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What Breed Is My Cat?

May 30, 2012 · Updated May 9, 2018 · ·
Rating:
5/5,
  1. Anne
    What breed is my cat? The complete guide to finding out what breed your cat is (or at least what breed he or she looks like)
    "How do I find out what breed my cat is?"

    This has to be the number one question we get on the cat breeds forum.
    Cats come in a variety of coat lengths, colors and patterns. Add to that a unique facial structure and an exceptionally svelte or maybe rather a chubby body form, and people start wondering - is my cat a purebred or a pedigreed cat?

    The Short Answer



    Unless your cat came with official papers delineating her or his ancestors, then your cat is not a pedigreed cat of any breed. You won’t be able to show him or her in any breed category at any cat show, nor should this cat ever be part of a breeding program.

    Purebred cats can “lose their papers” and end up in a shelter, where they will later be adopted by curious new owners. That is not a likely scenario when ethical breeders make sure, through various means, that the cats leaving their cattery never end up in a shelter. However, it can happen, and all that’s left in that case is to try and say which breed the cat most resembles - it will never regain its pedigreed status, unless clearly identified (for example, using its microchip to trace the breeder).

    So, What Type of Cat Is She?



    We can start by assuming that the cat you adopted is not a purebred. However, we all like fancy terms and words, and you can still learn what the correct terms are for describing your cat's appearance.

    Judging features like facial proportions or body shape is best left for professionals, but coat length, color and pattern are usually easy enough to tell. First, you need to determine whether your cat has long or short hair. Accordingly, he or she is either a Domestic Longhair or a Domestic Shorthair, also known as a DLH and DSH, respectively.

    Then, there’s an entire spectrum of patterns and colors. Once you identify your cat’s colors from this list, you too can own a “longhair red tabby and white van” or a “shorthair cream and blue tortoiseshell” - now, doesn’t that sound fancy? It will actually be a very accurate answer to the original question, even if it does not offer an actual breed name.

    Learning the terminology that professionals use to describe cats can be fun! We have an entire article about describing cat coat colors and patterns here. Think you already know it all? Take our cat colors quiz and see how you do!

    Not sure which terms apply to your cat? By all means, post about your cat and add a few clear pictures, and we’ll try and help out on the forums!

    But Which Breed Does Your Cat Resemble?



    Here are a few popular cat breeds and some of their more prominent features. Remember, this does not mean your cat is of that breed - only that you might be able to say there’s a resemblance.

    Siamese Cats

    Short hair, blue eyes and a colorpoint coat pattern are the traits shared between traditional and modern Siamese cats. Modern Siamese also have uniquely svelte bodies and an elongated head.

    Could your cat be a Siamese cat?

    Persian Cats

    A stocky build and a very long coat constitute the typical Persian look, along with large round eyes and a short nose. Modern Persian cats have a flat face, with their nose pushed back. More about Persian Cats.

    Could your cat be a Persian cat?

    Himalayan Cats

    Himalayans, aka Himmies, share the build and coat length of the Persians, but have a pointed color pattern. More about Himalayan Cats.

    Is your cat a Himalayan?

    Maine Coon Cats

    Exceptionally large, with long silky yet dense hair and sometimes tufts on the tips of their ears, Maine Coons can come in any color and coat pattern, except for colorpoints. More about Maine Coon cats.

    Or could your cat be a Maine Coon?

    Russian Blue Cats

    The bluish gray short coat is what this breed is famous for, along with bright green eyes. There are other “blue” cat breeds such as the Korat and the Chartreux, but Russian Blues are probably better known. More about Russian Blue cats.

    Is your kitty a Russian Blue lookalike?

    The common trait here? These are all breeds that have a prominent feature - be it a certain coat pattern or color, or maybe coat length - that is not very common. That does not mean it doesn't exist among non-pedigreed domestic cats. You’ll find many “Russian Blue”, “Persian” or “Main Coon” lookalikes in shelters, all in need of a good forever home. These cats are just as beautiful and special as their purebred counterparts, just please don’t ever breed them just because they’re beautiful!

    Want to become an expert on cat breeds? Get one of these books from Amazon. They're a great starting point -



    What breed is my cat - The FAQ


    Did we mention that "what breed is my cat?" is one of the most popular questions we get on the cat forums? Here are related questions that we get asked often - and the answers to them.

    Is my cat a longhair or shorthair cat?


    When you find yourself wondering, "Which breed is my cat most like?", the first thing that you need to determine is whether your cat has long or short hair. This will help you narrow down the breeds that your cat could potentially be.

