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What Breed Is My Cat?

May 30, 2012 · Updated May 9, 2018 · ·
  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. mani
  2. TrashCanPastel
    [​IMG] [​IMG] We have been trying to determine even part of what breed she looks like. She's extremely boisterous so we had to pet her and hold her to get her facial markings. Any idea what she looks like?
    1. Furballsmom
      Hi TrashCanPastel! As the article suggests, please post your question in the forum
      Describing Cats - What Does My Cat Look Like?.
      That is where our site members hang out, and they can provide you with advice and support. Thank you :)!
  3. PrettyBoy15
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I've been trying to figure out what kind of cat my baby boy is!!! So many people tell me he is Persian or Snowshoe Ragdoll. His mom was a black/orange calico but he must take after his dad cause his siblings came out looking like mom and he was the oddball. Can anyone take a prediction on what he may be?? I included a baby pic of him and one of him older!!
      Furballsmom purraised this.
    1. Furballsmom
  4. Merced
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Anyone know what breed my cat is
      Meme chan purraised this.
    1. Furballsmom
      Anne purraised this.
  5. Zafiqzakir
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Any idea what breed my cat is? I adopted him at spca and they weren't too sure too. They say it was early to tell and might be mix. I had alot of friends giving me different input. And maybe you can guess his breed too? P.s I even uploaded what he look like as a kitten. Had him for 5 years. Sorry if the picture aren't in order of his age. Last picture was just taken hehe
    1. Furballsmom
  6. NIKKIE18
    I got my beautiful female Nikkie when she was just a kitten from my cousin. But my cousin didn’t know the breed of her cat either. Can anyone give me help me know what type breed she could be? [​IMG]
  7. Sonyax
    [​IMG] can anyone tell what kind of cat my brother has
    1. Furballsmom
  8. Jcm
    His name is Panther and we think he is a Norwegian Forest Cat he is about 2 years old[​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. Hazeljae
    I’ve adopted my wonderful new friend Dante a year ago, but am curious as to what breed he might be. He was listed as a Russian Blue, but it doesn’t fit and I wondered if he could be part Chartreu. He’s definitely a chunky body on small legs, a lapaholic (as soon as you sit down, he’s in your lap), friendly, chirps more than mewos (though he has started to mimic my meowing at him), doesn’t mind his tummy rubbed too much, has a thick whitish undercoat and darker grey tips, sheds like crazy during Spring...a little rolly polly, but not over eating. Thanks!





