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).






Reputed cat x rabbit hybrid. This is genetically impossible. See Cabbits -What Are They? for more information.

Californian Rex


Extinct Rex-type mutation.

California Spangled


California Toyger


See: Toyger.

Calimanco / Calamanco

Archaic term

Old North American name for a tortoiseshell short >hair (tortie and white being known as calico).

Canadian Hairless

Alternative Name

See Sphynx



British Shorthair x Persian Longhair. Longhair and shorthair variants. Colours are restricted to cinnamon, fawn, chocolate and lilac. These colourways are an expansion of the existing British Shorthair colours. Canellas are already accepted in some regions as British Shorthairs and British Longhairs.

Canon Girdlestone's Breed

Archaic, Extinct

Breed of shorthaired blue tabby cats reputed to originate in north of Norway and imported into Britain at same time as early Russian Blues.

Cape Breton Bobtail

Local variety

Strain of Manx-like cats found on islands off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Less cobby than the Manx, the tail is a rabbit-like scut, not a pom-pom like bobtail.



Abyssinian x caracal hybrid. Non-spotted cougar-like hybrid with ticked tawny fur, some residual barring on limbs and dark "moustache." Originally bred to F2 level in the USA and now being bred in Russia in tawny and silver versions.



See Transylvanian. Carpathian was n early name for breed developed from Romanian cats with the black karpati pattern.


Alternative Name

Alternative name for the Chartreux breed.



Semi-longhair Bengal with conformation and colour identical to Bengal. Bred internationally in Europe, UK and US. Derived from only Bengal to Bengal breedings using cats that carry the recessive longhair gene introduced in early corsses of Asian Leopard Cat and domestic cats when founding the Bengal. See also: Pardino

Catenoid (IRCA)

Extinct? Was Experimental

Intended to be a cat which will produce an IRCA Ragdoll-type cat regardless of what it is mated with! The underlying genetics theory is dubious. Apparently abandoned following death of Ann Baker. Former IRCA breeders have said these were blue-eyed solid "Ragdolls" and may have been absorbed into the RagaMuffin.


Alternative Name, Archaic

Name proposed in the USA in 1965 for blue Burmese and champagne Burmese to separate them from the original sable brown Burmese. Because blue bred to champagne produced sable brown, it was an unworkable proposition.

Celestial British


A blue-eyed form of British Longhair developed using blue-eyed Russian cats. The fur can be any colour of pattern (except colourpoint) with blue eyes, greenish-yellow eyes or odd eyes. There are usually white markings. Homozygotes are either solid white or have a distinctive pattern (white front end, coloured hind hend) and are generally deaf.

Celonese (Ceylon Cat)


Small ticked tabby, barred legs, various colors. Origin Ceylon, now bred in Italy. The black-ticked golden form is also known as the Manilla.

Celtic Shorthair


Medium to large, strong and muscular with a rounded, well developed rib cage, strong, medium-length legs and round paws. Medium long tail, broad at base with slight taper to a rounded tip. Broad rounded head, slightly longer than wide. Medium size, nearly upright wide-set ears, slightly rounded at tips and may be tufted. Rounded wide-set eyes, colour harmonises with coat colour. Short dense glossy fur. Chocolate, cinnamon, lilac and fawn not permitted. Colourpoint not permitted.

Certosino (Italian)

Alternative Name

 See Chartreux.



Developed in North America from non-pedigree cats, the Chantilly/Tiffany has a silky, semi-longhaired coat in chocolate color. Though superficially resembling the Burmese, it is unrelated and should not be confused with the British Tiffanie (Asian Longhair). Burmese kittens are born with lighter coats and have dark paw pads, Chantilly kittens are born dark and have pink paw pads. They were first known as Foreign Longhairs and even as Mahoganies and may have been a by-product of the breeding program which gave rise to the British Angora.

Chartreuse Cat

 Archaic Name

Confusingly an old name for the Russian Blue and not to be confused with the Chartreux. See also Spanish Blue, Maltese Blue, Russian Blue.



Similar and related to European Shorthair. Described as "potato body on matchstick legs". Short blue coat with heavy undercoat, some "wooliness" permitted. Apparently derived from slatey-blue European Blue Shorthairs by monks, producing a silvery-blue cat. In the UK it is not distinguished from the British Blue despitedifferent build and coat type.



