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).




Palomino Cat


(USA); color is described as being like that of a brown paper grocery bag.



Depending on reference: Black Bengal x Maine Coon or Amur Leopard Cat x Black PixieBob. Black Bengals sometimes occur; these were crossed to a black Maine Coon (for the muscular build). Back crossings to Black Bengals will eliminate the longhair trait. Longhair is recessive and will never be eliminated from the breed. The goal is a domestic cat resembling the Black Panther, with short, dense black coat. Another source cites Amur Leopard Cat (as used for Bengals) x black full-tailed PixieBob to create a cat resembling a Black Panther. See also: Black Bengal



In 2001 a man in Texas took beach strays, selecting and breeding them for rounded ears and panther-like looks. He died and his family (not cat-lovers) disposed of the cats, splitting up the breeding stock. The cats are different to the Bengal-based Pantherette. "Panthurette" is an unofficial name used for convenience. Only one stud cat (Panthur) remained at the time of writing (Sept 2001) and was in danger of being neutered due to lack of interest.



Derived from the Bengal, plus the Altai (for blue-eye gene) and Maine Coon (for build and size) this resembles a medium to large graceful wild cat with spotted, rosetted or melanistic coat, with any white (an unavoidable result of the Altai blue-eye gene) restricted to tail-tip or feet. The large, wide-set, oval eyes should be deep blue or odd-eyed (one deep blue, the other emerald or amber) due to the altai dominant blue-eyes genes. The body is well-balanced, strong, muscular and flexible and the demeanour is active, energetic and alert. The head is small in relation to tye body and is a modified wedge with smooth outlines, longer than it is wide. High cheekbones, wide muzzle with prominent whisker pads, slight curve between forehead and nose, just above eye-level. Ears are medium size, broad at the base, directed forward and rounded at the tips. Neck is muscular, long and appears thick in relation to the head size. The body is not as elongated as an Oriental. Legs are medium length and muscular with large, round paws; hind legs are somewhat longer. The tail is rather long, thick at the base and tapes to a rounded tip. The coat is short, dense and silky with a glittering effect. The spotted pattern is random or horizontally aligned, preferably with horizontal shoulder markings. The marble pattern should also be horizontally aligned, with a darker centre of the markings compared to the background colour. In both cases there should be spotted markings on the belly. Striped pattern also occurs. Colours are brown (warm-toned/tawny background with black, brown or chocolate markings), silver with highly contrasting pattern (dorsal region may be a little darker than sides), charcoal (cold-toned brown with darker face and pale “glasses” around the eyes), blue (metallic blue-grey with dark blue-grey pattern) or melanistic (solid black with ghost markings visible in certain light). Because the blue eyes are associated with a white spotting gene, blue-eyed homozygotes may have any amount of white present (except solid white), and odd-eye cats may have white feet or white boots. A white tail-tip is desirable in odd-eye cats and white spots on the belly and muzzle are acceptable. Faults include short, bobbed or kinked tail, polydactyly.

Paraguay Cat/South American Dwarf Cat


Reputedly a dwarf cat discovered in the 1830s.



A semi-longhair form of Bengal cat. Conformation identical to Bengal. Occurs in all Bengal colours; the colour blue is also recognised (European Group Cat Association). See also: Cashmere


Alternative Name

Cinnamon oriental/foreign

Peach Russian

Experimental, Variant

Color variant of Russian shorthair, occurred in Russian Blue breed in US.
See: Russian Peach, Russian Shorthair

Peke-Faced Persian


Essentially a Persian with virtually no muzzle, creating a flat Pekingese-type face with additional wrinkles above nose, bulging eyes and constant snuffle. Occur as spontaneous mutations among red/red-tabby Persians. Prone to sinus and tear duct problems, high kitten mortality. Few people are now breeding these cats, new registrations were down to single figures by end of 1990s. Not recognised outside of US, but some UK 'Ultra-Type' Persians are heading dangerously close to the Peke-Faced type.

Persian (Persian Longhair)


Known as Asiatic cats (or Turkish Angoras) up till 1876, the Persian was introduced to Europe from Asia Minor about 400 years ago. By the early 1900's, it was being bred away from the lithe Turkish Angora type and towards a more massive and cobby type. The Persian of today bears little resemblance to the Persians of a century ago. In the UK, the Persian was renamed the Longhair, but because the original name had already stuck, it is currently referred to as the Persian Longhair to differentiate it from other longhaired cats.
See also Longhair, Doll-faced Persian, Peke-faced Persian, Pig-faced Persian.



