The Jungle Curl is an experimental hybrid between the Jungle Cat or Chausie, and and American Curl, or Hemingway Curl. The curl in this instance does not refer to the hairs of the coat, as cats with curled or kinked hair are referred to as rexed cats and if a curly haired Jungle Cat were the object the breed would be termed Jungle Rex.
The Curl refers to the out turned or "curled" ears, which may be accompanied by tufts of long hair, adding to the wild look of the cat. This comes from the American Curl, which is a short to semi-longhair with ears that curve away from face.
The chausie, recognised as a breed by TICA in 1995, is a large breed. They stand anything from 14 to 18 inches high, at the shoulders, and weight up to three times as much as smaller domestic breeds.
With the slightly higher hind quarters, long lean body frame and elongated face, the chausie is reminiscent of the cats worshipped by ancient Egyptians, the goal being to replicate the African jungle cat. Colours range from golden to black, and whilst kittens may display stripes or spots, by adulthood these patterns generally mute to a ticked coat with striping visible at paws and tail only.
Although described as a Chausie/ American Curl hybrid, breeding stock for this cross has been drawn from jungle cats and jungle cat cross breeds including Bengals with Serengetis, Egyptian Maus, Abyssinians and various domestic shorthairs.
When breeding Jungle Curls, further crosses with American Curls, bobtailed cats and polydactyls outside the breed are discouraged, but out-crosses with Jungle cats are encouraged. The tail may be the mid length of the jungle cat or the full length of the domestic cat, but shorter bobtails are being bred out. Polydactyl feet (extra toes) are preferred, and hair around the toes may be tufted, like that around the ears. The head tends more towards the rounded shape of the domestic cat than the triangular shape of it's jungle cat parentage, though it is still not round, and the large wide set eyes are angled.
Running the color gamut from silver and snow though mink, lilac, fawn, chocolate and sorrel to blue and ebony, with occasional red and cream individuals, Jungle curls sport tawny, leopard or clouded leopard patterned coats.
Whereas a male Jungle Cat could weigh anything from twenty five to forty pounds, and a domestic male cat weight in around ten pounds, a male Jungle Curl sits between the smaller Jungle cat and his domestic equivalent, weighing around seventeen pounds, although he takes up to three years to mature, so this size may not be apparent for some time. A female Jungle Curl will be around the size of the average large male domestic cat.
Jungle Curls can be registered with the Rare & Exotic Feline Registry, http://rareandexoticfelinereg.homestead.com/ although they are not yet recognized by other major cat breeders organizations.