15 Dangerous Cat Breeds (2023) & How to Handle Them I Discerning Cat
Anyone who’s ever owned a cat knows they can have a wild side. Typically, this behavior is just brushed aside as being playful, especially because most cats have a cute and cuddly appearance. This automatically disqualifies them from being dangerous.
However, even the domesticated family house cat is descended from wildcats. Although they’ve mostly diverged from their wild roots, this isn’t always the case. And it’s more apparent in some breeds than others.
It’s time to look closely at the most dangerous cat breeds.
15 Dangerous Cat Breeds
Before we examine the most dangerous and meanest cat breeds, keep in mind that the behavior of domesticated breeds can be circumstantial. Some cats are more prone to aggressive behavior only if their needs aren’t being met.
In some cases, they’re only dangerous to other animals and strangers, and not necessarily their families. In other cases, these breeds are labeled dangerous based solely on their appearance.
The Savannah cat is a hybrid breed; it’s a cross between a serval (wild cat) and a domestic cat. Most offspring are large and lanky with athletic bodies and spotted coats. Usually, this breed’s temperament is playful, adventurous, and loyal.
These cats are not inherently aggressive; however, if they feel threatened, they can display aggressive tendencies. If they get bored, they are more prone to destructive behavior.
They have wildcat genes, and therefore, they can have strong hunting instincts. For this reason, they can be a dangerous cat breed to have around other household pets, including rodents, fish, and birds.
Some cat lovers might be surprised to find Siamese cats listed as one of the most dangerous cat breeds. However, this is circumstantial. If a Siamese cat is in a safe and comfortable environment and given enough attention and playtime, they are generally affectionate and loving.
But if their needs aren’t met, they are more prone to behavior problems and acting out. Siamese cats are also more territorial than other breeds. Things like stress and anxiety may cause them to bite.
As long as you can create a stimulating home environment for them that includes plenty of affection and cat toys, you shouldn’t have to worry about this breed acting out in harmful ways.
The Sphynx breed is characterized by a hairless body. Typically, they’re known as affectionate, loving, and loyal pets. However, this is more so the case when all of their needs are being met. They can be needy pets who demand attention in the form of petting, playtime, and cuddles.
This bald breed is known for displaying extroverted behavior; they’re also naturally curious and have lots of energy. They need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent them from destructive behavior. For this reason, they require extra attention from cat owners. If they don’t get what they want, they can act out.
The Bengal cat is a domesticated breed created by mixing the Asian leopard cat with domestic shorthair cats, especially the spotted Egyptian Mau. This breed is known for being affectionate, loyal, and alert.
However, their wild roots can come out during playtime or when they want your attention. Bengals are highly active and intelligent. They enjoy playing in the water, climbing up cat trees, and learning tricks. They have strong hunting instincts and shouldn’t be trusted next to small animals like birds, hamsters, and rabbits.
They’re also not typically a cuddly cat breed, and if you try to pick them up or snuggle them against their will, their claws could come out.
Bengal cats are banned in several US states and cities, including Seattle, Connecticut, Hawaii, and New York.
The Chausie is a fairly new breed of domestic cat, having only been recognized in 1995. They were created by breeding the non-domestic jungle cat species with a greater number of domestic cat breeds.
The large and athletic Chausie has a well-balanced body with a long, lean build, a deep chest, and large tufted ears. They are one of the largest domesticated cats and can weigh up to 25 pounds and reach 22 inches in length.
Chausies have a lot of energy. They love to play and be active, and they’re even known for acting like rambunctious kitties well into adulthood.
Although they make affectionate and loyal family pets, according to several cat breed sources, they should not be trusted around small children. Their style of play can be too dangerous for little kids who don’t know how to handle animals properly yet.
The Somali is a semi-long-haired cat breed with a playful nature. They especially love to play with their human’s hair, including beards and mustaches. Some breeds/owners joke that they have a “hairdresser gene.” Although this isn’t meant to cause harm, having a Somali’s claws swipe so close to someone’s face can be problematic.
These cats do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They have a strong desire to interact and do better in families with multiple people or multiple cats.
If they’re not given proper attention, they can display attention-seeking behavior, like lashing out at their humans, destructive behavior around the house, or other mischievous conduct.
7. American Wirehair
The American Wirehair is a powerful medium-sized cat breed with a muscular, well-rounded body. They have a broad chest, thick legs, a strong neck, and a powerful jaw.
