WildNWonderful Highlanders
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About the Highlander Breed

Highlanders do not require specialized diets. They thrive on a good quality cat food. Dry or canned. Some owners prefer to do a raw diet, this isn't necessary but is very healthy for your Highlander. Dietary supplements or vitamins used with any other domestic cat may also be used with these cats. 

 General Description from the TICA web site
 Edited by Me :)
 The striking look of the Highlander 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.

Development of the breed began in 2004 with the intent of creating a domestic cat with a powerful "big cat" look. In 2005, the name Highlander was settled on and breeders focused on defining the breed and its characteristics as they worked toward championship status in TICA - one of the largest registries in the world. The cats used to develop the breed were carefully chosen from the domestic gene pool and not from any existing recognized breed. The Highlander is actually to product of the Highland Lynx. The Highland Lynx is a breed of cat registered through a registry called REFR. TICA does not recognize REFR or cats registered with REFR. Hints the "not from any recognized breed" part. REFR is a paper registry that hosts no cat shows, which is why breeders wanted to bring the cats over to TICA, but in order to do so they had to drop the "Lynx" and thus the Highlander was born. The ears are a key feature of the Highlander. TICA recognized the Highlander for competition in the Preliminary New Breed class starting May 1st, 2008.

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 Highlander has a long, sloping forehead and medium to large eyes shaped like a slightly flattened oval set on a bias that look at you with great intensity. The nose is wide with large nose leather. Together, the nose, muzzle and chin provide a boxy look to the muzzle. The chin itself is deep and strong. These features make the head appear longer than it is wide. The ears are unique: the top 1/3 has a loose curl. They are set as much on the top of the head as on the side and stand tall and open with good width at the base.
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 Highlander’s tail is an incredibly expressive element of the breed and will wag like a dog from sheer joy and signal its happiness and playfulness.

Want to know more about the Highland Lynx? Well, an east coast breeder named Joe Childress at Timberline Cattery developed the Highland Lynx in 1993 and although the name included “lynx”, these cats were not of any lynx ancestry. Some claim bob cat heritage but that isn't proven. To be honest it isn't known 100% what all was bred together to make the Highland Lynx but it is believed that the ears came from a Canadian breed of cat called the Hemingway Curl. Some believe the ears came from the American Curl with it's tightly curled ears... but the Hemingway Curl with it's looser curl is a better fit. Others say the Jungle Curl but it is believed to Hemingway Curl was used to create the Jungle Curl so... kinda the same thing. The Hemingway Curl was mixed with the Desert Lynx and... that is the Highland Lynx. Now the Desert Lynx is believed to be a Abyssinian X Chaus X American Bob Tail X Domestic Polydactyl AKA Hemingway Polys. Now, none of this is set in stone and I make no claims to be 100% correct, (although I am a woman, so just let me believe I am) but wherever these cats came from, they are here now.


The Highlander (HGS) is a medium to large shorthair domestic cat. Distinguishing features are it's sloping forehead, wide nose, blunt profile, and the loose relaxed curl to its wide based ears. The Highlander Longhair (HG) is the long hair version.

Category: All.

Division: Solid, Tortie, Tabby, Silver/Smoke.

Permissible Outcrosses: Domestic longhair/shorthair, not a member of a recognized breed.

HeadTotal of 40 points

Shape: 6 points
Wide, inverted pear shaped head withsubstantial width to muzzle.

Eyes5 points
Medium to large set far apart. Set on a slight bias. Slightly flattened oval in shape. Eye color independent of coat color except in Pointed Category. 

Ears10 points
Medium to large, wide at the base, set as much on top of the had as on the side, as erect as possible. Ears must be firm at the base, flexible at the tips. Loose relaxed curl of no more than 90 degrees, allowing the tips of the ears to be visible in a frontal view. Ear furnishing and ear tuffs are desired but not required. Kittens may have a greater degree of curl but not more than 90 degrees by adulthood.

Muzzle6 points
​Full, wide, strong with a definite break. Prominent whisker pads should make muzzle appear squared.

