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

Copyright 1994 - 2007 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).




 Gaelic Fold


New Zealand. A short-legged, fold-eared cat bred from the Munchkin, Napoleon, Scottish Fold and Highland Fold (LH Scottish Fold). A medium size and boned cat with rounded contours and medium-to-long flexible tail. Bred in both shorthair and longhair forms.

 Gao Taem


In antiquity, a "strikingly spotted" white and black Thai cat described as having, black marked forepaws, black and white ears, black shoulders, two black spots on the back, black shoulders. In total, nine horse-like black spots on an all white background, jewel-like green eyes. In probability, a favored pattern ("Seychelles" pattern) of white/black piebald cat of oriental type.



Bengal x Munchkin. Aim is a short-legged cat with an exotic spotted coat resembling the African genet. It does not contain genet genes (genets are not true cats). Servals or Savannahs may be used as the breed develops. The intention is black spots/rosettes on a butter/cream or silver-grey background, large rounded ears, thick, very long, black-ringed tail and long neck.

Genuine Ragdoll

Alternative Name

A term once used for the internationally known non-IRCA Ragdoll .
See Ragdoll.

Geoffroy's Cat x Domestic Hybrids


These include Ocicat x Geoffroy's Cat, Bengal x Geoffroy's Cat

German Angora


Trademarked breed that split with the German Longhair in 2007 over apparent disagreement as to the authenticity of the German Longhair. German Angora founders claim the first German Angora was born 2000 and the first German Longhair Kitten born in 2007. However, originally the two names were synonyms for one breed.

German Longhair


Similar in type to European Shorthair (with deeper chest) longhaired cat, originally developed in the 1920s in Germany. Colours are solid/self (except chocolate,cinnamon, lilac, fawn), bicolour, mackerel tabby, classic tabby, "masked", tipped, shaded, smoke, golden and tortie (with or without white).

German Rex


European Shorthair type exhibiting gene for Cornish Rex. The original rex cat was a semi-feral hospital cat in East Berlin in 1946, but the mutation was not actively followed up until the late 1950's. It is rare compared to the better known Cornish Rex. Used in early Cornish Rex lines in the USA.
See also: Rex

Golden Siamese

Archaic Name

See Tonkinese

Golden Chechong

Archaic Name

See Tonkinese

Greek Native Breeds

Local Varieties

The following local Greek varieties have been reported by Vasilis Lekkas of Athens, who is involved in the preservation of local livestock including cats. In north-east Greece local cats are stocky well built European/Continental type; in southern Greece they are lighter. Probably this reflects a climatic adaptation, harsh and cold in the north, mild in the south.
In the island of Ikaria (eastern Aegean) is a native type of cat of strongly oriental type with hind legs higher than front legs. They differ from the usual island cats that are of a lighter European/continental type.
In the islands of Paxoi (Ioania Sea, western Greece) a curled ear cat is common and is considered more normal (to locals) than prick-eared cats. They tend to be white bodied with restricted coloured patches. It is unclear which of the 2 Paxoi islands the report relates to.
In Cyprus, St Helen's Cat is of an oriental sinewey type and occurs in various localities, but is mostly bred in the monastery of St Helen, where there is a large colony maintained. It is shown in Cypriot cat shows as "any other variety not separately classified".

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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