What does my cat look like?

nightshift

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Hi! So, long story short, this lovely gal just showed up in our backyard the other day. We're in the process of figuring out what to do with her (since we have 3 other cats in the house that are not fond of newcomers), but in the meantime, I wanted to see if anyone had an idea of what she might be! I would say a simple tabby, but her temperament and big ol' nose and very long tail are throwing me off a bit.
She's the friendliest cat I've ever met, and all of my friends agree! She's definitely under a year old, but she ran up to me and started meowing and rubbing against my legs the second I saw her. She does the same to every new face she meets. She's very playful and loves grabbing and biting at loose clothing and is very trusting of anyone who gives her attention for more than 30 seconds.

It's important to note that we have NO strays in our neighborhood with the exception of her and her friend(?) that she showed up with (they look nothing alike, so we assume they aren't related). I live on very uneven terrain on a very loud and busy road with very little room for cats to roam around as all of the houses are very tightly squeezed together (I live in a small town, not a city), so we assume that she was thrown out after being birthed by a mother cat someone owns. We've taken her to the vet for a checkup and all and she has no chip or anything.

Here are some pics of her! Sorry for all the rambling, I'm just a talker :)
 

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di and bob

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What a beautiful little girl! Since there are no registration papers, she will be known as a grey tabby Domestic Short Hair. She is so friendly because she and her friend were obviously dumped by someone and is desperately trying to find a new home.....Please hang posters, get on Facebook, see if your local radio station has a giveaway-buy-sell program you can get on, and try to find her a new home. if you are buy a busy street, the future for her and her friend is probably not good. Avoid some heartache and try to find her a home, she is obviously friendly and deserving.....
 
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nightshift

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What a beautiful little girl! Since there are no registration papers, she will be known as a grey tabby Domestic Short Hair. She is so friendly because she and her friend were obviously dumped by someone and is desperately trying to find a new home.....Please hang posters, get on Facebook, see if your local radio station has a giveaway-buy-sell program you can get on, and try to find her a new home. if you are buy a busy street, the future for her and her friend is probably not good. Avoid some heartache and try to find her a home, she is obviously friendly and deserving.....
Thank you very much for the advice!! I'll be sure to let my mom know (since I am still only 17)! Only the front part of our house is busy, but we have a VERY large and even backyard with lots of grass and trees that's completely fenced in (which another point of confusion as to how she got here). From what I know she hasn't left the yard yet since she got here and has been living behind/under/inside one of our 2 sheds. I assume she has no desire to leave due to the scary outside world and the fact we play with her and give her food every day, but we're most likely going to either A. look for a new home for her or B. cave in and let her stay inside our house. Probably option B. Regardless, I'll ask around if anyone would be interested in taking her and her little (well, very large) friend :)
 
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nightshift

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She looks like a domestic shorthaired brown mackerel tabby. She's a cutie!
I assumed she'd be a tabby of some sort, just wasn't sure if she had any trace of something else that could be spotted :) Thank you very much!! She is very cute!
 

Taigaclaq

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Hi! So, long story short, this lovely gal just showed up in our backyard the other day. We're in the process of figuring out what to do with her (since we have 3 other cats in the house that are not fond of newcomers), but in the meantime, I wanted to see if anyone had an idea of what she might be! I would say a simple tabby, but her temperament and big ol' nose and very long tail are throwing me off a bit.
She's the friendliest cat I've ever met, and all of my friends agree! She's definitely under a year old, but she ran up to me and started meowing and rubbing against my legs the second I saw her. She does the same to every new face she meets. She's very playful and loves grabbing and biting at loose clothing and is very trusting of anyone who gives her attention for more than 30 seconds.

It's important to note that we have NO strays in our neighborhood with the exception of her and her friend(?) that she showed up with (they look nothing alike, so we assume they aren't related). I live on very uneven terrain on a very loud and busy road with very little room for cats to roam around as all of the houses are very tightly squeezed together (I live in a small town, not a city), so we assume that she was thrown out after being birthed by a mother cat someone owns. We've taken her to the vet for a checkup and all and she has no chip or anything.

