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A to Z Guide of Cats


Ben has a life-long fascination with animals. Whether they crawl, run, fly, swim or slither, his interest in them never ceases.

A Guide To All Cat Breeds

The variety of breed of cats is amazing. They have been domesticated by humans for about 9,000 years. The earliest cats were most likely bred to hunt vermin. In more recent times, they have been bred for different characteristics such as having long hair or short hair, and today there are some seventy different breeds available. Not all of these breeds are internationally recognised as yet (although about forty breeds have been).

Cats belong to the family Felidae, which includes lions, jaguars, tigers, wild cats and domesticated cats.

A collection of cats

A collection of cats

History of Cats

No one knows for certain how long cats have been domesticated for. However, there is some evidence from findings of cats being buried with people going back 12,000 years ago, that they have been living with people for at least this long.

Scientists have now use genetics to trace cat origins back to a species of cat from the Middle East called Felis Sylvetris.

Anatomy of a Cat

Anatomy of a Cat

Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian cat. is quite an old established breed having been known in Britain for around 100 years.

It has a ticked coat which is silky to the touch and quite large pointed ears and is recognised in 28 different colours, although may of these colours are quite rare.

They are not well known for being a typical lap cat, preferring instead to play and explore. The Abyssinian cat generally gets on well with other animals.

They are quite an energetic breed.

Abyssinian Cat - Information video from YouTube

American Bobtail Cat.

This feline is another energetic, playful breed of cat.

This breed originated in the 1960's and it is said that this breed comes from a crossing of a Bobcat and and a domesticated tabby cat.

The American Bobtail comes in all colours and patterns.

American Curl Cat

This cat is characterised by it ears which curl back from its face.

American Curl kittens are born with ears just like any other cat, but around 1 week after birth, the ears start to plump up and curl.

Top right: American Bobtail Cat.     Top Left: American Curl Cat.     Bottom Right: American Longhair Cat.    Bottom Left: American Shorthair Cat

Top right: American Bobtail Cat. Top Left: American Curl Cat. Bottom Right: American Longhair Cat. Bottom Left: American Shorthair Cat

American Shorthair Cat

The American Shorthair Cat is a medium sized cat - but one which tends to become overweight if its dietary needs are not carefully monitored.

This cat is recognised in more 80 different colors and patterns.

Originally called a Domestic Shorthair it was renamed the American Shorthair in 1966.

A pleasant and easy going cat which is well suited to being a companion. This particular breed of cat can live up to 20 years of age.

American Longhair Cat

This breed of cat is becoming ever more popular.

The same breed of cat as the American Shorthair, just with longer hair.

American Wirehair Cat.

American Wirehair Cat.

The coat on this cat is dense and coarse.

They are well known for being people cats, craving affection. They are agile and fun loving cats.

A rare breed of cat.

American Wirehair Cat

American Wirehair Cat

Australian Mist Cat

Australian Mist Cat.

Developed in Australia in 1973. The coat on this cat is marbled.

It comes in a colour range of brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, caramel, gold and peach.

American Polydactyl Cat.

American Polydactyl Cat.

This cat has a number of nicknames due to the extra toe that usually occurs on one or more of its paws for example "mitten cat".

Top:  Australian Mist Cat Bottom:  American Polydactyl Cat

Top: Australian Mist Cat Bottom: American Polydactyl Cat

How Long do Cats Live.

In general, cats tend to live longer than dogs.

The average lifespan of a cat is around 12 to 14 years, although there are some cats that live to be 20 years or so old. One way to look at this is that a cat which is seven years of age is said to a middle aged cat. In reality the age a cat reaches will be dependant on a number of factors such as genetic factors, veterinary care and healthy diet.

Balinese Cat

A Balinese Cat is a Siamese cat with a flowing coat.

The Balinese is renowned for being among the most graceful of all cat breeds.

This cat has 4 colours - seal, blue, lilac and chocolate.

Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat was first bred in the USA. It was a created by crossing an Asian Leopard Cat with a domestic cat.

This cats pelt has a smooth or satin like feel.

1. Balinese Cat   2. Bengal Cat    3. Birman Cat     4. Bombay Cat

1. Balinese Cat 2. Bengal Cat 3. Birman Cat 4. Bombay Cat

Birman Cat

Birman Cat.

The Birman cat should not be confused with the Burmese, although they do look quite similar.

This cat has quite small ears and usually has white "gloves" on each paw.

Bombay Cat.

Bombay Cat.

