Vinaya knows a lot about cats and likes to test himself by identifying the breeds of all the cats he meets.
Why Identifying a Cat's Breed Is Important
Each cat breed is unique in its own way, with special features and habits. If you are a cat owner or want to own a cat, you should definitely be able to distinguish the differences between breeds. Knowing the breed of your pet will provide you with the necessary information to take the best care of your feline companion for many years.
Visual Cues to Determine a Cat's Breed
A cat's breed can be recognized by analyzing these three categories:
- Facial features
- Color and texture of the coat
- Body shape and size
The main difference between cat breeds is the variation of color and texture of the coat. This is also the easiest to spot.
How to Identify Your Pet's Lineage
Using the following sections and corresponding shorthair/longhair breed graphs, you'll be equipped with everything you need to find your pet's lineage.
- The History of Cat Domestication
- Family Classification
- Ancestry of Different Breeds
- Longhair Cats
- Shorthair Cats
- Common House Cats
Comparing the variables included, such as family classification and ancestry factoids, you can feel confident that you are providing the best life for your current or soon-to-be pet.
Commercial cat breeding is very difficult because mating can be controlled only when the male and the Queen (breeding female) are confined. Cats are genetically rigid, therefore there are few opportunities for commercial breeders. Data regarding characteristics and features inherited by breeding is scarce, as there has been little scientific breeding performed.
Most cat breeds can be grouped into two different categories:
Note: Aside from coat length, there are no major distinctions between these two categories.
Based on the color of the coat, both longhair and shorthairs have different breed subcategories. Some colors and patterns can be genetically linked with the sex or condition of the cat. These visual traits are also used to identify potential birth defects and genetic quirks in cats.
The History of Cat Breeding and Domestication
Domestication and religious cat cults evolved in ancient Egypt. In the 5th and 6th Pharaoh dynasties (2465–2150 BCE), cats were proclaimed as sacred animals; however, Egyptians did not begin to domesticate cats until 1500 BCE.
Civilizations That Owned Domesticated Cats
- China: Religious art from the 5th century BCE depicts domesticated cats.
- Greece: In the 1st century BCE, they appeared in plays for comic effect.
- India: Sanskrit texts written around the 1st century BCE mention domestic cats.
- Japan: They were considered guardians in the 7th century CE.
- Britain: Cat protection laws existed in 936 CE.
Cats were domesticated because they were sacred animals that were very useful in protecting granaries and crops from rodents. These days, this purpose is no longer as relevant for most, so owning cats is mainly for companionship and show.
Classification of Cat Family
- Family Felidae: There are 37 species in 18 genera belonging to 3 subfamilies; found worldwide, excluding Antarctica. They evolved in the Late Eocene Era— about 37 million years ago.
- Subfamily Felinae: There are 29 species found worldwide; excluding Antarctica. They evolved about 10 million years ago.
- Genus Felis (Small Cats): There are six old species, including the wildcat and domestic cat; found worldwide. They evolved in the Pliocene Era—about 5.3 to 3.6 million years ago.
The Ancestry of Different Cat Breeds
About 40 distinct cat breeds have been recognized. Ancestry of some of these breeds goes back to the time of antiquity. The ancestry of individual cat breeds can be traced to cat mummies, as well as ancient statues and drawings available in different cultures.
The Origins of Well-Known Breeds
- The Tabby and Abyssinian are the descendants of the sacred Egyptian cat. The present-day tabby and Abyssinian look similar to the cat mummies, statues, and drawings in Egypt.
- The Persian, whose exact origin is unknown (with Iran being the best guess), is believed to be a mixed-breed cat.
- The tailless Manx, the hairless Sphynx, and the curly-coated Devon Rex all have mutant genes. The ancestors of all Egyptian cats come from Africa.
- The Siamese cat is believed to have Asian ancestry, even though no living species of Asian cats have been found.
- The history of the Japanese Bobtail goes back more than 1,000 years. This cat breed, which was very common in medieval Japan, is quite rare these days.
Longhair cats are distinguished by their long, flowing coat. Their coat colors can be solid or bicolored, in addition to various patterns.
