Cat Breeds

Cat Breeds and Different Types of Cats and Felines

From the earliest history of cats dating over 9,500 years, they have often figured alongside man and been a popular subject of many legends. Breeding by themselves, cats were mainly used for hunting down and killing rodents.

With the progress of time and human intervention, hybridization took place in different parts of the world giving rise to many different cat breeds that became country specific, beginning from naturally occurring domestic breeds that were native to a particular geographic region.  Careful breeding over several generations have brought about seventy distinctive cat breeds though only about forty types of cats of these domestic  breeds are internationally recognized. Categorized into two major categories; the short haired and the long haired, they are found in a variety of cat breeds often specific to a country or region.  This is evident in the combination colors, pattern of coat, shape of head, and length of hair, folding of ears and bobbed tails or tailless cats as the Munchkin cat.

Some cat breeds are variations of a particular breed of cat as seen in the Balinese cat which is just a variation of the longer haired version of the Siamese cat.

Historically some cat breeds have basically remained unchanged in their physical shapes and appearance for over a thousand years, as can be traced in the Japanese Bobtail, and as evident in ancient Egyptian paintings of the Egyptian Mau.

The Persian cat and Siamese cat are the commoner breeds found all over the world. Persians being the oldest cat breed are often not pedigreed and these types of cats are referred to as domestic long hairs. They make good specimens for cat shows and are good companions. They are quiet and come in different color forms. Siamese cats on the other hand are raspy voiced attention seekers, very communicative and intelligent. They are very affectionate and love to be stroked. With short hair lying close to their skin they are athletic and slim in form and sport large ears.

Savannah cats and Ocicats are among the newer cat breeds hybridized off domestic and wild cat specimens.

Cornish Rex, the hairless Sphynx cat and the newest breed, the allergy free cat, called Allerca are other known newer breed of cats.

The Sphynx also known as the Canadian Hairless is significant for its lack of coat.  Its appearance is rather strange. It appears to be hairless, but in fact it is not.  It has no hair to keep it warm and therefore loves to cuddle against people and other animals. Eyebrows and whiskers maybe present or either totally absent.  They have heavy bodies and wedge shaped heads. The Sphynx is loving, lively and a loyal breed of cats.

Maine Coon is a domestic cat and has a distinctive physical appearance. It is the official cat in the state of Maine.  The Maine Coon has a large bone structure.  This breed of cat was popular in cat shows. Its coat is long and flowing and the body is rectangular in shape. The Maine Coon is known for its gentle personality. The average weight of a male cat is twelve to eighteen pounds and a female cat weighs between ten and fourteen pounds. They come in a variety of colors.

The Foreign Blue or the Russian Blue has a lovely silvery blue coat. They tend to be rather timid around strangers, but are quite playful and intelligent. They have a close relationship with humans and are popular cats because of their coat and their personality. The Russian Blue has a lean body and is known for having an undercoat which is very soft in texture. They enjoy playing with toys and get along with children in the household.Cat breeds

An Abyssinian cat is known to be a direct descendent of the sacred cat in Egypt.  There is a definitive resemblance between the Abyssinian and the ancient Egyptian cat. This breed of cat is in between a Burmese and a Siamese. It is a colorful cat and very beautiful in its appearance. It shows a lively and eager interest in its environment. The Abyssinian is of medium size and is muscular and strong.

The Birman cat is a domestic cat. It is separate from the Burmese cat. Its body is pale with deep blue eyes. They sport little white boots which are actually their white paws. The Birman cat is supposedly originated from Burma.  Birmans are bred for companionship with humans. They form a close bond with their owners. They seem to be very intelligent and take a keen interest in their surroundings. When a Birman is a kitten it requires constant attention and as it grows up it tends to be very lively and playful.

Ragdoll is a breed of cat known for its color point coat and distinct blue eyes. Its coat is silky and soft and has long semi long hair. It has an affectionate nature and is well known for its placid and docile temperament. When a Ragdoll is picked up it has a tendency to become limp. They are considered to be laid back and gentle in nature. A male Ragdoll weighs approximately twenty pounds and a female weighs up to fifteen pounds.