Originally bred in America in 1958 with the aim of creating a black cat that resembled a wild panther.

They tend to have orange eyes, a round head and a short muzzle. The Bombay is well known for being an intelligent and sensitive cat.

Brazilian Shorthair Cat

Brazilian Shorthair Cat.

A medium sized cat with a muscular body. Overall the cat remains elegant.

Well known for being a very agile cat. Its coat is short and comes in many colours.

A unique breed of cat.

British Longhair Cat

British Longhair Cat.

The British Longhair originates from the 1870's.

This breed of cat has a broad square head and is considered an affectionate and friendly cat.

It is said that they can become prone to obesity if kept purely as an indoors cat.

Brazilian Shorthair Cat and a British Longhair Cat

Brazilian Shorthair Cat and a British Longhair Cat

British Shorthair Cat

British Shorthair Cat.

This cat is descended from cats brought to Britain by the Romans. They have dense, plush coats and quite a muscular frame. Their eyes tend to be large and round.

A very distinctive and popular cat.

Burmese Cat

Burmese Cat.

A medium sized cat which is quite muscular. The Burmese is a popular show cat and is well known for being affectionate and friendly.

1. British Shorthair Cat.  2. Burmese Cat.  3. Burmilla Cat.  4.  California Spangled Cat

1. British Shorthair Cat. 2. Burmese Cat. 3. Burmilla Cat. 4. California Spangled Cat

Burmilla Cat

Burmilla Cat.

This cat originated in the United Kingdom in 1981.

It was bred from a cross between a Burmese and a Chinchilla Persian.

The Burmilla cat usually has green eyes.

California Spangled Cat

California Spangled Cat.

This cat was bred to resemble spotted wildcats. The cat looks like a miniature leopard.

This breed is well known for being affectionate, social and devoted to their owners.

Chartreux Cat

Chartreux Cat.

This cat was bred in France. It looks quite like the British Blue Shorthair cat.

This breed is well known for being quiet, observant and intelligent.

Chausie Cat

Chausie Cat.

This cat is quite large and needs a reasonable amount of space.

Well known for their speed and ability to leap some 6 feet high in a single bound.

Colorpoint Shorthair Cat

Colorpoint Shorthair Cat.

An intelligent , people friendly and playful cat. Well known for being vocal and attention seeking.

This cat requires grooming and is often selected by people who have mild allergies to other cat breeds.

Right: Chausie Cat,      Left: Colorpoint Shorthair Cat

Right: Chausie Cat, Left: Colorpoint Shorthair Cat

Cornish Rex Cat

Cornish Rex Cat.

This cat has no hair, just down and as a result is best suited to living in warm conditions.

The breed have long toes. A breed of cat with origins in the 1950's.

Cornish Rex Video

Cymric Cat

Cymric Cat.

This cat has large eyes and widely spaced ears.

A fun loving cat that seems to get on well with other pets.

Cymric cats are well known for being powerful jumpers. They also seem to have a fascination with water - without actually getting in it.

Cymric Cat

Cymric Cat

Devon Rex Cat

Devon Rex Cat.

A cat well known for its slender body, large ears and wavy coat.

It is considered to be an intelligent and playful cat.

Devon Rex Kitten

Donskoy Cat

Donskoy Cat.

A hairless breed of cat from Russia.

Not all Donskoy kittens are born hairless, some born with hair will eventually go bald, while others will always remain with hair.

Dragon Li Cat

Dragon Li Cat.

This cat breed originates from China and was introduced as recently as 2003

This cat is unique, with its large luminescent yellow - green eyes and golden brown coat.

It is a medium sized cat with muscular legs.

They are regarded as affectionate and loyal felines


Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Mau Cat.

This cat is well known for being an exceptionally fast cat, perhaps the fastest of all domesticated cats.

Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Mau Cat

Exotic Shorthair Cat

Bred as a short haired version of a Persian cat. This cat breed has a calm and gentle personality.

They are often friendly to other cats and dogs and are believed to make excellent pet cats for those of us who live in apartments.

The Exotic Shorthair Cat is capable of looking after its own fur, although the cat owner should still help out with weekly brushing and combing.

Exotic Shorthair Kitten

German Rex Kitten

German Rex Kitten.

The first two of this breed were born in 1957. The German Rex is well known for its rounded head and large strong chin.

The oldest breed of curly coated cat.

German Rex Cat

German Rex Cat

Havana Brown Cat

Havana Brown Cat.

This breed originated in Great Britain. It is well known for its warm chocolate brown colouring.

