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).




Tasman Manx


A curly-coated Manx. Rex-coated Manxes appeared spontaneously in Australia and New Zealand. The coat is relatively dense and frizzled with visible guard hairs. All traced their ancestry to a single Persian stud that had European ancestry. They may be related to the Bohemia Rex.

 Teacup Persian (1)


Teacup Persians appeared in Summer 1995 when a 14 lb stud Persian consistently sired miniature kittens. Toy Persians mature at approx 5 lbs and Teacup Persians are approx 3-4 lbs. The phenomenon has been studied and the cats appear to be completely healthy.

Teacup Persian/Himalayan (2)


Separate from the Toy and Teacup Persians, 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 2-4 lbs, males 3-6 lbs. See also Pixie- and Mini-Persians/Himalayans.



Shorthaired equivalent of the Birman developed by outcrossing to a cinnamon spotted tabby Oriental. Early colours were Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Cinnamon and Fawn. The cat is Birman in every respect apart from the slightly springy short hair. In development since 1995, originally called Birman Shorthair, renamed Templecat in 2001. It is now recognised in eight base colours of Seal, Blue, Chocolate Lilac, Red, Cream, Cinnamon & Fawn and with solid points, lynx points and tortie points in all of these.

 Tennessee Bobtail


Derived from naturally occurring bobtails (Manx-type and Japanese Bobtail-type) in the Southern USA. Aim is a long, tall cat, 6 - 15 lb, with high angled hind legs, moderate conformation (neither oriental nor cobby), almond eyes and bobbed, kinked or curved tail. Fur type long, semi-long and short. All colours/patterns with preference given to tabby and spotted. Foundation cats being registered during 2007. See also: American Bobtail.

 Tennessee Rex


In August 2004, 2 Rex-coated kittens were born to a feral cat in the Tennessee area. Due to a new recessive gene mutation that also causes satin fur. The original intention was a purely red/cream variety, but other colours have appeared due to outcrossing for a healthy gene pool. The fur is cutrled and has a pearlescent sheen. (This name had previously appeared on a 2002 survey of Rex cat breeds, but was presumed to be an error.)

 Texas Rex


A single kitten born in 1991/92. There were plans to breed from it but nothing morte was heard.

 Texas Roan


Listed as a vanishing breed and described as similar to Abyssinian, but self brown (not reddish or ticked tabby) and bi-colour. Had Abyssinian features and looked like Abyssinian cross-breds. .

 Thai Bobtail (Thaibob)


 A medium-sized Russian breed like traditional/Apple (Round) head Siamese in all non-mitted colorpoint varieties (without mitts). The tail is short (3-11 cm), bobbed and its outline is smoothed by the coat. It appears to now be called the Mekong Bobtail.

 Thai Bobtail (2)

Local Variety 

Naturally occurring bobtailed cats of Oriental/Burmese type (mostly, but not exclusively, colorpointed) in Thailand/Malaysia.

 Thai Copper

Experimental, Extinct?

A copper color shorthair of Burmese/Tonkinese type was apparently exhibited in US late 1990s to promote interest in the variety. The exhibited cat (apparently imported) was said to have had a poor temperament. No further information. See also Supalek (Supilak), Thong Daeng

 Thai Lilac


 Naturally occurring lilac variants of Korat. When these first appeared in Indonesia, the breed was called the Jakarta Pink.

 Thai Pointed


Naturally occurring colorpointed (Blue-point, Lilac-point) Korat variants. Being related to Siamese, it is not unexpected that the Korat produces variants.
See also: Apple (Round) head Siamese, Colourpoint Shorthair, Opal, traditional style Siamese, Thai Siamese.

 Thai Siamese


Thai Siamese is a European term for the traditional round-headed style Siamese (resembling the older style of Siamese) derived purely from non-ultra-typed Siamese cats. According to other sources, the term is also used for colorpointed cats derived from naturally occurring colorpointed variants in Korat litters. See also: Apple (Round) headed Siamese, Colourpoint Shorthair, Old Style Siamese, Opal, traditional style Siamese, Thai Pointed.

 Thong Daeng


 Extinct, ancestral to Burmese. See also: Supalek, Copper



 Birman without the classic markings - occurs in solids, tabbies etc.



 (Aus/NZ) Mitted colourpoint polydactyl of Persian/Exotic type cat. Original names mooted were Nepalese and Nepalayan.

 Tibetane (Tibetaan)


(Netherlands) semi-longhaired Tonkinese derived from Balinese x Burmese crossing in 1997, in Sepia/Mink/Pointed; colors being Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red, Cream, Black-Tortie, Blue-Tortie, Chocolate-Tortie and Lilac-Tortie.
See also: Burmalayan, Himbur, Iranese, Layanese, Mink Longhair, Mink Persian, Silkanese, Tonkalayan

Tibetan Temple Cat

Archaic Name

A name once used to describe the Birman.



