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

Copyright 1994 - 2014 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).




Sable Bombay


Dark brown (Sable) variants of Bombay occur due to recessive genes and are registered as Burmese or Asian in some registries. They are not registrable as Burmese in countries where the Bombay conformation differs from the Burmese conformation. In the UK, the Bombay is part of the Asian group (Asian Black Shorthair)

Saint Helen (Agia Eleni)


Head is a rounded triangle, with well developed cheeks and rather broad, shortish muzzle and weak chin. Concave nose line. Lemon shaped eyes in any colour except copper. Any colour from pale blue and light yellow to dark blue and green, but odd-eyes are desirable. Medium size ears, wide at base, set high and vertical. Medium heavy, well-muscled body with strong shoulders and noticeably longer hind legs. Tail short to medium, not tapering. Males are larger than females. Very silky coat with no undercoat in summer. In winter a dense silky coat, not at all woolly. Full, thick coat on tail. All colours except brown dilution or colourpoints. In bicolours, random patterns are preferred. Very friendly.

Sacred Cat of Burma

Alternative Name

See Birman.



Domestic shorthair x Geoffroy's Cat (some are Bengal x Geoffroy's Cat). Has leopard-spotted or rosetted pattern. Originally developed before the Bengal but interest was limited due to breeding difficulties. After the success of the Bengal, there has been renewed interest in the Safari breed. Compared to other hybrids, first generation crosses have a calm temperament. Safaris closely resemble their Geoffroy's ancestor in type and pattern. They can also be bred in a variety of domestic colours e.g. Geoffroy's x seal point Siamese has black or dark brown spots on a silver to golden ground colour. Geoffroy's x Tortoiseshell Shorthair produce black spotteds, red spotteds and tortie spotteds. Early proposed names were Criollo (meaning "half-bred") and Appaloosa ("spotted"), but these are associated with horses so "Safari" was chosen as suggesting an exotic feline.

Sashkin Rex


Devon Rex x British Shorthair x Munchkin. Small to medium sized cats with muscular bodies and a relatively large head set on a medium long neck. Head is broad with pronounced forehead, strong cheekbones, and well-defined whisker pads. Muzzle is short and well-developed with prominent whisker pads and strong chin. Eyes are large, oval, wide set and somewhat slanting. Eye colour harmonises with coat colour. Ears are medium, set normally, rounded tips, wide bases and well-furred. Ear-muffs or ear-tip-tufts may be present, but are not mandated. Long, tapering, well-furred tail. Legs are short and strong with no deformities. Wide, oval paws with normal number of toes. Hind legs tend to be much longer than forelegs.



Based on polydactyl Maine Coons, but allowing colours, patterns and hair lengths not permitted in the Maine Coon breed e.g. shorthair, colourpoint, chocolate/lilac. Outcrosses are Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, Ragdoll, Domestic Longhair, Domestic Shorthair and Siamese.

Savannah (UK)

Alternative or Archaic Name

Bengal x Siamese. Large, Siamese type cat with pattern of a snow leopard Bengal and blue eyes. Bengal x Oriental crosses produced the Serval-like Serengeti (US). British Savannah, from Bengal/Siamese crosses, apparently renamed in line with the pre-existing American Serengeti and to avoid confusion with the US Savannah hybrid (Serval x domestic) breed.

Savannah (US)


Domestic x Serval. The Savannah is a hybrid cat created by breeding domestic cats, including Bengals, Oriental Shorthairs, Egyptian Maus and others with Servals (spotted wild cats native to African savannah, hence the name) and aims to replicate the tall, lean Serval. A long-legged, large Oriental with long neck, large rounded ears and Serval-like face. Color tawny, gold, orange, silver, black or black smoke with large dark spots and other bold markings, Cheetah-like black markings around eyes. Currently the largest hybrid cat available. Snow Savannahs are derived from Siamese or Snow Bengal crosses and aim to replicate the rare white Serval. Black Savannahs aim to resemble the melanistic Serval. Longhair Savannah variants can occur due to recessive genes.



Savannah x Sphynx. See also Sphynxannah.



Scottish Fold x Ragdoll Cross, sometimes passed off as a designer breed.

Scottish Fold


British Shorthair type cat with folded (lop) ears which lie close to head like a cap. Originated in Scotland. Produced prick-eared variants. Gene for folded ear is linked to thickened tail and hindlimbs therefore must not be bred fold-to-fold. Due to this it is not accepted by GCCF (main UK cat fancy - inconsistent since the Manx with its semi-lethal gene is recognized!), but recognized by Cat Association and be fancies in US and Europe. Also occurs in semi-longhair variety.
See also: Coupari, Highland Fold, Longhair Fold, Lop-ear, Sumxu.

