If you’re wondering “what breed is my cat?” you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading as I share simple tips to help reveal your kitty’s true origins. With so many cross breeds and different coat patterns it can be confusing to identify your cat’s heritage.
However, at the end of the day whether your feline companion turns out to be a regular alley cat or highly prized thoroughbred, she’s still an amazing creature. Though cats have been around for thousands of years, it’s only in the past few hundred that many breeds have evolved.
Did you adopt your cat from a shelter?
Sadly, many pedigrees end up in shelters, despite their value. Though not made homeless as often as moggies, they can still end up needing new homes. It’s quite possible the staff at a shelter may not even recognise a pedigree. Through no fault of their own they may not be familiar with many of the mixed breeds around.
In addition, there are many reasons an owner would want their cat rehomed. Death in the family, moving abroad, or unable to afford the upkeep. A lot of new cat owners don’t realise many of the expenses involved.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself with a pedigree, chances are you won’t have the certificates. If this is the case your kitty can never be recognised as a pedigree. You won’t be able to enter her in shows or breed from her.
You will however, have a loving companion for years to come. Some features are very obvious such as those of a Siamese or Persian. The massive size of a Raggdoll or Norwegian Forest cat is unlikely to be overlooked as well!
However, with generations of mixed breeding it can be harder to identify a cat’s origins. Finding out can be fun though. Apart from breed testing there’s no way you’ll know for sure, but follow the tips here just for a bit of fun.
Appearances can be deceptive
Just because your sweet kitty has points doesn’t mean she’s Siamese. Many other breeds including Himalayan and Birman were crossed with Siamese. It’s also possible the gene responsible for points doesn’t have to come from parents with points.
Your cat’s Paws may hold the clue!
Paws can reveal a lot when it comes to breed origin. Start by counting the toes. Though quite rare, some cats have 6 or more toes. These are known as Polydactyl cats, and can be found in any breed, though more common in Maine Coons.
Paw pad colour
Take a look at the colour of your cat’s paw pads. Almost all have pads that match their fur colour with the exception of white cats. As white paw pads don’t exist, you’ll find they are pink. However, if you find your kitty’s pads are a shade of mauve, you may have a Russian blue or British shorthair on your hands.
Cats with seal point colours usually have beige, brown, or mauve paw pads. If your kitty has seal point colours she may not necessarily be Siamese as other related breeds also display them. These include Snowshoe, Javanese, British Shorthair, and Tonkinese.
The shape of your cat’s face reveals a lot about it’s breed. In addition, ears are also a great identifier. If your kitty has a flat face chances are she’s a Persian. These cats also have snub noses and small ears, with a very regal look about them.
An angular, narrow face denotes an oriental breed. Siamese, Javanese and Tonkinese all have this face shape. These cats are also vocal and get very attached to their owners.
If you’re very lucky to come into possession of a large breed cat there are several types to identify. Maine Coon are the largest breed of cat and easily identified not only by sheer size, but large tufted ears on top of a wedge shaped head.
Norwegian Forest cats can grow to a similar size, but not as massive. You can easily tell if you have this breed by its triangular shaped head, flat forehead, and straight nose.
Ears can be a good identifier when it comes to determining a breed. Scottish fold cats are distinguishable by their folded ears that lie close to the head, while American Curls sport ears that curl away from the head. In contrast, tufted ears can be found in breeds such as Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest cats, Turkish Van, and the Highlander.
Is your cat a small breed?
In contrast to the giants of the cat world you can find very small breeds. If your cat is smaller than a regular moggy she may be a Singapura or even a dwarf cat. Munchkins are a result of natural breeding and have very short legs.
If you have a Munchkin you’ll notice her body is a regular size, with just the legs being unusually short. Singapura are also known as drain cats and exceptionally small.
In fact they are thought to be the smallest cat breed in the world. Originating on the streets of Singapore, these tiny kitties have the classic tabby M on their foreheads.
Coat colours and markings
One of the most common coat patterns is tabby. If you have a true tabby you’ll notice an M shape on her forehead. In addition, there will be several distinct colours with one that is more dominant than the others. It’s not just moggies that have tabby markings, but cross breeds as well.
While tuxedo cats are not a breed their markings make them stand out. These kitties can frequently be found in shelters but have some of the most loving natures.
Take a look at your cat’s ears,paws and tail tip for points. These are darker colours found on extremities, and contrast with lighter colours found in the coat. They develop as kittens grow and the result of an enzyme associated with melanin.
Typically, you’ll find point colours in Siamese cats, but they can also be found in Birman, Himalayan, Ragdoll, and British shorthair. Discovering your new feline companion has points doesn’t make her a pedigree. As mentioned previously, without breed testing or proof such as breeder certificates, your kitty is a regular mixed breed.
However, as long as you know her true heritage, who cares! The fun of identifying a breed and satisfaction it brings is enough. All cats whether common crossbreed or true pedigree are loving and intelligent creatures. Giving one a forever home can bring much joy and happiness into your life.
I hope this article has helped answer your question, “what breed is my cat?.” While many breeds are easy to identify, some may take a closer look. If you’ve enjoyed this post please share. Also, if you have any questions or want to share your experiences, please comment below.
Wishing you a purrfect day:)