In CATS Magazine (USA) March 1973. Longhair, short tails. (Shillelagh cattery, New York, bred both Manx and Persians and crossbreed Permans). Same crossbreed is known as Per-Manx.



Cross between Persian and Manx to produce a tailless form of Persian. Tailless Persians have also occurred spontaneously.

Persian Ticked

Experimental or Crossbreed

Somali x Persian Longhair crosses aimed at producing cats of Persian type with ticked markings in the Somali range of colours, including silver series. The ticked pattern apparently gives a very different effect from the tipped/shaded/smoke patterns seen in Persian Longhairs. The Somali "red" gives an almost "red self" cat. I would expect the combination of long coat and usual ticked to be very distinctive and the silver series to be particularly attractive. See also Abyssinian-Persian Crossbreds.

Peterbald (Peter Bald, Petersburg Hairless Cat)


Sphynx-like Russian breed, with an oriental-type body. Originated as cross between Don Sphynx (native Russian Sphynx cat) and Oriental-type household pets in St Petersburg. The founding female of both the Don Sphynx and the Peterbald was a hairless blue tortie cat called Varya in 1989.

Petit Teddy


Munchkin x Siberian crossbreed.



Highland Lynx x Altai Maine coon (Maine Coon x Altai blue eyes, experimental in Australia). Strongly built, preferably blue-eyed, cat with large, loosely curled ears with lynx tuffs, normal or polydactyl paws and a prominent square muzzle. Tail may long or bobtailed (anty length of bobtail). Black based colours only, in solid, tabby or silver/smoke. White spotting not desirable.

Piawaian Kucing Malaysia (Malaysian Piawaian Cat)

Current, Alternative Name

See: Kucing Malaysia

Pig-Faced Persian

Colloquial Name

Extreme type Persian with very short muzzle.
See also Ultra-Type Persian, Doll-Faced Persian

Pika Blue


Blue pointed, blue-eyed, Nebelungs and Russian Blues. The colourpoint gene entered the Russian Blue gene pool through emergency outcrossing during WWII to preserve the breeds. Instead of neutering colourpointed offspring, in 2015 some Dutch breeders began to breed them in a controlled way for breed recognition. Note: colourpointed cats occur naturally in parts of Russia.



Originally claimed to be domestic x Bobcat (F rufus) hybrid with 25% Bobcat blood; genetic testing cannot confirm this claim (some registries do not accept hybrids). The ancestry is now claimed as crosses with "Legend Cats" which are reputed (but unproven) descendants of natural bobcat x domestic crosses in the past. Spotted coat, ticked stand-out fur, short tail, tufted ears and "bobcatty face". Polydactyly common. See also: American Bobtail, Japanese Bobtail, Karelian, Kuril Bobtail DNA testing has not confirmed bobcat ancestry and this breed is considered wholly domestic by registries

Pixie™ Persian/Himalayan


A selective breeding program in New York in the mid 1980's used undersized cats to progressively downsize the Persian/Himalayan breed and bypassed the normal breed registration process by trade-marking the breed. Mature weights: females 4-6 lbs, males 6-8 lbs. See also Mini- and Teacup-Persians/Himalayans.

Pocket Persian/Himalayan


Another line of diminutive Persian and Himalayan cats, claimed to be smaller than Teacup Persians.



Derived from Chausie x Bengal cross, originally called "Jungle" and renamed Poljun in 2014. Medium to large cats, with males larger than females. Athletic, but not heavily built. Powerful looking, active and intelligent, but never aggressive. Long forehead, slightly triangular (especially in females) with high, well-developed cheekbones, full muzzle and chin; rounded whisker pads. Ears medium/large, tall and erect, wide based, rounded tips with ear tufts preferred, placed close together on the top of head. Eves oval-to-round, medium to large but must not protrude; gold/yellow (preferred) to light green and intelligent-looking. Long, elegant, muscular body with deep chest. Hind legs longer than forelegs, medium boning and muscular. Long medium-thick tail. Coat short/medium and dense with a softer undercoat. All patterns have tabby markings on face, legs and tail, necklaces on chest. Brown ticked tabby spotted - sandy-gray to reddish gold ticked base coat, small spots on the body and a distinctly lighter colour around eyes and on muzzle. Brown black marbled - beige background with brown/black marbling. Black brown spotted - grey to brown background with darker spots or rosettes on the body and striped or spotted legs. White lockets are not allowed, but there may be some white specks in the coat like the Chausie's grizzle markings.


