Cat Breeds Guide

Tabby


Although there are many variations of each, the tabby pattern falls into four basic classes. A fifth includes tabby as part of another basic colour pattern, e.g. the "patched" tabby, which may be a calico or tortoiseshell cat with tabby patches (the latter is called a "torbie."

The tabby cat has a distinctive coat that features stripes, dots, or swirling patterns. Tabby colour is found in many breeds of cat, as well as among the general mixed-breed or mongrel population. The tabby usually has an "M" mark on itsThere are four tabby patterns that have been shown to be genetically distinct: mackerel, classic, spotted and ticked.

The mackerel tabby pattern has vertical, gently curving stripes on the side of the body. The stripes are narrow, and may be continuous or broken into bars and spots on the flanks and stomach. Often, an 'M' shape appears on the forehead.

Classic (or 'blotched') tabbies have a similar 'M' pattern on the head, but the body markings are different, having a whirled and swirled pattern with wider stripes that make what are referred to as "butterfly" patterns on their shoulders, and usually a bullseye or oyster pattern on the flank.

The ticked tabby pattern produces hairs with distinct bands of colour on them, breaking up the tabby patterning into a salt-and-pepper appearance. Residual ghost striping or "barring" can often be seen on the lower legs, face and belly and sometimes at the tail tip.

The spotted tabby may not be a true pattern,but a modifier that breaks up the mackerel pattern so that the stripes appear as spots; the stripes of the classic pattern may be broken into larger spots.


Persian

Persian cats are noted for their gentle temperament and their adaptability to new environments, making them ideal show cats. They are quiet and, although not shy, tend to be undemonstrative. They are quite loving and make wonderful companions.

The Persian cat has graced the show scene for more than 100 years, impressing judges and spectators with their sweet nature and long-flowing coats, which occur in multitude of colours and patterns.Persian cats can have any colour or markings including pointed, golden, tortoiseshell, blue, and tabby. Tipped varieties are known as chinchilla. point varieties are called himalayan in the United States and colourpoint persian in Europe.

Longevity of the Persian is usually between 10 and 15 years on average.

Since Persian cats have long, thick dense fur that they cannot effectively keep clean, they need regular grooming to prevent matting. To keep their fur in its best condition, they must be bathed regularly, dried carefully afterwards, and brushed thoroughly every day. An alternative is to shave the coat. Their eyes require regular cleaning to prevent crust buildup and tear staining.



Bombay

The British Bombay cat is the name given to black cats of the Asian group. It is a cat of Burmese type with a black coat, toes, nose, and copper to greenish eyes. The close lying, sleek and glossy black coat should be coloured to the roots, with little or no paling. The Bombay is a shorthair breed of domestic cat, closely related to the Burmese.

The Bombay is a muscular yet agile cat with a black coat. The heads of British Bombay cats are rounded and wide with a medium short, blunt tapered muzzle. The eyes, which are usually brown or green in colour , should be shaped like a Burmese cat (not round) and set wide, and their ears are broad, slightly rounded and medium sized and, like the eyes, set wide. The Bombay has a coat that is short, satiny and tight to the body. Bombay cats require little grooming. They have personalities like Burmese cats as they are virtually genetically the same - they are fun loving and very affectionate.


Bengal

The Bengal is a relatively new hybrid breed of cat, which exhibits the "wild" markings (such as large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly), and body structure reminiscent of the wild Asian Leopard Cat  (Prionailurus bengalensis).The Bengal cat has a desirable "wild" appearance with a gentle domestic cat temperament, provided it is separated by at least three generations from the original crossing between a domestic feline and an Asian Leopard Cat.

The name Bengal was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC), as shown above, and not from the more widely known Bengal tiger species, which is unrelated to the Bengal's ancestry.

