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

Copyright 1994 - 2018 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).






A short-legged, medium-built breed that has a naturally occurring short tail and curled ears developed in California during 2007 and 2008 by crossing Munchkins, American Curls and a short-tailed tortoiseshell domestic pet. These cats have large amounts of random white markings on the head and body. They are intelligent, outgoing, friendly and enjoy being handled. .

Feral Domestic Hybrid

Alternative Name

A misleading name for domestic x Geoffroy's Cat hybrids and other wild x domestic hybrids. It is misleading because "feral" cats are domestic cats gone wild and these cats are hybrids with wild species.
See Safari Cat

Flame Concha


An early name proposed for Red-Pointed Siamese.



Reported for New Zealand. No further info, but assumed to be Ocicat variant/related to Ocicat and Jungala.



Exotic Shorthair x Scottish Fold shorthair; also known as the Exotic Fold. The Foldex has a shorter nose than the Scottish Fold but not as short as the Exotic Shorthair. Otherwise this is a fold-eared version of the Exotic Shorthair. Facially, the Foldex looks like a little furry owl. The temperament is like the Exotic. Like the Scottish Fold, it is prone to the same bone deformities and produces some non-folded offspring.

Foreign Burmese

Alternative or Archaic Name

American term describing breed now known in US as European Burmese. American Burmese are cobbier like American Shorthair; European Burmese are more foreign in type (like Siamese/Orientals). In Canada, Foreign Burmese means red and tortie series Burmese.

Foreign Shorthair


Oriental type cat with self color, shorthair.

Foreign Longhair


Oriental type cat with self color, semi­longhair. See also Angora.

Four-Eared Cat

Archaic Name

An old Chinese name for the Chinchilla Longhair, based on the amount of fur inside its ears which gave the appearance of an extra set of ears. Mutant cats with four ears (a set of smaller ears placed behind or before the normal ears) have been found; the mutation is usually associated with brain damage making the cats lethargic.



Advertisedin CATS Magazine (USA) mid 1966 - mid-1967. 25 years selective breeding. Specially patterned cats. Calico, Chintz, Bat-wing, Kimono. Two & three color. (Fairyland cattery, San Francisco). No further information.

French Sphynx


Hairless cats (Bald Cats) were born in France but failed to thrive. The modern Sphynx derives from Canadian cats.
See also: Sphynx, Don Sphynx, Peterbald, Mexican Hairless.


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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