Tips for Identifying Your Kitten’s Breed
Kittens are arguably the cutest and most precious creatures on Earth. We love them no matter their shape, color, or size. While for most people it doesn’t really matter what kind of cat they have as long as they are happy and healthy, some owners want to know exactly what breed their kitten is. We’re here to help!
There are some cats that are purebred, but there are many more who are either crossbred or mixed breed. Knowing what features and characteristics to look for will help you accurately identify the breed or breed combination of your kitten.
If you have a new furry and adorable addition to your family and are interested in finding out what breed your kitten may be, we’ve compiled some tips that can help. Whether your cat is a stray, a rescue, or was bought for you by a loved one, we can help you narrow it down and make identifying the breed of your kitten just a little bit easier
Cat Characteristics and What To Look For
When you’re trying to identify the specific breed of your cat, there are important characteristics to look out for. Typically, you want to pay attention to:
- Fur color
- Fur length
- Fur markings and patterns
- Eye color
- Face shape
- Ear shape
- Body size and type
- Behavior and mannerisms
These features usually contain the differentiating factors between cat breeds. Most breeds will have very distinct characteristics within one (or more) of these features.
There are many different breeds of cats as well as breed combinations. Cats can be purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed. It’s rare to find a purebred cat outside of a breeder, so most cats that are adopted from shelters, rescues, and fosters will be a combination of breeds.
There are three main coat categories when it comes to cats, and identifying this is the quickest and easiest way to begin narrowing down the breed of your cat.
Domestic Short Hair (DSH)
The domestic short-haired cat is by far the most common cat breed in the country. There are an estimated 80 million domestic short hairs in the United States alone—this means they make up a whopping 90-95% of all cats in America.
Domestic Medium Hair (DMH)
The domestic medium-haired cat is a cat of mixed coat length. Most likely bred with parents that had a combination of both short and long hair, they have a very fluffy quality to their fur.
Domestic Long Hair (DLH)
The domestic long-haired cat is the second most common cat breed in the country. Characterized by their long, flowing hair, domestic long-haired cats will be easy to identify even as kittens.
When it comes to the color and pattern of the cat’s fur, there is a bit more variety. The most common coat colors are:
- Red or orange (also called ginger)
- Grey or blue (also called smoke)
- Brown (also called chocolate or cinnamon)
- Lilac or lavender (also called diluted)
- Gold (also called fawn or cream)
There are also different patterns that appear on a cat’s coat. The most common patterns are:
- Singular coat
Many times it will take the combination of both the color and the pattern to accurately place an identification. Some colors only go with some patterns, such as tuxedos being just black and white, torties being just black and ginger, and calicos being black, ginger/brown, and white.
Now that you know exactly what features and characteristics to look for in your cat, it should be relatively easy to accurately identify what breed your cat may be or may be mixed with. While the breed of cat will sometimes vary by geographical region, we are going to take a look at the most commonly found cat breeds in America.
Siamese cats are one of the most easily identifiable cat breeds out there because of their beautifully unique features. Siamese cats are known for their signature black and cream markings that are darker around the eyes, ears, snout, and paws. They are also well known for their slim body type and piercing blue eyes.
Russian Blue cats are a gorgeous breed of cats that have almost a metallic silver or grey coat. Their eyes will typically be bright green or yellow, and their statues are very long and sturdy.
Persians are long-haired beauties, probably the most popular breed of long-haired cat. These long-locked felines come in many different colors and patterns, but they are marked by their distinct facial structure. Their faces are typically “scrunched in” or flat, with their eyes very large and bright.
Himalayan cats are a large breed of long-haired cats that generally share a similar coat pattern to the short-haired Siamese cat. They have what’s called a “pointed” color pattern, where they are typically light in color except for around their ears, eyes, snout, paws, and sometimes the tail.
Maine coons are a very popular breed of cat for their lush and luxurious coats. Their fur is almost regal, giving off an air of sophistication even down to the little tufts of hair coming off their ears. These are generally large cats that grow very fast.
Scottish Folds are a cute and unique breed of cat, well known for the “squished” look they have to their face and the “stubby” nature of their legs. Their faces are very flat and compact, as often are their legs. They will also generally have very short, floppy ears. The Scottish Fold can sometimes look like a miniature version of an adult cat.
While these are arguably the most popular breeds of cat in America, there are literally hundreds of different breeds in the world. If you don’t see your specific breed on this list and want to look a little deeper, check out this list of 50 of the most popular cat breeds in the world.