    1. Furballsmom
  10. Natalie_95
    [​IMG] What kind of cat please help
    1. Furballsmom
  11. RadioactiveCat
    [​IMG] What breed is my cat? She looks like a Bombay but has bright like green eyes and a white on her tummy and chest!
    [​IMG]Next is this boy! He now has brown/green eyes and white tummy/chest :)
    1. Furballsmom
  12. TrisCatLovrr21
    What type of breed are my boys ? Both seem long haired but possibly are not the same breed definitely aren’t brothers either.
    1. Furballsmom
  13. Dadama
    What breed is our cat? We adopted a kitten from petco in November. He was the cutest of the litter and soon enough he was ajusted to our family of 5 + 4 crazy dogs. They all love each other.
    We were told he is an American short hair but honestly he looks nothing like.
    He looks grey and has yellow eyes but when he is outside the light reflects darker spots ( more like grey tabby kind)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    1. Furballsmom
  14. kailabrown384
    What breed is my cat? He is 3 and half years old. He is very energetic and outgoing. He is very territorial. He has a lot of hair from ear to paws.
      Jcm purraised this.
    1. Abbycover
      It look like a maincoon
    2. Jcm
      I have the same kind of cat
  15. SekeCats
    [​IMG] What breed is my kitten? He is 4 months old and very energetic and playful. I think he’s probably a domestic shorthair but I still wonder what tabby coat/pattern he has?
    1. Furballsmom
  16. Abbycover
    What breed is my cat
  17. Abbycover
  18. Abbycover
  19. Kiaranickel2003
    What breed is my cat?
    She is 7 months old short silky soft hair and a long tail.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  20. Kiaranickel2003
    What breed is my cat?
    He is 5 months old grey with some silver. He has very fluffy hair and a fluffy tail a bit of curly hair on his belly and a pointed nose.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  21. cat lover elena
    [​IMG] Can someone help me figure out what my cat is? I think she might be a Bombay.
    1. Jilla0729
      Looks very similar to my cat Hendo, who I think is a Bombay as well....
    2. Natalie_95
      Do you have a picture of his tail? Because my cat looks just like that but his tail is huge
  22. KittyMeowBrownie
    I have a new cat, 8 months old but I don't know what breed he is (Also his name is Lasagna
  23. Lesley72
    I got this kitten from a rescue shelter. The longer I’ve had him, the more I think he is a Turkish Angora (or mix with strong Angora traits). His personality is the sweetest I’ve ever seen. I edited out my face lol. What do you think? The black on his nose is coming off gradually. When I first got him, he looked like he scraped it and had a smudge on his head. They said he was grey when he first came in. I think he may have climbed in a car to get warm. Regardless of breed, he is gorgeous. Just really curious. I have some more pics but could only post one here. Curious what everyone thinks.
  24. Ekh92
    [​IMG] Maybe you guys can help me out. My cat recently gave birth, she is a Korat, and the father of the kittens is a Siamese. She had five kittens, one grey, identical to her, and four tuxedos. I’m curious where the black came from seeing as neither of my cats are black, the Siamese is shades of brown with white feet, and the mom is pure grey. The only markings that the tuxedos have that resembles their parents are the white feet
    1. cat lover elena
      Maybe a Russian blue?
  25. ashleyx98
    To me she looks like she could possibly be a Nebelung cat. According to google, they consider Nebelungs to be the long hair russian blue and have ghost stripes of their tabby ancestors. Which she has, she also has a pointed tail instead of the rounded off. Most Nebelungs have green eyes but can have yellow eyes which she also has. She’s 8-9 months and it will take 2 years for her coat to come all the way in. Whether she’s purebred or a mix of that, she’s beautiful and I love her all the same. I just know that the Nebelung breed is incredibly rare.
  26. ZiggyMatheson
    Hello everyone. Happy new year. We adopted our beautiful baby Blu on December 24th when she was 8 weeks. These photos are now of her on January 3rd (just over 9 weeks old)
    May I ask what type of breed she is?
    Thanks again everyone. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  27. SycamoresMom
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Hello! This is our fur baby Sycamore. He is 8 months old. We adopted him in October and he's been an amazing addition to our family!
    He was listed as a mixed domestic short hair, but I'm wondering if he might have a touch of Russian blue in him. Not only by looks but he has an amazing temperament, definitely loves hanging out with us and has a favorite human (me!), is playful but is also just as happy to sit and snuggle.
    I run a small home daycare and he is incredible with the kids, even allows the 18 month old to pet him (always supervised by me, kids and cat are not left alone). He is vocal only when he wants something, like a treat or play fetch ith his foam balls!
    I doubt he's even half RB, but I'm thinking he might have a bit in him.
    1. ashleyx98
      Looks to be a russian blue mix
  28. Novinda Pitoyo
    Anyone has idea about my cat breed?
    KIMMY has thick and silky fur, and smokey color. I thought she is Medium Persian at first, but one of my friend told me that Kimmy looks like persian-maine coon, bcs she has maine coon characters.
    Here she is...[​IMG]
  29. carlingxoxo
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I adopted this kitty just wondering if anyone had guesses for what breed she is? she's super friendly, likes water and took like zero time to adjust to her new house and family. she happily plays with our kids, dog and bunny right from the hip.. Also very noisy and doesn't crap in the litter box lol. any help there would be appreciated. she pees in it fine but poos near it not in it. oh and my husband who was skeptical about getting her because he's usually allergic to cats.. not even a sniffle!
    1. Lesley72
      Looks like a pixie bob to me.
  30. Cole&cheetah<3

    What breed is my kitty?
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