The Abyssinian is a slender fine-boned medium-sized cat with a wedge-shaped head, and large ears. Eyes are almond-shaped and may be gold, green, hazel or copper depending on coat color. The legs are long in proportion to the body and the tail is long and tapering. The Abyssinian coat is not excessively short, is fine, dense and close lying and silky to the touch, and their coat is usually a warm deep reddish-brown base with black ticking – it is sometimes called ruddy. The tend to have white chins. Other colors are cinnamon and fawn.
Abyssinians are very intelligent, extroverted and playful with wilful personalities. They are quiet, with soft voices.
The breed can be prone to gingivitis so a good early oral hygiene program is recommended. They are also susceptible to amyloidosis, a renal disease thought to be hereditary.
The most notable feature of the American Bobtail is its shortened tail which may be straight or curved. Its body is moderately long and stocky with wide hips and chest. It has longer hind legs than front legs with large round feet with toe tufts. The head is a broad wedge, with medium-sized ears with rounded tips. The eyes are almost almond shape. Eye color varies with coat color. Their coat is shaggy and these cats come in all colors and patterns.
American Bobtails are playful, social and reasonably energetic. They are known for being able to escape from rooms with closed doors and from secured cages. They ask for the attention they want by meowing or by hopping into laps. The American Bobtail is not related to the Japanese Bobtail despite the similar appearance.
The American Curl is noted for its charmingly whimsical curled ears. The kittens are born with straight ears which start to curl at one week old. There are both shorthair and longhair varieties of the breed. Their coats are soft and silky requiring little grooming. Their ears require frequent cleaning to prevent infection and gentle handling to prevent damage.
The American Curls a commonly healthy and somewhat active cat with a sunny disposition that continues to enjoy playful activities throughout its life. They are noted for their affinity to children and are one of the cats that can be trained to play “fetch.”
AMERICAN SHORTHAIR: Although not very athletic, the American Shorthair has a large robustly built body with an orange-shaped head. They are low maintenance cat that are generally healthy with a short sleek coat. Males weigh 11-15 pounds when completely grown and females weigh 8-12 pounds. There are more than 80 different coat colors and patterns ranging from tabbies to the blue-eyed white, shaded silvers, smokes, calicoes and many colors in between. They are a hardy and healthy breed living up to 15 years and longer.
American Shorthairs are intelligent cats who love to watch the outside from a window perch. They are calm, yet playful and some enjoy sitting in laps. Getting along well with children they make good family pets. Though social, they are still independent and have kept good hunting skills.
The American Wirehair is similar to the American Shorthair except for its wiry coat formed by kinking and hooking of the hair. Their coat is described as “soft as a Brillo pad” and these cats prefer to be patted rather than petted. They require no grooming, and are “self-cleaning.” Their coats come in all colors. They have a medium large muscular body with an oblong head and somewhat large ears.
American Wirehairs are affectionate and loving, not excessively active and have a quiet voice. They are independent but love playing with “teaser” type of toys. They are reputed to be very attuned to their owners and will sit by them and purr if their owners are sad.
Balinese cats are a medium to long hair breed with Siamese style point colouration, blue eyes, and a plumed tail. It is known as the pure-bred long-haired Siamese as it developed from a mutation of a Siamese cat. The Balinese are slender fine boned with graceful cats with wedge-shaped heads, large ears and almond-shaped eyes. The coat is soft and silky without the fluffy undercoat typical of long-haired breeds. Eye color ranges from pale blue to deep sapphire or violet. Point color is not evident until kittens are about one month old. Color points include seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream.
The Balinese share temperaments with their Siamese ancestors and are good vocalizers, acrobatic, social and enjoy intimate contact with their owners. They have the reputation of being the most intelligent of the long-haired cats.
Balinese are anecdotally responsible for many fewer allergy problems than most breeds.
The Bengal cat is prized for its unusual coat with the brilliant coloring and spotting of a leopard. The spots or rosettes are aligned horizontally rather than in random or tabby configurations. Bengals are short-haired with thick silky fur and come in several colors. They often have a “glitter” gene that gives the fur an iridescent glow as if covered in a warm frost. Bengals have a long, narrow muscular body and resemble miniature jungle cats.
Bengals are described as playful, curious, gregarious and energetic and affectionate cats who are not afraid of water.