- White with black streaks
- Silver and black
- Silver blotches
- Blue-gray and cream
- Cream, red, and black
Long, slender body; sapphire-blue eyes
Siamese mutant, sways tail when walking
Bushy tail, white paws, deep blue eyes
Known as sacred cat of Burma
Stout, heavy chest, no tail
Also called longhair Manx
Himalayan, or Colorpoint Longhair
Short, full tail, sapphire-blue eyes
Siamese and Persian cross
Long and flexible body, silky coat
Balinese and Colourpoint Shorthair cross
Large and well-muscled, hairy coat
Oldest American breed
Full-bodied, muscular, double coat
Featured prominently in Nordic fables
Sturdy, massive head
Having many variations, one of the oldest and most popular breed
Heavy and powerful, blue eyes
Resembles a limp rag doll, relaxes muscles when picked up
Flexible and muscular, full brush tail, green or golden eyes
Distinguished as a longhair Abyssinian
Long, feathery tail; large, pointed ears
One of the first longhair cats in introduced in Europe
Shorthair breeds consist of British Shorthair, American Shorthair, Bombay (pitch-black colored) Bengal (gray-white stripes), Manx (tailless), Sphynx (hairless), etc. A shorthair cat has a round head, round eyes, ears rounded at the tips, a sturdy build, and strong-boned legs.
The coats of shorthair cats are often similar to those of longhair breeds. However, the most common coat colors include those found in tabbies:
Note: The blue-cream color is rare in Shorthairs. Cream is simply the diluted version of red, and is rather rare to encounter. To be mixed with blue is even rarer.
Majestic, flexible body; long, slender legs
Sacred cat of Egypt
Big, muscular body; thick, dense fur
Varies in sizes, from medium to large; curly coat
Rare outside U.S.
Spotted coat; forelimbs bigger than hind limbs
Cross between Asian leopard cat and American Shorthair tabby
Resembles black panther
Cross between Burmese and black American Shorthair
Short, muscular, short legs, thick tail
Oldest natural English breed
Medium-size; shiny, thick coat
Related to Siamese
One of the oldest natural breeds
Short, curly hair; large ears
Named after the Rex rabbit
Slightly rough coat than Cornish Rex; pixie face
Nicknamed "poodle cat"
Graceful, distinct spot pattern, banded tail
Mau is Egyptian word for cat
Triangular head, large ears, rabbit like tail
Symbol of good luck
Silver-blue coat, heart-shaped face
Native name is "Si-Sawat," symbol of good luck
Cream colored coat with dark or light brown spots
Cross between Abyssinian and Siamese
Long, flexible body; vibrant green eyes
Specialized with numerous colors unique to the breed
Muscular, fine-boned, double coat; blue in color with the streaks of silver
Symbol of good luck
Short, round, well-padded body; folded ears
May be born crippled due to genetic vulnerability
Thin, long body; sapphire-blue eyes
Intelligent, unpredictable behavior
Hairless, large ears
Rare outside North America
Medium-sized, blue-green eyes
Cross between Siamese and Burmese
Isle of Man
Tailless or with stump; double coat
If two tailless gene cats are breed, there might be stillbirths or skeletal defects
Common House Cats
To help you with your identification journey, I have outlined the specifications and characteristics of three of the most easily recognized house cats that you may encounter:
The Siamese cat is small and agile. It is regarded as the most intelligent house cat. It is affectionate and loyal, but can be destructive sometimes. The Siamese cat is highly vocal.
Even though Siamese cats are named after Siam (the old name of Thailand), its origin as a breed is unknown. The Siamese cat is a popular breed of cats. They have been domesticated in Thailand and some parts of Asia for a long time; however, they did not reach Europe until the late 19th century.
The British took Siamese cats as gifts to England. From England, these cats made their way to America. According to a widely held belief in Thailand, Siamese cats protect royal palaces and monasteries from evil spirits. This exotic feline creature is believed to bring good fortune to its owner.
A Partly Albino Breed
The Siamese cat is partially albino. When kittens are born, they are white or cream colored, but later develop dark points such as dark brown (seal point), blue-gray (blue point), milk-chocolate brown (chocolate point), pinkish gray (lilac point), or reddish orange (red point) on ears, face, legs, and tail.