Scottish Kilt


Scottish Fold x Munchkin, short-legged form of Scottish Fold. Both longhair and shorthair. There is concern about mixing the fold gene (skeletal side-effects) with a short-legged gene.

Scottish Longhair


Prick-eared variant of longhair (semi-longhair) Scottish Fold, recognised in Queensland, Australia.

Scottish Lop

Archaic Name

See: Scottish Fold

Scottish Shorthair


Prick-eared variant of shorthair Scottish Fold; recognised by this name during the 1980s in Queensland, Australia. Also British term for prick-eared variants of Scottish Fold (semi-longhair and shorthair).

Selkirk Rex


Rounded stocky body type (bred with Exotics to increase cobbiness). Longhaired and shorthaired, dominant rex gene. Tailless Selkirk Rexes have also occurred, but were all neutered.
See also Missouri Rex.



Term (UFO) for straight-haired Selkirk Rex variants. Possibly spelled this way to avoid the Seltic/Keltic pronunciation debate involved with "Celtic" and to have similar spelling to "parent breed".

Sepia Rex

Experimental or Crossbreed

Rex breed with Burmese colouration; currently some brown sepia Devon Rexes have been bred.



Experimental breed based on Franciscans (another experimental breed). First generation kittens were advertised in April 1969 - torties, calicos, solids, solids-with-white and a request for co-operation. Both breeds were in Redwood City, California.

Serengeti Cat


Bengal x Oriental Shorthair crosses (other reports erroneously claimed Jungle Cat x Bengal). Large, strong, svelte, long-legged, spotted cat with very upright posture, giving impression of African serval. Very large, upright ears placed on top of the head. Allowable colours as for Bengal: Leopard Spotted, Snow Leopard, plus melanistic (Black Panther). Background colour either clear yellow or cold grey with high contrast spotted pattern. Black or dark brown spots on a clear or unticked tan to yellow body; or black spots on a cold grey body. Spotting should be random; short horizontal bars on the shoulder; tail ringed with black. Underbelly, chin and front of muzzle pale or white. Ghost markings often visible on solid black Serengetis. Modified wedge-shaped head, with broad nose; head is small relative to body size. Thick, blunt-tipped tail. Via the Bengal, the Serengeti contains genes from the Asian Leopard Cat and multiple domestic breeds. Serengetis have been developed simultaneously in USA and UK. In the UK, it was originally called Savannah and developed using Bengal x Siamese. American cats have larger ears than the UK breeds due to larger ears found in American Orientals. See also Savannah (UK).



Longhaired cat of Abyssinian parentage. In some registries these are registered as Somalis. See also: Abyssinian Variant, Somali

Serrade Petit Cat


A natural small-sized breed that originated in France . Weighs 6 9 pounds. Longish, well-muscled body set on medium length legs and small, compact paws. Proportionate tail tapers to a rounded tip. The head is a modified wedge with rounded contours, high cheekbones and whisker pads, firm chin (somewhat boxy-looking muzzle), large, tall ears with fairly rounded tips, oval eyes set a slight slant. Fur is short and softer than it looks. Colours are black series, red series, tortie and tabby, with or without white. Personality is laid back, affectionate and low-energy, making it suitable for indoor living. It has normal longevity and no known health issues.



Originally an oriental type cat (longhair and shorthair forms) with the Van/Harlequin ("Seychelles") pattern. The Seychellois name is now used for the Bicolour Siamese in Europe.

Shiraz (Shirazi)


Natural semi-longhair breed from Dubai; originated from native Egyptian Maus and ancestors of the Persian breed. Resembles a traditional-style Persian, but has the belly-flap (apron) found in the Egyptian Mau.

Shorthair Somali


Results from Abyssinian x Somali outcrosses (to maintain healthy gene pools). Some registries recognise these as Abyssinians, but others consisder them Shorthair Somalis in order to prevent the longhair gene re-entering the Abyssinian gene pool.See also: Somali, Abyssinian, Wild Abyssinian.

Si-Aby (Siassinian)


Siamese x Abyssinian - unofficial term for a tick-pointed Siamese/colorpoint Abyssinian.



Siamese x Maine Coon



Siamese x Scottish Fold; colourpointed Scottish Folds: cream cats with colourpoints, folded ears, short thick tail and round heads.