Domestic x Asian Jungle Cats (F chaus). Early Chausies were up to twice as tall as domestic cats and 2-3 times as heavy; 3rd and 4th generation cats are medium-large domestic cats. Breeders aim to replicate the look of the jungle cat. Early Chausies were golden, solid black or black and silver (smoke). At 3rd and 4th generation level, the three colours are brown ticked tabby ("golden"), silver tipped melanistic and black. The silver tipped may be a form of black agouti rather than smoke or silver. The golden ranges from the Abyssinian "ruddy" colour to light reddish fawn.  Tabby markings on face and legs (bracelets), ghost tabby markings on body, ghost necklaces around chest, tail is barred with a black tip. Eartips have black lynx tufts and, on the Golden form, thumb prints on the backs.  Hind legs slightly longer than forelegs. Tail is three-quarter length, extending just past the hock; results from a recessive gene and not through crossing to bobtailed or tailless domestic breeds.



Bengal x Ocicat hybrid. Large, gentle cats with a wild look and inheriting different colours from Ocicat lineage. The aim appears to be to create a very wild-looking domestic cat without further crossings with to wild cats.



Bred from Canadian lines of Cornish Rex, this appears to be a hairless version of the American Cornish Rex. It has a very fine coat appr 1/8" long over the head, neck, back and sides; a slightly longer coat on the chest and hips, but without the wavy coat of the Cornish Rex. The tail may have a lion tuft at the end. The Egyptian-sounding name echoes that of the Sphynx. Further information welcome.



Selkirk Rexes with Persian-type faces.See also: Czech Curly Cat, Bohemia Rex



Umbrella term for IRCA varieties: IRCA Ragdoll, Honeybear and Miracle Ragdoll. IRCA assert that such cats resulted from Josephine, who apparently produced normal kittens prior to a car accident, but ultra-placid kittens afterwards. First came the Ragdoll, then Honeybears and Miracle Ragdolls (upgraded Ragdolls) which IRCA claim are "Cherubim Cats" because they are tranquil and non-aggressive. Increasingly rare following death of Ann Baker. See IRCA Ragdoll, RagaMuffin



Bred in Britain in the mid-1980s. A non-pointed (self/solid colour) variant of the TICA Ragdoll, analogous to the trademarked IRCA Cherubims and Honeybears in the USA (and to the modern RagaMuffin), most likely resulting from test-mating early British Ragdoll lines to Burmese and possibly also to Somalis and Abyssinians. Semi-longhairs in black, brown (chocolate) and blue with golden eyes and "charming temperaments". All research suggests there was only ever a single breeder.See RagaMuffin

China Doll


Chinchilla Persian x Ragdoll (similar to tipped/shaded RagaMuffin)

Chinchilla Longhair

Alternative Name

In the UK: Chinchilla Persian (may be Ultra-typed).
In parts of US and South Africa: Chinchilla Persians conforming to Sterling breed standard (i.e. not Ultra-typed).

Chinese Cat

 Archaic Name

Archaic name for the Persian breed; used in the 1800s.

Chinese Hairless Cat


There is no such breed as the "Chinese Hairless Cat". It appears to be a garbled version of the also non-existent Egyptian Hairless. For hairless/nearly hairless breeds see Sphynx (Canadian Hairless), Don Sphynx (Donskoy/Donsky), Peterbald (St Petersburg Hairless), Hawaiian Hairless (Kohana); two extinct hairless breeds are Mexican Hairless Cat, French Sphynx.

Chinese Harlequin

Experimental, Extinct?

Shorthair, black tail, black patches on head, small patches on body (Van pattern?), blue/white possible. Bred to resemble cat found in ancient Chinese art. In China, cats are eaten or farmed for fur, not frequently kept as pets.

Chinese Lop


An extinct white longhaired breed once found in the area around Peking, China. The name Sumxu (Yellow-Throated Marten, a glossy black and yellow animal) is sometimes erroneously used. The Chinese Lop-Eared was a longhaired white cat with pendulous ears. Described in early 1700s as a curiosity, also in 1796 (droop-eared cat brought back from China) and in 1938 (another droop-eared cat imported). In 1938, the mutation was thought to be restricted to white longhaired cats. See also: Coupari, Highland Fold, Longhair Fold, Scottish Fold.

