They say that you don't choose a cat as a pet, it is the cat that chooses you as its caretaker (to serve at its beck and call). Hence, the following list may not help you at all. Yet, if you are a cat lover, you must go through the different breeds of cats, at least for improving your feline knowledge. The temperament, physical features, and some special characteristics of the various types are also mentioned below.
Types of Cat Breeds
There are so many different types of cats to choose from that one can make a really long list. The following list provides the breed's name along with some more information on its particular characteristics and temperament. Let us begin with the A-to-Z cat breeds list.
They are found in the northern regions of Africa and physically resemble very closely to the African wildcats. These are a type of tabby cats that are medium in size and possess a resilient coat. These lithe and agile creatures come in sorrel, fawn, blue, ruddy, red, tawny, and cinnamon colors. Their eye colors range from green, to hazel, to gold. As pets, these cats are very active and do not make good lap companions. They are also lively, intelligent, affectionate, and loyal, not to mention extroverted and friendly.
American Bobtail Cats
They are specially named to highlight their physical characteristic of having a stubby bobtail. American bobtails have a shorter tail as compared to other breeds, which is just about one-third or one half the normal length. They have a shaggy coat that gives them a wild, rugged look. Don't go by the looks though, for these medium to large-sized cats are playful, friendly, energetic, and intelligent. Like dogs, they do not require attention, they actually demand it. You will require scratching posts for them, especially when they are in the 'demand attention' mood. They come in all patterns and colors, both for the coat as well as the eyes. They are good house pets as they do well with kids and don't mind being picked up or even handled roughly.
American Curl Cats
American curl cats are the most popular pets for Americans, for their congenial temperaments and their low grooming necessities. They are named so for their unique backward curling ears. They have beautiful, thickly-furred tails, and they come in two varieties, the long-haired curl and the short-haired curl. These faithful and affectionate cats are found in various patterns and colors, but their eyes are usually (though not always) the most striking blue ever seen. They adjust well in the company of many other pets and are also good with people, especially kids.
American Shorthair Cats
The American Shorthair cats, famous for their hunting bloodlines, are symmetrical with well-developed, muscular bodies. They come in as many as 80 different colors and patterns and are strikingly beautiful. These are perhaps the only cats that take well to training and are generally quite docile and affectionate. Though they adjust easily to humans, they really do not remain themselves when picked up (prepare for some clawing, biting, and hissing). They overeat easily and so exercise is a must for them, along with regular checkups and vaccinations.
American Wirehair Cats
These medium to large-sized cats have padded, full paws, and prominent facial features like a muzzle, chin, and cheekbones. They have good pet potential, as they require less health care and grooming, being naturally resilient to diseases. The American wirehair cats are named so for their dense, short-haired, coarse coats that come in a variety of colors. Being loving by nature, these cats are constantly craving love and attention. They dislike being held or picked up, so don't get one if you're looking for a lap cat.
The Balinese cat looks like a distant cousin of the Siamese cat, and falls in the oriental category. It walks with grace and elegance and actually even behaves in an aristocratic manner. This seemingly blue-blooded cat has a fine, silky fur coat that can be found in a variety of traditional colors. Balinese cats are not only friendly, emotional, and affectionate, but they are also extremely intelligent. They are active and alert social beings, that can even talk to themselves if no one's around.
Ironically, Bengal cats are closer to the Asian Leopard cat than the Bengal tiger, which is the common misconception with their name. Though they have wild markings on their back, the Bengal cats are exceptionally friendly and gentle in their demeanor. They have strong personalities and are energetic and curious. They love to explore places. Though their size is that of a normal cat, there is nothing normal about their vocal cords and the mysterious glitter type coloring patterns. It is great fun to watch these cats since they are very mischievous and get up to numerous antics, like climbing up high places and tumbling down to a fall, etc.
No matter what color you find in a Birman cat, its paws (toes and fingers) are almost always white. Another extraordinary feature is that all Birman cats are born white and develop their own, unique, intense coloring only after a couple of years. Most of them though, have sapphire-colored eyes. They demand attention by purring continuously in a soft voice and are very curious and inquisitive by nature. The lives of these playful cats completely revolve around their family.