Characteristics of Siamese Cats
- Light color in the body and dark color around the feet, tail, legs, and face
- Slanted blue eyes
- Round head
- Flexible, long body
- Slim, long tail
- Slim legs
- Color points
- Social, communicative, noisy, playful
- Attention seeking
- Emotionally high maintenance
- Short hair
- Weighs between 6–16 pounds
- Has a lifespan of 15–20 years
Based on the color of their coat, Persian cats are grouped in seven categories, including solid, silver and gold, tabby, shaded and smoke, particolor, bicolor, and Himalayan. The Persian cat is identifiable by its long, flowing coat.
A Delicate, Indoor Animal
Persian cats are loving companions. They don’t climb and jump much, they are not destructive, they love to hang with humans, and they really love to bask in the sun. Persian cats are indoor cats, which mean they are prone to coat damage and disease when they roam outside. They can live up to 20 years.
The Persian cat has long and dense fur. In order to protect the coat, frequent bathing and combing is necessary for a Persian cat. They also must be kept indoors so their majestic coat is preserved.
Characteristics of Persian Cats
- Gentle and sweet
- Long hair
- Great companion
- Not very demanding
- Big eyes
- Pleasant voice
- Easy to keep
- Needs too much grooming
- Playful, affectionate, defensive, languid
Contrary to popular belief, tabbies are not categorized as a breed. Cats with grey or tawny (a light brown to brownish orange color) streaks, patterns, or patchy coloring can be considered a tabby.
Tabbies can also be identified by the signature "M" shape found on their forehead.
Tabby is one of the most common cat coat colors. It is seen in pure-breed cats as well as mixed-breed cats.
Characteristics of Tabby Cats
- Love to be the center of attention
- Thrive as indoor/outdoor cats
- "M" mark on the forehead
- Common patterns include: swirls, mackerel, ticked, and spotted
Now, Go Get to Know Some Cats!
Now that you know all there is about cat breeds and their characteristics, you are more than prepared to go identify some cats on your own! Regardless of whether you wanted to get to know your own companion a little better, do some research before adopting a pet, or just learn something new about the species, I hope that using this guide as a reference served you well.
© 2013 Vinaya Ghimire
Lucy on May 17, 2020:
This was helpful as we are trying to figure out what breed our new rescue cats are, they have bushy tails and one looks like a raccoon, any ideas?
Alexa Evans on April 06, 2020:
this was very helpful since i have got a cat of my own which extremely playful
Jessica on March 17, 2020:
Kinda of hard to figure out but otherwise i still could not find out what type of cat my cat is and I would really like to know he is very special to me and I love him very much.He also has a brother and he is a tabby but my other cat is not and I can tell he isn't.
Dovile on February 29, 2020:
I dont know if any of these match up. Can you help me identify which breed my cat is? Mine is light green eyes,medium sized ears, dark around the body, back, ears and tail but not stomach, around the nose arms and legs but thighs is dark. also the colour is white and grey not thick, but not very thin either it between, no really pattern on her fur except her neck one white line or anything just blended. I honestly think she like being outside and indoor. Can be aggresive to other people but friendly to us, doesnt like being pick up. So what cat breed is she? Also she a female
trip on December 24, 2019:
none of what seem to be near the breed of my kitten
Ella Race on August 03, 2019:
I have a Grey & Peach Diluted Tortie, her face is darker Grey. Tail her coat is like a brimble Greys snd Peach, she is moody
EeenieB on March 27, 2019:
I have a orange tabby cat. But id like to know what breed he came from. He has a small head and long front legs. He is a small cat. Does anyone know what beed ha may have come from?
Savannah on March 08, 2019:
I have a small cat named roe and she is super fluffy and creamy colored what type is she someone tell me
Allyssa on May 29, 2017:
I have a Minx cat!! Anyone know if they are rare?
Suzie from Carson City on December 04, 2014:
Vinaya......I have always loved cats and am sure to have one, sometimes two as my babies. Like so many others here, I had no idea there are so many different breeds. Are you a cat expert of sorts? Or just very fond of cats?
Have you ever had the chance to see a TV program called, "My Cat from Hell?".....Jackson Galaxy is known as the "Cat Whisperer" and is able to solve any kind of issue people may be having with their pet cat. I love that show. If you can, you should watch it.
Very informative hub. I appreciate the lesson.....UP+++
Olgacat on December 01, 2014:
Group oriental cats includes a large number of breeds. http://cataristocrat.com/en/oriental-body-type-cat...