    While this seems like it would be a simple question to answer, many cat owners are unsure as to whether their cat is long-haired or short-haired. There is actually no formal definition for what constitutes "long" in a cat's coat.

    Some breeds are clearly long-haired though. Persians are probably the most well-known breed that clearly has a long-haired coat.
    Long haired Persian - Persians are clearly longhaired cats, but your cat may be a domestic longhair - read more to see

    Ragdolls are also considered long-haired -
    Ragdolls are also longhaired cats

    Even Maine Coons are counted among the longhaired breeds -
    Even Maine Coons are counted among the longhaired breeds

    And of course, your cat may be a domestic longhair - of no particular breed -
    your cat may be a domestic longhair - of no particular breed

    Genetically speaking, only cats that have two copies of the recessive longhair gene will be a longhaired cat. A cat that has one copy of the longhair gene and one of the shorthair gene will be shorthaired but still carry the longhair gene.

    Sometimes, a cat has neither a very long nor short coat, as their hair length falls somewhere in the middle. Some cats are simply medium haired! They tend to have a thick, bushy undercoat and silky hair, with a long, flowing tail. Some medium-haired cats also have a longhaired "mane" of hair on their chests. Because a cat must have two copies of the longhair gene to display any form of long coat, these cats are in fact considered part of the longhaired group and they are often known as "semi-longhaired".

    Could my shelter cat be a purebred cat?

    While purebred shelter cats are rare, they are not unheard of!

    There are a few different reasons that a purebred cat could end up in an animal shelter. Sometimes, a person purchases a purebred cat from a breeder because they like the look of a cat, but they are unaware of the unique needs, personality traits, and behaviors of that specific breed. They may discover that the cat is not a good fit for their home and take the cat to a shelter.

    Other times, backyard breeding facilities - aka kitten mills - are shut down by animal control authorities due to unfit conditions for cats. The purebred cats and kittens are often taken to shelters. There have also been situations in which cat breeders go through personal trauma (such as a death in the family), have to shut down their business, and give their cats to a shelter.

    Last, but not least, a purebred cat can get lost and end up in a shelter. These things do happen.

    I found a stray cat - can it be a purebred Maine Coon/Siamese/Persian?

    It's possible that your stray furry friend is a purebred. Like all cats, purebred cats can run away from home, get lost, or otherwise find themselves living outside of a home.

    Just like with shelter cats, it's impossible to tell for sure whether your stray is purebred without a DNA test. If you decide to take in the stray cat, your vet may be able to give you an idea of what breed of cat he or she may be. And of course, you can always ask for our members' opinion here.

    Regardless of whether or not you care about the breed of your newly found friend, it's important to take him or her to the vet to check for and treat the many health issues that cats can encounter when they are living outdoors.

    How can I tell if a cat for sale is really purebred or not?

    If it's important to you that the cat you purchase is purebred, you must purchase your cat through a registered breeder. This will ensure that your cat's history and living conditions are up to par.

    Registered breeders are also more likely to sell kittens that are neutered/spayed, microchipped, treated for parasites, and have received their first round of vaccinations.

    The breeder should provide you with registration paperwork so that you can register your kitten with an official purebred cat organization. This registration paperwork is often referred to as a "blue slip." You'll also need to submit the cat's pedigree, which will state the names and breed of the cat's parents, as well as indicate whether or not the cat was sold to be bred. If you plan on registering your cat so that you can show him or her, it's important that you keep track of every single piece of paperwork involved in the sale - everything from bills to vet records to credit card slips!

    My cat mated with a purebred cat - will the kittens look like the father or the mother?


    It can be very difficult to predict what the kittens will look like. Guessing the colors and coat patterns may be possible - but that's not necessarily related to the breed of either parent.

    The answer to the coat color question depends - among other things - on the sex of the kitten! Male and female kittens' patterns and colors are inherited differently.

    Can my cat undergo genetic testing to see which breed she is?

    When you're asking yourself, "What breed is my cat?" the next natural question to ask is whether there is a scientific test that can prove your cat's ancestry.

    The answer is yes! A variety of companies provide mail-out cat DNA testing which can tell you what breed(s) make up your cat's pedigree. It's easy to take a DNA sample from your cat. You simply swab the inside of their cheek or cut a small piece of fur (per the DNA test kit's instructions), mail it to the company, and wait for the results! Some reputable companies that provide DNA testing for cats include UC Davis Veterinary Medicine and Base Paws.

    Want to show us your cat and see what other members think? Don't leave a comment here asking about your cat.

