Ultimate List of Cat Breeds
When it comes to picking a breed of cat, you must first consider the breed characteristics and what their grooming requirements are. Longer-haired cats often require more grooming than their short haired counterparts, and each breed of cat has their own unique mix of temperament, intelligence and need for social interaction.
Our Ultimate list of Cat Breeds is a comprehensive list featuring cat breeds which are popular in Australia. We highlight what we think is great about each breed, read on to learn more about your favourite furry felines.
The Abyssinian is named after the country it was believed to originate from- Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia). It has since been discovered that this breed actually originated from Egypt.
They are a skinny, medium-sized cat with a thick and silky coat. Abyssinian cats are affectionate and highly intelligent. They love to interact and play, especially with people.
Originating from the USA, the American Bobtail is named after it‚Äôs short and stubby (‚Äúbobbed‚ÄĚ) tail, which is much shorter than the length of a normal cat‚Äôs tail. This breed comes in both short and long-haired coat variants.
Their fur is shaggy, and their body short and stocky. The American Bobtail is a playful, social and clever creature who is moderately active and very sociable.
The American Curl originated from Lakewood, California- and is named after it‚Äôs unusual ears, which curl back from it‚Äôs face. As a kitten, they are born with straight ears that gradually begin to curl as they grow older.
They have a soft, silky coat and require minimal grooming. They are an affectionate breed that enjoy the company of their owners.
The American Shorthair is believed to be descended from European cats, which were brought to North America by early settlers. This breed is sometimes referred to as a ‚Äúworking cat", as in the past they were used for controlling rodent populations on ships and farms.
The American Shorthair requires low maintenance and has an easy-going, sociable and affectionate temperament. They are an intelligent, inquisitive breed with a large, powerful body and short hair.
Originating from New York, the American Wirehair is similar to the Shorthair, aside from the wiry fur coat after which it is named. Their fur requires little grooming, and they feature a medium, strong build with a round head.
The American Wirehair are gentle and sociable and they are happy to be both active and playful and are also equally happy sit and rest on their owners lap.
Alternative breed names: "Spotted Mist"
The Australian Mist is a medium sized, short haired cat, which was developed by cross breeding the Abyssinian, Burmese and other short-haired cats.
Featuring a spotted coat, the Australian Mist loves to be handled and enjoys living indoors.
These cats can even be trained to go for walks on a lead, are extremely affectionate and love people, making for a perfect family pet.
Alternative breed names: Long-haired Siamese
Originally cross-bred from the Siamese, the Balinese cat has a medium-length silky coat. They are a playful, inquisitive and sociable animal.
Commonly, the Balinese is considered one of the most intelligent long-haired cat breeds. They are very vocal creatures.
Image Public Domain
Bengal Cats have distinctive ‚Äúwild‚ÄĚ markings similar to that of the 'leopard cat'. These markings feature large spots, also called "rosettes" on their back and sides, a white belly and stripes on their head, legs and tails.
These cats have a gentle temperament, are very playful, and require a large amount of attention to keep them happy. The Bengal require little grooming to stay healthy (only once a week) as they do not shed very much, and are happy to groom themselves.
Image Kristin Kokkersvold
Alternative breed names: "Sacred Cat of Burma"
The Birman features a long, silky coat with contrasting white patches on their paws, which are often referred to as ‚Äúgloves‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúsocks‚ÄĚ. They are named after ‚ÄúBirmanie‚ÄĚ, which is the French form of Burma. They are thought to have originated from Northern Burma.
The Birman has a medium sized body with a wide face and distinguished nose. Their medium-long length coat has a silky texture. The Birmans temperament is described as being affectionate, gentle and tolerant, and they are an intelligent, loyal breed.
The Bombay Cat is a short-haired, black cat with a shiny coat. It is a medium sized cat that is quite heavy for it's size. Typically a Bombay cat is friendly, playful, alert and outgoing.
These sociable animals are easy to train and get on well with children amd dogs. They love the company of others and crave attention. A Bombay cat dislikes being left alone for extended periods of time.
Own work, Public Domain
The British Shorthair are a sweet-natured and easy-going breed. They are not very active and as such, are prone to obesity unless their diet is carefully monitored.
A British Shorthair cat is easy to train, and whilst they do not enjoy being carried or picked up, they are fairly tolerant of children and other pets.
This low maintenance pet only requires minimal grooming, and is happy to be kept indoors, making it a great pet.
The Burmese are descendants of a cat from Burma, as their name suggests. They are known for their social and playful temperament, as well as for their persistent vocalisation. The Burmese are a very people-friendly breed.
There are 2 main variations of the Burmese. The British (aka ‚Äútraditional‚ÄĚ) Burmese features a skinny, long body, whereas the American (aka ‚Äúcontemporary‚ÄĚ) is a much stockier cat with a bigger head. Both variations are a medium sized, muscular breed of cat.
Similar in appearance to the British Shorthair, The Chartruex cat has a short, water-resistant coat. They are a large and muscular cat and their facial features give the impression of a "smile".
