Ussuri History history
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 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.