About Our Breed
About the Highlanders - Highland Lynx & Desert Lynx
Highlander - Cats 101 Video
The striking look of the Highlander/ Highland Lynx with its long sloping profile and loosely curled ears draws attention to this substantial cat. But it is the fun loving nature that steals hearts as it entertains you with its crazy antics. This is a cat that loves to be the center of attention and its big cat look also helps keep it front and center. The Highlander comes in both short and long hair.
Despite their "big cat" look, the Highlanders are the clowns of the cat fancy and love to play and chase. They love human company and will be there to greet you at the door or will show off to visitors. Vocally they are relatively quiet cats but physically they are high energy cats. This energy comes out in entertaining chase games and it is this energetic activity that helps build the powerful musculature that is so characteristic of this breed.
The powerful, muscular body is substantial and entrances you with the beauty of its movement. Flexible long hind legs combine with the rippling muscles developed in the torso from its active play. The feet are large and have prominent knuckles. These are big powerful looking cats with a gentle disposition. The naturally short tail ranges in length from 1 inches to hock length. It is thick and articulated, and sometimes has kinks and
curls in it. It also has a fat pad at the end. The tail is an incredibly expressive element of the breed and will wag like a dog from sheer joy and signal its happiness and playfulness.
Kittens with straight ears may be referred to as Desert Lynx while the kittens with curled ears may be registered as Highland Lynx. The curled ears of the Highland Lynx are caused by a dominate gene which both curls the ears and somewhat reduces the size of the ears. When the two breeds are bred together, the straight-eared kittens resulting from the breeding do not carry genes for curled ears. The Highland Lynx have small curled ears that are set wide apart, usually with feathering and tufts on the tip. Ears curl backwards at the tips. The degree of the curl may be slight or extreme, with the tip of the ear actually curling back and touching the back side of the ear. The gene which causes the ear to curl actually hardens the cartilage in the ear and dwarfs the ear size.
These cats are strong, muscular cats which are medium in length with longer hind legs, and toes may be tufted. The polydactyl gene (which produces extra toes) is a dominant gene which is considered a desirable trait in these cats. Some cats are polydactyl while others are not. When two polydactyl cats are bred together, some of the kittens will be polydactyl and some will have regular feet. Cats with regular feet will never throw polydactyl kittens. The males are larger than females and slower to mature. These cats come in both long and short hair. The head is large but not round, with a full, well-developed muzzle that is almost square in appearance, with prominent whisker pads. The wide set eyes are large and expressive, set at an angle, with colors ranging from gold to green, with blue eyes in the snows. The tail may come half way to the ground, or it may be lacking entirely, as in the Manx, or it may be any length in between.
Highland Lynx officially come in three coat patterns in all eumelanistic and melanistic colors--ebony, blue, sorrel, fawn, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream --including silver, cameo, sepia, mink, and snow. The coat patterns are tawny (ticked), leopard (spotted), and clouded (marble).
Development of the breed began in 2004 with the intent of creating a domestic cat with a powerful "big cat" look. The cats used to develop the breed were carefully chosen from the domestic gene pool with the origination from a Canadian Lynx and Jungle Curl. The ears are a key feature of the Highlander/ Highland Lynx.