Categories: Cat Anatomy

Cat Appearance

Bengal cat – photo copyright Helmi Flick

The appearance of cats is important to people in the cat fancy – the cat breeders and associations. It could be argued that there might have been a slight over emphasis on appearance possibly at the expense of cat health and temperament sometimes. I am sorry if that is a bit contentious but I believe health should come first.

In general, it would seem that people outside the cat fancy are less concerned with cat appearance. Certainly, according to my research, very few people search Google for “cat appearance”. That said, people do want to see pictures of cats and cat breeds, which is one of the purposes of this website.

Within the cat fancy selective breeding and the adoption and development of naturally occurring genetic mutations have been employed to increase the spectrum of cat appearances. These are all human interventions as opposed to the development of the different species or subspecies of wildcat that took place through natural selection – evolution.

All the breeds of domestic cat are one species, Felis catus. The history of selective breeding follows the history of the cat fancy but no doubt took place earlier than the late 1800s when the cat fancy started. Even before the cat fancy named and developed certain cat breeds, they existed in all but name. A typical example is the Turkish Angora. The Turkish Van is said to originate from 1600 BC.

The tabby cat coat is the wild cat coloring and pattern that dominates cat appearance.

This page sets out links to the pages on which I discuss matters relating to cat appearance be they purebred cats, moggie cats or feral cats. It is a pulling together of the strands of posts on this important topic.

Here are the links on cat appearance:-

The cats alphabeticallythese are also in the navbar

General Links

Slide shows and videos on cat appearance are on these specific page with reference to breed standard – evolving and expanding.

Special sections on the appearance of individual cat breeds

Wildcats – lots more about wild cats here: Wild Cat Species

As there are many pages dedicated to the cat breeds these pages must be the starting point if cat appearance is what is being searched for. This page contains references to specific articles on the topic of cat appearance, which have been made either at a general level or in relation to a cat breed or wildcat species.

For people involved in the cat fancy it is the breed standards that guide them on the appearance of a cat. These are carefully produced documents that usually describe in words without the assistance of images how the cat breed in question should look. They are open to interpretation by the show hall judges. This has caused a gradual drift in the appearance of some cat breeds, an evolution if you like of the cat; the judges, breeders and cat associations working together unwittingly or knowingly to change the cat’s appearance.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

Reggie’s Looks
I wrote about his personality now I can brag about his good looks. The photos are not the best but he keeps moving! He’s thirsty! Teresa [Hi …

My Best Co-Pilot
I made a HUGE move from Minneapolis to Phoenix. I was not sure how my boy would travel, but I have to say that he did wonderfully. It was suppose to …

Red Tabby Cats

Do red tabby cats have a certain personality? And why are they nearly always male? The answer to the first question cannot be that scientific as it …

I bought Simba and Sheba from a breeder when they were five months old. Sheba got pregnant when she was eight months old, unfortunately. The vet thought …

Torbie Cat
The description “torbie cat” is on first reading it a bit perplexing. It is in fact an amalgam of tabby cat and tortoiseshell cat. You have to try and …

White Cat Breed
There is no such thing a white cat breed – sorry. People search for this.

There are grey cat breeds , however. Grey is sometimes called “blue” by the …

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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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