The breed name, Chausie (pronounced chow-see), is actually derived from the Latin name for the Jungle Cat, felis chaus. The Jungle Cat is a distinct species of cat that dwells from the Nile Valley to the Caspian Sea. The Jungle Cat also is normally found in South Asia as far Vietnam.
The Chausie is a long legged, tall, statuesque cat that it is built for running and jumping. Like the Jungle Cat, the Chausie has a body type like that of an Olympic athlete. With an ectomorphic body type, Chausies are built with a limberness that lends a sense of grace and balance. The Chausie has a deep chest which enables them to breathe deeply so they seem to have a limitless source of energy. Like the Jungle Cat, Chausies have large, upright, preferably tufted ears. The Chausie also has a long sloping forhead and muzzle with a slightly shortened tail. Their eyes are flattened on the top with a slightly rounded bottom. Their cheekbones are exotically slanted and their temperament is predominantly domestic. Being good natured, loyal, highly intelligent, and highly trainable the Chausie is a curious playful cat that requires stimulation and companionship.
The Jungle Cat has an extensive history dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. These cats were domesticated by the Egyptians because of their easy going temperaments and adept hunting skills. Mummified Jungle Cats have been discovered in Egyptian tombs attesting to the high regard in which they were held. These magnificent cats were often mummified with their owners in formal funeral rights to accompany them in the afterlife. Some say the statues of the Goddess Bastet were modeled after the Jungle Cat and the resemblance is certainly seen in her long slender body, svelte appearance, and large ears.
Occasionally the Jungle Cat mated with domestic cats, and there have been numerous reports of hybrids from across North America to Southeast Asia, including India dating back centuries. However, the first recorded breeding of a Jungle Cat and a domestic cat was recorded in 1990. After breeders began working together, the Chausie was awarded foundation registration status in 1995 with The International Cat Association (TICA). Due to the effort of breeders and their work, the Chausie was given Championship status starting May 1, 2013.
Bred to retain their appearance to the Jungle Cat, this domestic feline is a short haired medium to large sized cat that is tall and long bodied. The Chausie has a rectangular torso, deep chest, and flat sides. The Chausie has long, angular, and high set cheekbones which are balanced out by the long muzzle. Their ears are tall, large, and set at a slightly outward angle on top of the head about two finger widths apart from the inside basis. Sometimes the top of the ears have tufts, which enhances the Chausie's slightly cougarish appearance.
There are three color-patterns that the Chausie displays. They are: brown-ticked tabby, solid black, and grizzled tabby. The brown-ticked tabby has barring on the inside of the front legs and down to the hock on the hind legs. Unique to this domestic cat, the grizzled tabby pattern is acquired from breed's ancestor, the Jungle Cat. The hair shaft is banded with a lighter coloration at the skin, akin to mouse coat, a black base coat, and alternating light bands with a black tip.
Being highly athletic and active, the Chausie is almost constantly in motion while interacting with their humans. These domestic cats are good natured and affectionate that love to play. They often develop deep bonds with their owners. Sociable in nature, Chausies love to play fetch and will often walk on a leash. This playful demeanor often lasts well into adulthood making these domestic cats intriguing companions. Due to their intelligence, Chausies need stimulation and interaction with their owners, otherwise they may not do well if left alone for long periods of time.
Given foundation registry status in 1995, Chausie breeders worked their way through the New Breed Class from May 2001 to April 2013. Due to the many efforts of Chausie breeders, as of May 1, 2013 the Chausie is the newest Championship breed in TICA.