Cat Breeds (Recognized/Unrecognized, Common/Obscure), Variants, Mutations, Hybrids, Archaic/Alternate Names.

Copyright 1994 - 2014 Sarah Hartwell


About the Messybeast Breed List

A - Z Breeds Index


With so many different registries with different views, the exact status of some breeds is hard to define. I have used the following terms:

Alternative Name: An alternative name still in use; might have been a proposed name while breed was being developed.
Archaic Name: Historical name no longer used.
Crossbred: Informal variety always created by crossing 2 other breeds.
Current: A currently recognised breed (means recognition by at least one registry in the world)
Experimental: Early stages of development. Some have provisional or preliminary recognition, but others do not seek or achieve registry recognition.
Extinct: No individuals of the breed exist e.g. Mexican Hairless
Fake: An attempt to decieve the public by representing a cat as something it is not.
Fictional: "Breeds" such as cabbits, squittens, Chinese Hairless and Egyptian Hairless that exist only in fiction or folklore (but people believe they are real).
Local Variety: Unrecognised distinct strain of cats found in a particular locality e.g. Buckfast Blue.
Mutation: Distinct strain that occurred through mutation; some are incorporated into similar-looking breeds (e.g. different Rex strains with the same gene mutation).
Proposed: Not even off the drawing board!
Unknown: Reported by reputable source, but with no other information, possibly a one-off.
Variant: Purebred cats that do not meet the breed standard due to hidden genes e.g. longhaired Bengals. Some are recognised in other countries under a different name.

A further region-specific classification is out of the scope of this list: Banned. In parts of Europe certain breeds are prohibited because their breed traits are considered harmful deformities. These include Manx/Cymric (spinal problems related to tailless mutation), Munchkin (dwarfism), Scottish Fold (skeletal problems), Sphynx (hairlessness is considered detrimental to the breed) and Blue-Eyed Whites in any breed (deafness).




Baby Doll


A variety of IRCA Ragdoll developed by Ann Baker under the "Cherubim" umbrella



A wild/domestic hybrid using the Fishing Cat (F viverrina). Full name is Machbagral. See Machbagral

Bahraini Dilmun Cat


A natural semi-foreign spotted cat being developed by members of the Cat Club of Bahrain. Dilmun cats evolved to survive Bahrain's extremely high summer temperature. Fur is very soft, conformation is Oriental-type with slender, long bodies, high haunches and long, narrow legs and tails. Head is wedge-shaped, ears are wide at the base and oval tipped, nose has a slight stop, eyes are slanted and green or gold. Some are solid-colored, most are spotted tabby with a dusky blush on the nose, dark bars on the base and tip of the ears, ringed tail, bracelets on legs and necklaces. Like the Egyptian Mau, this is a naturally spotted cat. Purebred Dilmun cats are becoming more rare due to interbreeding with abandoned pet Persians.



Longhair Siamese. In some US registries only solid points are recognized in Balinese, other pattern points are called Javanese in US. (NB: Javanese was once used in UK for Oriental Longhair, in NZ it means spotted/self variants of Balinese) See also: Javanese (US)



A deliberate hybrid of Munchkin and Sphynx to create a short-legged, hairless cat with an outgoing, mischievous and affectionate personality. The name "bambino" (Italian for "baby") alludes to their kittenish personalities. Long-legged variants (Bambino Long-Legs) occur. Bambinos have a long wedge-shaped head with lynx-tipped ears set well onto the top of the head with the ear line even with the corner of the eye and continuing upwards rather than flaring outwards. The eyes are wide set. The muzzle is short and squarish. The conformation is muscular and medium boned. The coat ranges from hairless to peach fuzz in any colour or pattern. See also: Minskin, Sphynxkin



Developed from Bambino x American Bobtail/Domestic Bobtailed cats x Sphynx. A hairless, short cat with a bobbed tail approx. 1 inch long, but long-tailed variants occur. Head is wedge-shaped, longer than wide. Ears are medium set. Eyes are almond-shaped, set wide and slantly slanting. Short muzzle. Conformation is solid, medium-boned and muscular. Preferred legs are short, like the Munchkin (a parent of the Bambino), but long-legged variants occur. The coat ranges from complete hairlessness to slight peach-fuzz. BamBobs occur in 4 variants: long-legs-long-tail, long-legs-short-tail, short-legs-long-tail, short-legs-short-tail. Short-leg to short-leg matings or bobtail-to-bobtail matings are avoided because of potential genetic issues.

Bambino Curl


Curl-eared version of Bambino (short-legged hairless).