It is the result of a cross between a British Seal Point Siamese and a Black Shorthair cat.

Himalayan Persian Cat

Himalayan Persian Cat.

This cat looks identical to a Persian cat except for the blue eyes and its point colouration (point colouration refers to the different colouring around the cats ears, legs, tail and face).

Japanese Bobtail Cat

The Japanese Bobtail Cat has an unusual tail which looks more the tail of a rabbit than a cat.

This cat is native to Japan and Southeast Asia.

Left:  Havana Brown Cat.   Top Right: Himalayan Persian Cat.   Bottom Right: Japanese Bobtail Cat

Left: Havana Brown Cat. Top Right: Himalayan Persian Cat. Bottom Right: Japanese Bobtail Cat

Javanese Cat

Javanese Cat

This cat is more commonly referred to as "Oriental with points." Well known for being quite a vocal cat.

Javanese Cats.

Javanese Cats.

Korat Cat

Korat Cat.

The Korat originates from Thailand and is a slate blue-grey shorthair cat.

They have distinctive green eyes and a heart shaped head.

Kurilian Bobtail Cat

Kurilian Bobtail Cat.

Little known outside of Russia, this breed is the third most popular cat breed in Russia.

The Kurilian cat is a cat with a wild appearance. They have a tendency to find a high point from which to survey all around them.

Korat Cat and Kurilian Bobtail Cat

Korat Cat and Kurilian Bobtail Cat

LaPerm Cat

LaPerm Cat.

This breed originated in the United States. An outgoing cat with a curly coat which comes in many colors.

Any kittens born with straight hair, generally stay straight haired into adulthood.

The LaPerm cat is reputed to be affectionate, friendly and outgoing.

LaPerm Cat

LaPerm Cat

Maine Cat

The Maine Cat is one of the oldest natural cat breeds in America. This cat is the state official State cat of Maine.

The Maine Cat has a long shaggy, yet silky coat. A distinctive looking cat which is noted for its rectangular body and long flowing coat,

One of the largest cat breeds.

The cat has all the classic points of a hunter, larges ears, large eyes, and a large muscular body.

Manx Cat

The Manx cat originated from the Isle of Man in the 18th century.

Folklore suggests that the cat came from ships of the Spanish Armada.

The Manx cat has front legs which are shorter than the back legs which gives it a "rounded" appearance. It is known for being a skilled hunter.

This breed has shorter front legs than the back legs.

Munchkin Cat

The Munchkin is a short legged cat.

Known for its gentle nature and responsiveness to being handled.

A breed of cat with unusually short legs.

The Munchkin cat is well known fro being a friendly, outgoing and people orientated cat.

Their litters often contain both short legged and long legged kittens.

In spite of their short legs, they are extremely good jumpers.

They come in all colours.

Left:  Munchkin Cat.   Top Right:  Maine Cat.   Bottom Right:  Manx Cat

Left: Munchkin Cat. Top Right: Maine Cat. Bottom Right: Manx Cat

Nebelung Cat.

Nebelung Cat

A cat with a long graceful neck and long coat with a long tail.

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat is adapted to living in a cold climate.

This cat has a woolly undercoat with glossy, water shedding hairs on top.



Ocicats are a very outgoing breed of cat.

In some ways they have the character of dogs and can be trained to walk on a leash, sit on command and fetch.

Oriental Bicolor Cat

Oriental Bicolor Cat

A cat with a long slender body and a whip like tail.

Oriental Shorthair Cat

Oriental Shorthair Cat.

A member of the Siamese family of cats. A very social cat.


Persian Cat

A cat with a shortened muzzle and a round face.

The Persian cat has been the favourite cat in the United States for many years.

picture sourced from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Peterbald Cat

Peterbald Cat

A cat with a narrow and long head with almond shaped eyes.

Pixie Bob Cat

Pixie Bob Cat.

These are quite large cats reaching 8 kg in weight.


Ragamuffin Cat

Ragamuffin Cat.

A cat with rabbit like hair. Generally has a very gentle nature.

Ragdoll Cat

Ragdoll Cat.

A large cat breed. The name Ragdoll comes from the tendency of these cats to go limp when held.


Russian Blue Cat

Russian Blue Cat.

This cat sometimes gets confused with the British Blue cat.

A naturally bred cat from Russia.

Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat.

This cat is the result of a cross between a domestic cat and a Serval (a large-eared wild African cat).

They are considered to be one of the largest breeds of domesticated cats. They are sometimes likened to dog in the way that they display loyalty to their owners.


