Cat Breeds: A Guide for Cat Lovers

Many cat breeds have been developed over the years, as people try to shape the personality, looks, and physical resilience of the amazing creature known as the cat.

Each of the domestic breeds has its own appeal. Some will defend with all of their strength the reasons why a Siamese is "better" than a Ragdoll, or an active Cornish Rex is better than a laid back Persian.

The feline form takes many shapes, sizes, and color variations, even within the same species.

No type of cat has more variation, however, than that of the domestic cat, or house cat.

Why? Because people had a hand in it, of course!

For about 2,000 years, people have been "creating" different breeds. As time has gone on, existing breeds have been refined to bring out certainly qualities considered desirable.

The development of modern style cat shows and the Cat Fancy in the late 1800s accelerated this process, as competition will do.

Even today, new breeds are being developed. Some are relatively rare breeds. Old breeds are being further refined, and in some cases, mixed with wild cats to form yet another breed (commonly known as hybrids).

In addition, people have transported cats to places far from their original homelands. In some cases, these cats adapted over time to hot sun, or harsh winters that they weren't used to in their native lands. This has brought further changes to the physical nature and appearance of certain breeds.

Traditional Siamese Seal Point

Below you will find a growing list of links to articles on choosing different breeds: from Abyssinian and Burmese, to Siamese to Turkish Van and more.

Pay close attention to personality traits of each breed and how your future cat might fit into your lifestyle and your household.

Every cat is an individual, that's for sure, but you may be able to get a general idea of what the breed is like.

If you are looking for just the right feline companion for you, you may find it in the description on one of these pages.

You may want to start by looking at the most popular breeds or with this breed list page.

Discuss any and all breeds of cat here.

Photo credit: Siamese cat by Seamus Kearney (Seamus Kearney, uploader of the image, own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Have A Picture To Add To The Gallery?

Would you like to share a picture of a cat of a particular breed with us? You can. It's easy. First, enter a description and a story about the picture. Enter some basic information, such as the name of the cat in the photo, and anything else you'd like us to know.

Important! Make sure you tell us what breed the cat is, and include the coat color and pattern. You can also tell us when the pic was taken and where, how old the cat is, or something interesting about the cat as well. People love to read cat stories! Then, upload the picture below.

Submitted Pictures Of Cat Breeds

Click the links below to see the current photo contributions so far or add your own here...

Napoleon Cats 
Napoleon cats are created from a cross between a Munchkin and a Persian or Exotic. Napoleons have a round head, face and eyes, whereas the Munchkin has …

Mylo, the Himalayan Persian 
My name is Mylo. I'm 3, and I'm an orange and white Persian and Himalayan who loves posing for pictures! I enjoy playing and running and I'm very talkative. …

My Maine Coon was my main cat 
My Maine Coon was the leader of the house-even with us humans. She had the other two cats trained and us also. Her name was originally Liddle Kiddle …

Amelia our Turkish Van 
Amelia is a 7 year old Turkish Van who makes Mississauga, Ontario her home. She has two human servants who ensure that all her needs are met. In return, …

Where can I find a cat with bunny ears? 
Well, the fact is I would like to know where I can find a baby like this! If somebody knows, please tell me! (email address removed). Editor's note: …

Fluffy the Siberian Kitten 
Fluffy is a 10 month old Siberian kitten . She is a very dog like cat, she is playing fetch. Her nails are very sharp, as you can see on the picture. …

Click here to write your own.


Cat Breeds

Below are the cat breed information pages. As I've said, every cat is an individual, but the cat breed info below is a great starting point when determining what type of cat to adopt.