Birmans are born pure white and later develop color points on the face, ears, tail, and legs. The gloves or paws remain pure white. The coat is long-haired and silky, the body a shade of soft golden white and the eyes are blue. They have no undercoat so are much less prone to matting than the Persian or Himalayan.
Birmans are described as affectionate, gentle and faithful companions, with a quiet intelligence and a graceful dignity the breed is known for. These cats are people oriented and because of their gentle temperament make the ideal pet for quiet companionship.
Originally the Sacred Cat of Burma (now Myanmar), the Birman is native to that country and was raised as a temple cat for hundreds of years.
The Bombay breed was founded in 1958; the result of a cross between a black American Shorthair and a sable Burmese. The breed was officially recognized in 1969 and got its name from Bombay India because of its resemblance to the Indian black panther. The Bombay has a short shiny all black coat and large round eyes rang to brilliant copper. The coat is short and glossy, lying close to the body and these cats are sometimes described as the “patent leather cat with copper penny eyes.” These cats have a long stocky muscular body with a round head and wide-set ears.
The Bombay is sweet, smart, affectionate cat and a lap sitter. They make excellent pets as they get along well with children and politely demand affection when they need it. This a gentle cat that does not enjoy rough play and is said to be less independent than most other cats.
Some owners feel these cats bring good luck and money to their homes.
The British Shorthair is considered to be Great Britain’s national cat. The most distinguishing feature of this cat is its short, dense coat with no undercoat so its texture is plush rather than fluffy. The fur feels solid to the touch, like sinking your fingers into firm warm velvet. The British Shorthair has a short stocky body, large round head and strong legs. Coat colours vary widely while eyes are usually copper colored.
The British Shorthair is independent yet loyal and affectionate. They are gentle, quiet voiced cats who enjoy play but also enjoy quiet times in the sun surveying their surroundings. They are good with children as they will tolerate a fair amount of physical interaction. They are generally healthy, hardy and low maintenance.
A silver tabby British Shorthair is the mascot of Whiskers brand cat food.
The Burmese has a short fine and glossy coat and of a Siamese heritage. Coat colours vary among dark brown, chocolate, blue, lilac, red, cream, sable, and champagne. Faint colour point markings may be visible. Eyes are green or gold depending on the coat colour.
Burmese are a people oriented cat, maintaining their kitten-like play long into adulthood. They are persistently vocal like their Siamese ancestors but are said to have softer, sweeter voices. They show some dog-like characteristics and some can be trained to play fetch or catch. They are less independent than other breeds and are not suited to be left alone for long periods of time. Female Burmese are highly curious active and very emotionally involved with their family whereas males love their humans but are more placid and prefer to lounge about usually on top of whatever you are doing. The lifespan of the Burmese is 10-17 years.
Burmese cats are prone to diabetes.
The Chartreux’s coat is short and plush, blue (grey) and water resistant. Eyes are orange or copper coloured. They are slender fine boned cats with tapered heads and a muzzle that gives them the appearance of smiling. They are affectionate, fairly sedentary, often bond more strongly with one member of the family. They are quite intelligent with some members of the breed learning to use radio buttons and open screen door latches. Chartreux remain playful well into their adult years, some learning how to fetch small objects are good with children. Some cats among the breed are mute.
The Chartreux was developed in Chartreux, France by the Carthusian monks in the 1500s and kept in their monasteries to keep vermin out. The monks selectively bred these cats to have quiet voices so they would not disturb their meditations.
The Cornish Rex, native of Cornwall, England is best known for its short curly or wavy fur which feels almost like the soft warm skink of a baby. The curls form gentle waves similar to the curls of the marcel waved hairstyles of the flapper girls of the 1920s. Contrary to popular belief, these cats are no more likely to be hypoallergenic than any other breed of cats as the allergic reaction in humans is caused by a reaction to a protein the cat’s dander and not to the fur. Coat colours and patterns are variable including solids, tabbies, bi-color and color points. Eye color varies with coat color.
The Cornish Rex is fine-boned and delicate and will not stand for rough handling so is not a breed recommended for children. These cats are very athletic and love to jump, are great climbers and shoulder sitters. Their long fingers and strong chest muscles allow them to pull apart just about anything and they have even been rumored to be able to pick locks. These playful, affectionate delicate cats keep their families amused and entertained.