Native Thai breed in the "mocha" colour, this is the Thai name for the cat. Eyes can be blue, aquamarine or odd eyes (i.e. one yellow/golden eye). "Mocha" is another mutation at the the Siamese/Burmese/Albino gene locus.



Provisional name for breed being developed from longhaired kittens born in pedigree Chartreux litters in the UK. The Chartreux was crossed with the Persian in the 1930s to improve eye colour. This also introduced the recessive gene for longhair. The existence of Longhaired Chartreux kittens is denied by many Chartreux breeders and they are homed as moggies. The name chosen preserves the connection with monks.See also: Chartreux



Domestic cat x Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis). Domestic cats used were mainly Egyptian Mau, Abyssinian, Burmese and American Shorthairs (possibly Ocicat). Some lines include Margay genes; the few remaining Bristols (domestic x Margay hybrid) were given to a Bengal breeder for use in her Bengal program. Comes in spotted, rosetted and marbled patterns. Breeders wish to preserve the look of the Leopard Cat. Black markings on brown/golden background is usual, 'snow' variants have pale markings on ivory background (due to dilution genes from Siamese and Burmese). Many have a distinct "glitter" to their coats. Silver Bengals (using Silver American Shorthairs) and Silver Smoke Bengals (using Silver Smoke Egyptian Maus) are becoming increasingly popular. Cats carrying silver play a part in creating Bengals with bright golden background.

Bengal Longhair


Colour and type as for Bengal. Coat is fluffier with plumy tail and distinct ruff. Long hair propably came from recessive gene in Abyssinians used in early crosses when founding the Bengal breed. Frowned upon by Bengal breeders, but some breeders apparently now working with longhairs separate from mainstream Bengals. See also: Cashmere, Pardino

Bengal Variants


Unrecognized Bengal variants include Longhaired Bengals, Blue (blue on apricot), Chocolate, Cinnamon and Tortoiseshell Bengals. Solid colours (e.g. Black) and Minks (Tonkinese colours) also appear. Because the wild look is lost with the variant colours they are not usually bred.

Bengal x Bobcat hybrids


Hybrids between Bengals (domestic/F bengalensis) and Bobcats (F rufus) are alleged. There have been reports of Bengal x Lynx hybrids being bred as pets, but Bengal/Bobcat is more likely.

Bengal x Chausie


Accidental crossbreed. The offspring were ticked pattern in the darker Bengal colours and with barred markings on the head, limbs and tail.

Bengal x Singapura


Accidental crossbreed. The offspring were a mix of spotted/rosseted/marbled like Bengals and Chausie pattern; all with spotted bellies. Size and sweet temperament was comparable to the parents.

Berkshire Brown

Archaic Name

See Havana Brown



Birman x Chinchilla cross producing silver tabby/golden tabby/tipped/smoked cats intermediate between Persian and Birman types, some are pointed but may be lacking the white mitts of the Birman. Akin to an older-style Persian with an easier care coat. Birchilla x Exotic has also been bred. The breeder's aim is unknown, there does not seem to be a goal of developing a new breed. Elsewhere, silver Persian x Birman crosses have been used to create Silver Birmans (silver tabby point, smoke point and chinchilla tipped point)



(Sacred Cat of Burma). Medium-sized cat with a massive oriental body, medium legs and tail, broad round head with short muzzle and rounded ears. Colorpointed with white mitts and boots. Semi-long silky coat, thick on the neck and tail. Developed in France in the early 1900's the Birman superficially resembles the Himalayan (Colorpoint Persian) but has white boots; oriental rather than cobby body, and coat texture like the Turkish Angora rather than the Persian. Birman variants which do not exhibit the standard pattern (e.g. non-colorpointed variants) are sometimes referred to as Tibetan. In "Sa Majeste, Le Chat" (1932) there is a picture of a Birman-type cat described as "half-Persian, Half Siamese" (at that time, Siamese occasionally had white toes) suggesting that the Birman may be entirely a French development.

Birman Shorthair


Bred experimentally in New Zealand since since 1995. Proposed breed name is Tsuncat. Now called Templecat. See: Templecat

Black Bengal


Melanistic Bengals occur in some litters if both parents carry the recessive gene for black coat. Often faint ghost markings of spots and rosettes are visible. They are not bred deliberately within the Bengal breed, but have been used to found the Pantherette breed. See: Pantherette

Black Somali

Experimental or Crossbreed

Black versions of the Somali exist but are frowned upon by registries. Somali in type and temperament, black fur with "shimmer" due to barely visible ticking. Obtained from Somali x Black Domestic Shorthair.

Blonde Havana

Alternative Name

Foreign Cinnamon Shorthair (Holland)

Blueberry Muffin


Blue-eyed version of RagaMuffin being developed in Canada and registered as experimental with one of the Canadian associations.

