Chausies are one of the oldest naturally occurring breeds. The first hybrids of the Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and a domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) may have been born in Egypt several thousand years ago. The jungle cat is native to a vast region spanning Southeast Asia, India and the Middle east. For the most part, it is an Asian species of wild cat that lives by rivers and lakes (giving it the nickname Reed Cat as it thrives in the rives of deltas including the Nile Delta in North Africa).
A few people experimented with breeding F. chaus to F. s. catus in the late 1960s and 1970s. Their intention was to provide a sensible alternative to keeping non-domestic cats as pets. However, the Chausie breed did not truly begin until the 1990s, when a dedicated group of breeders named the breed "Chausie" (after Felis chaus) and developed a planned breeding program and goals. These breeders asked for and received registration status from TICA in 1995. The breed became TICA's newest Championship breed on May 1, 2013. Chausies are now being bred in both North America and Europe. The breed has begun the new breed recognition process in the World Cat Federation (WCF).
The Chausie should resemble its non-domestic ancestor, Felis chaus. Accordingly, the Chausie is a tall, long-legged, lean and supple cat. It is built for running and jumping over water, reed beds, and other obstacle-filled terrain. Like a basketball player or an Olympic long jumper, the Chausie is ectomorphic, with musculature and lanky body low on bulk, built with the limberness and reach for a log stride and lightning pounce The breed has a deep chest for lung capacity, but flat sides for light weight and flexibility. Like Felis chaus, Chausies have large, upright, preferably tufted ears, a long forehead and muzzle, and a slightly short tail. The eyes are flattened above and rounded below, above exotically slanting high cheekbones.
The tail may range from 3/4 to full length, with slightly shorter than a normal length tail being the preference.
Length: Short to medium, with enough length to accommodate at least two bands of ticking.
Texture: A dense, soft undercoat with a somewhat resilient, slightly coarser outer coat. Solid black may feel softer. Black grizzled cats may feel coarser in proportion to the amount of grizzling present.
Black: Solid black.
Black Grizzled Ticked Tabby : A pattern acquired from the breed’s Jungle Cat ancestry. The pattern is a dominant trait that may be caused by a mutation at the agouti locus or extension locus. The hair shaft is banded with lighter coloration at the skin (akin to mouse coat) alternating dark and lighter bands of ticking and ending with a dark tip.
Brown Ticked Tabby: Mouse gray color next to the skin with sandy gray to reddish gold base coat. The coat will have two or three bands of dark ticking. Tabby barring is preferred on the tail, upper inside front legs and to the hock on the back legs. The neck may or may not have necklaces. The backs of the ears will have thumbprint markings of a lighter color. Off-white color should outline the eyes and muzzle. The underside will range in color from off-white to sandy-gold. Some flecking or speckling may occur on the stomach. The nose leather is brick with a dark outline. Paw pads may be black, black with rosy tones, pink or any combination of these. Allow for faint tabby markings on body of kittens up to one year old.
Nose leather is brick with a dark outline except on black grizzled in which it is always solid black. Paw pads may be solid black, black with rosy tones, pink or any combination of these.
Head Shape: Modified wedge, medium in width from frontal view. High, angular, long cheekbones create a change of direction at the muzzle. The long muzzle balances the cheekbones and ends in smooth, full contours, a full chin and puffy nose leather.
Eyes: Medium to slightly small in size. Bottom is a half oval that slants toward the outer base of the ear. Top is a markedly flattened, horizontal half oval. Gold or yellow eye color preferred, hazel to light green allowed.
Profile: Long, sloping forehead ends in a gradual, slight convex bend over the eyebrows. Just above the eyes, the profile descends in a gentle concave curve to below the eyes. The nose rises near its end to form a slight bump above the convex nose leather.
Ears: Tall, large ears are set at a slight outward angle on top of head, about two fingers apart between the inside bases. The ears are fairly wide all the way up with rounded ear tips. Ear tufts preferred; lack of tufts not a penalty. Neck: The neck is of medium length and thickness. Muzzle: Long to balance the cheekbones, ending in full slightly rounded contours, full chin and puffy nose leather. Chin: Full, both in profile and frontal view, and of medium depth. Nose: Medium to wide, slightly broader between the eyes. Nose leather is convex and full.
Torso: Long, lean, flat-sided and deep chested. The large rectangular body is firm, but not broad or bulky. Legs: Long, with medium boning.
Feet: The feet are medium in size and oval in shape.
Tail: Slightly short, medium width, with slight taper and fully articulated. Musculature: Long and lean rather than bulky.
Boning: Long legs with medium boning that complement a deep chested torso of medium width.