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Highland Lynx Cat Facts

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highland lynx kitten lying on its back atop a fluffy white blanket

What is a Highland Lynx cat? Though their name may have you thinking that these felines are part wild cat, they are a mix of domestic breeds. Compared to most other cat breeds, which have been around for centuries, Highland Lynx cats are a relatively new breed.

Breed History

The development of this breed first began in 1993. Cat breeder, Joe Childers, created the Highland Lynx cat breed with a purpose in mind—to have a friendly, domestic cat that resembled big, wild cats. These cats were made by crossing the Desert Lynx and Jungle Curl cat breeds, resulting in the unique Highland Lynx.

These bob or short-tailed cats have curled-back ears and spotted, or bullseye marked coats.

Wanting to clear up the theory that this breed has wild cat genes, soon after the breed began, the name for these cats became more widely acknowledged as the Highlander, and on occasion, Highlander Shorthair.


The Highland Lynx personality is one of the many traits that make this breed a popular choice for pet parents. With a kind demeanor, these cats can make great additions to families of any size.

Highland Lynx are also known to get along well with children of all ages. No matter the child’s age, it’s essential that you supervise all interactions they have with your cat. It's additionally beneficial to take the time and show kids how to interact correctly with pets—no tail or ear pulling, no laying on top of them.

Though Highland Lynx are known to enjoy the company of other cats and animals in the house, it’s just as crucial to supervise all interactions between pets and to take time when first introducing them to one another.

Remember that every animal is unique, and some may warm up to their new company faster than others. If your pal is more on the persnickety side, there’s no need to worry. Some pets may just take a little more time to become comfortable around their other four-legged family members.

Before adopting a Highland Lynx cat, cat parents need to be aware of these feline’s high energy. They will require daily exercise and opportunities to run around and play. Providing them with plenty of toys, a few cat towers, and another cat to play with are all options that can help your pal burn off their excess energy.

Puzzle or brain games should also be a staple in your home if you have a Highland Lynx. These cats are intelligent, and they thrive off the opportunity to exercise their mind. Not to mention, by providing both mental and physical stimulation, you can help keep boredom at bay.

Although these cats typically have a short coat and do not shed excessively, Highland Lynx allergies can still be present for those with feline allergies. If you are unsure if you have an allergy to these animals, it is worthwhile to spend some extended time around a cat before immediately adopting one.

With a name that has ‘lynx’ in it and having been bred to resemble big cats, people naturally wonder, “How big do Highland Lynx get?” Though most definitely not the size of the cats on the African savanna, Highland Lynx are still large compared with their domestic cousins. Females average weight between 10-14 pounds and males 15-20 pounds. Though these are the typical sizes for this breed, cats are all individuals and may weigh above or below these averages.

That said, as a cat parent, it is vital that you keep an eye on your cat’s weight, ensuring that they do not reach an unhealthy number on the scale. If you ever have questions or concerns about your pal’s weight, or you are unsure what a healthy weight looks like for your cat, talk with your veterinarian for helpful advice.

highland lynx tabby cat trying to take a nap

Grooming and Care

By keeping your cat looking great, they can also feel great. First and foremost, there is coat care. Luckily, most Highland Lynx cats are low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They have a short coat that typically only needs to be brushed once a week. However, if your Highland has a longer coat, then daily brushing may be necessary to reduce hairballs and knots in their coat.

You should additionally brush your cat’s teeth a few times a week. Just be sure to use a cat-safe toothpaste and an appropriate toothbrush. Be sure to start this routine as early as possible, even the very week you bring your pal home.

On a regular basis, be sure to check your cat’s ears for signs of redness or a bad odor. If you notice either of these or that your cat is messing with their ears more than usual, it’s best to schedule an appointment with their veterinarian, as this could indicate that they have an ear infection.

To help reduce the chances of an infection forming and keep their ears squeaky clean, wipe out their ears with a cotton ball and cat ear-safe cleaning solution. Be sure not to use cotton swabs or clean into your cat’s inner ear, as this could accidentally cause pain or an injury.

Your four-legged friend will also need their nails trimmed regularly—every few weeks to roughly once a month. Though the time frame can vary per cat, you can help yours naturally wear down their nails by providing various scratching posts.

It’s no hidden secret that cats don’t always enjoy having their paws handled, but there are many techniques for you to try, plus rewarding your pal with treats is a great way to entice them. Still, if you aren’t quite ready to trim your Highland’s nails on your own, you can research local veterinarian offices and pet groomers that offer nail trimming services.

Common Health Issues

Despite Highland Lynx cats being a relatively healthy breed, they can still develop some health issues. For instance, because this breed is a mix of the Desert Lynx and Jungle Curl, the Highland may inherit some of their ancestor’s health conditions.

According to our claims data,** the top five issues that affect the Highland Lynx breed include,

  1. Ear infections
  2. Horner’s syndrome
  3. Hematuria
  4. Constipation
  5. Urinary tract infections

If you are an experienced cat parent, you may already be familiar with the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for many of the above-listed conditions. On the other hand, Horner’s syndrome is a health issue that may be foreign to cat parents.

Horner’s syndrome is a rather common neurological disorder that appears in the eyes and facial muscles. This syndrome is usually caused when the sympathetic nervous system is affected.

As a cat parent, it may be beneficial to become familiar with the typical signs for these health issues. By knowing what to keep an eye out for, you can stay on top of your cat’s health.

Once a year, your cat will additionally need to visit their veterinarian for their annual check-up. Even if your cat appears to be in perfect health, it is essential that you do not skip their yearly examination. Plus, if you notice any changes in your cat’s health or behavior, never hesitate to take them to the veterinarian’s more frequently.

Treatment for some medical conditions may require you to give your cat some pills—a task that isn’t always the easiest. Check out these helpful tips on how to give your cat a pill.

Fun Facts

By being such a new cat breed, there is much for people to still learn about this intriguing and unique breed. Some fun facts include:

  • These felines go against the stereotype of cats not liking water. Instead, Highland Lynx cats often seek out and enjoy playing in water.
  • Some Highland Lynx cats have polydactyl paws, which means they are born with more than the usual number of toes.
  • Cats of this breed can be taught numerous tricks and even how to play fetch.

There’s no denying that cats can have some odd or unusual behaviors, but it’s this quirkiness that makes us love them even more. If you’ve ever wondered what some of these mean, check out the list of 14 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained.

Highland Lynx Names

Like Shakespeare once famously wrote in “Romeo and Juliet,” “What’s in a name?” Choosing a name for your Highland Lynx is an important decision that may take some time to ponder over. To help with this decision-making process, here is a short list of literary-inspired names to draw inspiration.

  • Ichabod
  • Argos
  • Finn
  • Darcy
  • Scarlett
  • Bilbo
  • Princess Buttercup
  • Percy
  • Atticus
  • Cosette

Once you have officially become a cat parent, you won’t want to waste any time before you begin spoiling your feline friend. Check out these homemade cat treat recipes that will undoubtedly help you win over your cat’s love.

**Internal Claims Data, 2015-20
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.


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