Jaguarundis, Felis yaguarondi, inhabit most of South and Central America. Although not native to North America, some do live in Florida, having been introduced there in the 1940's. They weigh from six to twenty pounds. They have short legs, long tails, and small ears. They come in a ticked or tawny pattern, with the melanistic 
version being solid black. There have been no documented matings
of Jaguarundis to domestic cats, but there is some speculation that the short legs in the Jaguarundi may be caused by a similar mutation in Munchkin cats.​

The Jaguarundi Curl is bred to have a similar appearance to the Jaguarundi.
by outcrossing Highland Lynx cats to Munchkins or other short legged domestic cats. In initial crosses, the head, curled ears, and polydactyl feet of the Highland Lynx, along with the short legs and long body of the Munchkins have been incorporated into the breed. The short tail gene of the Highland Lynx has been eliminated so that the Jaguarundi Curls have a full tail like the Jaguarundi.  Since the curled ear gene is dominant, occasionally straight-eared kittens would be born, hence the Jaguarette breed.

The head is large but not round, with a full, well-developed muzzle that is almost square in appearance, with prominent whisker pads.

The ears are set wide apart, usually with feathering and tufts on the tip. The wide set eyes are large and expressive, set at an angle, with colors ranging from gold to green, with blue eyes in the snows.

The tail is long and thick. In the short-haired cats, the tail should be plush. Legs are short and powerful, attached to a long muscular body.

Jaguarettes come in all colors and patterns except particolors. Preferred patterns are solid colors or tawny (ticked) coats like the wild Jaguarundis, or spotted coats. Other patterns are sometimes occur in the breed.

The solid pattern is self explanatory.

The tawny pattern is a ticked tabby pattern marked by ticking on the body hair with various shades of the marking color and ground color, with the outer tipping being the darkest and the undercoat being the ground color. The body may exhibit a barely perceptible spotted pattern. The tail, legs, and face will have tabby pencilings. Necklace tracings will are also frequently seen.

The leopard pattern is a spotted tabby pattern. It is marked by spots of the darker color, most prominent on the sides of the body and the belly. The spots may vary in size and shape, but should be evenly distributed. Preference is given to rosette spots which are formed by a part-circle of spots around a distinctly lighter center. Contrast with ground color may not be as distinct as in some spotted breeds . A dorsal stripe runs the length of the body to the tip of the tail. The stripe is ideally composed of spots. The markings on the face and forehead are typical tabby markings, with the underside of the body having distinct spots. Legs and tail are barred. In the sepia, mink, and snow subdivisions, it is desirable for ghost leopard spots to appear on the bodies.

Jaguraundi Curls, Meerkats, and Jaguarettes are part of the Jaguarundi Curl breed group in the Rare & Exotic Feline Registry. In other words, Meerkats, Jaguarundi Curls, and Jaguarettes may be bred together.

All short legged, long-tailed kittens with curled ears are registered as Jaguarundi Curls. Those born with short legs and straight ears are Jaguarettes. All short-tailed kittens are registered as Meerkats. Those born with long legs will be referred to as non-standard in any of the respective breeds.