Cornish Rex

The coat of a Cornish Rex is extremely fine and sometimes curly, the softest of any cat breed. However, their light coat means that they are best suited for indoor living in warm and dry conditions, they might get hypothermia if they stay outdoors in the winter. Their body temperature is slightly higher than most cats (102 F), and these cats tend to hang around light bulbs, the tops of computer monitors, and other warm places including laps and shoulders. Some Cornish Rexes also have a mild cheesy smell peculiar to the breed; this odour comes from scent glands in the paws.A Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat. The Cornish Rex has no hair except for down. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur or "guard hairs", which is about 5 cm long in shorthairs and 10cm+ long in longhairs; a middle layer called the "awn hairs"; and the downhair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Cornish Rexes only have the undercoat.

Some Cornish Rexes like to play fetch, race other pets, or do acrobatic jumps. The Cornish Rex is an adventurous cat and is very intelligent. It can readily adapt to new situations and will explore wherever it can go, jumping into refrigerators, examining washing machines, etc. Some humans consider its antics to be deliberately mischievous. The Rex is extremely curious, seeks out the company of people and is friendly towards other companion animals. It is a suitable pet for timid children. The Cornish Rex comes in a variety of colours: white, ginger, black, chocolate and many more.

British Shorthair

A British Shorthair can be independent and reserved but can also surprise you by acting like a little kitten - but only for a while, they do like to keep their dignity. Dignity is very important to a British Shorthair.

They do not use their voice like most breeds do. A British Shorthair will only use its voice when it is necessary and appropriate - when they are out of food or in danger, for example.

They appreciate the company of people but cannot be described as lap-cats. They like people to be around but not too overwhelming and still they seem to be able to draw all the attention they need - probably as they are so 'pretty'.

They are extremely smart and they do almost anything for a treat, as long as they do not loose their dignity, of course. British Shorthairs are very brave cats and aren't afraid of anything.

They do like their 'own people' very much and they don't mind strangers being around, as long as they only admire them from a distance and do not try to touch! It takes a while before a British Blue knows you well enough to accept stroking and petting. 

We have found all of these traits very true of a British Blue -but they are very loyal, loving cats once they get to know you.This breed comes in pale- dark shades of grey.

Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthairs are intelligent, social animals who bond very closely to their people. They are inquisitive, friendly, emotional, demanding and often quite vocal.

The Oriental Shorthair is a self-coloured (non-pointed) member of the Siamese Family. They can be found in solid colors (white, red, cream, ebony, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon, or fawn), smoke (white undercoat to any of the above except white), shaded (only the hair tips colored), parti-color (red or cream splashes on any of the above), tabby (mackerel/striped, ticked, spotted, and blotched/classic), and bi-colored (any of the above, with white). In total, there are over 300 color and pattern combinations possible.

Oriental Shorthairs have expressive, almond-shaped eyes, a wedge-shaped head with large ears that fit in the wedge of the head. Their bodies are very elegant yet muscular. When seeing an Oriental Shorthair, one would never guess them to be as solid as they are.


Abyssinian

United KingdomThe name 'Abyssinian' refers to Ethiopia but most of the stories about the origins of Abyssinians refer to Egypt. Genetic research suggests the breed originated near the cost of the Indian Ocean, where colonists may have purchased animals from wild animal traders. The breed was developed in the United Kingdom

The Abyssinian's body is of medium length, lithe, and with well-developed muscles. The legs are slender in proportion to the body, with a fine bone structure. The paws are small and oval. The Abyssinian has a fairly long tail, broad at the base and tapering to a point.

The head is broad and moderately wedge-shaped, with almond-shaped eyes that range from gold, green, hazel or copper. The nose and chin usually form a straight vertical line when viewed in profile. The Abyssinian's alert, relatively large ears are broad and cupped at the base, and moderately pointed at the tips, where tufts of hair are commonly seen. Large ear tufts are viewed as a must for show breeds. An M-shaped marking is sometimes found in the fur on the forehead. The "M" shaped marking, also referred to "frown lines", appear above an Abyssinian's eyes. They have markings, most often referred to as "mascara lines", appearing from the corners of their eyes.

The original Abyssinian coat colour is known as 'Usual' in the and as 'Ruddy' elsewhere. The coat has a warm reddish-brown base, with black ticking. The feet and the backs of the hind legs are always black.

