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).






Large, sweet-natured cats with strong spotted and rosetted pattern on a clear cream to gold background. Developed for pet market, not for cat registry acceptance, it is not restricted by purebred genetics or a preset breed standard. The Habari breed registry is said to be based on DNA profiling rather than pedigrees. The foundation breeds/cats probably include the Bengal or Asian Leopard Cat; the Savannah or Serval (for size) and possibly others. Claims of DNA profiling and marketing strategy is similar to the discredited Ashera (re-branded early generation Savannahs).

Hare Cat

Archaic Name

Ticked British catSee Abyssinian.

Havana (UK)


Chestnut Brown Oriental - Siamese in type, self Chestnut in color. Originated from Seal Point Siamese x British Black Shorthair matings

Havana Brown (Havana (US))


Originated from British Havana x American Shorthair crossings. Less extreme or foreign-looking in type compared to British Havana. Found in brown and its dilute - frost (lavender).

Hawaiian Hairless


Reported as a mutation from Hawaii or the result of Donskoy Sphynx to Canadian Sphynx and the 2 genes interacting. Claimed to exhibit true hairlessness, lacking hair follicles and having a skin with a rubbery texture rather than the peach-fuzz effect of other hairless breeds. In 2010 DNA testing found it to have the same hairless mutation as the Canadian Sphynx, perhaps with other genes modifying the effect. It suffered numerous health and reproductive issues preventing it being a viable breed. Also known as the Kohana Kat and extremely rare.


Local variety

A local variety known on the Isles of the Hebrides and reported in 1987 but not since. The distinguishing feature is the unusually tiny ears which may be folded. This suggests a genetic link to Scottish Folds.



Name means "touch" in Miwork Indian. Has a "semi-rex" coat (appears to be dominant gene) with mix of straight and waved guard hairs which can look unkempt, but has a distinctive feel. Non-rexed Helki have silky fur and a spinal "mohawk" along the spine when happy. High degree of rufousinging and cream kittens may colour change to blue and then reddish-brown; blue kittens may turn black. Wavy kitten whiskers are later replaced with long, downward-oriented whiskers.

Hemingway Curl

Colloquial Name

A localised variety rather than a breed. The first Hemingway Curl appeared as a spontaneous curl-eared mutation in a colony of polydactyl cats known as Hemingway cats (after the polydactyl cats of Ernest Hemingway) on Key West. Hemingway Curls have been crossed with African Jungle cat hybrids to produce the Jungle Curl breed. Occurs in shorthair and longhair versions.

Hemingway Fold


Scottish Fold x polydactyl, basically a fold-eared cat with extra toes.

Hemingway Sphynx


A cross between Sphynx and polydactyl cats to give hairless polydactyl cats. Originally proposed by a Don Sphynx breeder; now called Dossow Cat. A polydactyl Sphynx cat has apparently occurred through chance mutation in a Sphynx litter.

Hemingway Spotted

Archaic Name, Experimental

Polydactyl x Bengal cross, producing a spotted cat in Bengal pattern but with extra toes. Now called Mojave Spotted as the polydactyl cats used are from the Mojave Desert area.

Hemingway Thai


Allegedly a polydactyl Apple (Round) head Siamese or a cross between Applehead Siamese and polydactyl cat to give colourpoint polydactyl cats. Possibly a one-off and a title of convenience (colourpoint polydactyls occur naturally). Apparently exhibited as a household pet.

Hemingway's Breed


Hemingway, whose name is associated (in America) with polydactyl cats, attempted to create a breed of cat using Cuban cats crossed with existing breeds (possibly Angoras). The breed was never established and never formally named. The attempt is recorded here for interest only.



The TICA equivalent of REFR's Highland Lynx. A large robust wild-looking polydactyl cat with bobbed tail and curled ears. Colours are ticked, spotted and "clouded" and include silver, sepia and colourpoint variants. At first, breeders denied the link to the Highland Lynx (and its ancestry was reputed to be American Bobtail x American Curl x polydactyl).

Highland Fold

Alternative Name, Current

Longhair Scottish Fold
See: Coupari, Scottish Fold

Highland Lynx

Alternative Name

Desert Lynx (alleged Bobcat x Abyssinian) x Jungle Curls (F chaus x various domestics x polydactyl x American Curl hybrid). Some sources have quoted Bengal/F bengalensis as part of the mix. DNA testing ruled out bobcat ancestry and this breed is considered wholly domestic by registries. It is most likely related to the American Bobtail mutation. Under TICA, it is called the Highlander.



Persian cats with colorpoint pattern coat. Known in Europe as Colorpoint Longhairs/Colorpoint Persians.
See also Colorpoint Persian, Khmer

Himalayan Reflection


Non-pointed Himalayan. These are considered Persians in some registries.

Himalayan Rex


There was an isolated report (no date/location given) of a Rex-coated kitten in a Himalayan litter i.e. a curly-coated colourpointed Persian. Whether this was a spontaneous mutation, mismating or earlier accidental introduction of Rex into the breed is not known. Nothing further has been heard. It should be relatively easy to produce Himalayan Rexes by crossing the Bohemia Rex or Selkirk Rex to Colourpoint Persians.



Himalayan x Burmese, longhair Tonkinese, Persian in mink series colors.
See also Iranese, Layanese, Mink Persian, Mink Longhair, Silkanese, Tibetane, Tonkalayan.



Claimed to be the 'world's sweetest cats', with childlike personalities. Related to IRCA Ragdolls. Large and cobby (resemble Persians) but with flattish head with small round ears set on the sides of the head. Its non-matting coat and ruff is very thick and silky. Tabby/non-solid patterns, preferred pattern is black with white "teardrop" on the forehead and white spotting on the top of the tail, sometimes forming a skunk-like stripe. Slow to mature. IRCA have claimed that Honeybears were created by genetic manipulation of skunk genes which were "injected" into the bloodstream of the parent Honeybear (unsound genetics) and they didn't have feline skeletons. See also Cherubim, Ragdoll (IRCA), Miracle Ragdoll, RagaMuffin.

Hoosier Rex


A short-lived rex-type found in an abandoned Indianapolis female and her kittens. The female had short loose rex curls and all four kittens had curly fur ranging from very curly to gently waved. The kittens were not born bald and were wavy-haired from birth or a few days after birth. Because she was relinquished to a shelter, they were all neutered (legal constraint). Either a new mutation or the female came from LaPerm stock.

Household Pet


Not a breed, but a class in shows open to non-pedigree and unregistered pedigree cats (and the term found on non-pedigree cats' veterinary records). Sadly for the true random-bred moggy, such classes are dominated by unregistered pedigree cats and by "half-pedigree" cats (with one parent being of a recognized breed), sometimes bred deliberately for show.

Hungarian Harlequin


Provisional name for a breed being developed in 2018. The aim is a muscular, heavily built, but still graceful colourpoint shorthaired cat developed from the Thai (colourpointed), Norwegian Forest Cat and selected non-pedigree cats. The colour will be harlequin markings (medium-high degree of white spotting). The body should be mostly white with the other colour(s) appearing as variably sized patches. Permitted colours will be solid, tortie and smoke points in seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream. The almond-shaped eyes will be blue, the profile should be straight, or nearly straight, with a strong chin and wide nose. The ears should be medium sized, set on the top of the head and end in lynx-like tufts (harder to achieve in a shorthair breed). The back legs should be longer and the rump slightly raised. The breed was inspired by the looks of a rescued stray cat. (Longhaired variants will occur because of the Norwegian Forest Cat. The conformation and degree of white will differ from the Snowshoe)


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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