Leopards are fierce wild animals with a unique look that allows them to blend into their habitat. People that admire that look and desire it in their pet cats are in luck. You can find different breeds that feature light-cream to yellowish fur with dark rosettes. Obtaining a cat breed that has the potential for that coloration will give you a pet that has fierce looks without the danger of owning a big cat, Today, we’re going to explore cats that look like leopards!
We’ll show you some of the top breeds that mimic the colors and patterns of these gorgeous, dangerous beasts!
What Are 7 Cats That Look Like Leopards?
At least 7 breeds of cats that look like leopards exist, but few of them are natural. Many of them were specifically bred to give them the patterns and colors that make them look like big cats. That being said, some of these breeds resemble leopards more than others. While that means that some of these cats won’t seem just like a leopard, they’ll still have striking, unique, wild looks about them.
Cheetohs are a unique breed of cat that emerged from breeding Bengal and Ocicat breeds. Not only do these cats have the distinctive rosettes of leopards, but they’re also often larger than regular housecats. The breed was designed by Carol Dryman in the early 2000s.
The goal was to make a large and intelligent cat with a wild look to it, and they certainly succeeded. This beautiful cat walks like a jungle cat and grows large enough that one could mistake it for an untamed animal. After all, they can grow between 12 and 18 inches and weigh up to 20 pounds or more!
Despite their size and looks, cheetohs are known for being family-oriented and loving animals.
The first Pixie-bob cats were discovered in the mid-1980s in Washington State. These cats weighed over 15 pounds despite being in poor shape and were very tall. During the initial acquisition, the person would who later become their chief breeder, Carol Brewer, found that they had short tails, large bodies, and resembled bobcats.
At first, it was rumored that they were descended from a bobcat and a domestic cat breeding. However, DNA results showed that was false. Nevertheless, the breed has a short tail, light-colored fur with striped legs and spots on the body, and sometimes presents with lynx tips on its ears.
It’s not a perfect match for people seeking cats that look like leopards. Still, it comes close, and it has a wild look about it.
Although the cat is supposed to look like another one of the big cats, the Bengal more closely resembles a leopard than a tiger. They have the distinct rosettes seen on leopards, and that makes them one of the cats that most closely resembles a leopard.
That means they have light fur, with rosettes that are brown and then black around the edges. This breed is the closest you’ll get to having a small version of a leopard sitting on your lap!
The Bengal cat breed was designed in the 1960s by Jean S. Mill, a cat breeder and conservationist. She bred Asian leopard cats with domestic shorthair cats in the U.S., like the Egyptian Mau, another cat on our list.
Depending on the parentage, the cats can have rosettes, marbling, and other markings on their fur. These cats are unique in that they’re playful and even enjoy playing in the water!
Serengeti cats were first bred in the mid-1990s by Karen Sausman to create a cat breed that looks similar to a serval! Bengal cats and Oriental shorthairs were bred together to make this unique-looking creature.
These cats do not have perfect rosettes. However, they do possess light fur, a very light underside, and black spots. That’s close enough for some people. The breed is pretty to look at, and it’s very friendly. However, they do have a penchant for destruction if they are not provided with some form of entertainment.
5. Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau was one of the first cats used to breed the Bengal cat. It’s one of the very few breeds of domesticated cats that naturally has spots. This cat breed is ancient, and depictions of this animal have been found dating back to 1550 B.C.
We’re including them on this list for two reasons. First, they are cats that look like leopards with light fur and dark spots, strong musculature, and a regal face structure. Secondly, the Egyptian Mau has been used to breed other cats that bear the unique leopard-like look.
Ocicats are large spotted cats that were bred using Siamese cats, Abyssinian cats, and American shorthairs. They are intelligent, active, beautiful cats with almond-shaped eyes and powerful bodies. They can somewhat resemble leopards with their spots, but they’re not a perfect match. Nevertheless, they make great pets that will rarely leave your side.
Last but not least, we have the Savannah cat. This breed comes from a serval breeding with a domestic cat. As a result, this cat is tall and thin with unusual markings, including spots and stripes that give them a wild look.
As a result of their heritage, these cats may not be allowed in every country. They’re simply too dangerous to wildlife in some cases. These cats are large and powerful. They can hunt down small mammals and birds when they’re outside, and that can be problematic.
You should learn about your local laws before trying to obtain one of these cats from a breeder. Even then, it’s imperative to be very selective about the places where you’ll obtain one of these cats.
Now that we’ve covered 7 cats that look like leopards, you have several breeds that can meet your needs. Some of them look more leopard-like than others, of course. Still, all of these cats have a unique, wild look about them that pet owners crave.
Just make sure that you only deal with reputable breeders when obtaining one of these cats, if you’re able to find them. After all, cats that look this cool are not that common!
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.
- The International Cheetoh Breeders Association, Available here: http://cheetohcatbreeders.com/CheetohInfo1.htm
- The International Cat Association, Available here: https://www.tica.org/breeds/browse-all-breeds?view=article&id=866:pixiebob-breed&catid=79
- Bengal Cats, Available here: https://bengalcats.co/bengal-cat-behavior-explained/
- Wiley Online Library, Available here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/age.12206
- The Cat Fanciers' Association, Available here: https://cfa.org/egyptian-mau/
- The Cat Fanciers' Association, Available here: https://cfa.org/ocicat/