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 13, 2014:
I had no idea there were that many different cat breeds. You sure did do a great job here. Very informative!
Audrey Howitt from California on August 13, 2014:
Cats are beautiful!!!
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 15, 2014:
What a great article! I do love cats. (We have "only" 7 of them!--LOL)
Ours are all mixed breeds, and they are all sweet, but still with their own personality quirks.
Voted up ++ and pinned.
Audrey Howitt from California on February 15, 2014:
So many different kinds of cats--wow! Great hub Vinaya!
Eiddwen from Wales on January 30, 2014:
Interesting and so useful Vinaya.
Voted up for sure.
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on November 30, 2013:
What a fabulous amount of information, presented in a variety of methods. I also loved the tables of information. The video was one of the coolest I have seen...I never had seen curly cats; a long haired Manx; the adorable elf cats...really a video to come back to as it is so packed with kitty cats.
No matter what the readers' felines are about felines, you are a master writer! Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria
Dianna Mendez on November 29, 2013:
I have had a variety of cats over the years: siamese, persian, tabby, etc. and everyone has filled my life with joy. Your table chart is a great resource.
FlourishAnyway from USA on November 29, 2013:
Since I was a child I have loved plain ones, fancy ones, ugly ones, scruffy ones, elegant ones, tiny ones, large ones, healthy ones and disabled ones. I simply adore their attitudes, their vibrancy and the way they are slow to warm. The cat in the lead photo looks very content. Beautiful.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 29, 2013:
Very interesting about identifying cat breeds you know more than I do about cats but never too late to learn. always a good write from you. Informative, useful interesting and most helpful to cat lovers.
Frank Atanacio from Shelton on November 29, 2013:
I've never owned a cat, but nevertheless this little cat series is useful and informative :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2013:
I'm just not a cat person, Vinaya, but great information.
Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on November 28, 2013:
So many cat breeds nicely done.
Maine Coon Characteristics
The Maine Coon cat originates from Maine, United States. Their popularity has soared over the last few decades due to their dog-like personalities, gentle nature, and playful attitude to life. Unfortunately, a rise in their popularity and high market price, has resulted in a rise of backyard breeders (BYB) trying to make a quick buck out of less savvy buyers, keen to own a Maine Coon. Luckily for us, there are a number of Maine Coon characteristics that buyers can look out for, when trying to identify if the kitten they love is really a purebred Maine Coon, or not.
Maine Coon characteristics distinguish them from other cat breeds. Reaching up to 40 inches in length, their physically large body frame and large bushy tails make them immediately stand out in the crowd! Their large paws, long thick luscious hair, big expressive eyes and playful nature help to make Maine Coons easier to spot. Large tufts of hair around their neck, and ‘lynx’ like ear tufts are also commonly associated with this cat breed.
Ear Tufts and Lynx Tips – The Difference
One of the oldest known American breeds, the Maine Coon has a coat to protect it from the harsh Maine winters. Ironically, the first Maine Coon cats had less defined ear tufts than our modern day house cats due to selective breeding.
What is often called an ear tuft is actually two different fur structures. Ear tufts are actually fur growing from the inside of the cat’s ear, while “lynx tips” are the pointed, and often colored, lengths of fur sticking up from the top of his ear.
The ear tufts on your Maine Coon are not just adorable, but also functional. The adorable wisps of fur that make this breed so identifiable actually keep debris out of their sensitive ears.
Scientists also suggest that the fur helps filter and direct sound to their earway.
If your cat doesn’t have these long furs in their ears by the time they’re a few weeks old, they may never develop, but there’s still a chance! Maine Coon coats are not complete until they reach about two years of age!
9 Cool Cat Breeds
1. Siberian Cats
As my cat Alexei is a Siberian, this cat breed had to be on the top of the list. Firstly, this breed is Russian – of course from Siberian, so that adds an element of cool.
Alexei absolutely knows what he stands for, is always confident and doesn’t try hard to impress anyone. He is a little less independent as this is a very affectionate breed that prefers to be around people.
My own feline friend, Alexei, is a Siberian, so I’m particularly partial to this amazing breed. With a thick, luxurious coat, stunning coat colors such as grey and an affectionate personality, Siberians are well-suited to any home.