Siamese x Himalayan (not a breed, just a pairing)

Siamese (Classic Siamese)


Foreign-type colorpointed cat with short glossy fur. Some registries classify Siamese with non-solid points as Colorpoint Shorthairs. Range from very extreme in type (pronounced wedge-shaped face, "bat" ears) to more moderate. Modern Siamese has an exaggerated "tubular" oriental body and long triangular face bearing little resemblance to the original Siamese body which was akin to the Tonkinese. The older style of Siamese is variously known as appleheaded, round-headed or Thai Siamese.
See also: Apple (Round) headed Siamese, Balinese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Javanese (US), Opal, Oriental Shorthair, Thai-Siamese, Tonkinese, traditional style Siamese.



Being "developed" in the USA as a "rare and beautiful" breed. However, Colourpoint Manxes have been bred before, but have not previously been accepted by registries. Similar cats have been bred as Si­Manx and Manxamese



Siamese x Somali (or Balinese x Abyssinian) - unofficial term for a colorpoint Somali type/tick-pointed Balinese.



Siamese x Burmilla - unofficial term for a colorpoint Burmilla (ticked points)/colorpoint Burmese type cat.

Sianx (Colorpoint Manx)


See Si­Manx, Manxamese



Russia's native semi-longhair. Similar in looks to Norwegian Forest Cat. Large powerful cat, brown tabby is most common. Long-bodied with broad, round head and powerful legs. Long fur with dense, heavy undercoat, thick ruff and bushy tail. The pointed version is called the Neva Masquerade.



Siamese x Birman. Old term for chocolate point Birman derived from crosses with Siamese cats.

Si-Bob (Colorpoint Bobtail)


Siamese x Japanese Bobtail/American Bobtail - unofficial term for a colorpoint Japanese Bobtail.

Sieburg Rex


A Rex mutation which occurred in 1979 in Sieberg, Germany. It was not the same mutation as the existing German Rex and the cat was neutered, causing the mutation to be lost.


Archaic Name

See Tonkinese


Experimental or Crossbreed

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

Silk Chocolate mosaic TM


Proposed breed with short, plush silky fur, chocolate or caramel markings and random white spotting. The cats resemble seal-tortie Snowshoes, Seychellois/Oriental Bicolour or white-spotted Tonkinese. The proposed breed is "light mink chocolate with darker points and white" with silky, not cottony, fur. Invented colour names are "butterscothch," "latte" and "snowflake" (latte with white). Type is intermediate between Siamese and Burmese (i.e. Tonkinese). Eyes almond to walnut shaped; green preferred, but gold and blue acceptable. Medium slightly rounded ears. Medium length tail. Overall aim is a balanced, non-extreme look. Note: terms "chocolate" "caramel" "silky" and "mosaic" are terms defined by the cat fancy. There is no evidence that the breed is genetically chocolate or caramel, nor are they genetic mosaics (torties); these are terms misused by the proposer. Trademarking is being used to shortcut recognition.



[2015 TICA Experimental] Roan mutation derived from the Oriental Shorthair, Siamese and American Shorthair, had polydactyl trait with workable thumbs on each forepaw. Slender conformation, large skull with large ears and large gold-green eyes. There the resemblance ends, for the Silverdust has a roaned-grey silver coat. Had the intelligence, personality and voice of the Siamese, very friendly and people-oriented. Down to a single male cat in 2022, possibly extinct.

Silver Laces Cat

Alternative Name

See Snowshoe



Siamese x Manx - unofficial term for a colorpoint Manx.
See also Manxamese, Sianx,



Small, muscular cat with ticked coat in brown-ticked ivory or tabby-ticked with white (very similar). Looks like small, ticked Burmese. Said to be native to Singapore but controversial as the originator took her Burmese cats to Singapore (possibly also some Abyssinian heritage). Native Singapore cats are of Asian type, all colours, mostly bobtails and reclusive (in the past, cat has been eaten). Also called Singapore Drain Cat (feral cats may hide in storm drains) and Singapore River Cat; it became a Singaporean tourist emblem "Kucinta".

Singapura Bobtail


A bobtail kitten appeared in a Singapura litter, tracing back to part-tailed foundation cat; inbreeding can cause traits to reappear. Appeared tailless, but proved to have stumpy tail similar to Japanese Bobtail. There are bobtails in Singapore, also isolated reports of Abyssinian Bobtails (there is possibly Abyssinian heritage in Singapura, Wild Abyssinian is from Singapore).

