Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Breed is My Cat?

A question often asked at a cat forum I frequent is "What breed is my cat?". I think many people are disappointed when they find out they have a domestic cat of no particular pedigree. Unless the cat came from a breeder and has papers, the cat is considered a DSH (domestic short hair) a DMH (domestic medium hair) or a DLH (domestic long hair). There are also descriptions for coat patterns, so the lovely kitty may be a "tuxedo DSH" or a "gray and white classic tabby DSH".

Domestic cats come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Pedigree cats were developed by selective breeding of domestic cats over many generations to get a desired trait. That is why modern domestic cats can have a strong resemblance to a recognized cat breed, such as a Persian. In this instance, the cat might be referred to as a Persian mix.

Here are my five domestic cats:

Abby is a gray and white mackerel tabby DSH.

Simon is a black DSH.

Baby is a tortoiseshell or tortie DSH.

Jack is a brown and white classic tabby DSH.

Daisy is a brown classic tabby DMH. I consider her a Maine Coon mix.

Here is a site with beautiful photos of tabby cats.

At the Cat Fanciers Assciation website, you can check out pedigreed breeds of cats.


Lisa said...

Why would you consider Daisy a Maine Coon mix? I am only asking this because I have a cat and have no idea what breed she is. My dad seems to think she may also be a Maine Coon mix. Is there any definite way to find out?

kat thompson said...

There is no definite way to find out what type of cat you have unless you have papers from a breeder. However, you can compare your cat to the characteristics of the breed you think your cat may be most similar to. For instance, Daisy has many of the characteristics of a Main Coon cat. She is a large cat, with very soft double thick fur, and long tufts of fur on her large feet. She has a ruff around her neck, that grows longer in the winter. She is very sweet and trills at me when she speaks. When I compare her to images of Main Coon cats, she can be a twin to many of them. She doesn't have the long hairs off the top of her ears, but that is OK with me. I thinks she is gorgeous!