    Instead, post a thread in our special forum titled Describing Cats - What Does My Cat Look Like? Add a photo or two and wait for replies.

    Cat breeds still on your mind? Take one of these fun quizzes -
    Quiz: Can You Identify This Cat Breed?
    Quiz: If You Were A Purebred Cat Which Breed Would You Be?



    Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

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    1 person purraised this.

Comments

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  1. Jerz79
    Our cat had a litter of 4.. needing
    Feedback on breeds if possible please!!
    And could they have different dads???
    Thanks so much..

    1st 2 pics are Gemella
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Orange kitty is Peanut Butter [​IMG]
    Next one is Fuzzy Bob
    [​IMG]

    And finally The Boogie Man
    [​IMG]
    Im full of doggy knowledge.. feline care and info is all new to me
    Thanks again!
    Merideth
    *tell me if better pics are needed
  2. Alexisbasques
    [​IMG] Can anyone tell me her breed?
  3. Tatsuh
    [​IMG] Please what breed is my cat??
  4. Magdalene111
    [​IMG]
    We just re-homed a lovey the other day. He's shy for now , maybe due to the transition. But he likes to be cuddled and touch. A quiet one, that's for sure. The previous owner mentioned he's a Siamese mixed, is medium haired, well built and has a long type of body. Just unable to identify really. I'm just wondering if you have one just like our baby here.. meet our Momo
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. mdsnxo
    Can anyone please tell me what kind of breed or coat type my cat has? Thankyou! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  6. Rocoharley
  7. Rocoharley
    Could anyone tell me what breed they think my cat is [​IMG]
  8. Reaper&Teagan
    Could my kitty be a Chinise Li Hua?[​IMG]
  9. Cats Are Best
    Mia looks like a Calico to me.;)
  10. Alisa.walker#21
    [​IMG] WHAT breed would you say my little Mia is?[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    1. Anne
      Please read the article to the very end - there's a link there to the forum where you can post the pictures and ask. Thank you!
  11. Kandy8291
    [​IMG]
    Does anyone know what kind of cat Luna is???
    [​IMG]
    1. Anne
      Please read the article to the very end - there's a link there to the forum where you can post the pictures and ask. Thank you!
  12. Sophieboatner18
    Hello Everyone,

    This is my beautiful cat Marley. She is three years old. A family friend of mine could no longer keep Marley so I took her right away. I never really thought of what kind of cat Marley is but I am not really curious. Does anyone have any ideas?
    [​IMG]
    1. Anne
      Please read the article to the very end - there's a link there to the forum where you can post the pictures and ask. Thank you!
  13. Sophieboatner18
    Hello Everyone,

    This is my beautiful cat Marley. She is three years old. A family friend of mine could no longer keep Marley so I took her right away. I never really thought of what kind of cat Marley is but I am not really curious. Does anyone have any ideas?
    [​IMG]
    1. Anne
      Please read the article to the very end - there's a link there to the forum where you can post the pictures and ask. Thank you!
  14. Ridani25
    [​IMG]

    Anyone know what breed is this?
      mister obama purraised this.
    1. Anne
      Please read the article to the very end - there's a link there to the forum where you can post the pictures and ask. Thank you!
  15. Roy77
    Can you tell me what is my cat breed
    1. Anne
      Please read the article to the very end - there's a link there to the forum where you can post pictures and ask. Thank you!
  16. nathanhorn
    Hi Everyone!

    First of all, thanks for the informative post about cat breeds and great pictures!
    I would like your help to find out what breed our cat is/might have been, we heard that it might have been a coon cat or nors forest cat. Hope your keen and cat-trained eye might help us find out a bit more about our adopted cat! Unfortunately we know very little about him, only that he loves us very much!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
      Official.buttercup purraised this.
    1. Official.buttercup
      I’m not an expert in any way, but I can definitely see Maine Coon, with the long, thick fur and ear tufts! How much does your beautiful kitty weigh?
    2. Anne
      Please read the article to the very end - there's a link there to the forum where you can post the pictures and ask. Thank you!
  17. Lildeath11
    [​IMG] Hello so I was wondering if anyone could help me figuring out my cats breed all I kind of know is that he has short hair that is grey and white
  18. annaivettec
    [​IMG] Can anyone please help me identify what kind of breed my kittie is? I pretty much took him in very young because he was left behind by his mother.... the vet calculated his age 5 weeks 5 days and that was a month ago. So he’s 11 weeks now. He had a lazy eye in the beginning but that has gotten so much better! Can’t even really tell anymore.. so if anyone has an opinion on what bread my kittie could possibly be let me know I’d love to hear it. [​IMG]
  19. annaivettec
    Can anyone please help me identify what kind of breed my kittie is? I pretty much took him in very young because he was left behind by his mother.... the vet calculated his age 5 weeks 5 days and that was a month ago. So he’s 11 weeks now. He had a lazy eye in the beginning but that has gotten so much better! Can’t even really tell anymore.. so if anyone has an opinion on what bread my kittie could possibly be let me know I’d love to hear it. [​IMG]
  20. BensonG24
    [​IMG]
    7 weeks old she's not purebred as the previous owner didn't have her cat desexed so yeah she happened so we don't know her breed
    1. Cats Are Best
      She is definitely a Tabby American Shorthair.
  21. HBS
    I'm looking into purchasing a Bengal cat and by the pictures I received I can't tell if it actually is a Bengal. Please help! (4 links to different views of the cat)