Singapura Longhair


The only known example of this mutation was neutered. It was identical to the Singapura in all respects apart from the semi-long coat.



 Bred in 1967, colourpoint versions of Siamese resulting from Siamese x Angora (red/red tabby) crossings. Fur was shorter, but fluffier than the Balinese, tail was very fluffy, temperament closer to the Angora (less highly strung). These were the red-series equivalents of Balinese which US fancies recognised only in seal, blue, lilac anc chocolate. The Singhalese was allowed to be bred to either Balinese or Himalayan and the progeny still be Singhalese. It was judged to the Balinese standard with allowances made for the different coat type.


Archaic Breed

 Ancestral Siamese, foreign bicolor.


Crossbreed or Colloquial Name

 Colorpoint Rex e.g. Devon Si-Rex, Cornish Si-Rex.


Alternative Name

 See Korat



 Sphynx x Scottish Fold. Hairless fold-eared cat. The American equivalent of the Ukrainian Levkoy Cat developed a year earlier.



 Sphynx x Scottish Fold x Munchkin (or other short-legged derivative thereof). Short-legged, hairless fold-eared cat.



 Munchkin x LaPerm - curly-haired Munchkin-type cat.



A variety of American Bobtail, resembling Alaskan Bobcat - pale in color, darker ear tips, bob-tail.
See American Bobtail.

Snow Cat (Alaskan Snow Cat)


Cross between Silver Persians and Somalis, this is similar to the silver series of Somalis recognized in the UK, but is intended to have heavier boning, thicker fur and a rounder head than the Somali.



Superficially resembles shorthaired Birman with its mitted colorpoints, and created by crossing Siamese with American Shorthairs. White feet occur naturally in some Siamese. Mitts shorter on forelegs than on hindlegs. It is not, as some sources suggested, merely a shorthaired Birman variant and the official history claims no Birman blood. Also called the Silver Laces cat.

Snowshoe Siamese


Siamese cat with white paws. White toes have been seen in some Siamese lines and are regarded as a fault. Others consider the trait to be attractive enough to develop as a breed. Snowshoe Siamese have the more extreme Oriental conformation, whereas Snowshoe cats are closer in type to the American Shorthair or older-type Siamese.



 Birman x Himalayan cross bred in the late 1960s (USA). Not related to the Snowshoe.


Alternative Name

See Suqutranese

Sokoke (Sokoke Forest Cat)


Bred in Denmark from cats found in Sokoke region of Kenya. Modified wedge shaped head, tufted ears, almond shaped amber to light green eyes. Slender, muscular, strongly boned medium-long body and long legs, back legs longer than forelegs and well angled (a Sokoke characteristic). Short glossy (not silky) coat. Color is black tabby in a modified classic tabby pattern; agouti hairs appear in the solid areas, giving a modified tabby pattern peculiar to the breed (note: similar patterns have since been noted in UK random-bred cats). There were unfounded theories that it was a different species than the regular domestic cat. Progressive breeders intended to use Orientals and Russians to expand the gene pool while keeping the look. Other breeders avoid outcrosses and only accept authenticated Sokoke cats imported from the Sokoke district in Kenya. Previously called African Shorthair but is only native to Kenya. The Sokoke has two types - cobbier,with a rounder head and heavier boning,and the leggier,lighter-boned type. These can occur in the same litter. GCCF recognises the Sokoke and Snow Sokoke. Self and dilute colours are non-recognised variants.



Longhaired Abyssinian. Agouti coat, colors and build as for Abyssinian. Longhaired kittens appeared in Abyssinian litters from time to time but were originally considered undesirable. Also found in silver series (silver base colour). See also: Abyssinian, Wild Abyssinian.

Somali Shorthair


Shorthair kittens occur in Somali x Abyssinian outcrosses. Because these carry the longhair gene, they are separately recognised as Shorthaired Somalis. Their longhaired offspring are registered as Somalis. The fur is less sleek than the Abyssinian and the muzzle is shorter. See also: Abyssinian, Wild Abyssinian.



Somali x Chinchilla; apparently with aim of producing a silver-tipped/shaded-silver Somali-type cat (not developed). Similar to existing silver series Somalis in UK and (Alaskan) Snow Cat in US.


Local Variety

Venetian cats (not recognized as breed).

Spanish Blue

Archaic Name

See Russian Blue

Spanish Cat

Archaic Name

Described by Bungartz (1896). Archaic name for tortie-and-white (calico) shorthairs.

