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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. Ame19922
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Hey guys, this is my black cat Stephan that I adopted from my vets office. They named him and he knows his name so I didn't change it, but his nickname is bubba that he also knows lol. I was wondering if he's at least part Bombay because he has all of the characteristics, but he has white on his chest like a tuxedo and some white on his lower stomach. He is long and muscular and very talkative. He is extremely smart. He knows that scratching on the t.v. or window will make me annoyed and get up and get him some wet cat food. He eats so much but he is extremely active and never gets fat. He is 11 pounds and doesn't look it at all. I have another cat that he terrorizes. He is constantly attacking her when he is unhappy and when I won't feed him 2 or 3 cans of cat food at a time. They always have dry food to eat, but he gets picky and won't eat it no matter what brand I try then he will get to where he will eat it. The vet says he's ok and he has all of his shots. I think he is just extremely bored a lot of times and attacks the other cat because she's a moving target. We have bought moving toys for him but he gets bored with how predictable they are. He loves it when we play with him but he wants it 24/7 and never seems to get tired or he will rest and want to get right back up and play again. Any thoughts or tips to help me?
  2. jefa8113
    Hello everyone! This is my love Scooter. We rescued her from an abusive household where she was hurt. It took us a few years until she stopped being afraid, or react defensively (but never scratching or biting none of that) when we would touch certain sits on her body, so I know she was hurt there repetidely. We have had her 8 years by now and she is the happiest, most loving , loyal, adorable family member, who can hold a conversation with us, has so much personality, like to drink water out of either our glasses or sitting on the edge of the bath tub right out of the faucet. This cat is so intelligent, she watches TV, she, when needs your attention, would sit right next to you, facing you and would tap your leg 4 times in a row and then wait, then if you don’t pay attention to her, she would repeat that until you finally look at her. I mean where in the heck did she learn that? Anyways we were told she is a Manx. She has no tail, not even the rise of the bone. How do I find out if she is a true Manx? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
      Ame19922 purraised this.
  3. Mmisetic459
    Hey guys I just adopted this super sweet kitten and I’m curious as which breeds are mixed. I’m thinking maybe Russian Blue and a white feline?

    I’m lacking in knowledge of cat breeds so I’d like to know what you think. I’ll try and post better pictures if needed

    Edit: I was told she was at least “part” Russian Blue and that she was the only white one in her litter. The others were all grey.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Nicolec
    This is my kitten Nebula. Does anyone have any ideas about what breed she could be? She has a tortie coat but seems to have a striped tail and her coat is thick and silky. She likes water, is very curious, follows me around everywhere, is very smart and likes to play catch with her ball just like a dog would do. I have never had a cat quite like her.

  5. MCK3NNA

    What breed is she? She has spots on her side and is tabby other places...bangle maybe?
  6. Kaladin
    Any idea on the breed for either of our new cats?

  7. Twysted systa
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] any ideas as to what breeds Mr Fluffy has in him.3rd pic is his summer coat it gets quite long in the winter.his fur is fine and silky and he seems to constantly shed.he is very docile and lazy and he's very affectionate. Oh and he is big and hefty Thanks
  8. Bboddis
    [​IMG] Saw this cat in a video. Just love it. Does anyone know the breed?
      Twysted systa purraised this.
    1. TheCatElaine
      Maine Coon. If this cat has a short tail, then possibly a lynx mix.
  9. mrbarryboy
    I’ve always wondered about my cats breed. I know his mom was tabby, and I always thought he was part Siamese as well. But he is missing some of the lynxpoint features.
    Similarities: Darker ears, dark ringed tail, beautiful I mean handsome markings on his face, light blue eyes.
    What differs are his legs are not striped like a lynx point Siamese. His legs and belly are very white. Pink nose and his pads on his paws are both pink and black.

    Does anyone know what breed/mix my Barry boy is?

