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).





Archaic Name

See Ocicat



Result of (Abyssinian x Siamese) x Siamese matings. Spotted pattern in all tabby colours including silvers. Modern Ocicat is closer in build to American Shorthair than to Oriental cats. Earlier names for Ocicat were Accicat (accidental mating) and Ocelette. See also: Jungala (classic tabby version of Ocicat)

Ocicat Longhair

Current, Variant

Longhaired Ocicats appear due to recessive longhair gene in Abyssinian (poss Somali) ancestors.

Ocicat Variants

Current, Variants

There are 96 possible combinations of colours and patterns. Only the spotted Ocicat is recognised, but Ocicats produce solid, smoke, colourpointed, tipped and striped tabby variants.

Ocicat x British Tipped


Ocicat x British Tipped hybrid; currently so early in development that the breed is unnamed! Like the Burmilla, resulted from accidental matings. Combines the silver tipping with the Ocicat pattern and type. Very experimental, only 2 litters existed at the time of writing though the breeder intended to develop the breed.

Ohio Rex


Extinct Rex type mutation

Ojos Azules


A new mutation named for its blue eyes which are not linked to coat color. Normally only white, mostly white or colorpoint cats have blue eyes; the blue eyes of the Ojos Azules are due to a newly identified dominant gene. Occur in most colors (white not encouraged). Development of this breed was delayed due to a potential lethal gene causing cranial deformities. Ojos Azules also have flattened white tail tips, a sprinkling of white hairs and white extremities. In the heterozygous form it causes blue eyes and white splashes. In the homozygous form it appears to cause dead albino kittens. Similar mutations have occurred in New Zealand and several such cats have been found in Essex, UK in recent years.

old style Siamese

Current, Alternate Name

Name understood worldwide for Siamese cats of the older (cobbier) style. See also: Apple (Round) head Siamese, Opal, Thai Siamese, traditional style Siamese


Proposed Name

Suggested name for Colorpoint American Shorthair, roughly equates to the Apple (Round) head Siamese.
See also: Apple (Round) head Siamese, Old Style Siamese, Thai Siamese, traditional style Siamese.

Oregon Rex

Extinct, but may have re-occurred

American Shorthair type cat with Rex coat. Oregon Rex gene is distinct from the Cornish/German and Devon Rex genes and is recessive. It was bred for a while by enthusiasts but was allowed to die out. The breed was considered extinct, but there has been renewed interest in it.

Oriental Bobtail


Oriental conformation and coat, bobtailed. Breed standard was finalised in 1988 by the Cat Association of Britain, but no more has been heard of this breed.

Oriental Fold

Experimental or crossbreed

Fold-eared cat of Oriental/Siamese type, produced from Scottish Fold x Oriental/Siamese crossings.
See also: SiaFold

Oriental Longhair (US)


 Foreign type, tabby, spotted, ticked, semi­longhair

Oriental Longhair (UK)


Formerly the (British) Angora (UK) and Javanese (Europe); known around world as Oriental/Foreign Longhair (Mandarin in Netherlands). The original mating was of a Sorrel Abyssinian x Siamese Seal point, done to introduce a gene believed to produce white cats. The Abyssinian was a longhair carrier and Longhaired Oriental Cinnamons and Fawns resulted (carrying recessive white). The cats were later bred to re-create the Angora type cat which was predecessor of the Persian breed. It should not be confused with the Turkish Angora (true Angora) which has been preserved by Ankhara Zoo in Turkey. The adoption of the name Angora was confusing and caused confusion between this and the original Turkish cat which has prior claim to the name. In 2002, British fancies adopted the name Oriental Longhair.
See also: Javanese (UK) Mandarin, Oriental/Foreign Longhair, Turkish Angora, Russian Angora.

Oriental Pastel


Being developed in UK in late 1960s/early 1970s; Foreign shorthairs of extreme type bred from Oriental selfs and Foreign Spotteds and incorporating the silver gene to give the coat a "shot silk effect". Colours are Oriental Silver, Dapple Silver, Oriental Blue, Dapple Blue, Oriental Lavender, Dapple lavender, Oriental Apricot, Oriental Ivory. Eye colour turquoise, jade or amber depending on coat colour. These are now considered to be caramel series cats. Note: The NZCF registers Orientals of high silver grade as Pastel (the silver series becomes silver, shaded and pastel). Eyes must always be green as in any other Orientals.

Oriental Shorthair (UK/Europe)


Identical to the Siamese apart from color - self, spotted, tabby, bicolor etc. The Spotted Tabby Oriental Shorthair was, for a time, known as the Egyptian Cat/Mau in the UK. In some registries, self-color oriental-type cats are called Foreign Shorthairs, leaving the Oriental Shorthair designation for patterned cats.

Oriental Shorthair (US)


Identical to the Siamese apart from a self (solid) coat. Chestnut Oriental Shorthair is known as Havana in the UK; not the same as the Havana Brown found in US.

Original Ragdoll

Alternative Name

See IRCA Ragdoll

Owyhee Bob


Derived from Manx x Siamese. Longhair, shorthair and semi-longhair with tails ranging from longy through stumpy to rumpy. Combines Manx type with Siamese colouring. A colour considered unique to the breed is Snow Marble; this appears to be bicolour pointed (interaction of white spotting and colour points to give cats with splashes of colour on the body and darker splashes on the points) and looks similar to the colouration of some European Bicolour Orientals.

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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