Bombay cats look like mini panthers due to their deep black coats. Also known as the magician cats, Bombay cats like to use their vocal cords a lot and are found voicing their opinions to strangers, in their own unique voice. They are heat seekers and love snuggling up in a warm blanket or near a heater. They also love being pampered and coddled. Though they get along well with other pets, they do tend to be a little autocratic and authoritarian and dominate others around. They have copper or green-colored eyes and come in various coat colors.
British Shorthair Cats
With great cat show popularity, the British shorthair cats have won over the hearts of many a pet owners. These affable cats are medium to large in size and the males can be easily distinguished from the females. They are sturdy, muscular, active, and mischievous. They tone down their naughty activities as they grow older. Though they demand attention, they'd much rather get it from afar rather than getting up close and personal. Hence, they are perfect cats for working people.
Burmese cats are domesticated cats that are exceptionally friendly with humans. These gregarious creatures express themselves very vocally, but in a soft voice. They are small to medium-sized, and have a sleek, glossy coat that comes in a wide range of colors. Even with their legendary fighting instincts, these cats are rarely aggressive towards humans and reserve their talents for defending themselves against other larger cats. If you want an energetic and playful pet, the Burmese cats are perfect for you.
California Spangled Cats
With the looks of a wild cat and the demeanor of a domesticated one, the California spangled cats can sure have you fooled. These cats are very rare and not easily available in the market to take home as pets. They look like mini leopards and have a strong, lithe, and muscular body structure. Their almond-shaped eyes go well with the spotted body coat. By cat standards, this breed shows utmost devotion to its owner. Their exceptional hunting skills prove to be great fun especially when they pounce on imaginary things and take accidental falls.
This French domestic cat breed is naturally endowed with water-resistant double coats. The chartreux cats are extremely agile and surprise everyone with really quick reflexes. They love traveling, unlike most other cats, so don't leave them at home when you're off on holiday. They usually have beautiful eyes, copper or gold, tinged with a bit of sunset orange. These soft-to-touch cats are very calm and attentive. If you love your peace and quiet, this cat rarely meows or cries. These quick learners are non-aggressive with strangers and the perfect companion for your traveling getaways.
Colorpoint Shorthair Cats
These Siamese cousins have sixteen different 'point colors' on their body and hence the name. If you are looking for a lap cat, this one's perfect for you, for colorpoint shorthair cats love to sit, cozy, and cuddle. They tend to return much more love and loyalty than they get from their owners. Being sensitive to the owner's moods, they will get up to some funny antics just to liven you up. The only flaw is that you can never keep these cats off your bed.
Cornish Rex Cats
The Cornish Rex cats have no thick fur, just a thin undercoat. They have a long, slender, gently-curved body that is deceptively muscular. One prominent feature is their high Roman noses. They are people-oriented cats that get friendly with everyone. They are very interactive and curious, and these tendencies do not reduce with age. If you are getting one, be prepared for their long-lasting youthful antics.
Except for the long hair, the cymric cat breed is exactly the same as the manx cat breed. These tailless furry kitties appear overfed and chubby. The dense coat gives everyone this idea because in actuality, they have a muscular, medium-sized body. These quick-learners impress most people for being non-fussy pets. They love playing with water and are quite content doing things alone if you are mostly away. They do not demand so much attention.
Devon Rex Cats
The devon rex cats completely contradict all the cat look notions you ever had. These soft, curly cats come in small or medium sizes. Their ears and upturned noses give their faces some prominence. These mischievous looking cats are actually quite companionable and playful. They absolutely adore human contact in the form of petting, hugging, cuddling, and kissing. If you are into 'public displays of affection', this is the cat you require. They can jump really high and find themselves the smallest of places to hide in. Be ready for hide and seek.
Egyptian Mau Cats
Meet the fastest of all domestic cats, for the Egyptian Mau can run up to 30 miles an hour. It is also the only cat breed that acquired its spot without any human intervention. These medium-sized cats have a small spotted coat, that comes in many colors and patterns. They are outgoing, love company, and demand a lot of attention from everyone. They are intelligent and elegant, with the added advantage of being easily trainable. They are loyal and make good house pets.
European Burmese Cats
These athletic cats come in a moderate body frame which is covered by a short, extremely-soft coat. These pretty-eyed, beautiful cats require company. Normally agile and entertaining, they easily become depressed and unhappy when left alone for long periods. They love being kissed and cuddled, and if you're not around to provide them with that all the time, they can change temperament. If you are away a lot, this is not the cat for you.