Although this breed relishes attention from its owner, they prefer to be on their own terms. They usually don’t like to be picked up or carried, and if they choose to cuddle close to you, they typically prefer to be next to you rather than on top of you.
American Wirehairs are independent cats who will tolerate being left alone. They like to do their own thing and don’t need constant human interaction. They do well in single-family homes but can also live with multiple people as long as they have a space of their own to retire to when they need some downtime.
8. Tortoiseshell Colored Cat Breeds
Tortoiseshell is not a cat breed but rather a cat coat coloring. It’s named for its similarity to the appearance of a tortoise shell. Some cat breeds that can display the tortoiseshell color include American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Ragamuffin, Persian, and Maine Coon.
Several studies, including this one from Johnson City Press, have found that cats with tortoiseshell coat patterns are more prone to displaying aggression and challenging behaviors than other domesticated felines. And kittens are more likely to hiss, swat, scratch, and bite during interactions with humans.
The Pixie-Bob breed is mostly labeled a dangerous cat because of its appearance. They resemble Bobcats, although DNA testing does not detect any of these wild cats’ genes in their makeup.
These large and sturdy exotic-looking cats enjoy playtime and cuddle time with their owners. They have bold personalities and aren’t afraid to be vocal and speak their mind. They can make chirping, chattering, or growling sounds.
Pixie-Bobs do well in almost any setting. They make great family cats, and they also do well with other cats, most dogs, and strangers.
10. Egyptian Mau
Egyptian Maus are a rare breed that’s small to medium in size. They have short hair and are one of the few naturally spotted domesticated cat breeds. These felines have strong and muscular bodies. They like to be active and should be given plenty of opportunities for exercise each day.
As long as they’re properly socialized at a young age, Egyptian Maus are loving and affectionate. However, if they’re not introduced to other cats and dogs when they’re kittens, they can display aggression toward them.
They tend to be friendly with all members of their family, but they typically form a very close bond with just one person.
Ocicats are named for their resemblance to the wild Ocelot cat. Although they look similar to this wild cat, they share no DNA. Ocicats were created by breeding Siamese, American Shorthair, and Abyssinian.
Even though they might look like wild animals, they’re generally friendly, playful, and curious. In this case, their dangerous reputation is due to their appearance and not their actions.
Like most cats, Ocicats need to receive daily enrichment. As long as their needs are being met, they typically don’t show aggression towards people or other animals.
The Bombay cat was developed by breeding sable Burmese and black American Shorthairs.
They have short hair, stocky bodies, and heavy boning. Most of their features are round, including their head, the tips of their ears, and their eyes.
Bombay’s have a glossy black coat that makes them look like mini panthers. Although they tend to be rather lively and playful, this is another breed that is considered dangerous based solely on their looks.
These black cats can play rough, but it’s usually all in good fun. If they get bored, they can resort to destructive behavior, but as long as they’re kept occupied with interactive cat toys and exercise, they make loveable family pets.
In terms of appearance, Lykoi cats are one of the weirdest cat breeds. With a wedge-shaped head, large ears, piercing gold eyes, and a slightly silver-colored coat, they bear a striking resemblance to a werewolf.
As frightening as they may look, Lykoi is actually rather sweet. They’re affectionate, playful, and even-tempered. They can be more reserved around strangers, but around their family, they’re lovable lap cats.
Although the Donskoy breed looks similar to a Sphynx, they share no DNA. However, both breeds have the gene that’s responsible for hairlessness. Their appearance doesn’t do them any favors. Having a bald body makes them look more intimidating than they actually are.
Donskoys are more dangerous to other cats than to humans. They have a selective attitude toward other felines, and they’re known to act aggressively without warning. This can range from hissing and snarling to biting or swiping at them.
15. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds are one of the most expensive cat breeds. They’re known for their characteristic folded ears — hence the name. This is another cat that isn’t normally dangerous — as long as they get its way.
They can be temperamental, and it’s not uncommon for them to form a close bond with only one family member. They’re generally sensitive to change and can display aggression when new cats or dogs are introduced to the home. To put it bluntly, they don’t like to share attention.
If they’re raised with other pets from an early age, they’ll be more accepting of them.
Dangerous Cat Breeds | Final Thoughts
There you have it, the most dangerous cat breeds. But just a reminder, every cat is different and has its own personality. It’s completely possible to own a cat on this list that’s sweet, cuddly, and non-aggressive.
Hopefully, this information has taught you a bit more about cat behavior. And just remember, as long as you properly care for your feline friends, their wild and potentially dangerous side shouldn’t come out.
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