The Tabby cat has dots, stripes and swirling colors which is very similar to the Calico cat. The Tabby cat’s distant descendant is known to be the African Wildcat. The Tabby has an ‘M’ marked on its forehead. The Tabby has four patterns such as classic, spotted, mackerel and ticked. This pattern shows up in other cat breeds which make a Tabby not a real breed.

The Domestic shorthaired cat is not pedigreed; rather it is a fancy cat name to describe a shorthaired cat.  They have a wide range in coloring and are similar to a Tabby’s coat. Domestic shorthaired cats tend to look different in various countries and do not have an exact body shape.

The American Shorthair migrated to North America with early British settlers. They were brought to protect the British settler’s precious cargo from mice and rats. The American Shorthair has a lean and large body which is similar to the British Shorthair. Male cats of this breed tend to be much larger than females.  These cats require a lot of loving care and have long tails and bodies that are slender and sleek. The American Shorthair comes in more than eighty different colors and a variety of patterns.

Types of Cats

Body types of catsBlack Cat

Oriental – slender body, long  and triangular head, almond-shaped eyes, large ears, long nose, long tail, long legs. Example of this type of cats: Oriental Shorthair, Siamese Cat, Balinese Cat.

Foreign – body shape is less slender than the oriental type, but a cat is rather athletic. A cat has long tail, long legs, large ears, almond-shaped eyes. Example of this type of cats: Turkish Angora, Abyssinian Cat, Russian Blue, Somali.

Semi-Foreign – a little less slender body type or more thick set than foreign type. Example of this type of cats: Devon Rex, Egyptian Mau, Havana Brown, Munchkin, Sphynx.

Semi-Cobby – round body type with a round broad head, short legs. Example of this type of cats: American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Scottish Fold, Singapura.

Cobby – short, muscular, compact body type with roundish eyes and head, small ears, short nose, short tail. Example of this type of cats: Persian Cat, Manx, Himalayan, Exotic Shorthair, Burmese.

Substantial – large cats that are not rounded or stocky.  Example of this type of cats: Maine Coon, Bengal, Ragdoll, Siberian, Norwegian Forest Cat, Birman.

Cats come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes and with distinctive characteristics.

Cats have short or long legs, ears that are pointed and narrow heads. Some faces are round, some are flat. They are shaggy, fluffy or hairless. Cats have short tails, fluffy tails or no tails. Cats are popular pets and are great companions for humans. Many people around the world keep cats as pets and they continue to be wonderful friends to a human household!

Cats have long been a source of mystery to us. They have occupied positions of high esteem. They grace our homes and bring us countless hours of joy. They come in many breeds, colors, temperaments. Some even believe they have the power to comfort and this can lead to healing.

Want to know more about different cat breeds? Come back later!

Visit our special website concerning feline health. It provides information about cat diseases, sick cat symptoms and common health problems, how to treat your pet, how to prevent the disease and more.


Cat Breeds, Different Types of Cats | Types of Cats | Body types of cats

63 Responses to Cat Breeds

  • sometimes my cat lets me know he wants something, and I get the feeling it’s something specific, but I can’t figure out what it is. I have tried catnip, and special treats, and so forth. I do not want to spoil him; I keep on wondering if there’s some nutrient that he is missing out on. He gets complete indoor formula for cats made by purina.He never gets outside.

    • For one thing purina is not all that good for cats because it has wheat, soy, grains, etc. that cats do not normally eat. They are carnivores, and are often allergic to all that added stuff. they need a high protien food. Wellness complete is and excellent brand as it has no additives or by products, it is expensive but because it is high protein it keeps them full longer and therefore eat less which about makes it even. I have 4 cats and go through a bag about once a month for about 35 bucks, oh and by the way spoil, spoil. spoil him!!

