What type of kitten is she?

by Trish

Black kitty

Black kitty

I got beautiful sisters, black kittens. I want to know what kind they are.

Editor's note: Good question, Trish. When we talk about types of cats, at least domestic cats, we are usually referring to breed.

And, a lot of people who adopt cats or find them as strays and take them in often ask... what breed is my cat?

Your little black beauty in the picture there looks like what we would call a domestic shorthair or DSH. If she had longer hair, we'd call her a domestic longhair.

The terms domestic shorthair and domestic longhair are used to describe cats that are of unknown breed, and are sometimes referred to as random bred or mixed breed cats.

More info...

It's very common for new cat owners to ask about their cat's breed. It's logical question. It's also a deceptively simple question, so a little background is in order...

In the Cat Fancy, there are various organizations around the world that recognize cat breeds.

Cat breeders will register their kittens so that they have "papers." Very few cats, relatively speaking, are of a known recognized breed and have papers. The rest are, well, mutts, although that term is often applied to dogs.

Even if we think we know what breed a cat might be, it can't be confirmed unless the cat has the appropriate papers from a breeder to show its pedigree.

In some cases, an expert in a particular breed may be able to determine that a cat has some of the physical features of that breed. For example, there was an episode of Cats 101 on Animal Planet where a stray cat was determined to be a Havana Brown.

And so, for the rest, we have DSH and DLH.

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