Chausie’s are an energetic breed with a beautiful and exotic look that makes them very desirable for cat owners.
But any cat breed with roots from their wild ancestors needs a certain type of environment and a patient and loving home.
If you’re considering adopting a Chausie into your life, there are some key things you need to know first.
Chausie Cat Appearance
Chausies are a breathtaking breed that takes a lot of their appearance from their wild cat side.
Looking at photos of a Chausie, you can immediately tell that they have wild cat ancestry in their blood.
They have grizzled coat colors in neutral shades like tan, black, and brown.
Chausies come in three coat patterns – brown-ticked tabby, solid black, and grizzled tabby. There is sometimes a creamy or white color in their muzzle.
They have wedge-shaped heads, long muzzles, and high cheekbones.
Their tall and large ears sometimes feature tufts of fur that give them a look similar to a cougar.
Their eyes are striking and beautiful and are most often green or gold in color.
Their body is athletic and not unlike that of an Olympic athlete. They’re limber and graceful.
They are long with tails that are short in comparison. Their tail is often thick and muscular and doesn’t feature much taper like other domestic cats.
Their long legs, tall stature, and deep chest are evidence of a breed built for a life of running and jumping.
What Makes a Chausie Cat?
The Chausie is a domestic cat breed born from the intentional pairing of non-domestic species jungle cats with domesticated house cats.
Breeders began pairing jungle cats (Felix Chaus) with Abyssinians throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
The Chausie officially became recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA) as a domestic breed in 1995. In 2013, it was granted championship status.
History of the Chausie Cat
Thousands of years ago, long before the “official” Chausie was officially recognized as a breed, hybrids of a jungle cat (Felis Chaus) and a domestic cat (Felis catus) came to be in Egypt.
The Ancient Egyptians prized this breed for its laidback personality and its natural ability to hunt.
These hybrids were so highly revered in these times that mummified remains have been found in tombs throughout Egypt. The animals were buried with their owner, presumably to serve as their companions in the afterlife.
But the Chausie as we now know it today is a relatively new breed created as part of the intentional breeding of jungle cats with domestic cats.
Chausie Cat Size
The average full-grown Chausie will weigh anywhere between 15 to 25 pounds and be 20 to 22 inches in length.
For comparison sake, most Chausies are smaller than a Maine Coon, but are larger than a Siamese.
Their physique takes after their jungle cat side and is often elegant, athletic, and lean.
Chausies tap into their wild cat origins and are long-bodied, so they’re built for running and jumping.
Chausie Cat Temperament and Personality
Chausies are very smart, active, and athletic cats.
As kittens, they’re very busy and often get themselves into trouble.
They’re a very outgoing breed that enjoys a lot of playtime and interactions with their human family.
Most Chausies won’t thrive in a single pet home. They don’t like to be alone, so they need to have another companion pet around the home or a human that doesn’t leave them alone too often.
Many Chausies get along just fine with dogs, especially if they’re raised with one in the home.
This breed is known to form very deep bonds with people. They’re very loyal and could have a difficult time if they need to be re-homed as adults.
If you’re a cat lover who has always loved the idea of dogs simply because of their trainability, you’ll love Chausies.
They are a very intelligent breed that loves learning tricks. With a bit of patience, you can train your cat to play fetch and even go for leashed walks.
Are Chausie Cats Legal?
All prospective Chausie cat owners should check with their local laws and regulations before adopting. Hybrid pets such as the Chausie are illegal in some locales.
You might find that only “F4 generation” hybrids are legal in your area. Any F4 and later generation hybrids are generally considered “domestic” and can be sold to the public.
Do Chausie Cats Make good pets?
Chausies can absolutely make a great pet for the right family. They are a very loving and affectionate breed that forms very strong bonds with their humans.
They need companionship, so they make great pets in homes where they won’t be left alone for too long.
