The Ussuri is a rare natural breed of cat that originates from the region of the Amur River, Russia. It is reputed to be derived from natural hybrids with small wild cats known as "Amur Forest Cats" and "Amur Leopard Cats" (Asian Leopard cat subspecies, the same species used in the Bengal cat breed). Semi-wild Ussuris then hybridised naturally with Siberians and European/Domestic Shorthairs. This hybrid origin is based on conjecture and their appearance.
The breed is rare even in its native Russia. A translated breed standard for this and other native breeds was published in the mid 1990s, but nothing has been heard since that time and its breed status is unclear. The Ussuri's numbers are dwindling due to interbreeding with local domestic cats and, without a breeding programme to preserve the strain, it will disappear. However, some other Russian minority cat breeds such as the Donskoy and Peterbald, whose standards were published in English at the same time, are now actively bred in the USA.
The ears often have "lynx" brushes. The body is muscular, but not massive. The neck is firm but not long. The legs are medium length, muscular and in proportion with firm, rounded paws. The tail has a rounded tip (like the European Wildcat).
Color & PatternEdit
The color and modified tabby pattern is a distinctive feature of the breed. It has vertical solid or merged spots on the body with lines on the forehead and two or three bronzed lines on cheeks. There should be one or more solid or broken necklaces of bronzed tone on neck and chest.
Distinct lines are required on the legs with the upper part being of bronzed color and the lower part of ground color. The tail must be ringed and have a dark tip of ground color.
There is a dark dorsal stripe. The flank pattern consists of stripes, rings or spots on golden-brown or goldish-fawn background and bronzed buttons on the paler belly.