Is My Cat A Purebred? How to tell

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 01/03/21 •  9 min read
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Have you ever wondered if your cat’s a purebred or what mix of breeds she is? If you adopted your cat, it may be a little more difficult to determine her exact breed. However, if you got your kitty from a breeder, then you’ll know for sure what breed she is. You may even have official papers from the breeder which shows her breed and pedigree.

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

If you don’t have official papers, etc. and still want to figure out your cat’s breed, then read on! We’ve done some research that may help you determine if your cat’s a purebred or perhaps a mixed breed.

How to Identify Different Cat Breeds

When trying to figure out which breed your cat belongs to, you’ll need to understand how pure breeds work. If a cat is a purebred, this means that her parents were registered as belonging to a specific breed. In this case, your cat will have official papers making this clear. Cats without papers may or may not be purebred. There’s really no way to tell. Most cats are not purebreds but are a mix of domestic cats that have bred randomly. If your cat doesn’t have papers, you may still be able to determine her breed; here are some things you can check:

1. Short or long fur: one of the first things to consider is your cat’s type of fur. Does she have short or long fur? Fur length varies by breed; for instance, Persian cats have long hair, while the American Shorthair cat has short fur. Fur length can be the first step in determining your kitty’s breed.

2. Fur pattern: look at the color of your kitty’s fur and what type of patterns are in her fur. Calico cats, for example, are often tri-colored with cream, grey and red (and Calicos are most often female, except for the rare male, which is infertile). On the other hand, Tabby cats come in various colors and have darker stripes in their fur. Another type of coloration is “point coloration.” This type of coloration usually affects the paws, tips of the ears, and the tale. Some cats with this type of coloration include the Ragdoll and Siamese.

3. Facial characteristics: cats typically have one of three different face shapes, including round, triangle or square. Again, think of a Siamese—these cats usually have a triangular-shaped face, while Persians have more rounded faces.

4. Eye color: Eye color can sometimes signify a cat’s breed. Does your fur baby have odd-colored eyes? By this, we don’t mean does she have blazing red eyes, etc. When speaking about odd-colored eyes, we mean does your kitty have two different colored eyes? If so, this could also be a sign of her breed, or at least part of her heritage.  Maybe your cat has one blue eye and one green eye. This often appears in Tuxedo cats, Turkish angoras and Turkish Vans.

In addition, eye color can be tied to a specific breed. For instance, Tonkinese cats have aqua eyes, while Russian Blues have bright green eyes. These traits can help you determine your cat’s breed; however, traits are not what counts when it comes to determining if a cat is purebred or not. Pedigree, or the cat’s ancestry, is what determines the pureness of her breed.

Purebred cats will have official papers that show their parents belonged to a specific breed. Without papers, it may be impossible to determine which breed your cat may be.

What Breed is my Cat Black and White?

Black and white cats can be from a variety of breeds; however, there’s no one specific breed that is black and white. You may be familiar with a cat fur pattern called “Tuxedo.” These cats are sometimes called “Tuxedo Cats.” Tuxedo cats are sometimes referred to as a specific breed, when in fact the term is a reference to their specific color pattern, rather than the name of a breed.

You could have a Tuxedo cat if your fur baby has these characteristics:

1. Body is bicolored in a specific pattern that resembles a tuxedo.

2. The Tuxedo cat’s fur is mostly black, but is white on the chest, throat, and belly. You may also sometimes see them with white “socks” on their feet. What could be cuter? Some Tuxedo cats even sport a black “bow tie” on their chest—talk about being dressed formally!

These are the most common traits of Tuxedo cats. Other types of black and white cats include the “cow cat,” which sports black and white markings that resemble a Holstein cow. It just depends on the markings and how they’re arranged as to whether or not you have a Tuxedo cat or a cow cat!

What is my Cat Breed?

One place to look into your cat’s breed it to check out the list of official cat breeds by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. This non-profit association was licensed and had it’s first cat show back in 1906. The association is dedicated to cat welfare, promotion of recognized cat breeds and is the place where you register your purebred kitties. They also oversee laws for the management of cats shows and much more.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association currently recognizes 42 breeds of cats. Here’s their list of officially recognized cat breeds:

Abyssinian Devon Rex Persian
American Bobtail Egyptian Mau Ragamuffin
American Curl European Burmese Ragdoll
American Shorthair Exotics Russian Blue
American Wirehair Havana Brown Scottish Fold
Balinese Japanese Bobtail Selkirk Rex
Bengal Khao Manee Siamese
Birman Korat Siberian
Bombay LaPerm Singapura
British Shorthair Lykoi Cats Somali
Burmese Maine Coon Cat Sphynx
Chartreux Norwegian Forest Cat Turkish Angora
Colorpoint Shorthair Ocicat Turkish Van
Cornish Rex Oriental

Each of these precious felines has its own traits, personalities, etc. Your cat may show a few various traits that fall into a few different breeds.

It’s important to remember that traits don’t determine a kitty’s breed—it’s determined by her parentage and ancestry.

Cat Breed Identifier Online

Another way to determine your fur baby’s breed is to check out an online cat identifier. These are listings of cat breeds—you could think of these as an encyclopedia of cat breeds! When you come to a site, you’ll often find pictures and names for each breed. To learn more information about a specific breed, just click on the picture and you’ll be taken to further information for that breed.

Some of the best online cat identifiers include:

Apps to Identify Cat Breeds

In these days of connected smart devices, you can also find some apps that help you to identify cat breeds. Apps are available for Apple and Android devices.



What About Cat DNA Tests to Determine Cat Breed?

This is another option to learn more about your kitty. Pet DNA test kits have become very popular and more affordable in recent years. But how accurate are they? Pet DNA tests are not as accurate as human DNA tests. In addition, if your kitty is a mix of several breeds, it may be difficult to get an accurate test result. On the other hand, these tests are more accurate the purer your fur baby’s ancestry is.

While you may not learn about her exact breed, there are some things you can learn about your kitty from a cat DNA test:

1. Personality: you may learn more about her personality from the most predominant breed in her mix, or even from the mix of breeds. Is she friendly? It could be due to having a Burmese grandfather!

2. Breeds: a cat DNA test may help you learn about your cat’s mix of breeds. Maybe you’ll find she’s a mix of a Turkish Angora and a Tabby, for instance. Or maybe she has some wildness inherited from a Bengal grandparent.

3. Diseases & health: these tests can help you learn about the risk your kitty runs for certain diseases. There are over 250 diseases with a genetic base in cats. Knowing your precious fur ball runs the risk for a specific condition can help you and your vet watch for signs and symptoms of this condition. Early treatment could even save your kitty’s life.

One of the best cat DNA test kits comes from BasePaws.  You’ll find out about your cat’s ancestry, learn about her breed and the breed’s characteristics. You’ll also learn about possible health risks your cat could face, learn about her personality and how to keep her healthy. All this from a DNA test!

When it comes to your precious feline companion, does her ancestry really matter? Will you love her any less if she’s a mix of domestic cats rather than a purebred? No matter what, she’s still the lovely, dear kitty you’ve come to know and love. That’s all that really matters!

(Visited 1,534 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

Keep Reading