When it comes to cats, we all know what to expect generally. Most cats are furry, small and cuddly and have a long evolutionary history – but not all of them.
The cheetoh cat is one such cat that differs from most of our other favorite friends. Not only do they have a unique look.
But they have a unique history and some very interesting characteristics that you might not have guessed at first glance!
In this guide, we’ll explore all of your burning questions regarding the cheetoh cat breed. We’ll look at their history, their genetics and what they’re like in terms of appearance and personality.
So, if you were looking for some information for a new furry friend, or you’re simply curious about this cat – then join us as we take a comprehensive look at the cheetoh cat.
Where Did The Cheetoh Cat Originate From?
The cheetoh cat was a designed breed with the intentions to create a domestic cat that still had the appearance of a wild cat and the aim was to do this without having to introduce additional blood of another wild cat.
The cheetoh cat does just that. In the early 2000s, a woman named Carol Drymon who was working for the Wind Haven Exotics cattery, managed to successfully result their efforts with a cheetoh using an ocicat and a Bengal cat.
This amalgamation and splicing of these two cats is clear when you look at the appearance of the cheetoh cat. From its Bengal links, you can see the rosette and spot patterns which resemble a leopard cat.
In fact, it’s more intriguing in that the Bengal itself is bred from American shorthairs and the Asian leopard cat. The other characteristics the cheetoh shares with its Bengal heritage is wisdom, cunning and athletic prowess.
Their ocicat background has less connection to their overall appearance, but they do share spots to some extent – they just look different. Generally, the cheetoh has adopted a placid, docile and cuddly personality from their ocicat heritage.
Although they were a man-made breed, they are now recognized as a breed in their own right even since 2004.
By the United Feline Organization but the International Cat Association still only recognizes the breed as experimental due to their fairly short history.
They are a very rare breed and their numbers are relatively low at the moment. Few breeders exist in the world.
But you can find them in North America and Australasia inclusive of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The Cheetoh Cat Appearance
The cheetoh cat is best known for its beautifully shined and colored coat. Their coat is a mix of colors which is one primary color and then a mix of colored rosettes and spots.
They have a swirling pattern of lines and markings that appear on a coat of short, velvety smooth fur. You can certainly notice its
Asian leopard cat heritage through the spot markings and the way their face looks. They have very inquisitive eyes, which to some might suggest aggression – but they’re the opposite of that!
Their rosettes can appear brown, black, gold or silver depending on which cheetoh cat it is. This is similar to the background of the Bengal cat as they can differ in color markings too.
They have quite muscular bodies with a strong jaw-line and slightly bigger ears than your average domestic house cat.
In fact, this muscular physique that the cheetoh has explains their usual weight – which is much higher than their parental breeds.
Unlike the Bengal or the ocicat, the cheetoh weighs about 25lbs at its biggest, which is between 10 and 20 pounds heavier than its hereditary counterparts.
This is nearly all muscle though and is completely normal and a sign of a healthy cheetoh cat.
This is rarely seen with cross-breeding cats, but it has been seen before with the liger cat, a cross between a lion and tiger – in which the liger grows much larger than both of its predecessors.
The Cheetoh Cat Personality
Cheetoh cats are very placid and social and love to be cuddled with their humans. They walk with a sense of purpose, grace and importance and often look like they’re hunting, even when they’re not.
They’re very soft cat and tend to avoid fighting or other conflicts. Unlike some other cats, the cheetoh is unlikely to take a paw to a dog or small human child.
Both male and female cheetohs have a strong bond to their kittens and will share the maternal responsibilities.
Cheetohs are very playful and always want their humans to play with them. They like toys and basic things like boxes and sticks but can also play cat-and-mouse with their humans by chasing them and vice versa!
They’re always fun-loving kitties, and they take a long time to get tired out, so be sure to be energized before you start a game with them, you’ll be there a while and likely need a breather.
They’re very acrobatic and athletic and can exhibit some mighty speed.
Asides from often being mischievous, they’re usually much more likely to want a big cuddle and attention from their humans.
They enjoy being stroked and smoothed with chin scratches etc. and you can tell with a loud purr they provide when they’re content.
They’ll also tell their humans how happy they are by rubbing up against them, wrapping their tail around them and typically butting their head on their human’s head (this indicates trust!).
If their human lets them play outdoors, they’ll frequently go hunting and bring back a gift… much to their human’s shock!
Cheetohs are very wise and difficult to fool. They love to play a variety of different games, but if you set up a puzzle game, like solving which cup has a treat under it – they’ll be able to solve the puzzle quickly!
They’re in fact so smart that they can play games that you’d normally associate with dogs, such as fetch.