Blue Siamese


19th century name for the Korat.



Highland Lynx x The American Bobtail cross. However, "blynx" term is already in use to denote bobcat/lynx hybrids.

Bohemian Rex (Bohemia Rex)


Also known as Czech Curly Cat. Longhaired Rex-coated cat of Persian conformation. Has the same rex gene as the Cornish Rex. Longhair Rexes often have unmanageable or poor quality coats. Discovered in 1981 in Liberec, Czech Republic when a pair of pedigree Persians produced curly kittens. Research showed that other curly kittens had occurred in Persian lines tracing back to two male cats imported from Germany in the 1970s. Possibly due to German Rex breeders using Persians as outcrosses. Persian in personality and type, without ultra noses. Coat is soft, falling in small, tight spirals and crimps, with looser curls on the back.
See also: Selkirk Rex

Bombay (Asian Black Shorthair)


Originated from Burmese x American Shorthair crossings. A jet-black cat of Burmese type with bright copper "newpenny" eyes. The American Bombay is cobbier in type like the American Burmese.

Bombay Longhair(Asian Black Longhair)


Semi-longhaired version of the Bombay, now recognised as a experimental breed by some European registries.



Name sometimes used to describe a Siamese cat carrying the recessive albino gene; leading to the cat having a lighter-than-usual colour.



Name given to alleged Bobcat x Manx hybrids apparently used in creation of some bobtailed breeds. Bobcats and domestic cats do not produce offspring when mated together.



Bengal x brush-coated Peterbald x other shorthair breeds. A large, muscular non-shedding wire-coated breed in all colours and patterns with rosetted being most popular. skin under the thin wire coat. It is intelligent, non-aggressive and people-oriented.

Brazilian Shorthair


Short-haired breed neither cobby nor svelte, with tapering tail and head intermediate between European Shorthair and an Oriental Shorthair and almond-shaped eyes.



British shorthair x Somali. Not a recognised variety, but a crossbreed.

Bristol (1972)


Derived from an Australian cat crossed with Burmese and Siamese (bred in the USA). Base color fawn with gray overtones fading to fawn on belly. Markings to be bittersweet chocolate on head, legs and tail, warmer chocolate color. All markings to be broken. Medium massive body - overall impression is that of a powerful cat - a domesticated jungle cat. Neck to be medium length and thick - again powerful. Chest broad and powerful. Head to be medium massive, but not to be short and cobby. Muzzle should be medium' length, with a firm jaw and chin. Chin and nose to meet in a straight line. Whiskers break desirable. Boning of the cat to be medium heavy. Legs be medium in length. Boning of legs in proportion to balance of body. Tail medium length and thickness. Tapering slightly from base to rounded tip. Ears almost as broad at base as at tip. Tips rounded and set slightly forward. Thumb print desirable. Color of the eyes to be sea-green. Eyes set forward in head, oval in shape with slight bias toward ears. Stands in crouched position as in jungle cat about to strike.

Bristol (1980s)


Reputed (1980s) to be Domestic x Margay; died out due to infertility problems. One photo showed a cat resembling a big orange Ocicat. The Bristol predates the Bengal. Some had a black smoky charcoal colour, others had white/pale underparts and strong rosetting. Had margay/ocelot type rosettes, an ocelot-like voice and small, rounded ears. Once recognized by TICA, but dropped due to lack of numbers and sterility problems. A Bristol female and her Bristol x Bengal offspring were introduced into some Bengal lines to add further wild-type genes and apparently produced the best rosetting.

British Angora

Alternative Name

See Angora, Oriental/Foreign Longhair



Semi-longhair form of British Shorthair. Recognised since 2002 by European Group Cat Association

British Ice


REFR equivalent to the Celestial - a dominant blue-eyed form of British Shorthair/Longhair, but also allowing sectoral heterochromia (iris of the eye split into blue and another colour like pie slices) as well as odd-eyes. Is outcrossed to British Shorthair/Longhair, non-folded variants of Scottish Fold and straight-haired variants of Selkirk Rex.

British Longhair


Semi-longhair version of British Shorthair. Apart from fur, it is identical to British Shorthair. Also known as Lowlander (US) and Britanica (Europe). See also Lowlander, Britanica

British Shorthair


Large cobby shorthair originating from cats taken to Britain by Roman settlers. Became rare during the two World Wars and surviving British Shorthairs were bred with American/European Shorthairs and Persians (for the cobby type). Some breeders are breeding the original British Shorthair from cats found in Scotland and Ireland. Four outcomes are possible: the original breed (less plushly furred) will be restored (unlikely, the current British Shorthair is widespread); there will be two British Shorthair breeds (possible, but a new name will be needed e.g. Irish Shorthair); the Scottish and Irish cats will be introduced into British Shorthair bloodlines (unlikely, breeders are too jealous of the purity of their bloodlines); or the breeding of the Scottish/Irish cats will lapse due to lack of interest.

