What is a Cheetoh cat? This is a common question, as many people do not believe it is a real cat. Or they think Cheetoh refers to a bright orange cat. Cheetohs are a designer feline breed, and there is a lot to discover about these exotic beauties.
The Cheetoh is a magnetic cat in both personality and appearance. This fun-loving feline was specifically bred to look like a wildcat but steal your heart with its gentle and affectionate temperament. Cheetoh cats are large, muscular, and highly playful. They would make a wonderful addition to an active family.
While this breed has been gaining popularity, it is still relatively new. Whether you’re a veteran cat lover or new to cat ownership, there’s still plenty to learn about this breed. Let’s discover more about breed history, temperament, care, and cost.
Cheetoh Cats are also referred to as Cheeto. They are a unique and purposeful mix of Bengal cats and Ocicats. The Cheetoh cat was first bred by a woman named Carol Drymon of Wind Haven Exotics in 2001. Inspired to create a wild-looking cat with a friendly disposition, Drymon worked with Bengal and Ocicat breeds to produce the first Cheetoh kitten.
Drymond was able to breed a cat with the distinctive markings of the Bengal—a wildcat hybrid—and the affectionate personality of the Ocicat—a fully-domesticated breed. After 18 months of selective breeding at her cattery in Vernon, Arizona, Drymond had created a friendly feline with a docile nature and the beautiful presentation of a wildcat.
While the Cheetoh cat has gained popularity thanks to its wild appearance and gentle demeanor, it’s still a relatively unrecognized breed. Neither The International Cat Association (TICA) nor the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) has recognized the Cheetoh breed on its official registry.
Personality & Temperament
If you are looking for a cuddly companion, the Cheetoh is for you! The Cheetoh is a sweet-natured lap cat. It’s a social breed, so the Cheetoh loves spending time with its family and will seek out interactions with others. This cat’s easy-going temperament makes it a perfect choice for families or multi-pet households. While they may look wild, the Cheetoh is absolutely devoted to its family. It is gentle and affectionate; however, this feline should be kept away from smaller pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, or mice. Your cat may view these animals as prey and react accordingly.
The Cheetoh cat is energetic and outgoing. They enjoy playtime and require it often. Cheetohs love to be active, and a busy home will keep this kitty happy and engaged. Consider a cat tree, climbing steps for the wall, an outdoor enclosed cat patio, or a cat exercise wheel to keep them active and engaged. Your new companion will want to be by your side all day long and will interact with visitors. Cheetoh cats may become clingy. This breed is exceptionally loving and never aloof. They are playful, confident, and friendly.
The Cheetoh is a large and muscular cat, ranging from 15 to 25 pounds. Cheetohs have triangular heads that are in proportion to their body. This cat’s hind legs are slightly longer in the back, giving Cheetohs a gait that looks like they are stalking prey. The Cheetoh’s nose is large and wide. Cheetohs have large, almond-shaped eyes and broad ears with rounded tips.
The Cheetoh coat is very short and velvety soft. It’s known for its beautiful mix of spots, rosettes, and marbling. Colors recognized include snow spotted, snow marbled, brown marbled, brown spotted, silver spotted, cinnamon spotted, and blue marbled. Large spots and rosettes are most desirable in Cheetohs. Markings around the face are greatly prized.
Adult Cheetohs range from 15 to 25 pounds, marking them among the most giant cat breeds ever developed. The Cheetoh cat is significantly larger than its parent breeds—the Bengal and Ocicat—who max out at around 15 pounds. They stand anywhere from 10 to 18 inches tall. Males of the Cheetoh breed are often larger than females.
Shedding & Hypoallergenic
While no feline is entirely hypoallergenic, the Cheetoh cat is an excellent companion for those with allergies. This cat has a very short coat and is not prone to shedding.
Cats are famously fastidious self-groomers, and the Cheetoh breed is no different. Cheetoh cats can be seen grooming themselves throughout the day regularly. Cat saliva contains a natural odor neutralizer. Grooming helps remove dirt and loose hairs and eliminate bacteria.
While your Cheetoh kitty will do an excellent job self-grooming, a little help will keep your companion’s coat looking glossy and clean. Because the Cheetoh’s coat is very short and sleek, it requires little grooming. The Cheetoh’s coat is naturally shiny and velvety. A weekly brushing will keep your companion’s coat in tip-top condition.
Trimming your cat’s nails is important to maintain good health for your furry friend. A cat’s nails can be snagged on soft surfaces, leading to the inability of the cat to retract their claws. Purchasing a quality nail trimmer will make this process easier and safer for your feline.
As your Cheetoh ages and becomes less active, it is increasingly important to maintain proper nail length. Because older cats use their nails less, they grow out, increasing the risk of their nails curving into their footpad. This is not only painful but can cause mobility issues and infections. Keeping your kitty’s nails trimmed will also lessen damage to furniture, which will benefit you both.
To brush your Cheetoh’s teeth:
- Choose a finger toothbrush or a pet toothbrush.
- Use toothpaste specifically made for pets.
- If you are having trouble with brushing, consult your veterinarian.
You should also regularly check your cat’s ears for signs of sores or infections. If your cat’s ears look inflamed, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Cheetohs do not require regular baths; however, they may need one occasionally. Make sure to always use feline-specific products to prevent skin irritation. If your cat doesn’t tolerate a bath, try a waterless bath. Foam products and wipes are available and come in handy when a bath isn’t possible.