The Chateruex cat tends to be quiet, very intelligent and observant. They rarely make noise or meow, and have a playful temperament, making them a great companion for children.
The Cornish Rex originates from Conwall, Britian as the name suggests. This breed of cat has no hair, instead it features an extremely fine and sometimes curly undercoat. Due to their light coat, these cats are sensitive to the cold and require warm, dry conditions- making them best suited to be kept indoors.
A Cornish Rex has an affectionate temperament, is very active and loves human companionship. With it's quiet voice and sleek appearance, they are sometimes referred to as the "greyhound" of cats.
Alternative breed names: "pixie cats" / "alien cats"
The Devon Rex is a short-haired, intelligent cat with a short, curly and very soft coat. This very clever cat can be taught very difficult tricks, trained to walk on a leash and even fetch!
A Devon cat is typically very people-oriented, playful, active and mischieveous. One popular past time of these cats is trying to fit themselves into any small space that they can.
The Egyptian Mau features a spotty, short-haired coat. This small-medium sized cat is very vocal, and one of the fastest domestic cats- reaching speeds of up to 48km/hr.
Although they can be fearful and shy, they are a quite intelligent cat, and with lots of care they can become loving pets. They have a friendly, loyal temperament and love spending time with their owners.
Developed as a short-haired version of the Persian, the Exotic Shorthair cat features a dense, short coat and has a medium sized body.
These lively cats are very social and enjoy the company of their owners. They have a gentle, calm temperament and are both playful and curious.
Although a playful breed, the Exotic Shorthair cat is also quite affectionate and is perfectly happy to sit and rest on it's owners lap.
Alternative breed names: Swiss Mountain Cat
The Havana Brown is a medium sized, short haired and moderately active cat.
They are intelligent, curious creatures who enjoy sitting with or on their owners and even enjoy "helping" out with daily activities.
A Havana Brown cat often shows it affection by helping to "groom" their owner, by playing with their hair. They themselves only require grooming twice a week.
These cats require the companionship of their owners and don't enjoy being left alone, they also enjoy the company of other pets. If you can provide the companionship they need, a Havana Brown makes a perfect pet.
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Named after their short "bobbed" tail, these cats originated from Japan as their name suggests.
The Japanese Bobtail is an attentive, alert cat with a very high intelligence. These cats are very active and easy to train. They enjoy performing "tricks" and love human company.
These cats can be trained to walk on a leash, and do many other tricks similar to a dog. They are a very chatty breed, with a soft voice who have been known to enjoy both "singing" to and "talking" with their owners.
Alternative breed names: "Good Luck Cat"
The Korat has a small-medium build and a skinny profile. It is a short haired, smart, active and playful cat.
These strong-willed cats are often thought to be quite bossy and demanding, and often assert dominance over other pets and people in the household.
Although pushy, the Korat is playful and loving, enjoying (and insisting) on spending much of its time with their owners
These vocal, short-haired cats require occasional brushing, making them a low maintenance pet in regards to their grooming.
The LaPerm cat features a curly coat, from which they got their name. These affectionate, inquisitive cats are very outgoing and active.
Although quite active, this medium-sized cat loves human company and is also quite content to sit on your lap.
The Maine Coon is an intelligent, sociable, larger-sized cat who are easy to train and known to be very vocal.
With its playful personality- this gentle giant comes in long-haired and medium-haired coat length varieties.
These cats are loyal to their family, and although they aren't keen on sitting on a lap- they are more than happy to be around other pets and children- making them a great family pet.
Alternative breed names: Also known as Manks or stubbin
A Manx cat is easily distinguishable as most do not have a tail - for those few Manx cats who do have a tail, it is short and stubby.
These active cats are natural born hunters, however, they are also quite sociable and tame creatures.
There are 4 main sub-breeds of Manx cats; the Cymric (long haired), 'Isle of Man with Tail (short-haired), Isle of Man with a tail (long-haired) and the Tasman Manx (with curly coat).
Manx cats are generally very human oriented, playful and intelligent.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Image Carl-Johan Aberger - Public Domain
Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat features a thick, long multi-layer coat- making it ideal for colder climates.
With its strong claws, this large, curious creature is also a great climber and prefers to be outdoors. They enjoy the company of people, pets and children.
Although Norwegian Forest Cats are affectionate, they are not suited to being a lap cat as they prefer to be active and independent.
Image Check-Six - Commons, Public Domain
The Ocicat is named after the ocelot, which is not surprising given it's similar appearance to the wild cat.
These powerful, large domestic cats are very sociable and outgoing, and they get along very well with other animals and people.
They make great pets and with their high intelligence, can easily be trained to do tricks - much like a dog can.
The Oriental Cat has a long, thin and muscular body and comes in both long, and short-haired varients. It looks similar to the Siamese, however, comes in many more coat patterns and colours.