    1. TheCatElaine
      Looks like a Domestic Short Hair Tabby and Siamese mix. Not a lynx at all.
  10. Nikkibobby
    [​IMG] I rescued a kitten and he is unlike any I have ever had. Either way I don’t care if he has bengal in him or not, just curious. He is really long, when he sits it’s different than our other cat, his fur feels like rabbit fur, he’s a hunter and will carry his toys around in his mouth all day, his eyes have some green in them, his snout looks like it puffs out a little and then there’s the makings..He is so affectionate and talkative, sleeps in bed right next to me every night. And he loves our dogs. I have attached pictures ☺️[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
      Ame19922 and Twysted systa purraised this.
    1. TheCatElaine
      Looks like he could be a Brown Tabby Bengal
    2. TheCatElaine
      Nope. Never mind. After further research, your cat is not a Bengal. He sure is cute!
  11. Annaisntperfect

    Hi, I just got this kitten. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what breed she is? I was told she was a bengal. But I need more opinions.
    1. TheCatElaine
      I just adopted a kitten yesterday and she looks like the, too! I came to this site to try and figure out what kind of cat she is. What state do you live in? We are in Texas.
    2. TheCatElaine
      Okay, I’m back with a guess for both of our kitties! I’m thinking yours is a Spotted Seal Sepia Bengal, and mine is a Marbled Seal Sepia Bengal.
  12. Jon18HD
    [​IMG] Which breed is that
  13. Lindsayhoward
    What breed is my cat?[​IMG]
  14. AnthonySensen
    What breed is this cat? We found him outside, he's very friendly and we think he's young; not a kitten but not full adult. Might be a stray, no collar and haven't gone to the vet to check for a chip.

    Here's the picture
  15. Metalhead33
    Here are my four kittens:


    Little One:




    I am most curious about the three black ones. Little One isn't biologically related to them.

    Here is their mother. I have never seen their father.
  16. Seola

    Does anyone know this breed? Im struggling between russian blue or charteux or even if shes not a pure. The first time she arrived she was not scared at all she just went straight to exploring and playing. Shes very affectionate and slim.
  17. MissMel86
    Hi everyone just wondering if you could help identify if my cat is bengal or tabby?
    Looked at all the sites but still have a bit of trouble.[​IMG] [​IMG]
    1. Coffee.The.Cat
      Looks like a toyger.
  18. Fify
    Hey, [​IMG] guys! I'm not sure where to ask this question, I'm a new member. I'll be happy if someone tells me what breed is my cat. At first I thought it's a Turkish Van, but they are mostly white with a little bit of orange and have longer fur. I searched everywhere and I still don't know the breed of my cat. I'll appreciate it if someone tells me. Thank you!
    1. TheCatElaine
      Mitted, Orange-tabby, Domestic long/medium hair. Congrats. They are cuddly and full of personality. If this feline is a male, be sure to feed him grain-free, wet cat food.
  19. 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

    And finally The Boogie Man
    Im full of doggy knowledge.. feline care and info is all new to me
    Thanks again!
    *tell me if better pics are needed
  20. Alexisbasques
    [​IMG] Can anyone tell me her breed?
  21. Tatsuh
    [​IMG] Please what breed is my cat??
  22. Magdalene111
    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]
  23. mdsnxo
    Can anyone please tell me what kind of breed or coat type my cat has? Thankyou! [​IMG]
    1. Tanya Sunshine
      I'm no expert but looks like a point lynx cat
  24. Rocoharley
  25. Rocoharley
    Could anyone tell me what breed they think my cat is [​IMG]
    1. TheCatElaine
      Tortoiseshell, domestic long hair and freaking adorable. If eyes are blue and she ends up large, she could be a ragdoll.
  26. Reaper&Teagan
    Could my kitty be a Chinise Li Hua?[​IMG]
  27. Cats Are Best
    Mia looks like a Calico to me.;)
  28. 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!
  29. Kandy8291
    Does anyone know what kind of cat Luna is???
    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!
  30. 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?
    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!
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