Cheetoh cats are lovable balls of energy. They are affectionate and very intelligent. A considerable component of caring for a Cheetoh cat is finding ways to keep your furry friend active and entertained. To strengthen the bond with your kitten, expect daily playtime and cuddles. This breed prefers a lot of quality time and doesn’t like being left home alone for long periods.
As with all pets, it’s important to create a safe environment. Before introducing a curious cat to your home, make sure to “cat-proof” your space by moving any potential dangers, including household cleaners, poisonous plants, and phone cords. If you like to treat your friend with the occasional bit of human food, familiarize yourself with what foods are safe for cats.
Cheetoh cats love to play and explore. If your Cheetoh is exclusively indoors, provide plenty of options for climbing, jumping, scratching, and hiding. Pay attention to any physical or emotional changes in your cat that could signal distress.
Like all cats, the Cheetoh is an obligate carnivore. They need animal protein to be healthy and develop properly. Cats need protein from meat for growth and energy. Providing your Cheetoh with a high-protein diet is an essential nutritional component for this muscular breed. Make sure your cat is getting high-quality food from diverse sources and plenty of water. You can feed your cat wet or dry food. As long as you’re feeding your Cheetoh cat high-quality, well-balanced food, they have no other dietary or supplemental requirements.
You should feed your Cheetoh cat at set mealtimes. Free-feeding Cheetohs may lead to an overweight cat. Scheduled meals also allow you to be identified as the provider of the food, which can deepen the bond between you and your cat. If you need to place your cat on a diet, know that one study reported that cats displayed more affection than before the diet.
Make sure your buddy has access to fresh water at all times. You should change your cat’s water daily to prevent it from getting dirty or stale. A cat who eats dry food will need to drink more water. Make sure to monitor how much or how little your cat drinks to avoid dehydration. If your Cheetoh isn’t drinking enough water, try a cat fountain or slow-feeder water bowl. Not only will it help boost your cat’s water intake, but it will also be another source of entertainment.
The Cheetoh is an extremely intelligent and curious breed, making it highly trainable. This feline enjoys learning new tricks and is an excellent student. A Cheetoh kitten will learn how to use the litter box quickly. Want to teach your cat to fetch or walk on a leash? With positive reinforcement, the Cheetoh will learn in no time! This cat would be a great candidate for clicker training.
The Cheetoh cat is very clever and enjoys puzzle games. Keep them entertained with interactive toys and scheduled playtimes. Consider a puzzle feeder to keep your kitten busy while you’re away. Place several treats or pieces of dry food in the feeder, and your cat will get to work on removing the reward. This is an outstanding activity for a bored or nervous kitty to keep them occupied and stimulated.
Health & Lifespan
Cheetoh cats have a lifespan of 10-17 years. They are considered a healthy breed. No serious health conditions are associated with the breed directly; however, sensitivity to anesthetics, eye disease, and heart disease may be inherited. If you choose a Cheetoh as your companion pet, you should also be aware that this breed may also develop luxating patella, a minor condition where the kneecap dislocates. Contact your veterinarian if you notice a skip in your cat’s step or an unusual gait.
Getting pet insurance at a young age is a helpful way to ensure any health emergencies are financially under control since younger pets tend to have fewer pre-existing conditions that are excluded from coverage.
Because Cheetoh cats are a relatively new and rare breed, it’s unlikely that you will find one available for adoption at a rescue organization. On average, you can expect to pay around $800 to purchase a Cheetoh from a breeder. If you are looking for a Cheetoh kitten with a proven lineage, expect to pay no less than $1,200.
Prospective owners can start by looking for specialty breeders, including the original breeders at Wind Haven Exotics. Checking with Bengal breeders and rescue groups is another solid place to start your search for the perfect Cheetoh kitten.
As Family Pets
While some cats gravitate toward just one person, a Cheetoh cat may develop strong relationships with multiple family members. They make a wonderful addition to families. A Cheetoh kitty will crave non-stop attention and hate being home alone. Because of their gentle nature, most families with small children can safely bring the Cheetoh cat into their homes. Give your Cheetoh ample attention, and you will have one happy cat! Cheetohs also socialize well with other cats and dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Cheetoh cat cost?
On average, a Cheetoh cat costs $800 but can cost as much as several thousand. The price will fluctuate depending on breeder availability and location. The time of year also impacts kitten availability and demand. Owners can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to over $2,000 for a high-quality kitten from healthy bloodlines.
Do Cheetoh cats shed?
Cheetoh cats shed minimally. They have very short coats and require minimal grooming. All cat breeds, except true hairless kitties like the Sphynx, shed to some degree. Expect periods of higher shedding to occur as the temperatures warm and cool with the seasons.
Are Cheetoh cats the same as Bengals?
No, but they are related. Cheetohs are a mix of Bengals and Ocicats. The blend of genetics creates the gentle, exotic-looking mix known as the Cheetoh.
Is the Cheetoh a wild cat?
No, Cheetohs are not considered wild cats. They have hybrid roots as the Bengal is a mix between a wild Asian leopard cat and a domestic feline. Cheetohs, though, are far removed from these wild roots and are not considered wild.
Despite looking like it arrived straight from the jungle, the Cheetoh cat is a friendly, gentle breed that would make a great choice for a family pet. These cats are loving, playful, and intelligent. They crave regular interaction and would be an excellent fit for a large family or multi-pet household. With lots of cuddles and regular play, you and your Cheetoh cat will have many companionable years to come.