Oriental Cats can jump very high and are considered to be quite an athletic breed. They are also very intelligent and inquisitive.
These cats crave the attention and affection of their owners. As well as being active, the Oriental cat is content to sit on their owner's lap.
Alternative breed names: Shirazi cat/Iranian cat
The Persian cat is a compact cat, with a small round face. It comes in both Short and Long-haired varieties and also comes in a toy (or teacup) size.
This quiet, gentle cat is considerably laid back and very affectionate.
Persian Cats do not need a large amount of space to be happy, making them perfectly suited to unit or townhouse living.
A Persian cat is affectionate and loving with their owners, but also sociable and friendly with other pets, strangers and calm children.
Alternative breed names: RagaMuffin
The Ragamuffin cat is well known for its friendly temperament, their soft, thick fur and their party trick- going limp when held.
These larger cats are easy to care for, as their thick coat does not easily clump or mat, making them easy to groom.
A Ragamuffin cat is very placid and gentle in nature. They are affectionate, vocal, friendly and playful.
They make great family pets as they love to greet their family, play with toys and follow people around the house.
The Ragdoll cat is a large, medium-haired, muscular cat which is named after it's tendency to go "doll" like and limp when picked up.
These laid back and gentle creatures are very affectionate, love being handled and are happy to sit on a lap.
A Ragdoll cat is quite intelligent, and can be trained to "fetch". They love attention and are often found following their owners around the house.
Alternative breed names: Archangel Blues
A Russian Blue cat has a short, dense coat ranging in colour from light silver to dark bluish-gray.
These intelligent, curious cats can be trained to perform many tricks, and play with toys- much like a dog can.
The Russian Blue has a calm temperament. Although quite reserved around strangers, they love their owner, family members and other pets.
Alternative breed names: Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, Longhair Fold and Coupari
Named after the "fold" in their ears, a Scottish Fold cat makes for a very loving companion. These popular pets get along well with other animals and are usually good-natured, easygoing and very affectionate.
A Scottish Fold cat craves attention, loves being outdoors and can be quite stubborn. This easy-care cat requires very little grooming and can make a great pet if you have the time to devote to it (as they dislike being left alone).
This curly-haired cat has a thick coat and comes in both short and long-haired variants.
These playful, affectionate and laid-back cats make great companions. A Selkirk cat is very outgoing, loyal and tolerant. They love the company of humans.
They usually get along well with other pets, are very playful and require constant attention.
The Siamese Cat is small-medium size and has an elegant, sleek and slender body.
A Siamese cat is very outgoing, lively and entertaining animal that loves human companionship.
These creatures crave attention and are great communicators who are very affectionate and talkative.
Alternative breed names: Siberian Forest Cat, Moscow Semi-Longhair
The Siberian is a medium-large sized cat named after it's country of origin (Siberia).
A Siberian cat is quite affectionate, and they love to greet their owners. This cat breed are known to be intelligent, and easy to train. They can carry out similar tricks to those a dog can.
These cats are perfectly happy to live indoors and love to sit on a lap, making them an ideal pet for an apartment or unit.
Alternative breed names:"Kuchinta"
Named after their country of origin (Singapore), these small cats are very friendly and affectionate. A Singapura cat loves human company, has a gentle nature and a quiet voice.
These playful cats are inquisitive and make great companions. They have little interest in the outdoors , and as such they are happy to be house-cats.
Singapura Cats enjoy the company of children and other pets, making them a great family pet.
The Sphynx cat appears hairless, as it does not have an obvious fur coat- however it does have fine hairs on it's skin.
As they do not have a thick coat, Sphynx cats require extra care to keep them warm, and are not suited to cold climates.
These creatures crave human attention, they are very outgoing and active. They are not a low maintenance pet as they require weekly ear cleaning, bathing and nail cliping.
That said, however- if you can provide them the attention they crave, a Sphynx cat is a very friendly and social animal that gets along well with other pets and people.
The Tonkinese is a medium-sized cat with a long, slender body.
A Tonkinese cat is very intelligent and people-oriented. As a result of this, they require constant attention so they don't become bored or lonely.
These creatures are quite vocal, active and inquisitive, and can be taught many tricks, including how to fetch.
They get along well with dogs and make a great family pet, provided you can give them the constant attention they require.
Alternative breed names:Angora or Ankara cat
The Turkish Angora cat originates from Turkey- as their name suggests. These cats feature a long, silky coat. Although tradtionally feature a white coat, they come in a variety of colours.
A Turkish Angora cat loves humans, and like to be "helpful", they will usually pick a single family member as their companion, who they will both "help" and protect.
These playful, energetic creatures are intelligent and love seeking higher ground. They make a great pet for young children as they get along well with children, other pets and enjoy chaos.
Toni Benton - Toni has a lot of experience with keeping pets and pet enclsoures, with her very cheeky British shorthair cat named Charlie and a rescue cat Rosie who is now nearly 17. Toni's pets also includes Dwarf Lop rabbits and Australorp cross Chickens.