The Cymric is a muscular compact medium to large cat with a medium bone structure weighing between 7-13 pounds. They have a cabby body, a round full head and large widely spaced ears. The coat is medium long dense and well-padded over the main body adding to the overall round appearance. They are born entirely tailless but adults have four different tail classifications but all have shortened or no tails. All pattern and coat colors accepted for the Manx are accepted for the Cymric.
Cymrics are active cats, agile jumpers and climbers. They are affectionate, intelligent and are fascinated by water. Cymric are known for communicating with their owners by distinctive paw touches which the attentive owner soon learns to interpret. The bobbed tail of the Cymric can cause orthopedic problems for the cat including spina bifida. They have comparatively small litters.
The distinguishing feature of the Devon Rex is its curled coat which is finer and thinner than the Cornish Rex. The Devon Rex is a small but spritely cat affectionately known as the Poodle Cat, Pixie Cat or Alien Cat. Alien due to its comical fine-boned face with large ears. The coat comes in many patterns and color variations.
Like their Cornish cousins the Devon Rex are active, intelligent and playful. They love to cuddled and held, and owners describe them as enchanting, intriguing and endearing. These cats seem to recognize their owners names as well as their own. Devon Rex are also retrievers of toys and keen observers in the family household.
The Egyptian Mau may be one of the few existing breeds to trace its ancestry back to the days of ancient Egypt, resembling cats depicted on tomb walls dating back to 1400 BC. The Egyptian Maus are typically slender and muscular. They have a skin fold under their belly which assists them when running to stretch back further. They are one of the fastest of their recognized breeds. They have a long dark dorsal stripe running from head to tail along the spine. They are short-haired and come in five colors, from most to least common, these colors are silver, bronze, smoke, black and blue/pewter.
The Egyptian Mau is sensitive to temperature, preferring a warm climate. The Egyptian Mau has a very long gestational 73 days, compared to other breeds’ 65-67 days.
Now Egyptian Maus are very rare. Fewer than 6,704 are registered with the Cat Fanciers Association in 2006.
Exotic Shorthair cats were bred in the 1950’s by crossing an American Shorthair with a Persian. The resulting offspring were classified as Exotic Shorthairs. These cats are sometimes called the lazy man’s Persian, for they are like Persian in temperament and features, but lack the longhair coat and high maintenance.
They have a medium-sized cobby body, massive shoulders, are large-boned with powerful muscles. The neck is thick and short, the tail short and thick, the paws large and round with tufts of hair between the toes. The exotic Shorthair cats’ coat is very dense and fluffy, but they are able to keep their own fur tidy with little human assistants. Like other flat faced cats, the tear ducts are prone to overflowing which can dampen and stain the face.
The Exotic Shorthair has a gentle and calm personality reminiscent of the Persian, but are slightly livelier. They are affectionate and loyal.
The Havana breed is the result of a planned breeding between a Siamese and a domestic black cat by a group of cat fanciers in England in the 1950s. All Havana are chocolate-brown or chestnut-brown with no markings, green eyes and pink pads on their feet. They also have brown whiskers.
These highly intelligent cats are very curious and use their paws to examine objects and communicate with their owners. They need human companionship, and do well in family settings. They get along well with dogs. A curious trait found among many Havanas is that they like to groom and play with their owner’s hair. There are no genetic diseases associated with this breed. Their coats are short, dense and sleek.
The Himalayan is a combination of 2 breeds: the Siamese and the Persian. Similar to Persians, Himalayan are sweet, docile, and have a gentle nature. Although they do well in families, they prefer a quiet home and prefer petting to playing.
The Himalayan has a short cobby body and short legs. The face can be doll-faced, or peke-faced which has the more extreme squashed facial features. Himalayan coats are as luxurious and long as the Persian cat. They are white or cream in color, with point markings which may be blue, lilac, seal, chocolate, red, cream, and tortoise-shell. Himalayans are good indoor companions, and are slightly more active than Persian cats, loves to play fetch with a piece of crumpled paper or kid’s toys.
The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of domestic cat with an unusual bobbed tail more closely resembling the tail of a rabbit than that of other cats. This variety is native to Japan and Southeast Asia, though it is now found throughout the world.