Chausies are relatively easy to care for with very few health concerns. Provide them with a lot of space to run, jump, and play, and you’ll have yourself a very happy kitty.
Is a Chausie Cat Right for Me?
While no pet breed is perfect for every owner, the majestic Chausie would make a fantastic companion for the right person.
The Chausie is an excellent breed for patient pet owners as their inquisitive nature can get them into a little trouble around the home.
You may find them opening cabinets and rummaging through their contents. A few child locks can help prevent your pet from making too big of a mess.
Chausies require a lot of exercise, so they need a stimulating and lively home environment. You might consider investing in a catio or climbing structure inside your home to allow them to burn off excess energy.
They also love to scratch, so if you don’t provide a designated scratching post or two, you may find your furniture becomes somewhat of a target.
You may wish to invest in vertical scratching posts such as cat trees as well as horizontal options like cardboard scratches that lay on the ground.
Chausies form very affectionate bonds with their families.
That said, they may not be the best choice for families who have small children. This is because their natural wild cat instincts may come out during playtime, which may be too aggressive for younger kids.
Families who adopt a Chausie as a kitten may be able to socialize them with their small children successfully.
How Much do Chausie Cats Cost?
Chausies are quite a rare breed, so you will find that there is a wide price range for them.
You should expect to pay around $1,500 at the bare minimum, however. Chausies with a particular lineage and upbringing may fetch up to $10,000.
How Do I Get a Chausie?
Since Chausies are a rare breed, finding a reputable breeder might be a bit of a challenge.
There are several trustworthy rescues and breeders worldwide, but we would recommend setting up an interview with them before committing to adoption.
Once you’re able to speak face-to-face or over the phone with the breeder or rescue, you’ll have a better idea of whether they’re reputable or not.
Here is a list of Chausie breeders by state.
Care tips For a Chausie Cat
Chausies are a very active breed. Their homes will need to provide a lot of enrichment to keep them entertained and appease their high activity levels.
Invest in several smart or interactive toys that you can rotate in and out regularly.
Cat towers or climbing structures are also great additions to the Chausie’s world.
Chausies can jump up to eight feet, so be prepared to have every nook and cranny of your home become a part of your Chausie’s play space.
We recommend tucking away any precious valuables or keepsakes as they can get into quite a bit of mischief.
Diet and Nutrition
Since Chausies are still close genetically to their jungle cat relatives, their dietary needs may differ from other more domestic cat breeds.
They should not be fed foods with vegetables, grains, or gluten. Plant matter does not break down well in their digestive tract, leading to inflammation and malnutrition.
Chausies are prone to developing certain food allergies, so breeders suggest feeding your pet high-quality commercial cat foods with very few plant-derived ingredients.
Many owners choose to make their pet’s food themselves. Chausie’s typically fare well on a ketogenic-type diet with meat and animal fat as their primary source of nourishment.
A diet chock full of high-quality meat, fish, and organs will be great for your Chausie.
Chausies’ coarse topcoat comes from their wild cat heritage, which allowed them to withstand the harsh weather elements in the jungle.
Their undercoat is quite short and dense, and they don’t shed a lot.
They don’t need a lot of grooming outside of weekly brushing to upkeep their glossy and smooth coat. You will not need to bathe them.
As with other cat breeds, Chausies will need regular nail trims and ear cleaning.
Common Health Problems
Some pedigreed cat breeds such as Chausies and Bengals may be at risk for certain health problems.
Breeders should provide a health guarantee on all their kittens. Breeders who claim that their animals have zero health or genetic problems are not truthful and should not be trusted.
Many modern-day Chausies have been bred with breeds like Absynnians. This may make them prone to the health conditions that Absynninians face, such as obesity or intestinal issues.
Chausies can inherit some of the physical traits of their non-domestic ancestors.
Their intestinal tracts, for example, may be shorter than what is typically found in domestic cats. This makes it difficult for them to process ingredients derived from plants (see the Diet section above for more information).