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7 Cats That Look Like Leopards (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

Different cat breeds can have very different characteristics. Whether you want a small ball of fluff that won’t leave your lap or a wild-looking giant that prefers to spend time up trees and in ponds, you can find a breed to match.

Below are seven cats that look like leopards. While these cats might look wild, most of these domesticated breeds are loving, some can be docile, and they all make great pets for the right family and the ideal circumstances.

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1. Savannah

savannah on the couch
Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock
Height: 14-18 inches
Weight: 12-25 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Character: Water-loving, trainable, loyal

The Savannah was first bred in 1986. It is a combination of a domestic cat and the African serval wild cat. The breed’s name is the same as the name of the first kitten of this breed. It is a tall, elegant, and powerful cat. It loves to spend time up trees as well as on the ground and is one of only a limited number of cat breeds that are said to enjoy being in the water.

As a pet, the Savannah can be very loving and incredibly loyal. It is easy to maintain with minimal grooming requirements and is usually friendly with all people, other cats, dogs, and pets within the home. Their love of water means that you will need to watch them around your toilet, pond, or shower.


2. Ocicat

ocicat
Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock
Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Lifespan: 15-18 years
Character: Loving, accepting, sociable

The Ocicat is a hybrid that combines the Siamese, Abyssinian, and American Shorthair breeds. The only thing this breed gets from the wild Ocelot is the name. The breed was created by accident, in the 1960s, by breeder Virginia Daly. But once the attractive markings were noted, they were intentionally bred. The breed has been recognized since 1987.

As a pet, the Ocicat is devoted and loyal. It will form a very close bond and will shadow its human around the house. It will also get along with visitors, children, cats, and even dogs. The breed does not like to be left alone and can be considered very demanding.


3. Bengal

close-up of a Bengal kitten
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock
Height: 13-16 inches
Weight: 8-15 pounds
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Character: Loyal, Athletic, Loving

The Bengal is another breed that, although it looks like a wild leopard, is considered a loving, domestic cat. It was first bred in the 1960s by combining an Asian leopard cat and domestic shorthair breeds. The breed has only gained full acceptance by the International Cat Association since 1983.

The breed is very active and strong. It needs a lot of exercise and you will benefit by keeping its mind active with interactive play and even some training. The Bengal is another of those limited breeds that enjoy spending time in the water so you will have to supervise them around pools, ponds, and other bodies of water.


4. Toyger

Toyger-cat-outdoors_
Image Credit: Kutikova Ekaterina, Shutterstock
Height: 8-10 inches
Weight: 7-10 pounds
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Character: Loving, sociable, active

First developed by breeder Judy Sugden in the 1980s, the breed came about through the intentional breeding of a Bengal with a striped domestic shorthair. The aim was to create a breed that looked like a wild cat but that had the characteristics and traits of a domestic cat.

Like many of the breeds on this list, the Toyger is very loving and will develop a strong bond with all members of his family, which includes other cats, dogs, and pets. The breed is very active and will need regular exercise, but it can become lonely if left alone for too long periods. The Toyger is an intelligent breed and can be trained to play fetch.


5. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat lying on a white carpet
Image Credit: Dmitry Tsapenko, Pixabay
Height: 8-10 inches
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Character: Accepting, playful, energetic

The exact origin of the Abyssinian breed is unknown, but the first records date back to the registration for the Crystal Palace Cat Show of 1871, which included an entry for one cat “captured in the late Abyssinian war”. The cat took third, and its fame slowly began to rise. It wasn’t until 1900 when the breed was first imported to the US, and not until the 1930s until breeding efforts began.

Today, the breed is well-known for its love of heights. You are as likely to find your Aby on top of a cupboard or kitchen unit as you are curled up on the rug. The breed is very energetic, loves to play, and will enjoy the attention of his family but can be a little shy around strangers.


6. Cheetoh

cheetoh cat on a leash
Image Credit: Lux Blue, Shutterstock
Height: 12-18 inches
Weight: 12-25 pounds
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Character: Curious, playful, energetic

The Cheetoh was bred by combining the Ocicat and Bengal, so it is little surprise that this breed looks like a wild cat. The Cheetoh was intentionally bred in 2001, so is a very new breed, and this is part of the reason that the Cheetoh remains a difficult breed to find.

The Cheetoh is a very big cat and as well as looking wild, it loves to run, jump, and play in every room of the home. The breed is also talkative and makes a good companion. When the time is right, the Cheetoh will also more than happily curl up and sleep on its owner. This breed can be very loving and sweet-natured.


7. Serengeti

Serengeti kitten sitting
Image Credit: Krissi Lundgren, Shutterstock
Height: 13-16 inches
Weight: 8-15 pounds
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Character: Affectionate, energetic, vocal

The Serengeti is a hybrid breed that combines the Bengal and Oriental Shorthair breeds. The breed was established in the 1980s when conservationist Karne Sausman created a breed of cat that looked like a serval wild cat. The breed has yet to gain recognition, but there are known to be breeding programs and examples around the world.

The Serengeti is a very friendly domestic cat. They can be shy at first but will become very playful, energetic, and lively cats once they gain confidence. They will get along with the whole family and enjoy spending time with you all. Be prepared for a vocal cat with this breed, as your Serengeti will chat a lot.

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Cats That Look Like Leopards

Above, we have listed seven domestic cat breeds that look like leopards. Some of the breeds were first bred to create a wild-looking but family-loving cat. Others were initially bred by accident before breeding programs helped advance them.

Most of the cats on the list make good family pets. They may require a lot of exercise but also enjoy curling up with their owner and may even be trainable.

Additional cat breed countdowns!


Featured Image Credit: Lindasj22, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.