The Japanese Bobtail is medium-sized cat with slender legs, a triangular leg, and oval rather than round eyes. Its coat may be medium in length or medium long, with the texture being soft and silky. These cats often have different colored eyes. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.
They do not shed and require little grooming. They have strong cat ties to their own family and prefer to be in a multiple cats’ home.
The Korat is a slate blue-gray shorthair breed of domestic cat that originated in Thailand. It has a small to medium build, and a low percentage of body fat. The eyes are large and peridot green in adult cats.
The Korat cats are quiet, intelligent, and inquisitive. They are devoted to their family or human.
The Maine Coon is one of the oldest breeds from the United States. These cats have a large sturdy body with a long full tail. They have large oval shaped eyes that are gold, blue, green, or odd eyed. Their thick long hair coat comes in all colors and patterns, and was developed as a result of the severe New England climate.
Maine Coon cats are fun loving and gentle. And loyal to their owners.
Of all the breeds, the Manx cats, along with their Cymric cousins, are the only tails-less cats. They have a short body, a broad chest, and round rump and large expressive eyes. They are excellent jumpers because of their muscular hind legs.
The Manx cat is a quiet and faithful companion, but do not be surprised if you find they can jump from the floor to the top of the refrigerator.
NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT:
The Norwegian Forest cat is from a very old breed in Norway.
His long coat is water repellent and was developed to protect him from the cold wet weather in Norway. These cats are medium in size, a good weight, with strong muscles. Their long hind legs provide them with superb jumping and climbing capabilities. Their soft silky coat has a rich woolly undercoat. These cats come in a range of colors, from tabby to bi-color to solid.
They are outgoing, quiet, intelligent, and love families.
The Ocicat is man-made breed – a cross between an Abyssinian and Chocolate Point Siamese. Subsequent matings have introduced the American Shorthair. By the 1980s, the Ocicats were officially recognized as a breed.
They bear a striking resemblance to Ocelot cubs. The Ocicat has a small muscular body with a coat of brown or silver with Ocelot markings.
They are curious and intelligent, easily trained, and they respond to voice commands. They get along with children, are affectionate and enjoy lap-sitting.
ORIENTAL SHORTHAIR/ORIENTAL LONGHAIR:
Oriental Shorthair/Longhair Cats are similar to Siamese cats, but lack the proper point markings of the Siamese. They come in both solid colors and mixed colors, shorthair coats and longhair coats.
These cats are as active and talkative as the Siamese, and have an insatiable curiosity. They are extremely intelligent. They demand love and attention, and in return, they are very protective of their loved ones.
Persians are the most popular breed in the world, and along with the Himalayan Persian make up the greatest number of all cats registered, recognized, or exhibited.
Persians have a short thick body, with heavy boned legs. They have two head types: standard and peke-faced. Both are round with a short brown muzzle but the peke-face version a shorter snub-like nose that is set farther in the muzzle. Their dainty ears are set far apart, and they have large round expressive eyes. Their fur is soft long and fluffy and requires daily grooming by their owner.
Persians are quiet-voiced. These laid back cats like to just sit or lie around the house, and are happy just to relax and observe. While they are generally calm and gentle, they do enjoy playing with teaser type toys.
The Ragdoll was bred in California in the 1960s. True to its name, the Ragdoll has a distinct characteristic of becoming limp when held in a person’s arms.
They are very large and long with a muscular body and a medium-length legs. Their broad head is a medium-size modified wedge. They have round, expressive eyes. The luxurious coat flows over its body like a silky robe, and is a longhair cat. They come in point colors, solid colors and bi-colors.
They have an affectionate nature, and enjoy both company and solitude, but usually they quietly ask for love and attention.
RUSSIAN BLUE/LONGHAIRED RUSSIAN BLUE:
Russian Blue cats originated in the Baltic area of Europe.
The Russian Blue is a slender, graceful cat and its coat while called blue, is a soft solid grey. Its eyes can be green or amber.
It is a gentle and quiet cat, sometimes called the silent cat. They love other cats, kittens and children, and will rub their faces across the hands or face of their loved person. Most Russian Blue cats have dense and short coats, but there is a longhair variety, which is rarer. They are a very hearty cat.
SCOTTISH FOLD/LONGHAIRED SCOTTISH FOLD:
The Scottish Fold is a cat with folded down ears and originated in Scotland.
