Distinguishing between Purebred and Random Bred Cats

I chose this picture by the great Helmi Flick because of the tail. It is rare to see such a great tail in such an eye catching position in a cat photograph.

The cat’s name is ‘Draco’; a beautiful cat with a stunning tail. But is Draco a purebred cat? Helmi did not identify the cat breeds nor whether they are cat breeds or moggies on the archived photos she has kindly given me. That is fine. I should be able to identify the cat breeds.

Ninety percent of the time I can identify a cat breed. But there are three points to note:

  1. Some random bred cats are so beautiful and so similar to a purebred cat of a certain bred that by appearance alone it is difficult to identify them as moggies. There are some stunning moggie show cats.
  2. Some purebred cats are not accurately to ‘type’, meaning their appearance is not close to the breed standard. For these cats, there is a blurring of the boundary in respect of appearance between purebred and random bred cat.
  3. Some purebred cats have an appearance that is not clearly defined from random bred cats. Let’s take two extremes. The flat face modern Persian with the extra long coat and very rounded, cobby appearance is obviously a Persian cat. An American Curl has special ears. But a Korat is a grey cat with a body conformation that is more or less standard. There are lots of grey moggie cats around. Do you see the problem? The American Shorthair is a ‘regular cat’, normal in shape. From a photograph a tabby American SH that is not a show cat (pet quality) could be a nice random breed cat. The European Shorthair looks like a random bred cat.

Here is Draco:

Beautiful random bred cat with superb tail photo by Helmi Flick

Draco. A superb random bred cat.

For me, Draco is a fine random bred cat. He is brown tabby cat, probably a mackerel tabby. Although mackerel tabbies can be hard to distinguish from spotted tabbies when the spots have merged a lot to form lines.

Am I correct in deciding that Draco is a moggie? He is impressive. Great tail. He looks heavy set. Is he too cobby to be a Maine Coon? Or is it the way he is standing? Or perhaps Draco is a little bit overweight.

He does not have the classic Maine Coon lynx tipped ears but then again some Maine Coons don’t have great lynx tipped ears. His face looks Maine Coon-ish but his body does not and his coat is not shaggy enough although he has a ruff.

Maine Coons can, and frequently do, have a tabby pattern. There you have it. The difficulties, sometimes, of distinguishing purebred and random bred cats from appearance alone.

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