|Foundation bloodstock||Desert Lynx and Jungle Curl, the latter a domestic–wild hybrid|
|Other||REFR recognized, no standard|
TICA status is Preliminary New Breed, not yet eligible for championship competition.
|Feline hybrid (Felis catus × F. chaus × Prionailurus bengalensis)|
The Highlander (also known as the Highlander Shorthair, and originally as the Highland Lynx), is an experimental breed of cat. The unique appearance of the Highlander comes from the deliberate cross between the Desert Lynx and the Jungle Curl breeds, also recently developed. The latter of these has some non-domestic ancestry from two Asian small cat species, the leopard cat and jungle cat, making the Highlander nominally a feline hybrid, though its foundation stock is mostly domestic cat.
The Highlander originated as a crossbreed of the experimental Desert Lynx breed and the Jungle Curl, to add the latter's curled ears to the former. As with Desert Lynxes, they are bobtailed or short-tailed, have spotted or marbled markings, and resemble the bobcat. The Highlander has a long sloping forehead and blunt muzzle with a very wide nose. The eyes are wide-set and the ears are upright with a slight curl and a slight turn in the backward direction. Some have polydactyl paws. Highlanders have no known health problems, and are fond of water. The body is substantial and very muscular. Females can grow to between 10 and 14 pounds, and the males between 15 and 20. Despite the "big-cat look", the Highlander is a human-oriented, friendly and playful cat, and very active and confident. The Highlander displays tabby/lynx point or solid point coloration in various colors.
The Highland Lynx breed development began in 1993 as a crossbreed of the experimental Desert Lynx breed and the Jungle Curl, to add the latter's curled ears to the former. Although given a name that included "lynx", it is without any actual wild lynx (including bobcat) ancestry. Recognized by the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry under the name Highland Lynxes, the nascent breed is classified by REFR as part of the Desert Lynx breeding group, which also includes the Desert Lynx, Alpine Lynx, and Mojave Bob.
The Highlander breed refinement began in 2004, to distinguish the breed better from its foundation stock, and to seek competition status in major breed registries. The name Highlander was adopted in late 2005. Starting May 1, 2008, the breed was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) for competition in the Preliminary New Breed class, and in 2016 was moved up to Advanced New Breed. TICA divides Highlanders into two varities, under the names Highlander Shorthair (HGS) and simply Highlander (HG) for the longer-haired variation.
In January 2019, the TICA board will review the Highlander Breed Group's request to advance to a Championship Breed.
Highlander juvenile, 4 months old, with polydactyl paws.
- "Highland Lynx". Rare and Exotic Feline Registry. 2016 . Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- "Highlander". Cats 101. Season 4. Animal Planet. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Highlander". PetGuide.com. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Highlander Shorthair". TICA.org. The International Cat Association. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- "Highlander Cat Stats". Catchannel.com. Catster. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Highlander Breed Group (HG/HGS) Standard" (PDF). TICA.org. The International Cat Association. May 1, 2015 . Retrieved August 15, 2016.