Spanish Bobtail

Local Variety

Reported in the 1980s: Shorthair with bobtail mutation (not established as a breed). Reported in 2004: A bobtail mutation has become fixed in cats in the area around Barx and La Drova in the mountains in the Gandia area near Valencia; the trait is known as "Barx tail".



Intermediate conformation, hairless. A slight "peach-fuzz" (down hairs) may be present. The color and pattern is visible on the skin itself. Hairless cats existed in Mexico but died out, a hairless mutation which occurred in France failed to thrive. The modern originated from hairless kittens born in Canada. Some Sphynx variants have short fur on the face, legs and tail.
See also: Mexican Hairless, New Mexican Hairless, Canadian Hairless.



Sphynx x Savannah cross, supposedly to breed a cat combining the Savannah's size and spotted pattern, but without fur - see also Savashpynx.



Colourpoint Sphynx variant with an Oriental conformation



Sphynx x any bobtail to create a hairless bobtail.



Sphynx x Munchkin crossbreed. This was posited, but did not eventually happen due to unavailability of breeding stock.

Spotted Mist

Alternative Name

Spotted version of Australian Mist, spotted markings on misty ticked background. Burmese x Abyssinian x tabby shorthair. The spotted variety of Australian Mist.



Mythical cat x squirrel hybrid. This is genetically impossible. See Kangaroo Cats and Squittens Revealed for more information.

Stalingrad Kangaroo Cat


A Munchkin-type cat, from Stalingrad, 1930s. Never developed as a breed. Same mutation occurred pre-Second World War in UK but not developed as breed; same mutation later occurred in US as the Munchkin breed.



USA. traditional-type chinchilla/shaded silver/shaded golden series of Persians; allows for breeders who do not wish to Ultra-type these varieties. Elsewhere cats meeting Sterling breed standard may be known as "Chinchilla Longhairs".


Alternative Name

Aus. Alternative name for long-legged variants of the Munchkin breed (these occur naturally in litters) indicating a "Munchkin on stilts".

Stone Cougar


Jungle Cat x domestic hybrid. Stone Cougars will be bred to resemble a smaller version of the cougar (puma). The foundation cats are a 50% Jungle Cat hybrid and domestic cats that have a thick body, low to the ground, very thick tail and small ears. The domestic cats chosen have no dominant coat colour/pattern genes and should throw golden cats with a cougar-like appearance.


Alternative Name

In 2014, UK breeders have started to work with the moderate American type Havana Browns, under the name Suffolk (GCCF) to avoid confusion with the existing GCCF Havana. Both chocolate and lilac Suffolks are permitted



A German report on cat breeds banned under German Animal Cruelty laws referred to a polydactyl American breed of this name. There is no such breed; it is possibly a mis-translation of polydactyl.



White Somali-type semi longhair; white fur with glistening silver banding. Suqutranese standard is otherwise nearly identical to Somali standard. They were exhibited in March 1990 (UK). In August 1995, Somali Cat Breed Advisory Committee objected to advertisements for "so-called White Somalis" (this term was descriptive, not a breed name). Since then, nothing has been heard of the Suqutranese though a number of Somali breeders overseas have since shown interest and it would be possible to recreate the type. Also known as Socotranese.
Note: In a near parallel of this, during the mid/late 1990s a Somali breeder experimentally crossed Somalis with black shorthairs to create a cat of Somali type but with black fur with a distinct "shimmer".



This name is sometimes misused for the Chinese Lop-Eared Cat, once found in the area around Peking, China. The Sumxu was actually the black-and-yellow Yellow-throated Marten, while the Chinese Lop-Eared was a longhaired white cat with pendulous ears. Described in early 1700s as a curiosity, also in 1796 (droop-eared cat brought back from China) and in 1938 (another droop-eared cat imported). In 1938, the mutation was thought to be restricted to white longhaired cats. See also: Coupari, Highland Fold, Longhair Fold, Scottish Fold.



A prototype Oriental Shorthair developed in Australia between 1957 and the mid-to-late 1960s. Developed from a seal-point Siamese and a white domestic shorthair. Aim was to produced black and blue solid-colour Siamese-type cats with blue or hazel eyes. See also: Oriental Shorthair

Supalek (Supilak)


Copper color shorthair, Thai origin, ancestral to Burmese or Tonkinese? The name means "red gold". See also Thai Copper, Copper, Thong Daeng

 Swiss Mountain Cat

Archaic Name

 See Havana Brown

Sydney Silver

Archaic name

An old Australian name for silver Abyssinian.

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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