      • Hi Angelique, makes a lot of sense, will Wellness complete prevent crystals forming in a male cat

      • Yes I Agree! Spoil Him! I spoiled my cat and he is the sweetest thing.. I’m all for spoiling my animals.

    • You should let him outside. Maybe that’s what ge wants because they need to go and be free. It’s unhealthy to stay inside always like for a human. Unless he really doesn’t want to go out

      • According to statistics, indoor cats live longer and have less health issues, so I think it only feels that they are healthier living outdoors, science disagrees with feeling in this and I would like to put my money on science.

        Proper diet and lot of activities make a happy cat, if it is outdoors or indoors does not really matter for them for a cat counter-top is adventure as much as large rock, they don’t think why they chase, they just enjoy from the chase, thing we humans sometimes need to learn.

      • Not all cats should be let outside. Ragdoll cats lack survival instincts and do not know how to defend themselves, which results in them being beaten up. This, however, may not apply to cross-breeds, as my Ragdoll-cross has very good survival instincts!

        • I read your comment on and see that you have a Ragdoll cross-breed. I am thinking of giving a rescue Ragdoll / domestic shorthair cross a home and keeping it indoors. I might get a small harness for taking it outside for the toilet and a bit of fresh air. I lost our previous DSH on the busy road nearby, so didn’t want to risk that again. Have only had a DSH before. Do you have any tips? Would this cross have health problems? Thank you very much.

          • “Domestic Shorthair” is just a fancy way of describing a short-haired moggie – your ordinary mix-breed. So inherited health problems depend on that specific Domestic Shorthair’s parents’ breeds and related health problems. As for Ragdolls, I’m not aware of any breed-related health issues. As I said, my Ragdoll-cross has pretty good survival instincts and commonly beats up dogs three times his size (and he’s pretty big). Staying indoors is always safer for cats, but setting up an outdoor enclosure might be a good if you have enough space, as the cat can watch the world around it without getting into trouble.

    • Maybe your cat wants you to sit down so he can get in your lap.. i have a cat that meows at me until i do just that, and sit and pet her.

    • It is difficult to provide enough stimulation for an indoor cat… if you can provide a window perch near a tree and window screen, he will sit in the window all day and all night enjoying smells & sounds. Then be sure and have a feather on a stick to switch around and let him chase.
      If he does go outside such toys will bore him, but you will risk injury and death, either from cars or fights with other cats or animals. You need to be in the right neighborhood. My personal feeling is, what kind of life is it to be locked inside? Live free or die…

  • I need a rescue cat that has the least allergies for me. I had a Main Coon for years and had minimal allergies with her. I want another cat but am not sure about which kind or mix I should look for. I don’t want to have to bring a cat home and have to get rid of her, if my allergies become too much. I know there are breeds who are less allergic for some reason. I think maybe a Norwegian Forest was one, but I am not sure. Also, I really want to rescue a cat. If anyone can help, I would appreciate it. Thank you..

    • Hi, people who are not allergic to cats are often allergic to Maine Coon, myself being one. I’ve never been allergic to any cat until I got a Coon. On the other hand Siamese are said to be less allergic to people. this is because of the dander of both species. No guarantees but……one word of warning. Siamese that come from a shelter often have issues. They need one person, and in a shelter they do not get that and feel rejected and can be nasty. Not always but often.

      • I adopted a Siamese and a snow shoe from a shelter who were found as strays as kittens. They were about 5 weeks when found and I got them @ 8 weeks. Funny thing – the Siamese is lovable and is suffering with separation anxiety now. She has to be near both of us and loves to be touching one of us @ all times. The snowshoe still hides alot. They are both a little over 2 now and were a great choice. I too have clergies and neither of them bother me. Good luck with your search for the perfect companion.