  1. Abyssinian
    The Abyssinian Cat is affectionate and loyal.
  2. American Bobtail cat
    The American Bobtail is a wild looking but friendly cat. More about the American Bobtail and its history.
  3. American Curl
    The American Curl is a unique looking cat.
  4. American Shorthair
    The American Shorthair is not just an alley cat!
  5. American Wirehair
    The American Wirehair is a barn cat turned champion.
  6. Balinese
    The Balinese began as a Siamese longhair.
  7. Birman cat
    The Birman cat breed has both Siamese and Persian ancestry.
  8. Bombay
    Ever wanted to live with a miniature panther? The Bombay cat breed looks like a wild black panther.
  9. British Shorthair
    The British Shorthair is a laid back cat, but not cuddly.
  10. Burmese cat
    The Burmese Cat is a quieter cousin to the noisy Siamese.
  11. Burmilla Cat
  12. The Burmilla was created from an accidental mating of a Chinchilla Persian and a Burmese.
  13. Chartreux The Chartreux cat breed is a sweet, interactive, quick learner.
  14. Colorpoint Shorthair
    The Colorpoint Shorthair is an allergy friendly active cat.
  15. Cornish Rex
    The Cornish Rex is sociable, playful, and allergy friendly.
  16. Devon Rex
    The Devon Rex is a playful cuddler.
  17. Egyptian Mau
    The Egyptian Mau is an ancient breed for modern times.
  18. European Burmese
    The European Burmese is a lap loving breed.
  19. Exotic cat
    The Exotic cat is a like a Persian for lazy people.
  20. Foreign White
    The Foreign White cat breed is essentially a white colored unpointed variant of the Siamese.
  21. Havana Brown
    The Havana Brown is a big treat in a small package.
  22. Japanese Bobtail
    The rare Japanese Bobtail.More about the history and folklore surrounding Japanese Bobtail cats.
  23. Javanese
    The Javanese is a lap cat.
  24. Korat
    The lucky Korat cat breed (known as the Si-Sawat in its native Thailand).
  25. LaPerm
    The unique and intelligent LaPerm.
  26. Maine Coon Cat
    The large and intelligent Maine Coon Cat.The charm of the big Maine Coon cat.
  27. Manx Cat
    The Manx cat is a quiet but playful treat.
  28. Norwegian Forest Cat
    The beautiful Norwegian Forest Cat.
  29. Ocicat
    The wild looking but very tame ocicat.
  30. Persian cat
    The gentle and beautiful Persian has a luxurious long coat.
  31. Pixie Bob Cats
    Pixie Bob Cats are smart, wild looking, and loving.
  32. Raggamufin
    The ragamuffin is a large, lovable cat that is very tolerant of children and other pets.
  33. Ragdoll cat
    The Ragdoll is the ultimate lap cat. Ragdoll cat videos Ragdoll cat facts
  34. Siamese Cat
    The devoted, smart, and chatty Siamese Cat. Learn more about Siamese cat behaviorSiamese cat videos.
  35. Siberian cat
    The large and muscular Siberian has thick fur, yet is low allergy.
  36. Singapura cat
    The intelligent Singapura is a perpetual kitten.
  37. Snowshoe Cat
    The intelligent, affectionate, and rare Snowshoe cat was developed by crossing a bicolor American Shorthair with a Siamese.
  38. Somali Cat
    The striking, intelligent, and playful Somali cat.
  39. Sphynx Cat
    The loving and mischievous Sphynx cat.
  40. Tonkinese
    the Tonkinese is a great mix between Siamese and Burmese.
  41. Turkish Angora
    The beautiful and intelligent Turkish Angora.
  42. Turkish Van
    The Turkish Van is a water loving cat!
White Maine Coon catWhite Maine Coon cat close-up Original photo by Colleen Ryan

Coat Colors And Patterns

Cats are designated and differentiated in various ways, including breed, color, and coat pattern. Sometimes the only true distinguishing factor between two cats of different breeds is the length, color, or pattern of coat.

Below we'll look at cats of various coat and color patterns, regardless of breed.

Black cats
While not a breed, black cats are certainly treated differently. But are they bad luck, or good?

Black and white cats
Black and white cats are in demand.

Calico Cat

The calico is not a breed, but a coat color pattern!

Tabby cats
Tabby cats are very common (actually, all domestic cats are tabbies, but some don't show it). Here's more about this very common coat pattern.

Tuxedo cat
A tuxedo cat is a specific bicolor black and white coat pattern.


More Information About Cat Breeds

If you can handle dishing out all the attention these cats need, here are 8 affectionate feline breeds from which to choose

Have a look at this collection of feline breed facts

Cat breed list

Most popular cat breed

The governing bodies of the cat fancy and the origin of cat shows

What is the largest domestic cat breed?

The list of breeds recognized by the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA)

Books about cats with breed information


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