An Ancient History
The name Chausie (pronounced Chaw-See) derives from the Latin name “Felis Chaus,” meaning “jungle cat.” The name Chaus by itself means Jungle/Wild cat, while the name Chausie is a mix between a Wild cat and generally an Abyssinian.
Thousands of years ago the Chausie was found from South-Central Asia to the African Nile. Ancient Egyptians would domesticate these wild cats and keep them as their own. The Chausie was so revered by the Egyptians that there have been many cases of finding them mummified in tombs next to their human companions in order to accompany them to the afterlife.
Chausie mixes started to find their way to Southeast Asia and North America due to mating with domesticated breeds, such as the Abyssinian. In America during the 1960s and 1970s, breeders began to play with the concept of cross-breeding the Chaus (Wild Cat) with domesticated cats, giving a logical alternative to those wanting to raise a wild cat at home. The Chausie breed was composed by mixing Chaus, Orientals, Bengals, and Abyssinians resulting in a litter with physical traits that resemble that of wild cats. However, we didn’t see the breed truly come to life until the 1990s when a group of breeders decided to plan a direct breeding program for the new breed they dubbed the “Chausie” officially. The Chausie is formally known to be bred by the hybridization of the Chaus (Wild Cat) and the Abyssinian. This wild history having cat breed is now being bred in both Europe and North America.
Being mixed with a breed of wild cat, the Chausie is equipped with a long, graceful yet robust frame with a barreled chest and weight ranging from 13 to 26 pounds (6 to 12 kilograms), giving them a striking presence. The Chausie has shorter tails compared to most domesticated breeds alongside triangular heads and high cheekbones. Their rounded muzzles and large eyes make their appearance quite statuesque. Having a true athletic cat body with tufts of hair coming from their ears like that of a lynx harken back to their wild cat ancestry.
When it comes to the Chausie outfit, they are fitted with a short and silky coat that’s markings often are referred to as ‘Grizzled Tabby’ or ‘Brown Ticked Tabby’ pattern. While the Chausie can come in a solid black covering, their Abyssinian heritage generally gives them their ‘ticking’ pattern (Ticking is when two different colors alternate on a single hair). A unique feature that is only found in the Chausie breed is a coat of black with silver ticking, called ‘Silver Tipped’.
An Untamed Personality?
The Chausie keeps a lot of its wild cat inherited traits such as being active, athletic, and outgoing. While they may seem to always be on the go, they do have a high degree of intelligence leading them to be quite easy to train. No doubt about it, the Chausies are demanding towards their family and need a stimulating and lively daily schedule. They tend to not like being alone in the house for long, which makes them great to have as a companion to a pet already in the home or visa-versa. However, they are very eager to please, showing a willingness to play fetch and interact in many challenging situations. Chausies are known to form loving, affectionate, and firm bonds with their families. However, they are not recommended for families with small children for their wild nature can come out during play, which makes the Chausie a great playmate for homes with dogs. They have also shown to have playful and kitten-like energy well into their later years.
- The Chausie’s massive size has them often referred to as an “Abyssinian on Steroids ” or “the Arnold Schwarzenegger of cats.”
- Although the Chausie is smaller than a Maine Coon, they still are in the top 5 biggest domestic cats in the world.
- Chausies are true acrobats being able to leap up to 8 feet in the air!
- Chausies are around 14-15 inches tall.
- The Chausie is most compared to breeds such as the Savannah, Toyger, Bangal, and of course the Abyssinian.
While there are no hereditary health problems known, the number one health concern for a Chausie involves their diet. As Chausies are still close genetic relatives to wild cats, their dietary needs reflect that of their wild ancestors. The Chausie is unable to eat food containing vegetables, grains, or gluten causing their diet to be an adjustment to many cat owners. The consumption of plant matter cannot be broken down in their digestive system, causing inflammation and disables them from absorbing the required vitamins and causing malnutrition.
Caring for Chausies
As previously stated, the Chausie’s diet is of utmost importance. Many Chausie owners opt to make their cat’s food themselves, following the “Ketogenic(Keto) Diet” of making meat/animal fats the primary nourishment that fuels the body. For cat owners who decide not to make their Chausie’s food themselves, there are store-bought cat foods that are close to the Keto Diet, allowing a minimal amount of carbohydrates. The store-bought foods are hard to come by as most pet stores cater to more popular domesticated breeds. When caring for Chausies make sure to check the ingredients carefully!
Because the Chausie breed is so active, they need proper exercise. If you are lucky enough to have what many cat guardians consider the holy grail of cat environments, a catio filled with cat towers and toys is an excellent addition to the Chausie’s world. Not to mention that Chausies are easily trained to walk on leashes.
Their coarse topcoat and dense undercoat are meant to withstand and wick away the jungle-like elements making their fur easy to maintain and care for. Only the basics in coat care are needed for the Chausie, requiring a minimal brushing of once a week.
Meow + Roar
When it comes to owning a Chausie, there is a guarantee of never having a dull moment. Whether they are showing you their high-flying circus skills or dazzling you with their exotic looks, having a Chausie will make your life truly exciting!
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