Abyssinians are extrovert, willful and intelligent, but are usually not "lap cats", being too preoccupied with exploring and playing as they would in their natural habitat.


Turkish Van

The Turkish Van is a large, semi-longhaired cat with a swimmer's body. Ideal type should feature broad shoulders with a body that is 'top heavy', that is a cat with its center of gravity forward. The cat is moderately long and its back legs are slightly longer than its front legs but, neither the cat itself nor its legs are so long to be disproportionate. These cats are large and muscular and feature short necks. Male Vans grow to about 16 pounds (7.3 kg).) while females tend to be a bit lighter in weight, 12 to 14 lb (5.4 to 6.4 kg).) A Van will take up to 3 years to reach full maturity. Vans have been known to reach 3 ft (0.91 m).) long from nose to tip of tail

Turkish Vans are very intelligent, and will easily take over their home and owners. Vans are people cats that want to be with people wherever they go. They like to play and jump and explore anything in their reach, which is quite large. They are energetic; they play hard and sleep hard. Unusual for cat breeds, Turkish Vans love to play in the water and will join you in the tub for a dip or help you in the sink and are known as "the swimming cat." Many Vans are dedicated to fetching their particular object of interest, and many owners describe them as "dogs in a cat suit" because of their unusual personalities.

Birman

Birmans have semi-long, silky hair, a semi-cobby body and relatively small ears compared to other cat races. In order to comply with breed standards, the Birman's body should be of an eggshell colour or golden, depending on the intensity of the markings colour. The markings can be pure seal, chocolate, blue, red, lilac or cream. Tabby variations are also allowed. Tortie cats can be seal, chocolate, blue or lilac. Birmans have sapphire coloured eyes.

The Birman's coat is unusual due to the white 'gloves' on each paw. They are one of the few cat breeds in the colourpoint coat that has fingers and toes in pure white colour.

All Birmans are born white (as other colourpoint kittens are) and they start developing their colours at the age of 1 week if they have a dark colour (as seal-point) and at the age of 14 days, or more, if they have a clear colour (as lilac-point). The first part which develops the colour are the points of ears, nose and tail. The real colour is complete at two years old and after a wintry season.

Birmans have been bred for their temperament, and companionship, and they form a great affinity with their owner and their family. As all cats, they are highly intelligent creatures, and seem to take a genuine interest in whatever is taking place around them. They are also very inquisitive, and playful, particularly when young, and require plenty of stimulation and attention.


Somali

Somalis have a striking, bushy tail, which, combined with their ruddy coat, has earned them the nickname of "fox cats" in some circles. In addition to the fluffy tail, the Somali breed features a black stripe down its back, large ears, a full ruff and breeches, contributing further to the overall "foxy" look. Their coats are ticked, which is a variation on tabby markings, and some Somalis may show full tabby stripes on portions of their bodies, but this is seen as a flaw, and tabby Somalis are only sold as neutered pets.The only tabby marking on a show Somali is the traditional tabby 'M' on the middle of the forehead.

A moderate-sized cat with soft, medium-length fur and a bushy tail which has sometimes earned the cat the nickname "fox cat", also referred to as "longhaired Abyssinians", since Abyssinians are the "parent breed" of the Somali breed.

Somalis are generally quiet cats, with soft voices they don't use a great deal. Somalis are adept communicators, but don't rely on their voices to do so.

Burmese

Burmese is a small to medium sized cat with a muscular frame, heavier than it looks, and a straight back. The Burmese is not as long and slender as the Siamese, nor as heavily boned as the British Shorthair. Their paws are neat and oval shaped with slender legs and neck, which give the Burmese a distinctive elegant look. The tail is medium in length, with a slight taper to a rounded tip.

The most characteristic feature of the Burmese is their amazing coats. Their coats are short, fine, sleek and glossy, lying close to the body, and satin-like in feel and texture. Their coats are easy to care for, a simple pat is often enough to groom it.