Chinese Tank Cat


A new breed from China developed from a Napoleon (Minuet) cat from Hong Kong and British Shorthairs. Essentially a short-legged british Shorthair cat.

Chinese White


A new breed from China. White and found in Longhair and Shorthair. Photos depict an Angora-like cat.

Chocolate Siamese

Archaic Name

See Tonkinese



NZ: Another name for the Jungala; an Ocicat in the classic tabby pattern. Apart from the classic tabby pattern, the conformation and temperament are the same as the Ocicat and they are fully inter-mateable with Ocicats. See also: Jungala



Polydactyl breed developed in New Zealand from domestic cats descended from polydactyl cats that reached New Zealand on Clipper Ships between 1850 and 1900.



Australian shorthair/semi-longhair breed in mink colors. Some photos depict a Ragdoll-like cat, others depict a cat similar to the traditional (older cobbier) style of Siamese. The name was used to market Birman/Ragdoll/British cross-breed cats, but these were not recognised as a breed.

Clouded Jack


[2015] TICA. Bengal x PixieBob x Savannah

Colorado Rex


This name appeared on a survey of Rex cat breeds in 2002, but no such breed exists. Presumed to be confusion with a rabbit breed of this name. Although single Rex-coated cats crop up by spontaneous mutation and are generally given the name designation "location name + Rex", there is no record of a mutation known by this name. Information to the contrary welcome.

Colorpoint Longhair (US)


Colorpoint Persian (Himalayan) with tabby or tortie (i.e. non-solid) points (in the US, "colorpoint" refers to colours except seal, blue, lilac or chocolate. In the UK, "colourpoint" refers to any colour/pattern restricted to the points).

Colorpoint Shorthair (US)


Identical to Siamese apart from point colors which are not recognized within the Siamese category of some governing bodies. In other countries/registries they are classed as Siamese.

Colourpoint British Shorthair


British Shorthair cat in Siamese pattern coat (in the US, "colorpoint" refers to colours except seal, blue, lilac or chocolate. In the UK, "colourpoint" refers to any colour/pattern restricted to the points).

Colourpoint Longhair (UK)


Colorpoint Persian, solid/tabby/tortie points (any colour points).
See also Himalayan.

Colourpoint Shorthair (UK)


Colorpoint cat of British Shorthair type.

Contemporary Burmese


American 'improved' type Burmese with more domed head. Subject to cranial deformities.



An old term for the Cornish Rex, derived from cat + poodle. See Cornish Rex.



Deliberate cross of Australian Mist and Maine Coon. The long hair is recessive and does not appear in the kittens from Mist x Maine Coon parents. Longhair shows up in later generations when the initial offspring are mated together.


Archaic Name

Proposed name for breed now known as Red Self Asian.

Cornish Rex (European Cornish Rex, British Cornish Rex)


Small oriental type cat with curly, marcel-waved, Rex-type fur. Descended from a Cornish farm-cat called Kallibunker. Bred for a foreign-type body, to distinguish it from the unrelated Devon Rex, which nevertheless appeared a few years later in neighbouring Devon! All colors and patterns, those in pointed patterns are known as Si-Rex. It is distinct in shape and personality from the American Cornish Rex which has been extensively outcrossed to Oriental cats.

Cornwall Cat


In 1837 a strain of tailless cats were reported in Pendarvis, Cornwall and in a Dorset village. In 1909 it was reported that the tailless cats were known variously as Cornwall cats or Manx cats.


Archaic Name

Thai name for Burmese/Tonkinese type cats.
See also: Supalek, Thong Daeng, Thai Copper

Cotton Snowshoe


Similar to a semi-longhaired Snowshoe variant with minimal white markings on the face and feet. Long, silky, thick coat; thick mane, bushy tail. Old-type Siamese-style face. Developed using a snowshoe Siamese (Siamese with white toes/feet, considered a fault in the Siamese breed). Not related to the recognised Snowshoe breed. Exceptionally affectionate personality.



