Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds

Photo of Karen Dell

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

06 September 2016

All humans are really just cat parents, some of them just don’t know it yet. Maybe you’ve only just realised, and want to find your spirit-feline. Maybe you’re looking to add another kitty to your furry family, and want to keep the peace. Maybe you just want to see some handsome cats pose for the camera in your outdoor cat enclosure. Whatever brings you here, we’ve got you covered, our ultimate guide to cat breeds is just a whisker away.

domestic shorthair cat

Domestic shorthair

Though the Domestic Shorthair cat breed might be common, it’s anything but ordinary - in a guide of ultimate cat breeds, they are the ultimate cat. Think of all of your favourite breeds and smush them all up into one adorable package, and what do you get? The DSH. The Cat. Comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. Purrfect for cuddling, pampering and a whole lot of loving.

domestic longhair cat

Domestic longhair

The Domestic Longhair! It’s The Cat, extended edition: the same gorgeous blend of pure feline goodness, with a fresh new hairstyle. The name really says it all - long hair, don’t care. Well, do care, but will maintain an air of effortless cool. You can’t let them see you sweat, even if you are wearing a heavy coat.

ragdoll cat


The Ragdoll is just about the most relaxed cat breed you’ll ever meet. Your furry friend may be in love with your couch, but the good news is they treat you like one too! This cat that will literally flop into your arms at the end of a long day; just make sure you’ve been working out - these guys are big!

russian blue cat

Russian Blue

This naturally beautiful kitty is as lovely to the touch as they are on the eyes. Fulfill your artistic ambitions by tracing a masterpiece on their unbelievably plush coat, then cuddle it smooth when your Russian Blue’s pleading green eyes are too much to bear. And you will be cuddling often - the Russian Blue is one of the most affectionate cat breeds out there, and that love is impossible to ignore.

persian cat


The Persian is a strong, independent cat that don’t need no human. Okay, that isn’t quite true, but the Persian is not as clingy as some of the other cats on this list - they are content with your undying adoration, and as much servitude as you can spare. They make great apartment cats, and their striking appearance makes them a wonderful centrepiece to any and every room. Just make sure to bring a brush!

burmese cat breed


The Burmese is a citizen of the world. Bred separately by the Americans and the British, it is the more slender British variety that is more common in Australia. Being well-travelled, this cat breed is committed to a feline-human cultural exchange, so expect their golden eyes to be trained on whatever mundane activity you do, giving comments and questions all the while. All the Burmese asks is that you show the same interest in its wacky adventures. How could you possibly refuse?

abyssinian cat


You might have seen a relative of this graceful cat breed lining ancient Egyptian temples, so don’t be surprised when they demand worship. The Abyssinian loves only one thing more than you: your attention. Fortunately, this silly, energetic kitty is a master at getting it. If their delightful antics don’t interest you, be prepared for emergency measures; your Abyssinian is happy to co-author those pesky emails.

australian mist cat

Australian Mist

You’ll excuse us if we’re a little proud of our homegrown Australian Mist felines, but you can’t help but feel paw-triotism looking at these gorgeous kitties. This cat breed is a real melting pot, mixing the affectionate Abyssinian, the inquisitive Burmese, and the iconic tabby to create a kitty that’s the best of all worlds. Just like you and your friends, these cats can be a little rowdy in their youth, but grow into easygoing adults. Just replace the wine with a sprinkle of catnip.

bengal cat


The Bengal might look like a miniature jungle cat, but the similarities just about stop there with this wonderfully affectionate cat breed. We say ‘just about’, because though gentle, these cats are anything but timid. They are climbers and jumpers extraordinaire, and love nothing more than a good play with their human servant. Even water doesn’t scare them - up for a couple of laps, human?

scottish fold cat

Scottish Fold

Och, ah cannae even tell ye juist howfur stoatin this moggie is: but it might help to cut the slang. Fortunately, the ‘fold’ in Scottish Fold is no Highlands slang. It refers to this kitty’s unique (and adorable) folded down ears. Their floppy little ears are a great parallel to their purr-sonality - relaxed as can be. They won’t demand your attention, but even then they’re pretty hard to ignore. Just look at that face!

british shorthair cat

British Shorthair

Now that you’re all grown up, people might judge you for cuddling your childhood teddy-bear. While you wait for a more understanding society, why not adopt the next best thing - a British Shorthair. These cats are dignified sirs and madams: relaxed but delighted by your company. This cat once famously asked, ‘I can haz cheezburger?’ We think the answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ followed by a muttered, ‘if cats could eat cheeseburgers.’

 cornish rex cat breed

Cornish Rex

Think the perm went away in the 80s? Think again! The Cornish Rex is unique among cat breeds for its loose, wavy coat. As if that didn’t earn it enough style points, this cat has long, athletic limbs that wouldn’t look out of place in the Cirque de Paw-leil. A purr-fect ‘10’ for this gymnastic feline.

devon rex cat

Devon Rex

No, this isn’t deja vu! There are two curly-haired kitties hailing from England. Where the Cornish Rex is a trapeze artist, the Devon Rex is a pint-sized circus clown. This cat breed is most playful and silly. They live to entertain, and will stick close to you, bringing a smile to your face, even if those dishes might be getting you down.

egyptian mau cat

Egyptian Mau

If the Bengal is a tiger, then the Egyptian Mau, with its distinctive spots, is a cheetah. The similarity extends to its slender frame and lightning speed. This is the fastest cat breed, so guard your dinner plate or watch that chicken drumstick vanish in a puff of golden fur. Also like the cheetah, the Egyptian Mau is an independent soul, so make sure it has somewhere to go when a reclusive mood strikes.

himalayan cat


The Himalayan is as placid as the mountains it’s named after. There’s no mistaking its Persian ancestry - this gorgeously fluffy cat breed loves to lounge and will happily let you know about it. And they will let you know about lots of other things too: they just love to have a yarn, so get used to a life soundtracked with meows.

Norwegian Forest cat breed

Norwegian Forest Cat

What raiding party is complete without a Norwegian Forest Cat? Not one to the treat or toy cabinet, that’s for sure. This large cat breed might have a colourful past, but whereas they once adorned viking longships, they’re now perfectly happy captaining a comfortable couch. And don’t they make the most charming captains you’ve ever seen.

maine coon cats

Maine Coon

Wondering where all those viking raider cats ended up? In the New World, of course! Maine Coon cats are as relaxed as they come, with none of the cat-titude of a conqueror. Their seafaring past means that they have a real love of water, so make sure your shower or bath is big enough for the both of you.

siamese cat


Surely the most intelligent cat breed around, the Siamese isn’t about to let you forget it. It just loves a good conversation and we’re sure you’d learn a lot, if only you’d just listen. This beautiful cat has a distinctive pointed coat-pattern and meow-dorable blue eyes for you to lose yourself in. Come and sigh along with us!

sphynx cat


The Sphynx is the best known hairless cat breed around, and is the ultimate argument for not judging a book by its cover. Think a hairless cat will be less cuddly? Think again! The Sphynx is one of the most affectionate breeds around, and craves your love just as much as your body heat.

tonkinese cat breed


A mix of the Siamese and Burmese, the Tonkinese is a wonderful blend of two of the most delightful personalities in the animal kingdom. Inquisitive, creative and playful, they might also be one of the top challengers to the Siamese in a fictional staring contest. Those aquamarine eyes are an ocean for swimming in - you won’t be able to look away!

Click through to discover more about these cat breeds, we promise you’ll fall in love over and over. Or, if you’ve made up your mind, check out our guides to cat ownership. Happy days, human!


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