With the Highlander cat, we would like to present you with a true rarity. The quite young breed from the USA is rather rare in our latitudes. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a look at the breed, because the open-minded and intelligent velvet paws will also inspire you.
History and origin of the Highlander cat
The history of the Highlander cat dates back to 1993. At that time, breeders in the United States began crossing the Jungle Curl and Desert Lynx hybrid cat breeds. The aim was to breed a domestic cat with a “big cat look”. The name Highlander was introduced in 2005 and breeders gradually set clear breed standards.
On May 1, 2008, the newly created breed was provisionally recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA). The final recognition came in 2016 because at that time the breed was presented for the first time at a cat show and thus became known to a broad public. The breed is divided by the TICA into the Highlander Shorthair and the Highlander (for the longhair variant). Although this meant that the breed became more popular in the USA, there are only a few breeders outside of the USA who have dedicated themselves to the Highlander cat or Highlands Lynx.
Essence and Character
If you think of a wild cat because of the look, then the Highlander cats will surprise you with their nature and character traits. The velvet paws are extremely people-related and affectionate. The wild cat look is just a facade because the lovable cats will also like to be compared to dogs because they like to follow “their” people at every turn.
Curious and intelligent, the charming furry friends are also open and friendly towards visitors. Especially since the robust cats are very patient, they also get along excellently with children and bring everything that cat lovers could wish for in a family cat. Highlanders are also friendly towards other cats and living with dogs is not a problem for the patient and lovable cats, so Highlanders are not averse to playing together.
Thanks to their intelligence and urge to please “their” people, the Highlander proves to be extremely docile and enjoys learning little tricks to attract attention.
The Appearance of the Highlander Cat
When you meet a Highlander, you will be as impressed by their looks as they are by their traits and character. The breed is characterized by a muscular body, curled ears, and a short tail. Highlanders are significantly larger than the average cat. Long hind legs and large paws (often also polydactyl paws), as well as pronounced joints, attract attention. With a length of 5 to 15 cm, the thick tail of the Highlander also differs significantly from the tails of other cat breeds. Highlanders even tend to wag their tails, reminiscent of dogs.
The large, oval eyes are characteristic of the breed’s rather rectangular-looking face. Which are particularly expressive. The particularly high position of the ears, which appear luxurious, underlines the special appearance of the pedigree cats. The tips that are curled back and the noticeable hairiness of the hair underline the desired wild cat look. The look is rounded off by the wide nose and a distinctive whisker pad.
Attitude and Care
The stately Highlander cat is easy to keep because of its nature. Although the breed is not high-maintenance, Highlanders do require a high level of attention. It is particularly advisable to provide the Highlander cat with a conspecific, but the pedigree cats also get along well with dogs.
Basically, the breed is extremely robust and despite its peculiarities, no species-typical diseases are known. With appropriate care and regular preventive appointments with your trusted veterinarian, representatives of the young breed can live to be 13 to 16 years or more. The reward for good care and a loving environment is an animal roommate who fits perfectly into the family and develops a particularly close relationship with “his” people.