There are several unique and fascinating cat breeds that start with the letter D. Getting to know the different backgrounds, physical features, and temperaments of these D cat breeds can help you determine if one might make the perfect pet for your home. Let’s explore some of the most interesting domestic cat breeds beginning with D and dive deeper into their defining traits.
Hailing from Devonshire, England, the Devon Rex is an unusual yet lovable breed of cat. With its large upright ears, slender build, and plush curly coat, the Devon Rex is sometimes nicknamed the “pixie cat.” The Devon has a soft, velvety coat that sheds minimally and requires little grooming. These cats tend to have slender legs, delicate bodies, oversized bat-like ears, and big inquisitive eyes that give them an impish appearance. Devon Rex cats are known for their intelligence, playfulness, and affectionate personalities. They thrive when given plenty of interaction and play time. With an average lifespan of 9-15 years, the Devon Rex is often described as dog-like in its ability to learn tricks, play fetch, and even walk on a leash. Devon Rex cats maintain their kittenish nature throughout adulthood, keeping a sense of curiosity and fun their entire lives.
- Large, upright ears
- Slender build
- Soft, wavy coat that sheds minimally
- Inquisitive, impish appearance
- Intelligent, playful, affectionate personality
- Dog-like ability to learn tricks and walk on leash
- Lifespan of 9-15 years
The Devon Rex was first discovered in 1959 when a feral tomcat with a curly coat mated with a straight-haired tabby, producing a curly-coated kitten named Kirlee.
The Donskoy breed originated in Russia and stands out for its lack of fur coat, leading to a naked, wrinkly appearance. Despite often being referred to as “hairless cats,” Donskoys are not actually bald and some may grow uneven patchy fur. With an average lifespan of 12-15 years, Donskoys have affectionate, intelligent personalities that allow them to form strong bonds with their human families. They crave attention and thrive when closely involved in family life. Although low-maintenance when it comes to shedding, Donskoys still require weekly bathing and grooming to keep their skin healthy. Their warm, loyal nature helps them get along well with other pets and enjoy abundant human interaction. The Donskoy’s outgoing yet cuddly personality makes them well-suited for active households.
- Often appear hairless, may have uneven patchy fur
- Affectionate, intelligent personality
- Form strong bonds with families
- Enjoy abundant human interaction
- Lifespan of 12-15 years
The first Donskoy cat was discovered in 1987 in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. She was aptly named Varvara meaning “Barbara the Hairless.”
The Dragon Li cat traces its origins to China and boasts a spectacular brown coat marked by dramatic leopard-like spots and swirls. Often referred to as China’s “good luck cat,” this breed has existed for centuries as a revered natural landrace but has yet to gain formal breed recognition. With an average lifespan of 9-12 years, Dragon Lis have a bold, confident personality balanced by genuine affection for their families. They are active, curious cats that enjoy room to roam and explore. Having survived outdoors for generations, the Dragon Li has a rugged constitution despite its elegant appearance. These cats exhibit an exotic flair in both looks and temperament.
- Considered China’s “good luck cat”
- Confident yet affectionate personality
- Active and curious
- Ability to survive outdoors
- Exotic appearance and temperament
- Lifespan of 9-12 years
Dragon Li cats are revered in China for their mystical energy called “Dragon Energy” believed to bring good fortune.
As a hybrid breed developed in the 1990s, the Desert Lynx blends the wild beauty of its physical traits of the wild lynx. With its large upright ears, long legs, and bold facial markings, the Desert Lynx has an exotic appearance resembling a miniature cheetah. Its short, soft coat requires little maintenance. With an average lifespan of 12-15 years, Desert Lynx cats are intelligent and energetic, needing lots of interaction and stimulation. They possess an innate athleticism and ability to leap gravity-defying heights. With early socialization, these hybrids can develop an affectionate temperament despite their wild roots. The Desert Lynx is best matched with experienced cat owners able to provide proper training.
- Tall ears, long legs, exotic spots and markings
- Appearance of a miniature cheetah
- Short, low-maintenance coat
- Intelligent, energetic, needs ample stimulation
- Innate athleticism and leaping ability
- Lifespan of 12-15 years
The Desert Lynx can leap up to 10 feet high thanks to the leggy stature inherited from its wild cat ancestors.
In summary, cat breeds starting with D represent diverse appearances and personalities. From the sleek, hairless Donskoy to the sturdy, D breed cats exhibit unique looks and temperaments. The playful Devon Rex, mystical Dragon Li, and wild Desert Lynx also make engaging yet challenging companions. Those seeking an active, adventurous, or less allergenic feline may find their perfect match among these underrated D cat breeds. For the right owner, D cats can make quirky yet endearing additions to any family.