Here are some pics of her! Sorry for all the rambling, I'm just a talker :)

Wow! what a gorgeous girl. She would be labeled as a tabby but cats are mixed with so many things based on ancestry and did you know tigers share 95.6 percent same DNA as household cats?! I have a tiger Life magazine and scientists researched that. She could be part bengal, tabby, and a mix of things. If you want to really know, try a cat dna test! Basepaws is one of them and I am thinking to do so for my two boys... they have a good number of breeds and health testing.

In regards to my first personal rescue of saving feral kitten/spaying mama, I adopted one and he honestly to me is the most beautiful and vocal out of all of them. Dad looked amazingly gorgeous and very long and tall, and mom is a domestic tux who has a long skinny body structure as well. Do you think mine could be part Egyptian Mau? People have mentioned his natural fur pattern being gorgeous and very similar! His personality is dog-like, he has the green eyes, and the body structure and personality as well, so I'm just like...YES? Because he does share a lot of dad's genetics. I am gonna do the DNA test out of curiosity because the pricing isn't too bad!
 

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Maurey

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Wow! what a gorgeous girl. She would be labeled as a tabby but cats are mixed with so many things based on ancestry and did you know tigers share 95.6 percent same DNA as household cats?! I have a tiger Life magazine and scientists researched that. She could be part bengal, tabby, and a mix of things. If you want to really know, try a cat dna test! Basepaws is one of them and I am thinking to do so for my two boys... they have a good number of breeds and health testing.

In regards to my first personal rescue of saving feral kitten/spaying mama, I adopted one and he honestly to me is the most beautiful and vocal out of all of them. Dad looked amazingly gorgeous and very long and tall, and mom is a domestic tux who has a long skinny body structure as well. Do you think mine could be part Egyptian Mau? People have mentioned his natural fur pattern being gorgeous and very similar! His personality is dog-like, he has the green eyes, and the body structure and personality as well, so I'm just like...YES? Because he does share a lot of dad's genetics. I am gonna do the DNA test out of curiosity because the pricing isn't too bad!
Gorgeous cat! I'd describe him as a black based (brown) broken mackerel tabby domestic longhair with white. Egyptian Maus are extremely rare, so they're very much not involved in the ancestry of cats in most parts of the world (though many street cats in Cairo will share features, as Maus were developed from their local landrace of cats). They're also spotted tabby, rather than broken tabby. He doesn't look to have any breed ancestry to me, nothing recent, in any case.

BasePaws is, sadly, inaccurate when it comes to testing for cat breeds. Most cats won't have any pedigree in their recent lineage, or in their lineage at all, so they essentially scew the results to make them look more interesting. You can read more about it here Review of Results / Data from 3 Cat DNA Organizations / Companies, or see a post where lutece lutece summarizes Basepaws and UC Davis' testing here Help! What breed do you think my kitty is

There's nothing wrong with testing fun, just keep in mind that Basepaws isn't accurate for breed testing, and UC Davis most likely won't show much of anything for breed, unless your cat has really recent pedigree ancestry :>
 
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nightshift

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Wow! what a gorgeous girl. She would be labeled as a tabby but cats are mixed with so many things based on ancestry and did you know tigers share 95.6 percent same DNA as household cats?! I have a tiger Life magazine and scientists researched that. She could be part bengal, tabby, and a mix of things. If you want to really know, try a cat dna test! Basepaws is one of them and I am thinking to do so for my two boys... they have a good number of breeds and health testing.

In regards to my first personal rescue of saving feral kitten/spaying mama, I adopted one and he honestly to me is the most beautiful and vocal out of all of them. Dad looked amazingly gorgeous and very long and tall, and mom is a domestic tux who has a long skinny body structure as well. Do you think mine could be part Egyptian Mau? People have mentioned his natural fur pattern being gorgeous and very similar! His personality is dog-like, he has the green eyes, and the body structure and personality as well, so I'm just like...YES? Because he does share a lot of dad's genetics. I am gonna do the DNA test out of curiosity because the pricing isn't too bad!
Oh omg!! A cat DNA test would be super cool!! I'll absolutely look to do one!! I have 3 other cats as well and am confused about the origins of 2 of them so I think that would be super fun to see what all our cats may be!!