Exotic Shorthair Cats
These laid back kitties are a lazy version of the Persian cat. They are heavily-boned, medium to large, and require less attention and grooming; perfect for those who cannot give it much time. They have a dense, soft coat and come in too many colors to list out. They are loving, caring, loyal, and sensitive towards their master. You will never believe how content these cats are in the lap of absolute luxury, so pampering will do you a lot of good.
Havana Brown Cats
One of the oldest cat breeds, the Havana Brown cats have a long, distinctive head. This breed is seen in only two colors, lilac and brown, and almost always has green eyes. These are smart, warm, and quiet cats that are neither too active nor too sluggish. They are gentle, docile, and are often seen standing tall on their hind legs, like meerkats.
These blue-eyed, point-colored cats have a lot of hair. Himalayan cats come with characteristic bushy tails and abnormally short legs. Though this hinders their jumps, they find other ways of mischief. They are best for companionship and protection, as they are fiercely loyal to their masters. The only point to note is that their thick coat requires frequent brushing and grooming, and that they frequently cough up hairballs.
Japanese Bobtail Cats
Japanese bobtail cats are the street cats of Japan, and are triangular-faced, medium-sized, and oval-eyed. They can be easily recognized by their bunny tails that stick out like pom-poms. They are active, intelligent, and talkative. In fact, their singing talents are legendary, with them stringing along melodiously with anyone who happens to be talking to them. They have a tendency to supervise your household chores, making you feel like a serf, serving the lord high and mighty.
A colorful, long-haired breed of cats, the Javanese possess a long-haired, soft, and silky coat, so good that it is shampoo commercial material. Though point-colored, they fall outside the realm of common and sport some unusual colors. Though beautiful to look at, these cats are loud and absolutely love talking to everyone, at odd hours of the day and night. They are responsive, intelligent, and curious.
These medium-sized, short hair cats have a very compact body built. They sport a single coat, that is almost always silver-blue in color. The Korat cats are one of the few cat breeds that mellow with age to get more and more beautiful. Though shy and soft-voiced, these cats come with a strong personality and even stronger likes and dislikes. The good thing is that they tell you exactly what they want, which is usually easy to do.
Maine Coon Cats
The popularity of the Maine coon cats was somewhat lost to the charm of the Persian cats, some time ago, but the Maine coons have staged a good comeback. They have a shaggy, smooth coat that stretches out all the way to the long tail. They come in many colors and patterns. Toady, they are one of the best recommended breeds of domestic cats, for their calm and even temperament.
The Manx cats have an unusual feature of having longer hind legs than front legs. The ideal manx have short, rumpy tails, and either a short-haired or a long-haired, double-layered coat. They bond well with their owners and love to splash around in water. Though exceptional jumpers and skilled hunters, these cats are very gentle and calm in their temperaments.
The most unique feature of the munchkin cats is their extremely short legs. They have beautiful, resilient coats that can be both short-haired as well as long-haired. These adventurous, self-assured cats can do anything as well as the other breeds, be it jumping, pouncing, or running. They are intelligent and learn voice commands easily. They are self-assured and possess a strong social personality.
These elegant cats have a longer body and tail than other breeds. They possess long, luminous coats, that look dreamy when they catch light. These active, good-natured, and affectionate cats get along very well with their owners, but are aloof to strangers and other non-feline pets. They follow a predictable pattern of behavior, like jumping on a lap whenever available, or following the master around everywhere, etc.
Norwegian Forest Cats
This forgotten breed of cats has come back with a bang. These large cats have cold-protective, waterproof coats. These friendly, family-oriented cats adjust easily to new people and new surroundings. They are natural athletes that love to play outdoors. They enjoy cold climates and do not require any grooming or maintenance.
Though they look slim, these cats pack up a lot of body weight. They are available in over 300 color combinations and have a long tail that whips around constantly. Pointed ears and tall legs give them an elegant and graceful look. They are sensitive to attention and get hurt and depressed if ignored for long. They will wait up for you, no matter how late you get, so they are quite a responsibility for their owners. They really give absolute love and devotion.
One of the oldest cat breeds, Persian cats are medium-sized, thick-coated cats. With their dense coats, these cats cannot keep themselves clean, and hence require regular cleaning and brushing. They are the definition of calm, quiet, and laid back, and there's hardly anything that they fuss over. They crave attention and speak their minds in a soft, melodious voice.
