What breed is my cat?

How do I know what breed my cat is?”

This must be the number one question we get about cat breeds .
Cats come in a variety of hair lengths, colors, and patterns. Add to that a unique facial structure and exceptionally slender or perhaps rather chubby body shape, and people start wondering: is my cat a purebred or pedigree cat?

How to tell if a cat is purebred


Unless your cat comes with official documents that describe its ancestors, then your cat is not a pedigree cat. You may not show it in any breed category at any cat show, nor should this cat 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 ensure, through various means, that cats that leave their kennel never end up in a shelter. However, it can happen, and all that is left in that case is to try to tell which breed is most like the cat: it will never regain its pedigree status, unless it is clearly identified (e.g. using its microchip to track breeder).

Do you know what breed my cat is?

We can start by assuming that the cat you adopted is not purebred. However, we all like fancy terms and words, and you can still learn the correct terms to describe your cat’s appearance.

It’s best to let the professionals judge features like facial proportions or body shape, but coat length, color, and pattern are generally easy to tell. First, you must determine if your cat has long or short hair. Consequently, he or she is a Domestic Longhair or Domestic Shorthair, also known as DLH and DSH, respectively.

So there is a whole spectrum of patterns and colors. Once you identify your cat’s colors on this list, you may also have a “longhair red tabby and a white van” or a “shorthair cream and a blue tortoiseshell” now, doesn’t that sound so fancy to you? It will actually be a very accurate answer to the original question, even if it doesn’t offer an actual breed name.

Learning the terminology professionals use to describe cats can be fun! We have a complete article about eye colors in cats and what type of cat corresponds to each one.


Colors and patterns of cats to determine the breed

Most cat breed standards allow for several different eye and coat color patterns in physical appearance descriptions. This can make it difficult if you are trying to determine what type of cat you have by reading the colors and patterns that each breed of cat may have. Just because you have a black cat with golden eyes does not mean you have a Bombay , nor does your large longhair cat automatically turn into a Maine Coon . Domestic cats can also come in almost all colors and patterns with varying lengths of fur and are simply referred to as mixed breed cats.

The differences between domestic and purebred cats

Most house cats are simply considered short-haired, medium-haired, or domestic house cats and are not purebreds. But that does not mean that you will never meet a purebred cat or that your cat cannot be a purebred.

The Cat Fanciers Glossary defines a purebred cat as “a cat whose ancestors are all of the same breed, or whose ancestry includes the crossing that is allowed in the breed standard. For example, a purebred Bombay may also have Burmese cats in the background. »Generally, a cat’s pedigree must be certified by the Cat Breed Registry before it can legitimately be called a breed.

The American shorthair cat breed was originally called the domestic shorthair breed, but the name was changed to avoid confusion between cats with an unknown history, among other reasons. Lacking the necessary pedigree, a domestic shorthair cat cannot simply be referred to as an American shorthair cat, despite appearing so, unless the breeding history is known.

How to know if my cat is of race? Similar between cat breeds

Here are some popular cat breeds and some of their most prominent features. Remember, this does not mean that your cat is of that breed, only that it could say that there is a resemblance.

Siamese Cats


Short hair, blue eyes, and a colorpoint coat pattern are common traits between traditional and modern Siamese cats. Modern Siamese twins also have slender bodies and an elongated head.Persian cats


A robust build and a very long coat constitute the typical Persian appearance, along with large, round eyes and a short nose. Modern Persian cats have a flat face, with the nose set back.

Himalayan Cats


The Himalayas, also known as Himmies, share the build and coat length of the Persians, but have a spiky color pattern.

Maine Coon Cats

Exceptionally large, Maine Coon with long, silky but dense hair and occasionally ear-tip tufts, can come in any coat color and pattern except for colored spots.

Russian blue cats

Russian Blue

The bluish-gray short coat is what this breed is famous for, along with its bright green eyes. There are other “blue” cat breeds like the Korat and Chartreux, but the Russian Blues are probably better known.

So what breed is my cat?

The common trait here? These are all breeds that have a prominent characteristic, be it a certain coat pattern or color, or perhaps the length of the coat, that’s not very common. That does not mean that it does not exist among non-pedigree domestic cats. You’ll find plenty of “Russian Blue,” “Persian,” or “Prime Coon” in the shelters, all in need of a good forever home. These cats are just as beautiful and special as their purebred counterparts, please never breed them simply because they are beautiful!

Could my cat be adopted from a shelter, purebred?

While purebred shelter cats are rare, they are not unheard of!

There are a few different reasons why 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 are unaware of the unique needs, personality traits, and behaviors of that specific breed. They may discover that the cat is unsuitable for their home and take it to a shelter.

At other times, animal control authorities close down backyard breeding facilities, also known as kitten factories, due to unsuitable conditions for cats. Purebred cats and kittens are often brought to shelters. There have also been situations where cat breeders go through personal trauma (such as a death in the family), have to close their business, and deliver their cats to a shelter.

Last but not least, a purebred cat can get lost and end up in a shelter. These things happen.

I found a stray cat, can it be a purebred cat?

Your stray furry friend may be purebred. Like all cats, purebred cats can run away from home, get lost, or be found living outside the home.

As with the shelter cats, it is impossible to know for sure if your stray dog ​​gets done without a DNA test. If you decide to take the stray cat, your vet can give you an idea of ​​what breed of cat it may be. And of course you can always ask for our members’ opinion here.

Regardless of whether or not you care about your new friend’s breed, it is important to take him to the vet to check and treat the many health problems cats can have when living outdoors.

How can I tell if a cat for sale is really purebred or not?

If it is important to you that the cat you buy is purebred, you must purchase it through a registered breeder. This will ensure that your cat’s history and living conditions are on par.

Registered breeders are also more likely to sell neutered / spayed, microchipped, parasite-treated kittens and have received their first round of vaccinations.

The breeder should provide you with the 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 receipt.” You will also need to submit the pedigree of the cat, which will indicate 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 to register your cat so you can show him or her, it is important that you keep a record of all the papers involved in the sale – everything from bills to veterinary records to credit card receipts!

My cat is mating with a purebred cat. Will the kittens look like the father or mother?

It can be very difficult to predict what kittens will look like. Guessing coat colors and patterns may be possible, but that is not necessarily related to the breed of either parent.

The answer to the question about the color of the coat depends, among other things, on the sex of the kitten! The patterns and colors of male and female kittens are inherited differently.

Can my cat undergo genetic testing to see what breed it is?

When you ask yourself, “What breed is my cat?” The next natural question is whether there is a scientific proof that can prove your cat’s ancestry.

The answer is yes! A variety of companies offer cat DNA tests that are mailed out and can indicate which breed (s) make up your cat’s pedigree. It’s easy to take a DNA sample from your cat.


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