A Burmese cat is a wonderful companion and makes an excellent pet. They adapt well in large, noisy households becoming part of the family. They are an intelligent breed with a boisterous, lively and alert nature. They are also individual, playful, fun loving, and even tempered. Burmese thrive on company, both adult, children and other pets alike.

Siamese

The Siamese cat will make noise to attract your attention and maintain it.

The bad trait about the Siamese is that it is jealous cat that will throw tantrums or fits of bad behavior whenever it feels jealous.

The breed standard of the Modern Siamese indicates an elegant, slim, stylish, flexible and well muscled body. Its head is triangular shaped, with a thin snout. The eyes are almond-shaped and oblique, the ears large and thin. It has a long neck, body and tail. The hair is short, glossy, fine, soft, tight and adhered to the body. The Siamese is characterized by its typical pointed color scheme.

Siamese are affectionate and intelligent cats, renowned for their social nature. They enjoy being with people and are sometimes described as "extroverts". As there are extrovert siamese, there also are very sensitive and nervous temperaments, which are not easily adapted to the changes of environment or to strangers. They are extremely vocal, with a loud, low-pitched voice – known as "Meezer", from which they get one of their nicknames that has been compared to the cries of a human baby, and persistent in demanding attention. They also have a great need for human companionship. Often they bond strongly to a single person. These cats are typically active and playful, even as adults.

Ocicat

Ocicats are intelligent, outgoing, and dedicated to their human families. They are adaptable to family life and will fetch, walk on a leash, and respond to your voice commands. Because of their sociable nature, Ocicats are not suited for people who are away long periods of time, but are happy in a household with other pets.

Medium to large cat with substantial bone and muscle development, and an athletic appearance. The torso is solid, hard and rather long-bodied with depth and fullness.
  Coat isShort, smooth, and satiny, in a spotted pattern with distinctive marking on the head, spine, legs and tail. The Ocicats coat comes in many colors, including tawny, chocolate, cinnamon, silver, and blue.

Tonkinese


The Tonkinese is a medium sized cat of Foreign build. The head is gently rounded with a medium wedge that is neither pointed or square. In profile there is a slight nose break sloping down to a firm chin. The ears are set wide apart and are broad based tapering to a rounded tip. The outer line of the ear follows the outline of the face down into the wedge. The eyes are more open than the Oriental shape but are not totally rounded. They slope slightly toward the nose and are set well apart. The preferred eye colour for show cats is greenish blue but they may range from green to light blue. The body is well balanced, firm and muscular and the back rises slightly from shoulders to rump. The legs are slim and well muscled, with the hind legs slightly longer than the front. The paws are neat and oval. The tail is slender and when brought along the side of the cat reaches to the shoulder.

The Tonkinese has the same affectionate, friendly nature, as it’s close relatives the Burmese and Siamese. They are very people orientated and make ideal family pets. 'Tonks' are very inquisitive and intelligent. They can be trained to do tricks and require toys and games for amusement. They love company and if they are to be left alone for long periods of time a companion is a necessity. They are quiet vocal and will chatter happily to you and follow you around. Their natural curiosity means they can often get into difficult situations and they are probably best kept in the house or a secure garden. They do not mind being housecats as long as they have a companion and plenty to amuse them.

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large but elegant breed with a semi longhair coat. The breed is slow developing and may not be mature until four years of age. The head is triangular with a strong chin. The profile is long and straight with no break in the line. The eyes are large and may be any colour regardless of the colour of the coat. The ears are set high on the head and are broad based tapering to the tip. The outside edge of the ear follows the line of the head down to the chin. The ears have tufts and long hair flowing out of the ears. The body is long, muscular and strongly built with solid bone structure. The hind legs are longer than the front legs. There are tufts of hair between the toes. The tail is long and bushy and should reach the shoulders if not the neck when brought along the side of the cat.


Norwegian Forest Cats love people and thrive on human company. They do not like to be left alone for any length of time and are very demanding of affection. They are used to an outdoor life and are well adapted to roam outside but they can be very happy as indoor cats provided they have plenty of room to move about. They are very intelligent and can be very rewarding companions as they are extremely friendly and playful.

