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We Love Our Highland Lynx

Learn all about the Highland Lynx and associated breeds. For more information or questions, please visit our Contact Us page.

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What is a Highland Lynx Cat?


The Highland Lynx breed falls under the Desert Lynx breed group which is composed of Desert Lynx (large, straight ears), Highland Lynx (curled ears), Mohave Bobs (curly fur), and Alpine Lynx (white-only fur). Originating from two different breeds, Jungle Curl & Desert Lynx, Highland Lynx is a purebred exotic cat recognized under the Rare Exotic Feline Registry (REFR). Characterized by its' wild appearance, curled ears, polydactyl paws (more than five toes), and unique coloring, this breed is a fun-loving domesticated companion. 


Highland Lynx' facial structure is distinguishable as a well-rounded, yet square appearance with prominent whisker pads. Looks are exotic and stoic with beautifully colored eyes from blues to greens and golds. They are medium in size with a body build that is longer, larger, and more muscular than regular house cats, are accompanied by longer hind legs enabling them to run faster and jump longer distances than typical domestic cats, too. Females are slightly larger than domestic house cats ranging from 8-15 lbs while males range from 12-20 lbs at maturity of three years.


Highland Lynx cats can have one extra digit on each paw (six toes in front, five toes in back), or they can have up to nine toes on their front and/or hind paws. The more toes a cat has, the more desirable. Be careful, they are quite the trouble makers with extra digits, as they learn to grab food, open cabinets, and are quite the climbers. Some cats are born with normal 'straight' feet. Cats that are born with straight feet or ears will not breed kittens with either trait.


Highland Lynx display a wide variety of coloring including ebony, blue sorrel, fawn, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream which silvers, cameos, sepias, minks, and snows. Additionally, there are three coat patterns represented by this bread; tawny (ticked), leopard (spotted), clouded leopard (or marbled). Solid colored cats, as well as cats in classic and mackerel tabby, do sometimes occur. The breed has variations of both short hair and long hair. These cats are not hypoallergenic.


Last but not least, Highland Lynx embellish the look of the wild with their often natural short tails (NST) or bobtails. Tail lengths, too, can vary from a rumpy (1 vertibrae), NST (2-3 vertibrae or ~1 1/2 - 2"), Hock Length (~4") up to a normal length, long tail.


While this breed is not subject to any major health problems, there are few considerations to keep in mind as you care for your Highland Lynx. Due to the curl of the ear and size being generally smaller than straight eared cats, they are prone to wax buildup and it is necessary to clean your cats ears about once a week with a vet approved product such as Mal Acetic. Visit our blog on How to Clean your Cat's Ears. Additionally, due to the hybrid cats' breed, vets must avoid KETAMINE anesthesia for surgery such as spay/neuter. This could be potentially FATAL or cause BLINDNESS.


If you're looking for a loving companion, a Highland Lynx is your cat! These cats are intelligent, responsive, playful, and lovable all at the same time. They are mischievous and caring, active, confident cats. Despite their wild appearance, they are domesticated cats creating a unique bond to all humans and creatures including other cats, dogs, and, well, even goats! 

Highland Lynx ^ Highlander ^ Other Breeds

When doing research, you may get confused as to the difference between a Highland Lynx and a Highlander. The original breed was called the Highland Lynx; however, the breed itself was not recognized under The International Cat Association (TICA); therefore, was registered under REFR. In 2004, many worked together to publicize the Highland Lynx as a show cat through TICA and in order to qualify for registration under TICA, the name "Highlander", was born. Unlike Highland Lynx, Highlanders cannot have polydactyl paws to enter a show. The difference is simply that TICA enables the registration of Highlanders and does not recognize Highland Lynx as a breed whereas REFR does.

As mentioned before, Highland Lynx falls under the umbrella breed group of Desert Lynx. According to REFR, each breed shares the same body type and can be bred together. Each breed varies as follows; Desert Lynx (large, straight ears), Highland Lynx (curled ears), Mohave Bobs (curly fur), and Alpine Lynx (white-only fur). All other traits remain.

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What is a Highland Lynx?
Highland Lynx, Highlander, Desert Lynx Breed Group Info

History of Highland Lynx

In 1993, East Coast breeder, Joe Childress, first introduced a hybrid bred cat, the Highland Lynx. Chosen for its' wild and exotic appeal, the cat breed is made up of a cross between a Desert Lynx, American Curl or Jungle Curl or what also may be known as a Hemingway Curl. The Desert Lynx brings the bobtail as well as polydactyl paws and the Jungle Curl brings the curled ears into the mix.


In 2004, breeders alike worked together to refine the breed as part of TICA in order to show these beautiful cats. TICA recognizes the breed but without the polydactyl paws and through TICA, these cats are registered as Highlander whereas REFR still recognizes Highland Lynx with the polydactyl paws. 

For more information on the Highland Lynx breed, feel free to Contact Us or visit our Adopt a Kitty page for your new furry addition.

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