How can I tell what breed of cat I have?


How can I tell what breed of cat I have?

Depending on how you got your cat, you might be unsure about its breed. Cat breeds may be challenging to identify if you don’t know what you are looking for. Evaluating your cat’s physical characteristics and behavior can give you a very good idea about its origins and help you determine what breed your furry friend is.

If you’re still in doubt after reading common breed descriptions, the easiest ways to determine the breed of your cat are by consulting with a vet or giving your cat a feline DNA test.

Let’s go ahead and dive into the things you need to learn to help you determine the breed of your feline friend on your own.

Behavior and personality

A cat’s behaviors may include being calm and quiet, very vocal, shy, energetic, bossy, or even water-loving. This part is easiest t for you to determine yourself because you have observed your cat’s behavior more than anyone else by spending a great deal of time with them.

Mild and friendly

Some of the most friendly and gentle breeds of cats are:

  • American Shorthair
  • Sphynx
  • Siamese
  • Burmese
  • Maine Coon

Intelligent felines

Intelligent cats can figure out how to do surprising things, follow commands, and may even be capable of learning tricks. Some of the most intelligent cats are:

  • Persian
  • Abyssinian
  • Bengal
  • Ragdoll
  • Japanese Bobtail

Affectionate and vocal

Some cats are very vocal and enjoy having company, as well as getting attention. The most common breeds of vocal, loud, and active cats are:

  • Siamese
  • Balinese
  • Oriental

Loud and bossy

Some cats have very bossy tendencies and love to make a scene to get attention. Some breeds that behave this way are:

  • Somali
  • Singapura
  • Colorpoint Shorthairs

Fur patterns and colors

One of the best ways to identify your cat breed is by looking at its fur color and pattern. You could also discover whether your cat is a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed. Some of the most common fur patterns are:

Solid-colored cats

Solid refers to a single-colored fur that could be white, black, cream, brown, and red. The most common breeds of cats with solid colors are:

  • Chinchilla Persian
  • Havana Brown
  • Korat
  • Turkish Angora
  • Tiffany

Tabby

Tabby-colored furs are a blend of two different colors, with one color more dominant than the other. They usually have stripes, swirls, or dots on their coats. Tabby colors are split into four subcategories: Mackerel- narrow, parallel stripes. Spotted- speckles distributed across the body. Classic -typical botched or bold markings. Patched -patches of color.

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Some tabby breeds of cats are:

  • American Shorthair
  • American Wirehair
  • California Spangled
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Savannah 

Tortoiseshell

This pattern is a mixture of two different colors and resembles a tortoise shell. The difference between a tortoiseshell and a tabby cat is that the former is exactly a mixture of two colors while the latter is mainly patches or blotches. A mix between a Tortoiseshell and a tabby is called a “Torbie.”

Some common tortoiseshell cat breeds are:

  • British shorthair
  • Oriental longhair
  • Birman

Calico

Calico cats are domestic cats that have larger parts of white fur and large patches of orange or black fur. They are usually composed of a rainbow of cat colors (vivid orange, black and white, blue-gray and white).

  • Siberian cat
  • Japanese Bobtail

Pointed

Pointed color in cats is when they have darker colors on their paws, ears and face. It is most common in Siamese cats, although not all pointed colored cats are Siamese. It results from a combination of genes for partial albinism and a mutation to the gene that affects the enzyme controlling fur color. 

Some of the most common breeds of pointed cats are:

  • Siamese
  • Himalayan
  • Ragdoll
  • Ragamuffin
  • Javanese

Length of the tail

Aside from giving us signs whether they are mad or happy, a cat’s tail can also tell us what breed they are. The most common length of a cat’s tail is 30 cm; however, it can be shorter or longer depending on the cat’s breed.

Long tail felines

Some of the long-tailed breeds of cats are:

  • American Shorthair
  • Balinese
  • Chartreux
  • Cornish Rex
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Maine Coon
  • Nebelung
  • Scottish Fold
  • Siberian

Short tails

Some cat breeds with short tails:

  • American Bobtail
  • Pixie Bob
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Highlander
  • Mekong Bobtail
  • Manx
  • Kurilian Bobtail

Cat size

It’s essential to know your cat’s size. Whether your cat is small, medium or large, the size of your cat will also be an indication of which breed it belongs to. 

Small-sized cats

Small cat breeds often weigh ranging from 5 to 10 pounds, both male and female.

Some small breeds of cats are:

  • Singapura 
  • Munchkin
  • American Curl
  • Cornish Rex
  • Devon Rex
  • Siamese
  • Balinese
  • Dwelf cat
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Laperm 

Medium-sized cats

Medium-sized cats normally weigh between 10 to 15 pounds

Cats that are medium-sized include:

  • Bengal
  • Bombay
  • Burmese
  • Egyptian Mau
  • British Shorthair
  • Siamese
  • Turkish Angora
  • Sphynx

Large-sized felines

Large breeds of cats can weigh up to 15 pounds or more when they are male. Although female cats are smaller, they are still considerably larger and heavier than medium-sized cat breeds. Some of the large cat breeds are:

  • Maine Coon
  • Persian
  • Savannah
  • Norwegian Forest
  • Birman
  • Ragdoll
  • Ragamuffin
  • Chausie
  • Siberian
  • British shorthair

Shape of the face

Square faces

Square-faced cats usually have big, solid bodies. This type of face shape is usually seen in the breeds of Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cat. They also have large ears and generally big bodies. They are also believed to be affectionate.

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Triangular faces

Some theories say that cats with triangular faces are busy, curious, and vocal and thrive in active households. Some of the cat’s best-known breeds having triangular faces are Oriental Bicolor, Balinese, Abyssinian, Sphynx and Siamese.

Round faces

According to cat behaviorist Arden Moore, cats with round faces tend to be more shy, unenergetic, quiet, and submissive. Cats with round faces have circular heads, large eyes, and flatter faces. They are also generally big in size when it comes to the proportion their head size to their bodies.

Common round-faced cat breeds include: Burmese, Persian, British Shorthair, and Scottish Folds.

Note: If you still doubt your own observations and judgment regarding your cat’s breed, the best option is having its DNA sample harvested for a test. 

Common questions regarding cat breeds

What is the most common house cat?

The most common house cats in the US are Domestic Shorthairs. They account for 90 to 95% of all pet cats in American homes. Domestic cats have been existing with humans for centuries and this can go back as far as thousand years ago. They come in all sizes, colors and coat-lengths.

What is the most common cat color and pattern?

Brown or brown/grey tabby is the most common color and pattern of a cat. Tabbies also can come in a wide array of colors such as grey, orange and cream. Tabby patterns can be either spots, stripes or any random pattern. However, coat colors and patterns vary depending on the cat’s breed.

What is the biggest cat breed?

In several reports, the Maine Coon is always dubbed as the largest breed of cats. They can weigh up to more than 20 pounds. They often have long bodies and heavyweight. As a matter of fact, Barivel, a Maine Coon was the Guinness Book of World record holder for the longest cat, measured an impressive 3ft. 11.2 in.

Final thoughts

It is a good idea to learn the origin and breeds of our cat, not just so that we can share them with our friends, but also to give them the appropriate care that they need, since some breeds might need extra attention and care. All cat breeds deserve the same amount of love, care, and appreciation since they are equally adorable, unique, and special in their own little furry ways.

How can I tell what breed of cat I have?

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