The leopard is known for his spots. In fact they are “rosettes” (hollowed out, irregular shaped spots). Therefore a domestic cat that looks like a leopard must have spots. When a domestic cat has spots which are similar to the spots of a leopard then they more or less have to be a spotted tabby cat.
Spotted tabby cats don’t have to be wild cat hybrids but it would help a domestic cat to look more like a leopard if it was a wildcat hybrid. Therefore I would choose spotted wild cat hybrid domestic cats as the ideal lookalike to the Leopard.
Below is a list of the cats that I’ve selected. Some of them are not wildcat hybrids but purely domestic cats. Also one is not a purebred cat but a random bred.
In fact, my cat, Gabriel, is a spotted tabby cat who looks a bit like the North African wildcat and, with a little imagination, also looks a little bit like a leopard. But let’s not forget that it is impossible for a domestic cat to match up to the leopard’s fantastic appearance because it isn’t just about the coat but about all other aspects of the leopard’s anatomy one of which is the simple fact that the leopard is very muscular compared to a domestic cat. The face and jaw are very strong and the muzzle quite noticeable. The legs are relatively short and convey a sense of robust power. This sort of appearance is not usually desired in the spotted domestic cats. Breeders tend to go for elegance and a refined look.
Out of interest, there is one cat, a purebred cat that is intended to look like a tiger and has been specifically bred for this reason. The cat’s name is the Toyger. You may have heard of this cat breed.
Note: you can read about these cats in detail on this website. Start here.
Bengal cat. This is the best-known wild cat hybrid. There are three types of tabby coat for this cat breed and one of them is the spotted tabby and you’ll see rosette-type spots on the Bengal. This breed qualifies well to be a leopard lookalike.
Savannah cat, a wildcat hybrid. This cat looks more like a serval because the cat’s wild cat parents are serval’s but the cat has very nice spots and is lithe and elegant. The body shape is too elegant to be a leopard and the spots are dense and not hollow.
California Spangled Cat. This is a very rare breed and you’d be hard-pressed to find a breeder. The intention was to breed a cat which looked like the wild cats to remind people about nature and that it needs protecting. This cat is not a wildcat hybrid. It has a nice spotted coat and a wild appearance.
Ashera GD. This is not a cat breed but one of the Allerca cats. It is the premium cat in their stable and is almost certainly a first filial Savannah cat.
Random bred tabby cat. As mentioned a random bred tabby cat looks somewhat like a leopard. Here is a picture of my cat. He caught a wild parakeet. Sorry but it happens.
Egyptian Mau. This is a spotted tabby cat. There is no wild blood in this cat.
Ocicat. This is a rare purebred cat. It is not a wildcat hybrid. It is intended to look like a wildcat.
Safari cat. This is an extremely rare wildcat hybrid.
Serengeti cat. This is another non-wildcat hybrid. Once again, the intention is for the cat to look or have hints of the wild in him or her.
Bagral cat. This is a very rare wildcat hybrid. Its wild cat ancestor is the fishing cat. On the domestic side its ancestor is a spotted tabby cat.
Mokave Jag cat. This is a wildcat hybrid. It is a large cat. The concept, as you can see in the name, is to create a cat with a hint of the jaguar wildcat in him/her. The jaguar is very similar to the Leopard and many people mistake one for the other. This cat therefore qualifies quite nicely to be a domestic cat that looks like the leopard.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.