Colloquial Name

Polydactyl bobtails bred in Texas, not related to Pixie-Bob. Different genes to those in Pixie-Bob. Polydactyly ranges from barely expressed, through various degrees of foreleg polydactyly to undesirable absence/distortion of long bones of legs or twisted joints. The last are termed 'Twisty Cats' (see 'Twisty Cat' entry) and resemble thalidomide defect. Twisted effects may be due to gene recessive to that for polydactyly or may be variable expression of a dominant gene for polydactyly. Occasional tailless cats suggest gene for bobtail is similar to that for Manx. Small litter size suggests semi-lethal genes for one or both traits. Colors include solids, particolors, colorpoints. Conformation smaller, less massive in bone structure than Pixie-Bob.
See also: Twisty Cat

Poly-Chaus, Poly-Chausie


Reputedly a hybrid between F chaus and an unspecified polydactyl (poss PixieBob); possibly a one-off.


Variant, Scientific Term

A term for cats with extra toes. Other names are Six-finger cats, Mitten Cats, Hemingway cats. The unofficial record for polydactyly is a Siamese with 9 toes on each foot (36 toes in total, probably double paws). It is sometimes claimed that polydactyls are only found in America, but they are seen in Britain, mainland Europe and Asia. Early Maine Coons exhibited polydactyly. Polydactyly was probably introduced into the US by European settlers since polydactyls were considered lucky ships' cats.



Suggested name for Sphynx x polydactyl cross; now known as Dossow Cat. See Hemingway Sphynx, Dossow Cat

Poodle Cat (Pudelkatze)


German breed derived from Devon Rex, Scottish Fold and European Shorthair. There are plans to introduce Manx into the mix to give tailless cats. Developed in 1987 in Starnberg, Germany by Dr Rosemarie Wolf and now found elsewhere in Europe. Outlawed in its native country because German legislation bans Fold mutation. A large, healthy cat; in essence a fold eared Devon, but with a bigger, chunkier body and thicker, denser coat like lambswool.



Poodle Cat x Munchkin to produce short-legged versions of the Poodle Cat. So far remains theoretical since Munchkins are not present in Germany and German animal welfare laws would prohibit breeding for 'defects'.

Prairie Rex


Dominant gene rex mutation found at a farm near Saskatoon, Canada in 2002/3 A test mating also produced a bald kitten, but most kittens did not survive. The mother went bald during pregnancy and grew a straight coat afterwards. Genetic defects led to the mother being neutered and no more have been bred. No further cats with curly coats have turned up at the original farm.

Prussian Rex


 Discovered in East Prussia in the early 1930s, but never established.



 Burmese x Bengal, developed to produce a ticked cat (may have spots in kittenhood) with a cougar-like appearance.

 Punjabi (Punjabi Desert Cat)


Shorthair. Bred in Belgium, the Punjabi is a hybrid of Indian Desert Cat (F lybica supspecies) and Bengals and resemble the desert cat, but with an affectionate temperament. They are large and muscular, but elegant and athletic. Though quiet, they are conversational when spoken to by their owners; they become strongly attached to their owners and do not tolerate loneliness well. Like the desert cat, the coat has small random spots with neither vertical nor horizontal alignment. Marbled patterns are not permitted. Strongly contrasting spots are not essential as the desert cat has low contrast. Ground colour should have 3 bands: silver-white and sandy colour with "scorched" tips. Photos show ivory or pale sandy colours with grey-black and chocolate spots respectively. The head is triangulaar and the ears are relatively large, tail is tapering.



Manx x Scottish Fold x polydactyl. Medium to large with long, well-proportioned body, folded ears, short tail and extra toes (polydactyly). Medium to wide head, strong muzzle, rounde eyes, medium size ears with light flop (prick-eared variants are essential for genetic health). Medium length legs, mitten feet preferred, but patty feet accepted: 5-7 toes on front, 4-7 toes on rear (normal-pawed variants occur). Tail is 1.5-2.5 inches, but longer-tailed variants occur. Longhair and shorthair permitted. All colours and patterns permitted, with preference given for tuxedo patterns (white + any colour/pattern).

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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