If you speak to your cheetoh cat, you’ll notice they look up at you and appear to be paying attention.
This is because they likely are! Their inquisitive nature means they’ll certainly be listening to what their humans have to say.
Although there’s little definitive evidence that animals can understand human languages in the same way as we do, if there was a cat that could – it’ll certainly be the cheetoh!
And this social personality is clear to see with everything else the cheetoh does. They’re extremely loving and will go up to humans and other animals in an effort to make friends (and sneak a few strokes at the same time!).
They’re a soft cat, and it’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll see an angry or temperamental cheetoh. For any prospective cat owner, this is the perfect and ideal breed of cat you could hope for.
They’re extremely trusting and will let children and strangers give them attention.
They’ll also vocalize their happiness and feelings back to you if you speak to them, and it genuinely feels as though you’re having a real conversation with them.
Their expressions are consistent. They’ll use tail language, body language and their voice to communicate with their humans and other animals.
Speaking of other animals, they are among the minority of felines that prefer to have different pets in their household.
They’ve shown genuine care for other animals which has been reported by past owners of the cheetoh, including dogs of all sizes, other cats and even livestock like cows and horses.
Their friendly socializing with animals sort of stops when it comes to the smaller kind, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, rats and birds.
Although they don’t always harm these animals out of their primal predisposition, their “play” with these animals is usually a fatal one.
So, if you were looking to get yourself a cheetoh, but you’ve also got a pet hamster – maybe you ought to think twice or give your hamster a new home!
The General Health Of A Cheetoh
Most cats, especially those bred specifically for sale, are typically given a very comprehensive health check and then a guarantee of health is provided to their new owners to ensure there are no health issues.
At this time, we do not know of any inherent or common illness with the cheetoh cat, but their history is a little short – so their health patterns might become more apparent in the years to come.
They typically live up to around 16 years which is about the same lifespan of the common American shorthair. In truth, there’s little difference in terms of their health requirements from an American shorthair.
Their diet and exercise needs are the same, but due to the muscular nature of the cheetoh, you might need to include more protein into their diet than the shorthair.
This is actually not as difficult as you might think because fish is very high in protein, and they love fish!
Other than that, they can eat and easily digest raw meats including chicken and turkey – but you should get rid of the bones before handing the birds over to your kitty. You do not need to cook any of these meats.
Their evolution means they, like other cats, can easily process raw meat (remember, they hunt and eat mice!) and their tummies can handle it.
Interestingly, cooking meat might even be detrimental to the cheetoh because they find cooked meat too tough to chew.
You can get the best meats from the butcher shop and ask them to cut them down to your specifications. Failing this though, you can go to any pet store, and they often have foods which will be perfect for your cat.
They can also eat canned cat food or canned meat and this is frequently a choice that owners have to make based on their budget or a tough time of the month.
If you’re considering getting a cheetoh, you should consider your budget closely for their dietary requirements.
What you shouldn’t feed your cheetoh (unless there is absolutely no choice) is dry food. Dry food is typically very low in protein and contains foods that cats don’t need in their diet, like potatoes.
They’re also very dry and cheetohs regularly have a thirst due to their high play and energy which tires them out.
If you have to feed them dry food if there is no other option, ensure you’ve placed down enough water for them to drink.
Remember, keeping your cat hydrated is important for their organs to function correctly and ensure a long and healthy life.
Normally, their natural meals of raw animals are filled with water and other liquids which would suffice them.
So, if you can – try to provide raw meat for them over other options.
Are There Foods To Avoid Entirely?
Yes, there are some foods that are very toxic to cheetoh cats. These include:
- Citrus fruits
There are others too so always check what you are feeding your cheetoh and ask an expert if you are unsure what they can eat.
Do I Need To Groom My Cheetoh?
There’s nothing to say you shouldn’t groom your kitty, but cheetohs don’t actually require good grooming.
They naturally deal with their own fur situation which allows them to keep their coat nice and strong and shiny (helped with a good diet).
Their claws don’t often need trimming either if they’re playing and have a good environment to play in for most of their normal routine.
It’s a good idea to define what we meant by a good environment for them to play in. It’s not advised to let cheetohs play outside unless you’re watching them.
Because they’ll likely take down any little animal and leave a mess in the area!
Having said that, if you don’t mind this – it can help them to be themselves when they want to. They like trees for climbing and games, which also keeps their claws in check.
Their best environment is a loving home with lots of attention and ideally another feline friend in the house.
Cheetoh cats are rare, but they’re amazing and need a lot of care and respect. Ensure you’re fully aware of the requirements before you commit to owning one of these majestic felines.