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Chausie Breed Standard


Chausies - From Ancient Egypt, A 21st Century Breed Like No Other

 Article written by the Chausie Breed Section


In Egypt, more than three thousand years ago, two species of wild cat found their way into Egyptian homes. One was Felis lybica, and the other was Felis chaus. Felis chaus, also known as the Jungle Cat, was relatively tame in temperament from the start, with more than usual potential for domestication, but so was Felis lybica. Whether it was chance or there were other reasons, the Egyptians ultimately developed the domestic cat from Felis lybica. 


Nonetheless, they loved the Jungle Cat, enough to honor them occasionally with formal funeral rites, such as mummification -- enough to take them hunting and paint them into scene after scene in murals. Some say that the statues of the goddess Bastet were modeled after Jungle Cats and we can certainly see the resemblance in her long, slender body and large ears!


Occasionally, members of Felis chaus mated with domestic cats. From North Africa to India to Southeast Asia, there were reports dating back centuries of cats that seem to have been Felis chaus hybrids.

 While we cannot know for certain, the "Saem Sawet" described in the 700 year old Siamese cat poems may also have been a Jungle Cat hybrid. Jungle Cats are common in Thailand.


In the late 20th century, cat fanciers in the U.S. gained experience in developing purely domestic breeds from selected species of wild cat." The process involves mating a few members of one carefully chosen small wild cat species to a great many domestic cats. In the late 1990s, a group of breeders decided to apply this new expertise to develop a breed from Felis chaus. 


The Chausie, pronounced "chow-see," is a fully domestic breed that strongly resembles the Jungle Cat, Felis chaus. They are a medium to large size feline that is tall and long-bodied, with a rectangular torso, deep chest, and flat sides. The Chausie is tall, statuesque, and  shorthaired. The head is relatively long, with a full muzzle and deep chin. This gives the Chausie a cougarish look. At the same time, the ears are erect and large; they are both tall and wide, placed far enough apart to just corner the top of the head. The ears sometimes have tufts on the tips. The breed comes in three color-pattern combinations: brown ticked tabby, solid black, and black grizzled tabby. 


The grizzled tabby pattern came originally from Felis chaus and is unique to the Chausie breed. No other domestic breed of cat occurs in that pattern. Imagine a tabby with a very dark background to its black markings. It's so dark you almost can't see the markings because they are all nearly the same shade of black. Then imagine a sprinkling of white bands scattered randomly across the coat. It's a bit like the Milky Way on the coat of a black cat, but with hints of tabby pattern visible here and there. The tips of the hairs are black. The white occurs only as bands in the middle of the black hairs. That's the grizzled pattern.


The Chausie is even more striking in motion. The Jungle Cat, which the they closely resemble, is built for hunting, running, and jumping. The Chausie is all slinkiness and loose-limbed, lanky grace.


Common personality traits in the breed are their activity level, they are thieves, they are loyal and bond tightly to their person - they can learn to open doors and cupboards and love to get into things they are thought of as the "supervisor" as they want to be in the middle of whatever is going on, they are curious and intelligent.  They need stimulation and interaction....they are not a breed that does well by themselves if a person is gone all day.


Early generation cats will punish by forgetting what a litter box is when their environment is disturbed or their routine is disturbed.....they do not like change - especially the earlier generation cats.


If you want a couch potato this breed is not for you!