What Cat Breed is Chloe?
(New York, NY USA)
Hi...My husband and I adopted our kitten Chloe at 8 weeks old. She was apparently abandoned in Brooklyn, NY at 2 weeks old. As Chloe grew, we started to question her breeding. We thought, at first, she was just an average domestic short hair.
However, we started to notice that her body was very long and muscular, not like an average cat's body (I've had 3 previous cats). In addition, her back legs were very long and made her backside slightly higher than her front. Her snout is very pronounced and her ears long. She also has quite a personality.
She follows us everywhere and runs to greet us when we open the door. She "chirps" a lot when excited and does "talk" several times a day and enjoys getting into everything! I do not think she is a pure breed, however, is it possible that she has characteristics of an oriental shorthair and may be a mixed oriental shorthair breed?
Hi Melissa... thanks for popping by and asking You might have guessed (or seen) that people ask this question not infrequently.
And I have to give pretty much the same answer each time despite some of the cats being special looking to the point where they could be unregistered or undocumented purebreds.
As you seem to know, purebred cats (or a breeds of cat) have to have a pedigree, a documented record of parentage that confirms that the cat meets the standard for the cat association concerned at which point you can say that a cat is a certain breed.
Without certificates the cat may be purebred but arguably is not. Chloe looks like a slender (oriental type) grey cat. Chloe is most likely a standard moggie in terms of genotype but quite special and unusual looking in terms of phenotype.
However, she could be a purebred that is not particularly to type (appearance for the breed). I have encountered stories from visitors in which they describe adopting purebreds from shelters and as you know there are a number of purebred rescue organisations. Also breeders give up purebred cats as "pets" that are not registered.
A good example would be a normal legged Munchkin (dwarf cat breed). Not all Munchkins are born dwarf. These cats would be purebred but there is no point registering them. They are neither moggie nor purebred really.
OK, back to Chloe. It is just possible that she is purebred or a purebred mix. There are several grey cat breeds: Korat, Russian Blue are two that are similar in appearance to Chloe. And, yes, a grey Oriental Shorthair would not be far away in appearance but they are more slender (quite skinny really) and have very large ears indeed so the similarity is quite slight.
But bottom line, no one can tell without those damn papers or some evidence. There are no DNA tests yet for breed.
My gut feel is that there are a number of cats out there that are purebred but people don't know it. As I mentioned if there is no evidence it could be argued that a cat is not purebred.
I cover similar ground here: What Breed is Your Cat?