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).




Ultra Type Persian

Current, Colloquial Name

UK equivalent to Pig Faced Persian; not the same as the Peke Faced mutant, but Persians bred for extremely flat faces and high nose leathers. The Peke-faced Persian is due to a gene mutation, while the Ultra-type or Pig-faced is caused by selecting for extreme traits in standard Persian stock. See also: Persian, Pig-Faced Persian.

Ukrainian Levkoy Cat


Russian breed derived from the Don Sphinx and Scottish Fold, a fold-eared naked breed. The ears do not fold as tightly as the Scottish Fold, but stand out from the head and fold closer to the tip. Wider skull than the Don Sphinx and less extreme in type. Also has prick-eared and velour variants.

Urals Rex


 Russian type found in the middle Urals region since the Second World War. The Urals Rex is not a large cat and has a wavy coat of short or medium length, body is strong and muscular. (Gene causing coat is not that for Cornish, relationship with Devon Rex unknown). Head is equilateral triangle shaped with rounded lines. Tail may have a tufted tip. Semi-longhairs have a looser coat, but are less popular.



 A natural breed of from along the Amur river, Russia. Possibly crossed with small wild cats known as "Amur Forest Cats" and "Amur Leopard Cats" (Asian Leopard cat subspecies). Semi-wild Ussuris have hybridised naturally with Siberians and European Shorthairs Ears often have "lynx" brushes. Body is muscular, but not massive. Neck is firm but not long. Medium length legs are muscular and in proportion with firm, rounded paws. Tail has a rounded tip (like European Wildcat?). The color is distinctive: vertical solid or merged spots, lines on forehead, 2-3 bronzed lines on cheeks. One or more solid or broken necklaces of bronzed tone on neck and chest. Distinct lines on legs: upper part of bronzed color, lower part of ground color. Tail is ringed with dark tip of ground color. There is a dark spinal line, sides' pattern consists of stripes, rings or spots on golden-brown or goldish-fawn background. Bronzed buttons on stomach.




Van Kedi


The white Van Kedi is an all-white Turkish Van originating from eastern Turkey and should not be confused with the Turkish Angora. 'Van Kedi' is Turkish for "Van cat". In Turkey the Van Kedi is prized and the auburn/white variety held in less regard. The most sought after is odd eyed white. Blue eyed cats are also considered special. Amber eyed white is the least sought after. In Britain most matings are between an all-white cat and an auburn/white to produce a mix of all-white and auburn/white offspring (plus occasional cream/white offspring) with a mix of all three eye colours. Outside of Turkey, the Van Kedi may be recognised as a colour variant of Turkish Van rather than distinct breed.

Van Shorthair


Shorthair with Van markings, some color spots permissible on body. An Oriental Shorthair with Van pattern is the Seychellois.



Turkish Van (auburn) x Siamese. Conformation like that of a traditional style Siamese; ginger and white colour very strong and vibrant, generally with a white inverted "V" on the nose and white legs. Not developed as a breed, but popular pets. Same breeder almost had Siurks (Siamese male x Turkish Van female), but this was a false alarm!

Vichien Mas


Foreign type with extreme expression of Siamese colorpoint pattern, possibly ancestral to the seal-point Siamese. Dark ears, nose, paws and whiskers. Documented in Thailand 1676, apparently now extinct. Because expression of Himalayan marking is temperature dependent (cooler body parts go darker) this may simply be a temperature-affected expression of Siamese markings. The name means "diamond mouth".

Victoria Rex


Discovered in Victoria area of London in 1972, but not established as a breed

Vienna Woods

Alternative Name

A chocolate-silver American Shorthair i.e. ivory background with brown stripes "looking like a hot fudge sundae". The Vienna Woods name was used initially because the chocolate series was not recognised in American Shorthairs.



F viverrina (Fishing cat) x early generation Bengals. First hybrids were in 1995, became genetically stable breed in 2001. Resembles the Fishing Cat, but with domestic temperament. Large, very muscular and solid.  Wide nose, prominent whisker pads, large round eyes in a smallish head. Slight convex profile. Short rounded ears with wide base. Thick, low-set, medium-length tail. Short, plush coat. Randomly spotted pattern, black, brown or tan spots. White spectacles. See also: Machbagral.

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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