Known for their silky, rabbit like short coats, ragdoll cats are composed and affectionate. They are slow to mature and have small, Siamese-style color points on their fully-matured coats. They are low-maintenance and hardly ever require bathing. They are available in 6 different colors.
Selkirk Rex Cats
With Selkirk Rex cats, everything comes curled, be it hair, whiskers, or tails. Their dense coats however, have a high propensity of shedding. They are patient, tolerant, and laid back. They are available in many colors and are usually healthy and fit. The only problem with keeping them is the tedious task of taking out loose cat hair from your furniture and clothes. It sticks like glue and is hard to get completely rid of.
Siamese cats are the oldest and most popular breed. They are famous in Disney movies like 'The Lady and the Tramp', etc. Their main attraction is their large, blue, almond-shaped eyes. They are good, clever learners, that will keep you on your toes with their mischievous antics. With their royal, vocal screeches, they will most definitely get your attention, if they fail to achieve it through their funny climbs and falls. They do have a tendency to break things and generally get into trouble for it.
This is a large, long-haired cat breed. Their durable, serviceable coat covers a large, muscular body. Despite their large body size, they are agile and playful. They love being fussed over and settle comfortably into laps. They are friendly with strangers and are generally very tame and docile.
Singapura cats are the smallest of all the cat breeds in the world. They have a ticked coat pattern that is available in numerous dark and light shades. They are pesky introverts that love checking out new people (the people however, may not like it). They use a soft voice for human interaction and like to climb to the topmost places and survey all below.
It is a rare cat breed that has no hair coat cover. They always look like 'the cat that got the canary', due to their smug 'I know what you don't' type of facial expression, and a slightly-rounded, full abdomen. They are warm and feel like hot water bottles when they cuddle around you. They are completely hairless, so hair maintenance is absolutely zero. They are sharp, intelligent, playful, and somewhat mysterious in their habits.
Tiffany cats, also known as Chantilly cats, are a rare breed that have a silky-smooth, semi-long hair coat. They come in various coat colors and their eye colors also vary accordingly. They possess a well-balanced nature and temperament, that is neither placid nor hyperactive. They prefer solitude and are perfect for full-time working owners. Only strangers find them to be somewhat aloof, otherwise they get along with both humans and other pets.
Turkish Van Cats
These rugged, mountainous cats are very rare to find. Turkish van cats are patterned cats that come with odd markings on their coats. These energetic and agile cats are wonderful swimmers. Like dogs, they get extremely attached to their owners and are hence very loyal. Though their temperament depends somewhat on their upbringing, they are quite naughty and destructive.
York Chocolate Cats
These are friendly, even-tempered cats that have a long, fluffy coat and a plumed tail. These medium to large cats come in chocolate, white, or lavender colors, and have beautiful green or gold eyes. These full-of-life cats observe their masters and mimic their activities. They like to be held and cuddled and love water. Though social and patient, they need to be kept an eye on. This is because they always find new ways of mischief that are mostly funny but sometimes infuriating.
Some other cats that could not get named in this list are:
- Aegean Cats
- Australian Mist Cats
- American Polydactyl Cats
- Asian Semi Longhair Cats
- Brazilian Shorthair Cats
- Burnilla Cats
- Calico Cats
- Chausie Cats
- Cheetoh Cats
- Don Sphynx Cats
- Dragon Li Cats
- European Shorthair Cats
- German Rex Cats
- Kurilian Bobtail Cats
- La Perm Cats
- Ocicat Cats
- White Cats
- Ojos Azules Cats
- Oregon Rex Cats
- Oriental Bihair, Oriental Shorthair and Oriental Longhair Cats
- Peterbald Cats
- Pixie-Bob Cats
- Ragamuffin Cats
- Russian Blue Cats
- Russian White, Black and Tabby Cats
- Savannah Cats
- Scottish Fold Cats
- Serengeti Cats
- Snowshoe Cats
- Sokoke Cats
- Somali Cats
- Sumxu Cats
- Tokinese Cats
- Toyger Cats
- Turkish Angora Cats
- Turkish Vankedisi Cats
- Twisty Cat or Squitten Cats
- Ukrainian Levkoy Cats
- Ussuri Cats