliest developments in human civilization in the geographic location of Fertile Crescent. When old people chose to stay away from their nomadic lives, they settled on farmlands and developed agriculture.
However, as their stored grains became a major attraction for rodents, the wild cats in the Middle Eastern part, took it as a beneficial source of their food and stick around the civilization.
8 Cats That Look More Like Leopards
There are quite a number of cats that look like leopards and share the same characteristics as them. These usually include:
- Purring (leopards purr when exhaling)
- Their love of high places and
- Pouncing from a perch
Among many cat breeds, there are also those who really resemble leopards along with their spots and skin colors. See the similarities of these 8 cats as to how they physically look.
1. Bengal Cat
A Bengal cat can be mistaken as a miniature leopard due to their obvious similarities. With a life span of 10 to 16 years, Bengal cats resemble leopards and are on the athletic side, as they have strong and muscular body.
They are also agile yet graceful that befits the animal of the wild. With its distinctive spotted coat and an above the normal size, it certainly looks like a cat that is always ready to prance at you. There is a very good reason why the Bengal cat is included on our top 8 cats that look like leopards — it is primarily because he is a descendant of the Asian Leopard Cat.
Though it can be mistaken as a wild animal, be assured that the Bengal cat is one of the domesticated breeds. Bengal cats are very friendly felines but at the same time, a confident and alert one, which sometimes makes it challenging to deal with them. However, rest assured that if you want to have a pet that signifies that of a certain leopard, you can always go for this one.
2. Savannah Cat
The very first Savannah was a cross-breed between an African Serval and a house cat, and they called it F1. However, F1 did not meet the expectations of its breeders, as they deemed the cat too wild for a house cat. But when F1 was crossbred with a Savannah cat, it produced F2 kittens.
And when F2 females reproduced, their kittens were called F3. Now, F3 has three generations of domesticity but it still has the genes of the original African Serval. A Savannah cat is considered as the largest off all domesticated cats.
It can leap long distances, which makes it really similar to that of a leopard, aside from the fact that they also share the same looks somehow. When it comes to personality, a Savannah is often curious and shows intelligence. Though it is considered as a domestic cat, it is still deemed illegal to own this particular cat breed in few states.
A toyger was created through the efforts of Judy Sugden, a Los Angeles cat breeder. Sugden worked hard to breed a house cat that looks like a tiger. It was in the late eighties when there toyger was born. The lineage of the toyger can be traced with domestic shorthairs and Bengals that also made it possible for it to look like a leopard because of its selected markings.
Though this particular breed is still being developed, it is now available from breeders all throughout the world. The International Cat Association (TICA) even classified it as a championship breed. Truth be told, if you really want a cat that looks like a leopard, a toyger is one of the best choice. Surely, you will fall in love with a toyger when you see them personally (just don’t think of tigers and leopards!).
4. Egyptian Mau
Though color may differ from that of a leopard, an Egyptian Mau’s spotted coat is a close resemblance to that of a leopard. One of the things that the Egyptian Mau can boast of regarding its looks is the fact that their spotted markings occur naturally, unlike the man-made markings on other breeds that have only transpired due to human manipulation.
The breed that we know today comes from the cat of Russian Princess Natalie Troubetsky when she was still living in Rome. When the princess moved to United States during 1956, she wanted to ensure that the breed of the cat still survived, hence, through her efforts, the cat breeding of the Egyptian Mau began in a cattery named Fatima. Once this particular breed is happy, she vocalizes in pleasant voice and swishes her tail rapidly.
Being one of the spotted cat breeds, there is no question that Ocicat looks like a leopard. But it is definitely not wild as leopards are. In fact, Ocicat is as domesticated as any house cats can be. This particular breed loves to retrieve toys and walks with a leash.
It really loves to be with its owner. It even trails your footsteps wherever you go. An Ocicat is really smart as it can open doors and latch; it is also advisable that you keep the things that you do not want them to have. Though this particular breed can adapt easily, the ocicat do not want to be left alone, hence, it is important that they have companions around. Perhaps, another cat or a dog while you are away from home.
A Pixiebob comes from a natural mating. This breed started when Carol Ann Brewer saw bobtailed cats in Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Brewer adopted one of them in 1985 and it mated with a cat from her neighbor.
Pixiebobs have longer back legs compared to their front legs, which makes them taller. They resemble the stone-face of the wild cats, but rest assured that they are not wild and they actually make a good pet since they are loyal. This breed also has thick double coats that can either be short or long. This breed received a championship status in 1998 from TICA.
So okay, this name will particularly make you remember Cheetos and Chester, the cheetah whose laid-back cartooning was used to advertise the product. However, the Cheetoh that I am referring here is actually a new breed of a house cat that looks like a leopard.
It was bred to look like some wild cat, but it is still a gentle pet that you can have. Cheetohs are very large cats. The male species often reach as heavy as 23 pounds. TICA categorizes this cat under the experimental breed. Though this cat is as large and heavy as it is, rest assured that you can always tame it and they are safe around children. It licks you, plays with you and can be trained to be very friendly. You can forget your worry about them being a danger to you or anyone in your household and guests.
The last on the list of cats that look like leopards is none other than Serengeti. It was bred to primarily develop a cat that looks similar to a wild Serval. However, the breed should not contain any Serval blood and genes. The very first cat of this breed was in 1994 which was bred by Karen Sausman. She crosses it using a Bengal and an Oriental Short hair.
But the breeding process did not stop from there, and it was simply called as the “foundation” of Serengeti. This and its offspring were bred several times with other breeds – except Servals – to improve the breed. One possible reason though as to why it has the spots is the fact that a part of its lineage came from the Asian Leopard Cat. A Serengeti also resembles the long ears and long legs of Servals. This particular breed is vocal, active and agile, and it is currently categorized by TICA as an advanced new breed Cats That Look Like Leopards.