Scottish Fold Cat

Scottish Fold Cat.

The ears on this cat fold forward. This is due to a mutation. The Scottish Fold Cat is sometimes said to be owl like in appearance.

Selkirk Rex Cat

Selkirk Rex Cat.

This cat has very curly hair.

The breed originated in Montana, America in 1987.

The Selkirk Rex Cat is said to be loving and tolerant cat.


Serengetie Cat

Serengetie Cat.

The result of a cross between a Bengal Cat and a Oriental Shorthair cat.

Siamese Cat

Siamese Cat.

The true origins of the Siamese cat is unknown. It recent years it has become one of the most popular cat breeds in Europe and North America.

Siberian Cat

Siberian Cat.

The full and proper name for this cat is "Siberian Forest Cat"

This cat is said to have a fascination with water.

Singapura Cat

Singapura Cat

One of the smallest breeds of cat.


Snowshoe Cat

A rare breed of cat, mainly due to the difficulty in breeding cats with the correct markings.

Somali Kitten

Somali Kitten.

This breed of cat appeared in the 1950's.

They have a distinctive bushy tail.

Sokoke Cat

Sokoke Cat

Sokoke Cat

Sokoke Cat.

Discovered in Kenya in 1978. This breed of cat is believed to have been around for hundreds of years.

picture sourced from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Somali Cat Video

Sphynx Kitten

Also known as the Canadian Hairless.

This breed of cat has a wedge shaped head.

Sphynx Kitten

Sphynx Kitten

Tonkinese Cat.

Tonkinese Cat

A lively, friendly and talkative cat.

The Tonkinese cat originates from Canada and was developed from crossing a Seal-point Siamese and a Sable Burmese.

They tend to make great pets.

Toyger Cat.

Toyger Cat.

The result of breeding domestic, shorthaired tabby's to look like a "toy tiger".

Turkish Angora Cat

Turkish Angora Cat.

An ancient and naturally occurring cat breed from Turkey.

Turkish Van Cat

Turkish Van Cat.

Well known for its unusual love of water and swimming.

1. Tonkinese Cat.  2. Toyger Cat.  3. Turkish Angora Cat.  4.Turkish Van Cat

1. Tonkinese Cat. 2. Toyger Cat. 3. Turkish Angora Cat. 4.Turkish Van Cat

Ukrainian Levkoy Cat

Ukrainian Levkoy Cat.

A hairless cat with folded ears.

The skin is elastic and wrinkled.

York Chocolate Cat

York Chocolate Cat.

An American breed of cat. A medium to large cat with a rounded head.

Well known for being content as a lapcat.



teelover on March 09, 2014:

Great informative lens! Thanks for sharing ;)

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on September 08, 2013:

@ismeedee: Thank you.

ismeedee on September 08, 2013:

I know it's for kids, but enjoyed this myself!!

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on August 17, 2013:

@sierradawn lm: Thank you. Comments are very much appreciated.

sierradawn lm on August 14, 2013:

Outstanding lens! I thought that there was nothing new left, that I could learn about cats. But I learned from your lens that I am an Ailurophillia.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on August 04, 2013:

@Ibidii: Thank you.

Ibidii on August 03, 2013:

I second [or third] that I did not know there were so many cat breeds. I recognize a good percentage. There are some I never heard of! Awesome cat information! :D

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on August 03, 2013:

@SusanAston: Thank you.

SusanAston on August 02, 2013:

I had no idea there were so many breeds. Great lens. Thank you.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on July 24, 2013:

@electrolion: Thank you Very much appreciated.

electrolion on July 24, 2013:

Thanks for this lens. I'm bookmarking it and will keep coming back.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on July 18, 2013:

@anonymous: There is a such a variety of cats out there.

anonymous on July 17, 2013:

As a cat lover, I enjoyed your page. Had no idea there were so many different breeds!

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on June 11, 2013:

@TanoCalvenoa: He sounds like a wonderful cat.

TanoCalvenoa on June 10, 2013:

I think I know now what type of cat I used to have. We found a cat in 1988, and he lived until 2004. He had a beautiful fluffy coat, and looked like he belonged in the snow. I think now he's a Himalayan Persian cat.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on January 28, 2013:

@JeffGilbert: Thank you.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on January 28, 2013:

@nifwlseirff: They must be a bundle of joy!

