Many cat enthusiasts fantasize about owning a wild cat and keeping it as a domestic mainly due to its majestic appearance. The Chausie cat may very well be the closest thing to a domesticated mini-tiger you can have lounging in your house!
Chausies are bred to look like the untamed jungle cats of old. The Chausie (pronounced as chow-see) title is derived from the Latin translation of “felis chaus”, aka jungle cat. Their long physique is marked by equally long limbs and a tall stature. They have an extended muzzles, angular cheekbones and straight, tufted ears atop an outward-angled head.
Keeping a Chausie will mean lifelong dedication and making meeting their physical and mental stimulation needs a top priority. In exchange, you’ll have a loyal and incredibly intelligent feline for life!
History of Chausie Cats
Jungle cat varieties are mostly found in regions ranging from the Caspian Sea to the Nile Valley, and in South Asian nations like Vietnam. Statues depicting the famous Egyptian goddess Bast are fashioned with striking similarities to that of the Jungle Cat.
Chausies are the result of a breeding programme that started in the 1960s by individuals who wanted to cross domestic and jungle cats. Many years later, their efforts were recognized by the International Cat Association when it attained foundation registration status in 1995. It’s worthy to note that the Cat Fanciers Association doesn’t recognize the breed as of current.
Size of the Chausie
The athletic, muscular build of the Chausie falls somewhere between the mid- to large-sized breed classification. They have long bodies with deep chests and the legs are longer at the back than at the front. Males weigh somewhere around 15 to 25 lbs., and the females somewhere around 10 to 20 lbs.
With the physique of an Olympic athlete, these cats are built for jumping and running!
Personality of the Chausie
These cats are gregarious and fun-loving by nature. Chausies are smart and energetic, and are quite sociable. Their wild cat instinct gives them a pronounced hunting temperament. They can often be seen in constant motion, running and jumping around, if not interacting with their owners. Playtime is a must for these lovable creatures!
Chausies form deep bonds with their owners and family members over time. You can play fetch or have the cat walk around on a leash just like a well-behaved canine would.
The Chausie isn’t for novice owners as it needs plenty of care, attention and constant exercise. Pair them with individuals who like living with smart, complicated cats and the relationship will bloom. Even as kittens these cats will need plenty of space to develop their natural wild cat instincts.
The kittens become less lively and jumpy as they grow older, but they’ll retain a sense of curiousness and playfulness all throughout. Each phase in their life will present a unique set of challenge to their owners.
Chausie breeders are few and far in-between, so it’s best to do your research before picking out a cat from this emerging variety. Since they are relatively new, it’s best to ask all kinds of questions regarding care, feeding, health, etc. Ask for a written guarantee. This breed is rare, so expect to pay a small fortune as the price of admission.
Chausie Cat Health
The Chausie, like its wild cat ancestors aren’t prone to breed-specific health problems. They are a hardy variant and are expected to live quite a long, full life. One thing to take note of when bringing this type of kitten or cat home is that they aren’t as prolific in digestion as other breeds. They have shorter intestinal tracts are prefer meat than standard cat food varieties.
Care of the Chausie
Chausies cannot stand being alone for long periods of time. They’d rather have human companions or even other cats than playing by themselves. Their intelligent nature needs to be fed with mental stimulation via puzzles or toys.
If possible, keep your cat indoors to prevent your pet from being lost, stolen or injured. Spend time with your cat so he or she won’t learn how to open the door and cause some mischief.
Litter Box Training
Get the same litter as what the breeder had for a seamless transition. Keeping the litter box clean at all times cannot be stressed enough. Scoop up the feces daily and change the litter regularly.
Chausie Cat Nutrition
Chausies have short intestinal tracts and will require a certain kind of diet. Substitute carbs and grains are out of the picture, or else your cat may suffer from IBS. Thus, the preferred food is a raw diet using proven recipes. Consult with a professional vet for suggestions on how you can meet your cat’s nutritional requirements.
A cat of this breed can live to be 14 years of age when all their needs are met. Make sure to adjust or change the diet according to your pet’s age.
The Chausie’s fur can exhibit any of the three patterns- solid black, black grizzled tabby and brown ticked or black ticked tabby.
Brown ticked tabbies will have inside front leg barring that leads to the hind legs. The grizzled variety is passed down from their ancestor, the Jungle Cat. Hair shafts may have slight discoloration, alternating light bands or a black base coat.
Chausie Cat Grooming
Chausies have silky short coats that won’t require constant maintenance. Owners may brush their pet’s coat once a week using chamois leather to keep it shiny and healthy. More frequent brushing may be needed during shedding periods, i.e., autumn and spring time. Nail trimming should be done weekly, and brushing should be done daily. Check your cat’s ears for any wax buildup and clean as necessary.
Children and Other Pets
Chausies are complicated creatures, but their playful personality and outgoing nature make them good pets. They know when to avoid loud noise and boisterous children by climbing to higher ground. These cats are loyal and will have a difficult time if re-homed during adulthood. Nonetheless, they get along with dogs and can even become best friends if they were raised together.