  • I want to know what breed my kitten was. She had long fur very soft and fluffy and was black and White with little brown bits. If anyone could tell me I would be really grateful

  • i need some help figering out what types of kittens i have i pretty sure the are Egyptian mau but they are just a little bit fluffier than that type of kitten

  • i feed two stray cats that have crinkeld ears.. both sides.
    could that really have been a blood vessel thing ..
    or is it a type of breed…
    they are large cats..long fluffy hair.
    wide faces.

    thank you for reading

    • Could you be a bit more specific with ‘crinkled’? Are they folded forward like a Scottish Fold or are they curled backward like an American Curl? These are the only breeds I am aware of that have ‘crinkled’ ears, or it could be a birth defect or something. A vet might be able to tell, but if they’re strays it might be hard to give them a check-up.

    • I volunteer to work at a cat shelter and one of the cat has crinkled ears. I was told that it is due to inbreeding. She is unusually smaller than other cats.

  • Olá ! Eu vou ter agora uma gatinha com um mes e meio, mas já tenho um gato adulto que é um pouco ciumento ! Mas eu queria que ele tivesse companhia, mas tenho medo que ele faça medo a gatinha, podem ajudar-me ? Obrigada :)

    • Olá! Eu não falam Português bem, mas eu acho que posso ajudar. Tente manter o gatinho novo em um quarto separado e apresentá-los lentamente. Não forçá-los a ser amigos, pois eles podem ficar estressados ​​e com medo. Observá-los atentamente quando estão juntos no começo, mas não fazer intervir a menos que eles estão seriamente indo para machucar uns aos outros. Alguns gatos, embora nunca, aprender a conviver, não importa o quão duro você tente. Espero que isso ajude.

    • Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through
      -by Jeff Valdez

  • Question: My wife and I are looking for a new cat to join our family since our “Shadow” passed away recently after 17 joyous years with her. My wife loves cats but she is allergic to the dander. I’ve heard there is a breed (possibly Russian) that does not have the normal cat dander. If anyone has any information on this or can lead me to a web site, I’d be very appreciative.

  • Thank you for information about types of cats and cat breeds. I tried to understand what type of cat breed my cat is and I did it because of your great website! My cat is definitely Bombay cat! I wonder. Thanks for meow-cats.

  • My cat has a flabby pouch on her abdomen and she loves to jump onto high counters. She also sleeps a lot in the most uncomfortable places and HATES catnip. Does anyone have any idea what kind of cat she is? Thanks!

  • You discover a cat that has short legs, long silky fur, a fluffy tail, round ears, round feet and big eyes. The cat does NOT have a flat face, so you know the cat is not a Persian or a Himalayan. What breed might it be?

  • my cat bam in 15 ponds and stands 4 feet tall on his hind legs. he has a very long tail and squeecks not meows. bam’s coat is shot and black with a mottled brown undercoat that can be seen in sunlight. there is a patch of white between his two front legs-chest area. his eyes are somewhat almond. they are greenish-yellow with a light blue around the black. bam loves to attack me sometimes not to playfully. what is he?

    • He sounds like a domestic shorthair. My cat is about that big and has the same eyes and is about the same weight. Domestic shorthairs come in a wide array of colors. Mine is white with blue on his face and a blue spot on his back and has a long blue tail.

  • My favourite cat breed is Devon Rex. I know, almost everyone likes Siamese Cats, but I like Devon Rex breed of cat!

  • Can anybody tell me of any breeders of the Chinese Li Hua (pronounced – “Le Wah”)? I have tried doing a Google search, but haven’t found anything helpful. I want some information on the breed to write an article and I would be very appreciative if anyone could tell me of any Chinese Li Hua breeders anywhere in the world (though preferably and English-speaking area!). Thanks!

