Most households have had or plan to keep a cat at one point. These family-favorite pets share a common ancestor with other feline wild cat species: the leopard, tiger, cheetah, puma, lion, and jaguar.
Domesticated cats have the same features and color markings on their coats as their wild friends. These characteristics explain the reason why most of them look like a scaled-down version of the big cats. Here are some breeds to consider if you are looking to keep a cat breed that looks like a tiger or lion.
8 Cat Breeds That Look Like Tigers & Lions
Known as the oldest cat breeds, Abyssinian cats look like lions without a mane. Weighing between 8 to 12 pounds, they can live up to 15 years. In terms of color, the most common colors are shades of ruddy, blue, fawn, and red.
These breeds are usually so curious and intelligent. Their body type is very muscular, making them so athletic. Therefore, in most cases, you will find them patrolling their territory keenly unless distracted.
As a very playful breed, they often need a human companion. As a plus, you can provide them with toys such as puzzles to keep them occupied. Abyssinian cats become very lonely when unable to interact with humans; therefore, they are suitable for families.
Just from its name, you can tell this breed looks like a tiger. Developed in the 1980s, Toyger is a breed between a Bengal cat and a domestic tabby cat. Judy Sugden bred this house cat to look exactly like a tiger with similar stripes in the orange, black and brown colors.
The body shape is muscular with powerful hind legs making it a very active bred. Therefore, as you domesticate one of these, make sure you provide them with enough outdoor space. These cats can weigh between 7 to 15 pounds and have a lifespan of 10-15 years.
This medium-sized kitty is very affectionate to people and well suited for families. Despite its tiger-like features, this feline is calm, easy-going, and very intelligent.
This cat breed is the long-haired version of the Abyssinian. Created with a similar personality to the Abyssinian, the Somali cat is also brilliant with high energy. Because of the longer fur, this cat looks like a miniature lion but with more hair.
To keep the fur tangle-free, they require regular grooming practices, which should be established when they are still kittens. As a plus, it’s also essential to ensure that the pets get periodic health checkups to protect them from any disease attacks and parasites.
4. Pixie Bob
Weighing between 8 to 11 pounds, the Pixie Bob resulted from a bobcat and barn cat’s cross-breeding. This breed varies in size from small to medium. Their eyes vary in color and come in shades of blue, green, or yellow.
Despite looking like tigers, they are relatively calm and very social and playful. This means you can keep it in your family as it gets along with kids and other pets such as dogs.
A hybrid breed, the Chausie is a lion-looking domesticated cat. Its resemblance to the puma or a mountain lion is very impressive. The Chausie came about from breeding a Jungle Cat in South Asia and the Nile Valley with an Oriental Shorthair.
When fully matured, the Chausie can weigh up to 25 pounds. They have a well-muscled body and are quite athletic with a sandy-colored coat. A unique trait for them, they tend to like water, unlike other domesticated cats.
If you are considering keeping a Chausie, it’s critical to note that they are very high maintenance and require a lot of care and attention. They are loving and playful and require you to put in the work if you need to keep one.
6. Maine Coon
Well-known for its vast mane, it ideally looks like a lion. The Maine Coon is famous for being the largest domesticated cat breed, commonly nicknamed the “gentle giant.” Because of its size, it’s often been used as an excellent therapy animal. Unlike the lions, both the male and female Maine Coons have a mane.
The thick coat that covers it makes it well-suited for harsh winter conditions. On top of the two-layered coat, it also has a long bushy tail.
In terms of personality, they are relatively calm and have above-average intelligence. They are also very affectionate and trainable, making them suitable for families to keep.
7. Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau is considered the fastest domesticated cat. As one of the oldest cat breeds, it’s believed to descend from the African Wild Cat in Egypt. With long legs to boot, this breed is known for its incredible agility and strides. Maus come in six distinct colors, black, caramel, blue, bronze and silver.
As a very territorial pet, this cat breed likes to climb on trees to observe their kingdoms. Due to their fast nature, they also require lots of outdoor space to run.
These pets can weigh up to 11 pounds and have a lifespan of between 13-16 years. Egyptian Maus are very rare globally in comparison to other cat breeds.
The Ocicat looks like a small jungle cat. Created by breeding American Shorthair, Abyssinians, and Siamese cats, this breed is a big muscular cat. They are diverse in color and come in blue, lavender, chocolate silver, blue silver, chocolate, blue, cinnamon, cinnamon-silver, fawn-silver, and lavender silver.
The Ocicat is a busy cat which means it’s well-suited for an active family. Besides, this breed is also very affectionate, friendly, and energetic and loves to play with its human companions. Therefore, it’s a good breed choice if you are looking for a cat to keep.
Pets are kept not only for companionship but also for how they look. These breeds of cats have a wild look despite being purely domesticated.
Regardless of their appearance, most if not all of these breeds are very calm and loyal. If you are looking to keep a majestic and beautiful cat, these miniature “big cats” will fulfill that for you.
Featured Image Credit: Kutikova Ekaterina, Shutterstock