They’re laid-back but enjoy playing, and are very attached to their humans. You’ll often find your Siberian cat following along behind you and cuddling up as soon as you take a seat.
Alexei out and about
As you may expect, this loving cat comes from Siberia in Russia, so they’re well suited to cold conditions. It’s an ancient breed thought to be ancestral to all modern long-haired cats. That’s quite the pedigree.
2. British Short Hair Cats
The British Short Hair is a particularly laid back breed of cat and is very independent.
The British Shorthair cat is a medium to large-sized cat breed with large gold, orange, or copper color eyes, a short, broad nose, and a short to medium coat. Daily grooming of these felines is necessary, especially during seasonal changes.
British Shorthair Cat
These lovely kitties are highly intelligent however, they are still happy to stay inside and play with toys and people. Get some wand-like toys and start a game with your British Shorthair cat it can be great fun.
This indoor cat breed has an easy-going personality and provides great companionship. While these cats love to play, they don’t require hourly attention.
3. Persian Cats
Despite a seemingly high maintenance fluffy exterior, Persians are a quite independent breed of cat and happy doing their own thing.
Blue Persians are grey cats. Persian cats are affectionate, docile, and gentle kitties. This breed has a quiet demeanor they plop down on any soft surface and simply pose for your appreciation – little super models.
These elegant cats are not very active, which makes them the perfect indoor pet.
Persians have a relatively small face so their big round eyes are particularly prominent. Most Persians have gorgeous blue eyes but there can be exceptions – or some who have a different colour in each eye. Their eyes can be particularly striking against a blue or grey coat.
Although affectionate, Persian cats are discriminative and reserve their attention for family and a few trusted guests.
This beautiful flat flaced cat breed does get along with children and other household pets however, they aren’t fans of loud environments but rather serene homes where little changes.
4. Norwegian Forest Cat
Scandanavian and from a forest – this is one on trend breed of kitty! Whilst the Norwegian Forest Cat loves to play it is also very happy to hang out on its own and won’t follow you around when you get home.
Larger than your average cat, the Norwegian Forest Cat Breed are rather elegant kitties. They have long legs and bushy tails that are often as long as their bodies.
Norwegian forest cat in the snow
When their coat has fully come in they are a sight to behold. They often come out in a full mane, fluffy chest, furry legs and even tufts of fur between their toes.
Norwegian forest cat with green eyes
As a result, these friendly cats do require daily grooming. Their ears also often get tufts of fur which needs to be groomed. The Norwegian Forest Cat actually has a double coat with one being weatherproof.
Norwegian Forest Cat
5. Russian Blue Cat Breed
Another Russian breed! These sleek grey kitties is also an independent Russian at heart.
With emerald-green eyes and a luxurious silvery coat, Russian Blues are a startlingly pretty breed. The Russian Blue is sweet-tempered and fine-featured, with long legs that allow it to run at high speeds.
With emerald-green eyes and a luxurious silvery coat, Russian Blues are a startlingly pretty breed. The Russian Blue is sweet-tempered and fine-featured, with long legs that allow it to run at high speeds.
Photo by Kirsten Bühne on Pexels.com
Those green eyes are large, round, and wide-set. This is another cat breed that constantly looks like it is wide awake! Russian Blue cats are born with yellow eyes which turn green over time.
This expensive breed of cat really enjoys play and requires a good bit of attention when you get home. Although, they do enjoy napping in a quiet corner and tend to shy away from large groups.
Russian Blue Cat
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Often demanding at mealtimes, these happy felines can get quite chunky if you’re not firm. Russian Blue cats are another very intelligent breed, so it’s important to provide enough mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy.
6. Egyptian Mau
Just look at this gorgeous and exotic breed! They’re egyptian – home of all things cat – have a fantastic uncommon spot pattern that begs to be on a catwalk and they are the fastest of all housecats. It has a medium-sized but muscular build, with longer hind legs.