A longhaired variant of the Scottish Fold is called the Highland Fold and has a long thick coat. They are heavy boned, well muzzled, and sturdy in appearance. They have a round head with a short muzzle and strait nose. Both varieties of folds come in any color and pattern. They are a hearty breed, and are resistant to disease and cold weather.
They are loving, quiet cats that get along well with other pets.
The Siamese date back more than 200 years and have an obscure origin somewhere in Southeast Asia. They were raised in the royal palaces of Siam.
They are slender, and small-boned with long legs, a long neck and a graceful tail. Their heads are wedge shaped, their ears are larger than normal, and set forward on their heads. Their eyes are various shades of blue. The Siamese has point coloring similar to the Himalayan.
Siamese cats are called monkey cats for their ability to climb, scramble and cling to precarious things. They can also twist, turn, and contort their bodies.They are extra talkative, extra exuberant, and extra affectionate. They are climbers and perchers, ruling their kingdoms with a velvety meow.
The Singapura is considered a rare breed. It is the smallest of all the cat breeds. They are somewhat compact, yet lithe with a rounded head, short muzzle, and large almond shaped eyes. Their short brown-ticked coat resembles an Abyssinian’s, but is silkier. They only come in sable brown.
These cats are quiet, gentle and shy. They prefer to be a one-person cat.
The Snowshoe breed was developed by cross-breeding a Siamese with a bi-color American Shorthair, to produce Siamese patterns on a larger, sturdier cat. They have medium to large muscular bodies, semi thick legs, and a long tail. Their head is a modified wedge with large pointed ears. Their eye color is deep blue. This breed’s coat is thick and short, and may have seal, blue, lilac or chocolate point colors, set off by the cat’s face and feet.
They are sturdy cats that love to be the center of attention. Snowshoe cats are gentle and sweet, and prefer to be the lone pet of the household. They enjoy children and are lap sitters. They ask for attention with a meow or a gentle tap of a paw.
The Somali is a long hair version of the Abyssinian. This breed has a full tail, light muzzle and longish nose, resembling a fox’s physical features. The Somali’s full silky coat sports colors similar to that of the red and grey foxes.
They are playful and active, but reserve their greatest love for their one person. They are intelligent cats and can use their dexterous paws to get into everything. Somalis love to be with their owner and take part in all activities.
The Sphynx is a hairless breed of cat. They have a medium-long body with a barrel shaped chest. This breed has long sturdy legs and a lengthy whip-like tail. Their head is a modified wedge with very large upright ears, and lemon-shaped eyes set back into their faces. The Sphynx’s coat consists of a fine down, and they have small tufts of hair on the tip of the tail and base of the ears. They feel like warm suede and are often called Hot Water Bottle Cats. They are soft and gentle and love to cuddle as close as possible to their person.
The Tonkinese is a man made breed that was developed by crossing the Burmese and Siamese together. These cats combine the striking points of the Siamese with the rounded counters of the Burmese. They are medium in length, muscular and lithe with medium boned legs. They have a rounded wedge head and large almond-shaped eyes of a brilliant aquamarine color. Their soft silky coat is short and lies close to the body. They come in the same point colors as the Siamese with the darker solid body color of the Burmese.
These beautiful cats are very active and enjoy running, jumping, and climbing. They are outgoing, affectionate, and people oriented.
The Turkish Angora, or Angora, is probably the oldest breed, and originated in turkey. These cats were desired as gifts because of their beautiful long coat and elegant sinuous body.
This breed has a slender body with long graceful legs. They are more dainty than the cobby bodied Persians. Turkish Angoras have a long wedged shaped head with alert and upright ears. Although the traditional coat color is white, their fur may come in many colors. They do not require much care, since their coat does not mat. But regular brushing will keep their soft fur in good shape.
Turkish Angoras are graceful cats with a gentle nature, who do not like loud noises. They are playful, but not overly active. They are a one-owner cat, and are very protective of their person.
The Turkish Van was named after the Lake Van area in Turkey where they were first discovered. They have strong muscles, a well developed swimmers chest, and medium boned legs. They have a medium long sturdy body with a broad angular head. Their luxurious coat is semi-long and they have a medium-length full tail. The breed is known for its distinctive red markings on the face and tail, otherwise it is pure white.
They have earned the nickname the swimming cat because of their love of water. They are loner cats who prefer quiet surroundings.