Burmese/Asian x Persian. Asian (Burmese) type with semi-longhair and Burmese range of colors. Not to be confused with US Tiffany (Tiffany/Chantilly) which is a distinct breed.
See also: Asian Longhair, Australian Tiffanie.



The Chantilly/Tiffany superficially resembles a longhaired Sable or Lavender Burmese, but has never been crossed with Burmese and exhibits non-Burmese traits e.g. kittens born dark, pink paw-pads.
See Chantilly



Combines high contrast tiger-like striping (similar to Toyger) plus back-curled ears (like American Curl) to give the ears a tiger-like rounded profile.



Derived from crossing Toygers, Bengals, Savannahs, Maine Coons, Orientals and one American Curl. Medium to large size, long bodies, deep legs and massive build reminiscent of tigers. Small, round eyes in in green, copper or blue according to coat colour. Long tail with dark rounded tip (actual colour depends on coat colour). Tigri cats have slightly curled ears and are always mackerel tabby with dramatic, high-contrast markings. The colour may be brown, silver, lynx, mink or blue, but always with white undersides and whited facial expression. The coat is short or semi-long hair with glitter. People oriented.



Tonkinese x Persian or Tonkinese x Himalayan. A mink pattern Persian Longhair.


Alternative Name

See Tonkinese.



Tonkinese x Exotic. A mink pattern Exotic



Siamese x Burmese cross, intermediate in form and color. Colors are "mink" range. Spotted, ticked, tabby, tortie and tabby-tortie Tonkinese are seen in Australia, as is the silver series of Tonkinese.
See also Copper, Golden Siamese, Tonkanese.

Tonkinese Longhair


Semi-longhaired form of Tonkinese recognised as experimental by some European registries.
See also Himbur, Iranese, Layanese, Mink Longhair, Mink Persian, Silkanese, Tibetane, Tonkalayan.



Blue-eyed non-white, not-pointed cats. Asian equivalent of the Ojos Azules. Derived from blue-eyed cats from Kazakhstan (Eastern Altai) known as the Altai Goluboglazaya breed and blue-eyed cats from Russia, 3,000 km away known as "Russian Ojos Azules, but not related to the American Ojos Azules). Whether it is a mutation of the same gene as the unrelated American cats is not yet known (2016).

Toy Bobtail (Toybob)


A Russian miniature breed, no larger than a normal 3-4 month kitten. They have short, solid bodies and excellent muscles, with short straight or curved tail-remnant (3-7 cm), straight or corkscrewed, covered with fur in a "pompon" or "brush" effect.



Bred from Bengals and domestics to resemble tiger (Toy Tiger) in shape/pattern. Prominent muzzle, large nose leather, wide chin. Muscular, rounded facial contours. Ears small, rounded, furry inside and out; temples/jowls well-furred/ruffed. Eyes slightly slanting, almond shaped, wide set. Long, muscular body, fairly deep, robust-looking, broad-chested, rounded contours. High shoulders and hips. Long tail set and carried low, blunt, rounded, black tip. The heavily-boned fore- and hind legs are the same length; fore-paws proportionally large, black paw pads black. Fur short and plush with glitter (sheen). Stripes black to brown colour extends right to the roots. Markings intense on a rich rufoused background ("pumpkin" colour), background does not darken towards the spine. White background areas are belly, underside of base of tail, insides of legs and chest; these can extend onto the lower sides, backs of legs and sides of chest. Modified mackerel tabby pattern. No dorsal stripe. Distinct, high contrast between markings and background. Vertical body stripes, bands around the neck, legs and tail. Bold, braided (candle-flame), non-uniform stripes preferred, rosetted stripes acceptable. Various stripe forms: narrow striping/narrow spacing; narrow striping/wide spacing; wide striping/wide spacing; wide striping/narrow spacing. Belly and inside of legs must also be marked. Facial stripes and markings circularly aligned around face; forehead butterfly markings and encircling temple and jowl markings. No domestic-type radiating stripes. White facial areas are throat, chin, outer parts of jowls/cheeks, lower part of whisker pads, areas around and over eyes extending onto temples and forehead. Pale/white patches on backs of ears. Eyes black rimmed with white "spectacles", mouth black rimmed. Also known known as Californian Toyger.

Toy Persian


Toy Persians appeared in Summer 1995 when a 14 lb stud Persian consistently sired miniature kittens. Toy Persians mature at approx 5 lbs, Teacup Persians are approx 3-4 lbs. The phenomenon has been studied and the cats appear to be completely healthy.