Egyptian mau cat
⇒ Thinking about what kind of kitty you would like? Check out my posts on the 9 Most Expensive Cat breeds, 10 Snuggly Flat Faced Cat Breeds, 7 Strange and Weird Cat Breeds, 11 Indoor Cat Breeds, 14 Cutest Cat Breeds, 12 Most Friendly Cat Breeds, 8 Fluffiest Cat Breeds, 9 Super Cool Cat Breeds, 11 Rare Cat Breeds, 8 Small Cat Breeds, 9 Big Ear Cat Breeds, 13 Big Eyed Cat Breeds, 10 Tuxedo Cat Breeds, Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon, Maine Coon vs Normal Cat, 9 Gorgeous Grey Cat Breeds, 8 Garfield Cat Breeds, Siberian cat colors, Maine Coon Personality and the ultimate Siberian Cat personality profile.
Egyptian Mau cats prefer heat and are quite sensitive to temperature. So if you live somewhere very cold, keep this in mind.
With a balanced temperament and a preference for activity, it’s best to have a large garden for your Mau cat. They’re very loyal and cheerful, and love snuggles. Smart enough to turn on the faucet, Egyptian Mau cats also love playing with water.
Egyptian Mau Cats
How can a hairless cat not be cool? This unusual breed looks like it could have come from another world and definitely would hang out with hipsters. These medium-sized cats have a striking appearance with hairless, wrinkled skin and large ears.
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It is also known for the somewhat intense gaze which emits for its large eyes. As another breed with minimal hair those large eyes stand out even more on the Sphynx cat.
Though Sphynx cats appear to look bald, they may be covered in a small amount of peach fuzz, giving them that velvety texture. However, they do require moderate grooming to care for their hairless bodies as they do not have fur to absorb natural oils their body produces.
⇒ About to become a fur parent? Check out my Complete Guide to How to Look After a Kitten.
What the Sphynx cat breed lacks in fur, they make up for in their personality. These hairless kitties are sociable, energetic, and love to play. The curious kitties are mischievous and are fond of teaser toys and puzzle toys to challenge them.
One of the most expensive cat breeds, the Savannah is a fabulous mix of a genuinely wild cat (cerval) and a domestic cat. This gives them very stylish cheetah markings on their coats.
This magnificent kitty is also exceptionally large and ranks as the world’s tallest cat breed – definitely supermodel territory.
Savannahs are so costly due to their breeding. It takes luck – and often a number of years – to mate a serval and a domesticated cat.
They bond with only a few people and are known to be very loyal. They’re very inquisitive and have an impressive ability to jump – even onto fridges and high walls. They have quite a strong hunting instinct, so if you keep birds or fish, your Savannah cat will likely eye them daily.
Because of this hunting instinct, it’s important to look at your country and city’s ownership laws before you decide to invest in this feline. Some areas have restrictive laws because these large cats can threaten native species.
9. Devon Rex
These kitties are just plain funky looking! Their tail comes with a curve, they have fantastic big ears and have unique short curly hair on their sinewy bodies. I feel like this breed would really enjoy listening to jazz.
The mischievous Devon Rex cat, also known as the pixie cat, is a loving and loyal feline breed. They make the ideal companions and welcome family and friends’ attention, as well as being great with kids and other pets.
Devon rex with dark face
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This cat breed emerged in England during the late 1950s and is similar to the nearby Cornish Rex cat breed.
These felines are intelligent, active, and require regular stimulation. Devon Rex cats are jumpers, and their favorite place is at head level, so perches and cat trees should be provided.
Devon rex cat under plant looking up
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The moderately active cat enjoys learning and playing fetch, so interactive toys will also help keep him occupied while you’re out earning money.
This indoor cat breed has slender bodies with long legs, large eyes, and high cheekbones. They shouldn’t be brushed as their fur is prone to breakage instead, rub the Devon Rex cat gently with a cloth to keep them well-groomed, weekly.
Devon Rex Cat
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Please Note: This cool cat breeds post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on most of the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This will not affect the price that you pay. I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.
The origins of the domestic long hair are apparently in Western Asia. They were first imported into Europe in the 16th Century.
Their first known documentation was in the year 1521 in Italy. The long coat is speculated to be the result of a recessive mutant gene.
If a long haired cat and a short haired cat mate the result is always short haired kittens, however, these kittens carry a long haired gene and may produce long haired kittens when they grow up.
Cats of all types came to America on the Mayflower, protecting the early colonist's food from rodents and other vermin.
As more ships from other countries came to America so did more cats, creating the new American breeds such as the domestic long hair.