Not Just a Cat: Your Guide to Discovering Your Cat’s Breed


Thorough article on cat breeds with photos and more.  Complete article here!


"Have you ever been curious about your cat’s breed? If you asked your cat, he might say that he is quite unique and unlike any other feline. Only 41 pedigreed breeds are recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association, however. Therefore, your cat shares some traits with other felines around the world. Just don’t tell him that.


Is It Important to Know Your Cat’s Breed?

Unless you’re hoping to raise and sell pedigreed cats or enter your pet in shows, it’s not necessary to know the breed. Your cat is part of your family, though. Understanding its ancestry is like meeting a long-lost great aunt. It may help you better appreciate your pet’s quirks. You might identify some behavioral patterns that are breed-specific. Knowing your cat’s breed may even help you forgive her antisocial behavior around your own great aunt.


Purebred Cats

According to the Cat Fancier’s Glossary, a pedigree is a document verifying a cat’s ancestors. If all of the ancestors belong to the same breed, the cat is a purebred. A pedigreed cat will come with papers that are formally issued by a cat-registering association. Unless some very unfortunate soul’s purebred cat ran away and ended up on your doorstep, chances are your cat doesn’t have a pedigree.


To enter a feline in cat shows, you need official papers for the animal. Even if a purebred cat did end up in a shelter, it wouldn’t regain pedigreed status unless there were a proven way to identify the breeder. Therefore, you may not be able to show the cat under a specific breed category. You still might be able to enter the cat under another category, though.


But My Cat Has Very Striking Features!

We all know that your cat is gorgeous. It may have some features that resemble those of a specific breed, such as the following:

Siamese – ...

Maine Coon – ...

Persian – ...

Himalayan –  ...

Burmese –  ...

Identifying cat breeds can be tricky. The particular qualities of one breed could be covered in a single encyclopedia volume. Just because your cat has similar characteristics as a particular breed, it’s not necessarily part of that breed. It could be a mix. It could also have been cross-bred so many times that its coloring and temperament are random.

The primary identifiers are the cat’s coloring, markings, and coat length...

 

Your Cat Is Most Likely to Be One Of These Breeds

The two most popular and common cat breeds are Domestic Shorthair or Domestic Longhair breeds. They can’t be pedigreed or registered with a cat association. Then again, these American cat breeds account for more than 95 percent of feline pets in the U.S. Many cat shows have Domestic Shorthair and Longhair categories.

These popular cat types shouldn’t be confused with the American Shorthair, or ASH, and the British Shorthair, or BSH...



How to Describe Your Cat’s Appearance

Even if your cat is the feline version of a mutt, you can use accepted terminology to describe its colors and patterns. According to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, eye colors can be brown, hazel, gold, green, and blue. Solid coat colors come in the following tones:

Red – ...

Cream – ... 

Chocolate – ...

Lilac – ...

Black – ...

Blue – ...

Fawn – ...

Cinnamon – ... 

Smoke – ...

White –...


If you have a striped cat, you can describe its markings as tabby. A randomly patched cat is a tortoiseshell. A calico has large tortoiseshell areas. Torbies are tortoiseshell cats with tabby stripes. They may also be called patched tabbies.


Does your cat have white patterns that contrast with its other fur? Mitted cats have white paws. Tuxedo cats have white chests, paws, and bellies. The white color may extend up the nose. A harlequin is mostly white with large color patches on the head, body, and tail. Does your cat have a splash of white on the chest? This is called a locket.


What Kind of Cat Do You Have?

After reading this article, you might have some ideas about your cat’s lineage...


How to Describe Your Cat’s Appearance

Even if your cat is the feline version of a mutt, you can use accepted terminology to describe its colors and patterns. According to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, eye colors can be brown, hazel, gold, green, and blue. Solid coat colors come in the following tones:


Red – An amber, orange or rust color

Cream – Off-white with a warm beige hue

Chocolate – Deep brown

Lilac – Pinkish-gray

Black – Midnight tone

Blue – Dark gray/silver

Fawn – A cool light gray/tan

Cinnamon – A warm, light brown

Smoke – A blend of gray and black

White – Snow-colored fur


If you have a striped cat, you can describe its markings as tabby. A randomly patched cat is a tortoiseshell. A calico has large tortoiseshell areas. Torbies are tortoiseshell cats with tabby stripes. They may also be called patched tabbies.


Does your cat have white patterns that contrast with its other fur? Mitted cats have white paws. Tuxedo cats have white chests, paws, and bellies. The white color may extend up the nose. A harlequin is mostly white with large color patches on the head, body, and tail. Does your cat have a splash of white on the chest? This is called a locket.


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