Singapura

The Singapura is one of the smallest breeds of cats, noted for its large eyes and ears, brown ticked coat and blunt tail.

The Singapura is a moderately stocky and muscular small to medium-sized cat, with a very short and fine coat. A full grown female usually weighs 5-6 pounds while the male weighs 6-8 pounds. The large, slightly pointed and deep cupped ears together with the large almond shaped eyes are characteristics of the breed. The tail is slender, slightly shorter than the length of the body and has a blunt tip.

The breed's coat pattern is that of a ticked tabby. That is, individual hair strands have alternating sections of dark and light color, typically two dark bands separated by two light bands, with a dark color at the tip. The underside, including the chest, muzzle and chin, takes the color of the light bands.

Maine Coon

Maine Coons are generally a healthy and hardy breed and have evolved to survive the New England climate.

The most common color seen in the breed is brown tabby.

The Maine Coon is a longhaired, or medium-haired, cat. The coat is soft and silky, although texture may vary with coat color. The length is shorter on the head, and shoulders and longer on the stomach and flanks with some cats having a lion-like ruff around their neck. Minimal grooming is required for the breed, compared to other long-haired breeds, as their coat is mostly self-maintaining due to a light-density undercoat.

Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is a cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct colourpoint coat. It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat. Developed by American breeder Ann Baker, it is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. The name "Ragdoll" is derived from the tendency of individuals from the original breeding stock to go limp and relaxed when picked up.The docile and floppy nature of the Ragdoll is a characteristic thought to be passed down from the Persian and Siamese breed. There are contrary statements on whether this trait might be the result of genetic mutation..The extreme docility of some individuals have led to the myth that Ragdolls are pain-resistant. Some breeders in Britain have tried to breed away from the limpness due to concerns that extreme docility "might not be in the best interests of the cat. Breed standards describe the Ragdoll as affectionate, intelligent, relaxed in temperament, gentle and easy to handle.


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    Ragdoll

    The Ragdoll is a cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct colorpoint coat. It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat. Developed by American breeder Ann Baker, it is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. The name "Ragdoll" is derived from the tendency of individuals from the original breeding stock to go limp and relaxed when picked up.

    The docile and floppy nature of the Ragdoll is a characteristic thought to be passed down from the Persian and Siamese breed. There are contrary statements on whether this trait might be the result of genetic mutation..The extreme docility of some individuals have led to the myth that Ragdolls are pain-resistant. Some breeders in Britain have tried to breed away from the limpness due to concerns that extreme docility "might not be in the best interests of the cat.Breed standards describe the Ragdoll as affectionate, intelligent, relaxed in temperament, gentle and easy to handle.

    The Ragdoll is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds with a sturdy body, large frame and proportionate legs. A fully-grown female weighs from 8 pounds (3.6 kg) to 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Males are substantially larger, ranging from 12 pounds (5.4 kg) to 20 pounds (9.1 kg). The genes for point coloration is also responsible for the blue eyes of the Ragdoll. More intense shades of blue are favored in the show ring. Though the breed has a plush coat, this coat consists mainly of long guard hairs, while the lack of a dense undercoat results in, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association, "reduced shedding and matting.

    Ragdolls come in six different colors - seal, chocolate, flame, and the corresponding "dilutes" such as blue, lilac and cream. This also includes the tortoiseshell pattern in all colors and the three patterns. All Ragdoll kittens are born white. They have good color at 8 – 10 weeks and full color and coat at 3 – 4 years. There are three different patterns:

    • Pointed - One color darkening at the extremities (nose, ears, tail and paws)
    • Mitted - Same as pointed, but with white paws and abdomen. With or without a blaze (a white line or spot on the face), but must have a "belly stripe" (white stripe that runs from the chin to the genitals) and a white chin.
    • Bicolor — White legs, white inverted 'V' on the face, white abdomen and sometimes white patches on the back (Excessive amounts of white, or "high white," on a bicolor is known as the Van pattern, although this doesn't occur nearly as often as the other patterns)

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