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What Breed Is My Cat?

"How do I find out what breed my cat is?"

This has to be the number one question we get on the cat breeds forum.
Cats come in a variety of coat lengths, colors and patterns. Add to that a unique facial structure and an exceptionally svelte or maybe rather a chubby body form and people start wondering - is my cat a purebred or a pedigreed cat?

The Short Answer

Unless your cat came with official papers delineating her or his ancestors, then your cat is not a pedigreed cat of any breed. You won’t be able to show him or her at any breed category in any cat show, nor should this cat ever be a 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 where ethical breeders make sure, through various means, that the cats leaving their cattery never end up in a shelter. However, it can happen and all that’s left in that case is to try and say which breed the cat most resembles - it will never regain it’s pedigreed status, unless clearly identified (for example, using its microchip to trace the breeder).

So, What Type of Cat Is She?

So, we can start by assuming that the cat you adopted is not a purebred. However, we all like fancy terms and words, and you can still learn what the correct terms are for describing your cat appearance.

Judging features like facial proportions or body shape is best left for professionals, but  coat length, color and pattern, are usually easy enough to tell. First, you need to determine whether your cat has long or short hair. Accordingly, he or she is either a Domestic Longhair or a Domestic Shorthair, also known as DLH and DSH respectively.

Then, there’s an entire spectrum of patterns and colors. We have an entire article dedicated to Cat Coat Colors and Patterns which you should check out. Once you identify your cat’s colors there, you too can own a “longhair red tabby and white van” or a “shorthair cream and blue tortoiseshell” - now, doesn’t that sound fancy? It will actually be a  very accurate answer to the original question, even if it does not offer an actual breed name.

Not sure which terms apply to your cat? By all means, post about your cat and add a few clear pictures and we’ll try and help out on the forums!

But Which Breed Does Your Cat Resemble?

Here are a few popular breeds and some of their more prominent features. Remember, this does not mean your cat is of that breed - only that you might be able to say there’s a resemblance.

Siamese Cats - short hair, blue eyes and a colorpoint coat pattern are the traits shared between  traditional and modern Siamese cats. Modern Siamese also have uniquely svelte bodies and an elongated head.


Siamese Cat

Persian Cats - a stocky build and a very long coat constitute the typical Persian look, along with large round eyes and a short nose. Modern Persian cats have a flat face, with their nose pushed back. More about Persian Cats.


Persian Cat

Himalayan Cats - Himalayans, aka Himmies, share the build and coat length of the Persians, but have a pointed color pattern. More about Himalayan Cats.


Himalayan Cat

Maine Coon Cats - exceptionally large, with long silky yet dense hair and sometimes tufts on the tip of their ears. Maine Coons can come in any color and coat pattern, except for colorpoints. More about Maine Coon cats.


Maine Coon Cat

Russian Blue Cats - the bluish gray short coat is what this breed is famous for, along with bright green eyes. There are other “blue” cat breeds such as the Korat and the Chartreux, but Russian Blues are probably better known. More about Russian Blue cats.


Russian Blue Cat

The common trait here? These are all breeds that have a prominent feature, be it a certain coat pattern or color, or maybe coat length, that is not very common, yet is displayed among non-pedigreed domestic cats. You’ll find many “Russian Blues”, “Persians” or “Main Coons” lookalikes in shelters, all in need of a good forever home. These cats are just as beautiful and special as their purebred counterparts, just please don’t ever breed them just because they’re beautiful!


Want to show us your cat and see what other members think? Please post a thread in our special forum titled Describing Cats - What Does My Cat Look Like?

Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

Comments (41)

My cat doesnt look like any of these ??
can u help! need to know what breed type my kitten is and how old?
SmokePeachAngel: the article only covers some of the more popular breeds. Most cats are actually quite different.
Dani, the best place to ask would be on the forums :) The breeders forum is where most of our feline colors and breeds experts hang out:
thanks first time kitty owner
thanks anne! that helped
Can someone help me? i want to know what type of breed my cat is. hes black white and gray and he kindof agressive. any help?
Our little Squeaky has all different kinds of fur: long, short, medium, and even curly fur around his underparts; our vets call him a domestic medium hair. We think he may be part Persian with his long fluffy tail and attitude. He's beautiful anyway and he knows it.
my cat buster (if you have already seen some of my threads in the forums about him) then you
know that he is a very handsome yet confusing kitty! i dont know much about what he is let alone where and how he got his color, but besides the f act hes my baybah baybah boy and i llove him very much confusing cat and all!
Well none of my cats came with papers. However, I rescued my cat Grace. She looks like a Russian Blue; but I guess I can only call her domestic. My other cat Napoleon looks like a flame point siamese. Again, I don't have proof of that so he is a domestic. I love my kitties no matter what their breed is!
Willow and Jayden has a calico body and a torti tail. What kind so you all think. they both have short hair.
For those asking about their cat - please do this in the forums, where you can also attach a picture of your cat. You already have an account with us, so it's just a matter of posting in the right place:
Thank you!
Hi & welcome!
I am no expert but thought I would share what my daughter is doing with her cat. Wanda is 8 mo old & recently sustained serious injuries after being attacked in her own fenced back yard by a couple of loose dogs. Her belly was torn open but the intestines had not been punctured. She also had some nerve damage which made her unsteady on her feet & dragging 1 leg. I am happy to say that many surgeries later, OMG very expensive, kitty ICU, water therapy on her wound at home, etc. she is doing great. However, she still has a "body bandage" which cannot get soiled in any way. So when she needs to go to the litter box my daughter or her boyfriend hold her steady while she does her business! I am amazed! I know cats are very private about their business but apparently she knows they are just trying to help her. Don't know if it would work for you guys, but you never know. Good luck with your babies!
hi im trying to find out the breed of my new cat(this cat.)if you know please email me ..thank you
My cat is a black&white shorthair. And the most beautiful one ever. :3
My kitties are medium length fur, solid black (except for my girl, she's got like 13 white hairs on her chest) Very elegant creatures they are. Black cats forever!
actually just like in dogs cats can be blood tested for breeds. ask you vet about this. also this post hardly has enough breeds on here to even allow anyone to figure out what cat they have, theres no tabby, or tux's, no miaos, even mutt owners still like to atemp to find out what breeds there cat most resembles
I have no idea what breed my kitten is, he is black and white with short hair and he is a very fine build with a long tail, golden eyes and is very vocal. I got him 2 months ago from the blue cross and they had no papers for him. His mother was a tortoise shell, I think he might be a cross of something.
Enjoying the comments here, but wanted to remind everyone that you can post pictures of your cat and ask other members what breed they may or may not resemble in our forum here -
I think I have a Bombay, but I read here that Bombays will have absolutely no white patches. My boy looks EXACTLY like typical Bombays save a small white patch on the chest and one in front of the hind legs underneath. He's got a stocky build, beautiful yellow-brown-ish eyes, a sleek and shiny black coat, black underpaws by the pads, and a round face with a short muzzle. (See avatar photo.) So any thoughts?
i also wanna know my kitten's breed. i'm new on this site...please someone tell me where can i ask question with uploading pictures of my kitten.? › Cat Breed Articles › What Breed Is My Cat