  22. Ninnerz52
    I recently adopted a small kitten. He was abandoned in my neighbor's garage. I waited a few hours to see if the mother would return. She never did. He is bow about 4 weeks old and he's doing well. I know he is a mixed breed. Basically an ally cat. But his facial features make me think he has something in there I can't place. Maybe someone could help me figure out a dominant breed? He is my profile picture
  23. liannesilano
    So I just adopted this 4 month old kitten from a local shelter. They told me she was a domestic short hair, but I don't think they were correct. She has a bushy tail and is pretty fluffy around her face and belly. I think she might be part Siberian, does anyone have any insight? She is quite playful and friendly, stays by my side all day long and I haven't noticed much shedding. In addition, I have friends who have cat allergies but she doesn't seem to bother them. I'm just curious, any insight is appreciated!
  24. Aaron Clawson
    [​IMG]
    he isn't officially mine yet but i'm getting him around today or tomorrow, i haven't asked the lady i'm getting him from what breed he is but even then she might not know so i'm just posting this incase, when i get him ill take close up pictures if it helps? His siblings are all gray and white, he was the only black and white one in the litter.
  25. Andriana papadopoulou
    My cat is 6 yrs old deaf by birth black an white long hair and everybody tells me hes big cat! I dont know what he is but i know hes not purebred ! Help me
    1. Anne
      Please post pictures in a thread in the appropriate forum. People can't help you here as it's just the comments section to an article. This is where you need to post -
      https://thecatsite.com/forums/describing-cats-what-does-my-cat-look-like.5809/
  26. Chanel Ouais
    Rescued 3 week old kitty,very talkative,playful,loving and energetic.She's white,has two colors on her head and a spot on her side both caramel and dark brown. Round face,small nose,grey eyes (round but a bit longish, very long whiskers. She seems too small for me to tell, but she might be shorthaired as much as medium long haired. My bet is medium. So can anyone tell me what she is? Or what breeds she might be mixed of? Maybe you might be able to see her there on my profile.
    1. Anne
      This is just the comments section and people aren't here to help you out.

      Please post this in a thread in the appropriate forum -
      https://thecatsite.com/forums/describing-cats-what-does-my-cat-look-like.5809/
  27. Luz.alamillo
    I would like to know about my little Frida. She has black pads. Attaching a picture.
    1. Anne
      This is just the comments section and people aren't here to help you out.

      Please post this in a thread in the appropriate forum -
      https://thecatsite.com/forums/describing-cats-what-does-my-cat-look-like.5809/
  28. Abhimanyu Hansa
    Can someone plz tell me my cats breed. I think it's persian as the breeder told me, hence feeding him persian cat food. But I am confused.
    Plz help find its exact breed so I can take appropriate care of it.
    PS: His name is LEO :)
    1. Anne
      This is just the comments section and people aren't here to help you out.

      Please post this in a thread in the appropriate forum -
      https://thecatsite.com/forums/describing-cats-what-does-my-cat-look-like.5809/
  29. Laurallk
    Kitten picture on my display piccy .Could anyone tell me if my kittens are a cross breed.
    The mother cat : her mum was a large tabby the father was a big fluffy male the lady I brought my kitten of wasn't sure on the father as it was her next door neighbours cat a pedigree and indoor cat.
    (Which sneaked out)
    Any way I know there standard moggies just want an idea really on the colour of my kittens (most be a throw back of my cats father)
    1. Anne
      Please post this in a thread in the appropriate forum -
      https://thecatsite.com/forums/describing-cats-what-does-my-cat-look-like.5809/
  30. Tokyo pandemic 123
    Very fluffy too
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