British Tick

Archaic Name

Naturally occurring ticked shorthair cats, possibly later refined into AbyssinianSee Abyssinian, Bunny Cat, Cunny, Hare Cat, Rabbit Cat

Brooklyn Wooley (Brooklyn Rex)


Rex-type mutation which occurred in Brooklyn, USA, 2003. Rippled coat, wiry rex hair, kittens born bald; straight-haired cats may go on to have wavy, coarse hair (LaPerm-type growth pattern, but Rex-type coat). Possible dominant gene. Some cats also blue-eyed (Ojos Azules gene). Renamed "Wooley" in 2006.

Buckfast Blue (Buckfast Rex)

Extinct Local Variety

In Devon, UK, gray-blue cats with slightly woolly and slightly waved coats were found near Buckfast Abbey and nicknamed the Buckfast Blue by locals. The Devon Rex originated from this area so the waviness may be one expression of the Rex gene. This strain, found in strays and ferals, appears to have been lost due to outbreeding.

Bunny Cat

Archaic Name

See Abyssinian. This term is also applied to the Manx.



Burmese x Himalayan. Longhair with Burmese or Mink colour. See also: Himbur, Iranese, Layanese, Mink Longhair, Mink Persian, Silkanese, Tibetane, Tonkalayan



Burmese x Somali, ticked coat, shorthair of Burmese type. Now known as Asian Ticked Tabby Shorthair. See also: Asian Shorthair



Burmese x Manx (sepia Manx, a crossbred)



Body type similar to turn-of-the-century Siamese, colors are self (solid) and tortie. Patterned/Shaded/Tipped/Smoke Burmese are called Asian Shorthairs. Some self colors are called Malayan by some registries. Breed is descended from brown female cat from Burma, Wong Mau, who is now known to have been a Tonkinese. Burmese and Siamese can be considered to be two ends of a spectrum of Asian breeds, the middle range being the Tonkinese, which produces pointed, mink and self-colored individuals. There are 4 types of Burmese in the world, all known simply as "Burmese" in their own localities: Contempory (aka American Burmese), Traditional, Foreign and European. American Burmese are short and relatively cobby. European Burmese is the US term for the standard Burmese found in Europe. Foreign Burmese (Canadian term) denotes European Burmese with the orange gene (i.e. outcrossed). Traditional refers to old-style.See also: Asian Shorthair, Burmali, Burmilla, Burmoire, Malayan, Tiffanie, European Burmese, American Burmese, Foreign Burmese, Contemporary Burmese



Burmese type cat with Chinchilla color and tipping. Occurred due to an accidental mating between a Burmese and a Chinchilla cat. Part of the Asian group of cats.

Burmilla Longhair


Burmilla x Burmilla may produce longhair kittens (a recessive gene) known as Burmilla Longhairs in Australia. These differ from Australian Tiffanies (Chinchilla x Burmilla) in having the less cobby Asian (Burmese) conformation. See also Tiffanie, Asian Longhair, Australian Longhair..


Alternative Name

Not a breed as such, but a term used for a Burmese cat carryng the "Thai Mocha" colour.


Alternative Name

Burmese type shorthair in shaded/smoke series. Now part of Asian Shorthair grouping. See also Asian Shorthair.

Butterfly Rex

Archaic Name

See Devon Rex.

CAT BREEDS TIME-LINE - A list of dates when breeds and varieties (i.e. populations which bred true) were discovered or recognised (now held on its own webpage due to the increasing size of this list).

CAT COLOURS & PATTERNS  - A plain English guide to cat colours and patterns, including breed-specific colours/patterns.

About this List of Breeds and the Breeds Time-Line
This file was originally started for my own interest back in the 1980s. Information on currently recognised cat breeds is readily available in books, from registries/governing bodies (GCCF, FIFe, ACFA etc), breed societies or on the Internet. Breed recognition and breed descriptions vary between registries and countries. This "layperson's list" contains general descriptions only and is not (nor will it ever be) specific to any single registry, breed society or cat-breeding country. It will not link to, nor name, any breeder pages or cattery pages as this would compromise its independence. It comprises information and trivia from diverse sources worldwide including historical texts and personal correspondence. I wish to express my gratitude to the various contributors who have helped me keep it up-to-date.


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