Breeds prefixed by "traditional" adhere to an older or variant conformation and are not ultra-typed or bred to extremes. These include versions of Abyssinian/Somali, Balinese, Burmese, Korat, Persian/Himalayan, Russian and Siamese.

traditional style Balinese


Less foreign looking than modern Balinese, semi-longhair version of the older form Siamese.

traditional style Burmese


See: American Burmese, Contemporary Burmese

traditional style Siamese


Less foreign looking, closer in conformation to the original chunky Siamese cats. Similar cats are known as Thai Siamese in Europe and have been derived from Korat stock (the Korat produces colorpoint variants). See also: Apple (Round) head Siamese, Old Style Siamese, Opal, Thai Siamese

traditional style Persian


See Doll (Open) Face Persian



A Romanian breed being developed from native cats with the karpati pattern. Formerly called Carpathian, but this was changed because Carpathia is a wide region and Transylvania is more closely linked to Romania.



1970s term for Persian cats with colorpoint pattern coat and white spotting. Also known as Bicolourpoint Persian, Bicolour Himalayan (and variations on these). Although bred, they are not accepted for show.


Alternative name

Alternative name for the Bohemian Rex/Czech Curly Cat.



Suggested name for Birman Shorthairs bred in New Zealand (have been under development since 1995). Now called Templecat. See: Templecat.



Former name for the Impian developed in Illinois, USA by crossing American Curls with polydactyl cats.



Developed in Australia by crossing Manx cats (for the boning and short tail), Maine Coons (for size and conformation), Highland Lynx (for conformation, polydactyly and curled ears), Burmese (for colour), Abyssinian (for ticking pattern), and British Shorthairs (for soft coat and large head). Large, long head, but not disproportionate to body, with prominent muzzle, and whiskers. Square muzzle and prominent chin. Wide-set, slightly curled ears with tufted tips. Powerful muscular build, large in size (especially the males). Long, heavily boned legs. Long or bobbed tails. Polydactyl paws, large in proportion to the body, with either mitten-foot or snowshoe-foot permitted. Preferably all four paws should have extra toes. Coat can be long or shorthaired, preferably with a neck ruff in winter. Cats with white are not preferred. Preferred colours are all solid colours except white, spotted/marbled/ticked, torties and torbies; these can combine with silver, mink/sepia/colourpoint (snow pattern) all of these without white markings. Personality should be affectionate and dog-like.



Turkish Vans and Turkish Angoras are probably color-specific varieties of the general semi-longhaired Turkish Cat. Some Turkish cats are now bred under the name "Anatolian". This move would appear to be geographical-political rather than any real difference in the cats' type or color. Anatolians have been exported under the names Turkish, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora. The Turkish Angora should not be confused with the British Angora which is a Foreign Longhair.
See: Anatolian, Turkish Angora, Turkish Van

Turkish Angora


Medium sized with intermediate conformation and very soft, silky coat. Semi-longhaired, but becomes virtually shorthaired in hot weather. Typical coat color is dominant white with blue, orange or odd-eyes. Turkish Angoras, Russian Angoras and Russian Longhairs were the original longhaired cats imported into Europe, Angoras were later bred into Persians. The Russian cats practically died out (the Nebelung recreates the longhaired Russian Blue, the Siberian Cat is a longhaired Russian breed, the Karellian is a Russian longhaired bobtail), but the Angora was protected in its native Turkey where it occurs in many colors and patterns (not colorpoint). Not to be confused with the "Angora", a British attempt to recreate the ancestral Persian cat; British Angoras (now called Oriental Longhairs) are of foreign conformation.

Turkish Van


Akin to the Turkish Angora, exhibiting the Van pattern (markings on head and tail), preferably marked with red (auburn) or its dilute (cream), though other colors may occur in Turkey and are being recognized e.g. black/white van, brown/ebony-tabby/white van, black tortie agouti/white van, black tortie/white van. Eyes may be blue, light amber or odd eyed. Fascinated by water and frequently swims.

 Twisty Cat, Twisty Kat (Twisties)

Undesirable mutation

Extreme expression of Poly-Bob trait. Long bones of forelegs are distorted (twisted, joints bend wrong way) or foreshortened/vestigial (thalidomide effect); cats resemble kangaroos. Front paws may be polydactylous, elongated, deformed, vestigial (flippers) or absent. Small litter size suggests semi-lethal gene. Occurs in Poly-Bob variety (bobtail/tailless cats). Twisty cats locomote mainly on hind legs, forelegs may be almost useless. Some kittens required partial handrearing (cannot milktread), also taping of deformed forelegs to aid locomotion early in life. Widely condemned due to detrimental effects on cats. Gene for twisting may be recessive to gene for polydactyly or may be variable expression of a dominant gene affecting forelimbs; either way it will be hard to eradicate twistiness in breeding lines; continued breeding of Twisty Cats condemned as inhumane/irresponsible.
See also: Poly-Bob

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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