Chin6 points
​Strong and deep. Must align with top of jaw.

Profile3 points
​Rounded back skull, sloping forehead, change of direction at the eye ridge, may have a slight concave curve to nose. Nose, muzzle and chin form a blunt look in profile. 

Nose4 points
Wide with substantial nose leather.

BodyTotal of 40 points

Torso: 10 points
Medium to large in size with noticeable depth. Rectangular in shape. Straight back with hips higher than shoulders. Overall muscled, athletic appearance. Males are proportionally larger than females. 

Legs2.5 points
​Medium in length, back legs longer than front.

Feet2.5 points
​Medium to large, rounded with large knuckles. Longhair (HD) must have toe tufts.

Tail10 points
​Short and thick. Bone length must be a minimum of 1 inch in adults with proportional length in kittens. Should not extend past the hock. Kinks and curls are allowed. 

Boning8 points
​Moderately heavy and substantial.

Musculature7 points
Highlander cats have a natural waxy build up in their ears. It is not ear mites. Their ears can be cleaned easily by carefully using a q-tip and removing the wax. I recommend weekly ear cleaning as kittens, then decreasing the frequency as they age.  
These cats require the same veterinary care as any other domestic cat and receive the same inoculations. They also have the same life expectancy. But  we recommend not using  Ketamine Anesthesia during neutering or spaying. The use of Ketamine Anesthesia can be fatal or cause blindness. Talk to your vet before they put your Highlander under, it is in both of your best interests, I promise.
Highlanders will need a bigger litter box then most domestic cats. And we recommend a good quality litter that is low on dust. We use Dr. Elsey's Ultra Precious Cat Litter. Dust can cause upper respiratory infection and urinary tract and bladder infection. Better to spend a little more on cat litter than a lot more at the vets office.

Now if you see you cat eating litter please stop it and if it persists switch to a non clumping litter. Clumping litter when ingested can kill your Highlander!
Coat/Color/Pattern: Total of 20 points

Length6 points
(HGS) Short, dense and resilient. (HG) Longhair up to 2 1/2 inches with shaggy belly hair, longer than the rest of the coat.

Texture6 points
There will be texture variations depending upon the color of the cat. (HGS) Resilient, snapping back into place. (HG) Soft.

Pattern4 points
Tabby: All tabby patterns are allowed.
Pointed: Expression of the underlying tabby pattern is desirable.

Colors4 points


​All parts of the body in proportion.

Should reflect excellent health, good muscle tone.

Must be unchallenging.

General Description:

​The Highlander is a muscular, athletic domestic cat. Selective breeding has contributed to protecting the unique features and enhancing the bloodlines. Highlander cats come in both shorthair and longhair. Physical characteristics include a sloping forehead and wide nose, with the nose and muzzle forming a blunt look in profile. The curled ear is seen in profile as a loose, relaxed curl. The ears are wide-based, open and stand tall.

Withhold all awards

Tarnishing in silvers

Ears that are not open or wide based, ears too small or low set. Tail too long.

Ears not erect. Tail too short or docked.

Temperament must be unchallenging; any sign of definite challenge shall disqualify. The cat may exhibit fear, seek to flee, or generally complain aloud but may not threaten to harm. In accordance with Show Rules, ARTICLE SIXTEEN, the following shall be considered mandatory disqualifications: a cat that bites (216.9), a cat showing evidence of intent to deceive (216.10), adult whole male cats not having two descended testicles (216.11), cats with all or part of the tail missing , except as authorized by a board approved standard (216.12.1), cats with more than five toes on each front foot and four toes on each back foot, unless proved the result of an injury or as authorized by a board approved standard (216.12.2), visible or invisible tail faults if Board approved standard requires disqualification (216.12.4), crossed eyes if Board approved standard requires disqualification (216.12.5), total blindness (216.12.6), markedly smaller size, not in keeping with the breed (216.12.9), and depression of the sternum or unusually small diameter of the rib cage itself ( See Show Rules, ARTICLE SIXTEEN for more comprehensive rules governing penalties and disqualifications.