Your kitty is so adorable! He looks very polite :) Based on his personality, it sounds like he'd get along well with my little Chip! :D I personally don't have any experience in cat identification, but good luck with figuring out what he may be :)
 

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Oh omg!! A cat DNA test would be super cool!! I'll absolutely look to do one!! I have 3 other cats as well and am confused about the origins of 2 of them so I think that would be super fun to see what all our cats may be!!
Most cats simply don't have breed ancestry, so DNA breed tests aren't useful for most cats.
  • The UC Davis Cat Ancestry test is more accurate... but because of this higher level of accuracy, it might disappoint you, because it's most likely to simply return an accurate result of "no breed match."
  • The Basepaws test will always give an interesting and fun result, but it isn't accurate. It's designed to give lots of breed matches for every cat, even when a cat has no breed ancestry at all. Basepaws doesn't claim that the results actually represent your cat's breed ancestry (if you read the small print), but most people who get the results interpret them that way anyway, because of the way the results are presented... so the test is pretty misleading.
 
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nightshift

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Most cats simply don't have breed ancestry, so DNA breed tests aren't useful for most cats.
  • The UC Davis Cat Ancestry test is more accurate... but because of this higher level of accuracy, it might disappoint you, because it's most likely to simply return an accurate result of "no breed match."
  • The Basepaws test will always give an interesting and fun result, but it isn't accurate. It's designed to give lots of breed matches for every cat, even when a cat has no breed ancestry at all. Basepaws doesn't claim that the results actually represent your cat's breed ancestry (if you read the small print), but most people who get the results interpret them that way anyway, because of the way the results are presented... so the test is pretty misleading.
Makes sense! :) I just love learning about the history behind stuff like that anyway, so even if it is disappointing it would at least be itching some curious part of my brain. Thank you for elaborating further!
 

lutece

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Wow! what a gorgeous girl. She would be labeled as a tabby but cats are mixed with so many things based on ancestry and did you know tigers share 95.6 percent same DNA as household cats?!
Most of your cat's DNA is shared with all mammals. Humans and cats share about 90% of their genes, for example. When you think about the complexity of all the anatomy and physiology that is common to different mammal species, it makes sense that most DNA would be shared. So it's not at all surprising that there would be a high percentage of shared DNA between more closely related species such as cats and tigers.
 

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Basepaws is not 100% accurate and tells you its not a breed test. I did it just for the health tests as Jetty has some health issues with his kidney's possibly and joints. So I just wanted to do it for that. The polycat is essentially ah no clue what breeds or any breeds just DHS/DLH people need to pay attention to that and the amount of percentage of the breeds. Basepaws does have limited breeds to. Jetty's results make sense. He's 47% who knows lol. 5% american shorthair well both his parents were shorthairs, his dad looked like a typical american shorthair. Siberian 2.87% yep I can see it in his tail especially, its very wispy. And his size to. MC also makes sense given his size, he'd 14 inches tall and 35 inches from head to tail. Big paws to. British shorthair, jetty has a blocky head and large eyes. Similar facial structure to abyssinians (his mom especially) so I get that and he has nice agouti fur. The savannah he has long slender legs, and on that farm there are a few cats with very spotted appearance. Now i'm not saying its all a guarantee and the percentages are very small in him but I still find value in the results. I do plan on doing my other two cats once they offer a payment plan to canadians lol. I do have his full brother so we will see how different he is to his bro. They might be brothers but only fur length is similar lol. Fynn is a bit taller, longer, bigger and thick legs, hunched look, different head type.

jettbasecamps.jpg
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mom1.jpg
probabdadrip.jpg

his parents.
 

