How Can We Find Out What Breed our Cat is?

by Michelle
(Palm Harbor, FL)

Vader looking awfully cute and relaxed

Vader looking awfully cute and relaxed

Hi..My cat's name is Vader and he looks very similiar to Arthur. How can we find out for sure what breed our Vader is? I have included a picture too. My husband was giving him his daily scratch down (which he loves and gets really into.

His temperament is sweet and cuddly, but playful and opinionated. He let's you know when he wants something and if he wants attention (which he does constantly) he won't take no for an answer (not that we would ever say no... I mean look at that face!).

If you do ignore him too long he may lick you to death. LOL! Additionally, he appears black in the picture, but when the light hits him he is a deep chocolate color.

He also has one large whitish patch on his belly and a few grayish patches under is front and back legs (in the arm pit areas). As you can see by the picture, he has the medium coat and the very fluffy tail.

He is also so soft we often joke that we want to shave him and make a blanket of his fur (we would never do so though).


Hi Michelle... Your question is a good one. Vader does look like a Tiffany (I made your nice photo a bit lighter by the way). A point worth making, I think, is that the breed was created from cats like Vader. So although there are no certificates issued from cat associations that confirm that Vader is a Tiffany he might be one.

But you need papers to prove it. And it is only with a documented pedigree that you can say that your cat is a purebred cat of a certain type short of genetic analysis (if there is a database of DNA profiles of the cat breeds and I don't think there is).

All that said Vader is gorgeous and loved and you can't do better than that.....Michael

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Feb 23, 2010
Another Vader (owned by another Michelle!)
by: Michelle G.

I saw the picture of Arthur and then saw your comment, Michelle, and just grinned from ear to ear. I have a cat who I determined, after quite a bit of time, that is mostly Tiffany. Vader is too large (weighing in at 16 pounds) and has a white spot on the belly, but nonetheless the temperament, looks and attitude is all Tiffany.

The only difference? My soon-to-be 8 year old semi-breed is a female! When I got her at 8 weeks they told me she was a boy (don't ask me how a vet and the people who were taking care of her at the shelter mixed THAT one up). I learned this important piece of information a few months after having her. I was quite shaken, but nonetheless loved her and kept the same name. I just call her Vader Belle once in awhile as a reminder.

She's all girl, though -- puts that tail up in the air very proudly and knows she's a very pretty princess!

Jan 12, 2010
DNA test for Michelle's cat
by: Harvey Harrison

Hi Michelle

You could contact Professor Leslie Lyons at UC Davis, Feline Genome Project at

They have an extensive data base of cats both domestic and wild

Best wishes

Dec 25, 2009
Another great shelter cat
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Michelle. Your Vader is a beautiful cat. Being a shelter cat without pedigreed papers he is by definiton a 'mixed breed semi-longhair', but that does not in any way make him a lesser cat.
No cat fancier that I know look down on non-pedigree cats. A cat fancier will of course have personal preferences (usually in favour of her/his own breed), but at the end of the day recognize that all cats are part of the same family. The cat shows even have a special class for the mixed breeds household cats and they always attracts lots of attention.
Vader seems to have bonded extremely well. An affectionate lap cat that follows you around the house - what more can anyone ask? Being so curious he will soon learn your every routine and read you in surprisingly ways.
He is indeed a very special cat - and another testament what great cats are to be found at humble shelters.

About the breed issue I recommend Michael's article 'What Breed is My Cat'

Dec 22, 2009
Thank you
by: Michelle

Thank you all for your comments and for enlarging the picture. Vader is a very special cat to us. When my husband and I first met him he was in a shelter cage that was at eye level (it was a double stacked cage). When I walked up to him he rolled onto his back and reached his paw out of the cage to play with my hair. When my husband came to the cage he actually began pawing "making biscuits" at my husband's goatee and rubbing against the cage (while still laying on his back). He was so cute we couldn't say no. He still to this day loves doing that and he'll jump in my husbands lap and roll onto his back to begin his daily chin scratch and massage. If we stop petting him before he's ready he'll grab our hand with his paws and start rubbing his face against it. It's like he's saying "wait... I still need that. Just let me borrow your hand for a minute more." He also loves standing on his hind legs. It's very funny to watch him try to steady himself for long periods of time. He is also very loyal and is definately a daddy's boy. He follows my husband everywhere including the bathroom, shower and kitchen. If my husband walks outside for a smoke Vader is watching him from the window sill. He loves watching everything we do and it seems like he really focuses on what we are doing like he's trying to learn. We are very proud to have him in our family. I wish I could share all of the pictures we have. LOL!

Dec 22, 2009
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Vader is absolutely beautiful, whatever breed he is. Just look at that expression,you can almost hear him saying 'See how much loved I am'
And what a gorgeous tail he has too !!

Dec 22, 2009
indeed: A cat is a cat!
by: Kelly Baez

Unfortunately, if it has no paper is not a purebred cat. I say unfortunately because there are lots of purebred cats out there that can't prove their lineage.

I have a doll faced persian, with her cutie face, her traits and personality that 'prove' her breed, but with no papers, so... to the cat's fancier world she's just another cat.

To me she's my beloved baughter! =D

Dec 21, 2009
A cat is a cat
by: Anonymous

There are so many purebred/pedigreed cats in the world and even with that, many of the known breeds are made of other mixes purebred/pedigreed cats.

Because of all this mixing of breeds, it will be a long long time before there is a DNA rest to identify breeds of cats. The DNA tests to determine dog breeds are very sketchy too.

If you live in the USA, the chances if your cat being a Tiffany is next to impossible, as there are do few if this breed here and it is not a recognized breed in TICA or CFA.

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