  • What Do You Do If Your Cat Is 3-5 months Old And She Wants To Go Outside But It Is Really Cold

    • If your kitten has never been outside before, it is wise to make the first few trips in the Great Outdoors on a leash or harness (harness is safer – my kitten mastered the knack of slipping out of the collar-and-leash and making a break for it). When the kitten knows the way around the garden and knows the way back, then try letting it out by itself. (It is wise to train it to come when called before you let it outside.) Cats don’t seem to mind going outside in the freezing cold, and if they don’t like it they can always come inside again. It’s cute watching the first few times a kitten goes outside in snow or wet grass – they take a step or two then shake their paws, then they take another step and shake their paw again. Don’t leave your cat outside at night, though, as it is likely to get run over and a lot of cat fights occur at night. Hope this helps!

  • I love your website about cat breeds and types of cats. I want to know more about rare cat breeds and wild types of cats like Manul, Leopard, etc. Could you write about it?

  • My 1 year old male care is all black, huge fluffy tail and furry paws, fur grows between his claws. Can’t find what breed he is. Can u help me? Green Eyes. Thank you.


    • I have a black cat dhe is very long and slender she has big ears and the space between her eyes and ears only has a few hairs. She almost looks bald there she also has a wide forehead (space between her ears). If anyone could tell me id be suer excited her cousin we got at the ssme time has turned out to be a snow shoe so we are just curiouse

    • Thank you! This is my cat Ksa (cat breed is mix of Bombay and Siberian Cat), I made a photo of her and decided to use it in the design of my website as a cat that brings good luck. :) Later I will make a page about her!

  • I am searching for breeders of the Antipodean breed of cat. I understand it is a fairly new breed, but I can’t seem to find any breeders anywhere in the world! Can anyone help me?

  • I rescued a female kitten about 6 years ago. She has a trait I’ve not seen discussed. Where ever she has had her fur trimmed (like when I had her fixed they shaved her tummy) it hasn’t grown fully back, it is just covered with a soft short fur. One spot on her foot got a boo-boo & after the sore healed, once again only a short fur grew back. She looks similar to the British Longhair or the Ragdoll. Is this trait of not growing back the hair fully unique to a specific breed?

  • I have a new kitten, he’s about four months old starting the eleventh. He’s a gray-brown and has a white chest…. and long legs and a long skinny tail.
    Do you know what breed that is?

  • Thank you for great information on types of cats and domestic cat breeds! I have found the breed of my kitty here!!! ^_^

  • I was raised with cats and dogs. My Father cares for neither. Though my mother was and is a kind sole. She loves all animals. My cat Dash, witch only comes as I call him " Moma's Baby", follows me everywhere in the house. He sleeps between my legs, all curled up. Though he is extremely fast. He'll be in one place one moment and you look at that palce and he's across the room sitting in the widow. He plays catch, when he's in the mood. He'll get one of his favorate toys and drop it at your feet ,so you'll pick it up and throw it for him. Then he'll play for a minute with it and bring it back to you and drop it at your feet again. He surely has a personality.He is my friend and baby. Ilove him alot.

  • Hello Folks,
    I just posted a pic of my Oreo, here on the site. He looks a little more like a fox than he does a cat, but that’s why I got him from someone. She had a pic of his sister, who I almost got, then she sent me a pic of him, and that was it, he was mine.
    He’s a black and white soft shorthair, with a bit of a long nose, and has gold eyes. I think I did find his breed, here on the site, but not sure.
    I’m a dog person myself, but when I saw him, I couldn’t help myself. Surprisingly he gets along with my daughter’s cat. When her cat first came back home she was not the nicest to him, especially because of how young he was, but it only took a matter of about a day or 2, and she was fine. She cleans him, and treats him like he’s her son…too funny, since he sometimes treats her like she’s his mama. I have to wonder if his mom was black and white too. My daughter’s cat is mostly black, but does have white on her. She’s an average looking cat, normal domestic short hair. Oreo with that nose of his though…he’s just too darn cute!!
    So, does anyone know of a breed that’s got a nose like that? If you browse through pics on the site, you should be able to see him. It’s under my name…Laura M


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All About Cats and Cat Breeds

A detailed exploration of the history of Cat Breeds, their characteristics, personality, physical appearance, interesting facts, and much more.