lutece

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Basepaws is not 100% accurate and tells you its not a breed test. I did it just for the health tests as Jetty has some health issues with his kidney's possibly and joints. So I just wanted to do it for that. The polycat is essentially ah no clue what breeds or any breeds just DHS/DLH people need to pay attention to that and the amount of percentage of the breeds. Basepaws does have limited breeds to. Jetty's results make sense. He's 47% who knows lol. 5% american shorthair well both his parents were shorthairs, his dad looked like a typical american shorthair. Siberian 2.87% yep I can see it in his tail especially, its very wispy. And his size to. MC also makes sense given his size, he'd 14 inches tall and 35 inches from head to tail. Big paws to. British shorthair, jetty has a blocky head and large eyes. Similar facial structure to abyssinians (his mom especially) so I get that and he has nice agouti fur. The savannah he has long slender legs, and on that farm there are a few cats with very spotted appearance. Now i'm not saying its all a guarantee and the percentages are very small in him but I still find value in the results.
Most cat owners interpret a Basepaws report the same way you are doing here. The owner receives the result, looks at the breed matches, and assumes they are an approximation of the cat's ancestry, maybe not 100% perfect but a reasonable approximation. Then the owner tries to find an explanation for the results, by looking for features of their cat that are similar to those breeds.

So if the breed matches include Maine Coon, for example, and the cat is large in size, the owner will naturally feel that "this explains why my cat is large!" Or if the cat has tall pointed ears, or a large muzzle, or big paws, or long hair, or tabby pattern, or long whiskers, or ear tufts, or plays with water, or makes a chirping sound, etc., "My cat's ears (or paws, etc) must come from his Maine Coon heritage!"

Most random-bred cats have some feature that can be compared to a Maine Coon, whether this might be color, hair type, body size, some structural feature, or behavior. The owner will find something that explains the result, and this confirms to the owner that the result makes sense.

All Basepaws reports include a fairly extensive list of breed matches. So there is generally something in the report that can "explain" any physical or temperamental trait. Long legs? That must be from your cat's Savannah heritage. Short legs? That must be from your cat's Briitish Shorthair heritage. Massive body? That must be from your cat's Siberian heritage. Slender body? That must be from your cat's Abyssinian heritage. Cat is active and high energy? That must be from Abyssinian. Cat is mellow and low energy? That must be from British Shorthair... etc, etc.

This is definitely the most satisfying way to interpret the Basepaws report. It's a satisfying interpretation because it "tells you about your cat's heritage" and "explains" your cat's characteristics.

But what does the Basepaws report really mean?

Basepaws states on their web site that most cats do not have pedigreed breeds in their ancestry at all. The percentages given on the report are not really supposed to mean that your cat is 5.49% American Shorthair or 3.19% Savannah, etc, even though they appear that way on the report. Basepaws knows that owners wouldn't be satisfied with a report that didn't have breed matches, so they developed a report based on "similarity" of bits of DNA to other cats in the database. This way, every cat gets an interesting report with a bunch of breed matches that can be creatively interpreted by the owner.

Also, most of the DNA that Basepaws is matching doesn't have anything to do with your cat's appearance or behavior. Basepaws is matching DNA across the whole genome. Maine Coons are known for their size, but that doesn't mean that the 2.72% of your cat's DNA that Basepaws matched to a Maine Coon in their database has anything to do with size. British Shorthairs have large paws, but that doesn't mean that the 3.32% of your cat's DNA that Basepaws matched to a British Shorthair in their database has anything to do with paw size.

This is why I say that the report is misleading. It's very, VERY natural to interpret the report exactly the way you do... "The report says that my cat has some Maine Coon ancestry, and that explains his size!" This is satisfying and fun... and confirms to the owner that the Basepaws report is useful. The owner wants to buy more Basepaws tests, and recommends Basepaws to their friends. However, this is very much like reading an astrology chart... you can read nearly anything into the report you received. If you had a different cat, you would read different things into it.
 
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