Types of Cats

If you’re a potential cat owner, and you’re trying to decide what types of cats appeal to you most and fit in best with your lifestyle, looking up different types of cats can give you an idea what to look for and expect. If you already have a cat, you might like to know what breed it most closely resembles to indulge your curiosity.

One useful way of grouping different types of cats is by the length of their fur, since this is the easiest characteristic to judge at a glance.

Longer-haired types of cats include: Asian Semi-longhair, Balinese, Birman, British Longhair, Chantilly, Desert Lynx, Highland Lynx, Himalayan, Javanese, Maine Coon, Munchkin, Norwegian Forest Cat, Oriental Longhair, Persian, Ragdoll, Ragamuffin, Rex, Siberian, Somali, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, and York Chocolate.

Short-haired types of cats include: Abyssinian, Alpine Lynx, American Shorthair, Bombay, British Shorthair, Burmese, Chartreux, Colorpoint Shorthair, Egyptian Mau, European Shorthair, Havana Brown, Munchkin, Ocicat, Oriental Shorthair, Rex, Russian Blue, Siamese, and Tonkinese.

There are also hairless cats, such as the Peterbald, Sphynx, and Ukranian Levkoy. There is some cross-listing of cats, as several types of cats have both long-haired and short-haired variations, but these are some of the most common breeds and hair lengths found among the typical types of cats. In addition, there are breeds that are more specialized and rare, bred specifically by humans for their beauty or aesthetic appeal.

There are many types of cats from various regions, and the geographical location of the breed’s origin is often a clue to which other breeds it will resemble. If you wish to judge a cat for its possible breed by body type, these are some of the common groupings: Cobby, Oriental, Semi-Cobby, Foreign, and Substantial.

Oriental and Foreign cats are the most slender, sleek, and distinguishable cats much of the time, with long legs, tails, and heads. They include breeds like the Siamese, Balinese, and Oriental Shorthair. Foreign cats are not quite as slender as Oriental cats, but they are still athletic in comparison to the average cat. A foreign cat will have a long tail and long legs too. The Russian Blue, Abyssinian, and Turkish Angora are some examples. Semi-foreign cats are a little less slender still, and might include the Rex, Sphynx, and Munchkin, for instance.

Semi-Cobby and Cobby cats are generally round and compact; the head of this type of cat is broad, the tail and legs short. They seem solid and hardy! These breeds might include the Persian, Manx, American and British Shorthairs, and Scottish Fold.

Finally (when working from most slender to most substantial), the clearly-named Substantial cat is not necessarily round or stocky like the Semi-Cobby cats. These are often the largest types of cats, and include the Maine Coon, Ragdoll, and Norwegian Forest Cat.

There are still more ways to group different types of cats, but between the hair length and body type, you should be able to roughly “place” a cat in the appropriate grouping and predict its temperament (Oriental cats tend to be more friendly, particularly Siamese!) and lifespan. Not only do cats differ on the outside, but they all have unique personalities and feelings.