An attempt to breed a cat resembling a miniature American Cougar; possibly from Bengal x Abyssinian x Domestic Shorthair


Current, Alternative Name

Longhair Scottish Fold. The alternate name Highland Fold was rejected in the UK since Coupar Angus (where the cats originated) is not in the Highlands. See Scottish Fold.


Alternative Name

Apparently proposed name for Toy and Teacup Persians in application made to TICA for new breed/color status.


Alternative Name

One of the early names proposed for the Safari breed of cat.

Cuban Blue


At the turn of the 21st century, a Cuban doctor noticed an attractive blue-grey shorthair cat distinct from normal street cats. He located other cats with the same colour and conformation and these became the Cuban Blue (Azul Cubano). It was recognised by the Associación Cubana de Aficionados a los Gatos (Acag) in November 2010 in both shorthair and semilonghair varieties. By 2011, there were 21 adults and 24 kittens. Breeders believe the variety orginated from uncontrolled mating between the traditional/older-style Siamese and black street cats. The Cuban Blue weighs 2.7 - 4.5 kg and is described as active and playful. It resembles, and may be mistaken for, the Russian Blue, but no Russian Blues had been officially imported into Cuba while the head and body conformation differ. There are reports of unoffical imports of Russian Blue cats from Russian ships.



The Cubbari (nicknamed Cub-cat) aims to create a domestic cat that has the physical appearance of a big cat cub. They are small in stature with thick, sturdy boned bodies and weigh 5- 8lbs as adults. They have a loving, cuddly personality with a social, active edge. The breed was founded using the Munchkin and Bengal cats, but the emphasis is on coat color and pattern, facial structure and developing breed-specific traits. British Shorthairs are also being used. Temperament should be highly friendly, cuddly and active. Colours and patterns include snow, golden, brown, and black with or without Agouti and ticked variants as well as tabby in marbled (classic), spotted or rosetted and shaded are most notable within the breed. It does not have short legs.

Cunny Cat

Archaic Name

Ticked British cat. See Abyssinian.

Curly Abyssinian (Abyssinian Rex)


An accidental mating between an Abyssinian-type pet cat and German Rex apparently produced curly-coated kittens of modified European Shorthair conformation with the coat pattern and colour of the usual (ruddy) Abyssinian. The parents were unneutered pets. The mating was not repeated. Curly Abyssinians and Curly Somalis (or Abyssinian Rex/Agouti Rex) remain a possibility. The Abyssinian-type cat must itself have been an Aby/Rex hybrid since the gene for Rex coat is recessive.

Curly Persian

Alternative Name

Alternative name for the Bohemain Rex/Czech Curly Cat.

Curly Tailed Cat


Various curly tailed mutations have been found in cats in China (12th Century) and pre-1940 in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.



A semi-longhaired Manx, named after the Welsh name for Wales although it was developed in the US. See also: Manx


Alternate Name 

The local East Anglian [Norfolk/Suffolk/Essex area of UK) name for a tabby cat. Cyprus is described in the 18th century as being a finely curled "stuff" of reddish colour, similar to silk threads and hair. It is sometimes rendered as "Cybrian" cat "Cyprian" cat (the description of "fine curled stuff" suggests these might actually have been Rex-type cats). According to Bungartz (1896) the Cyprus cat was a tabby shorthair breed kept and bred by monks and was yellow-grey with black stripes.

Cyprus Mountain Cat


Also called Aphrodite's Giant Cat. One of the biggest breeds. Evolved naturally within Cyprus, possible from Turkish-type cats. The heavy boning, thick coat and large size is an adaptation to cold wet winters and hot dry summers. Long triangular head with long straight nose and muzzle, strong chin and slightly rounded forehead. Olive shaped eyes, any colour from pale blue and light yellow to dark blue and green. Large ears, wide at the base. Big, elegant, lean muscular body, but not cobby. Smaller cats are not accepted for breeding. Longer hind legs. Long back and neck and slender shoulders and hips. Medium to long tail, tapering slightly. Very soft cotton-woolly coat in Winter, but shorter in summer. Little topcoat. The longhair variety has a plumed tail. All colours except brown dilution or colourpoints. In bicolours, random patterns are preferred.

Czech Curly Cat


See Bohemian 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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