JeffGilbert on January 28, 2013:

Boy, this is like a mini encyclopedia of cat types. Great lens!!!!

nifwlseirff on January 23, 2013:

A great cat breed overview lens! I have just been owned by two Maine kittens - one of which is well over 5kg (and only 6 months old!) They are certainly big, and remain kittenish - need to tie the furniture down.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on January 02, 2013:

@VspaBotanicals: Thank you for your kind words.

VspaBotanicals on January 02, 2013:

I have five cats. Thanks for a wonderful lens.

Rose Jones on November 07, 2012:

I hope you like cats - you sure do write about the delightful little creatures a lot! I have a feeling that you are a real cat lover, and I think your own cats must be very lucky. Pinned on my cats board, sent out by google plus - and angel dust refreshed.

anonymous on August 23, 2012:

Nice lens

natalier1210 on July 26, 2012:

Thanks for liking my lenses bejeezers :)

natalier1210 on July 25, 2012:

I loved this lens because I love cats! Please visit my "Cats And Kittens Fun Facts" lens! Just go to my profile and click on it! Yours was great! Thanks!

sallemange on May 11, 2012:

Fantastic lens. I have always owned Oriental Shorthair cats they are so smart.

stormlyt lm on April 29, 2012:

Very interesting lense. I love cats and so does my 1yr old son. He loves the pictures absolutely. Thanks

stormlyt lm on April 29, 2012:

Very interesting lense. I love cats and so does my 1yr old son. He loves the pictures absolutely. Thanks

JoleneBelmain on April 28, 2012:

I love cats, it's amazing how many different types of cats there really are out there. Our family will be cat shopping an a few months (our old cat "Gama's" passed away at 18 years old).

MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on April 24, 2012:

How very interesting and very good pictures! :>)

anonymous on April 10, 2012:

Great lens!

Lindrus on March 30, 2012:

Great and well researched lens!

Lindrus on March 30, 2012:

I enjoyed your informative and well researched lens about the different cat breeds. Myself I love the Burmilla breed - so beautiful and also fun and playful.

Lindrus on March 30, 2012:

Well researched lens about the different breeds, thank you. I myself love the Burmilla breed, so beautiful and also fun!

awakeningwellness on March 19, 2012:

I have never known one cat from another so I found this very helpful. :)

JakeDesign on March 18, 2012:

Awesome reference for cat people. I'm using it as a photo reference for my cat cartoons. So many cats, so little time.

funbee lm on February 26, 2012:

This is such an interesting lens, will bookmark it.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on February 25, 2012:

@SteveKaye: Thank you for your visit and your blessing. It is very much appreciated.

SteveKaye on February 24, 2012:

Now I know why my cat always wins when we race up the stairs. Thank you for making this lens.

Rose Jones on February 19, 2012:

I was looking for another lens to bless- this was an easy choice. Wow - that Ukrainian cat will stick in my memory!

PTurner56 on February 17, 2012:

I had never heard the terms "Molly" and "Crowder". Just goes to show, you learn something everyday! This lens is the Cat's Pajamas!

WriterJanis2 on February 13, 2012:

So many adorable pictures.

TheBaseballCoach on February 06, 2012:

I thoroughly enjoyed your guide to cats

anonymous on January 31, 2012:

Hmmm, returning to see your cats on display and seeing a lot of missing images, hope they return when you refresh.

goo2eyes lm on January 31, 2012:

yes, i did. i love these cats and i want to take them home.

anonymous on January 26, 2012:

Love the effort that has gone into this one! Great lens!

newdaygardens from Minnesota on January 26, 2012:

Very informative and fun. Just adopted 2 new cats yesterday. You might enjoy my lens about Pets & Autism: How Two Cats Helped my Aspie Daughter

sousababy on January 24, 2012:

BTW, some of your photos weren't loading (for me, at least). Love cats (and doggies too). Thanks for sharing.

vkumar05 on January 24, 2012:

Thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks.

anonymous on September 08, 2011:

Wonderfully informative and interesting for all cat lovers or likers! Sadly, many of your images are missing here, hopefully you'll get them back when you update.

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on September 05, 2011:

Love cats. It's amazing that there are so many different and unusual cat breeds. :)

profilesincolor on July 26, 2011:

Beautiful! Love the variety of cat images and interesting info! :-)

ForestBear LM on July 14, 2011:

This is a great lens, Love Cats! thank you for sharing

aardvarkapparel on June 16, 2011:

Very comprehensive list! If you enjoy cats, check out my lens at



Mayapearl on May 23, 2011:

Best cat lens! I love the American spotted cat, wonder if I could get one in Australia!