What breed is Grumpy Cat?

Pokey and Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat is not a breed of cat. She is a random bred cat, a “moggie”. The record needs to be put straight because the PandaWhale website confidentially states that she is a “Snowshoe Siamese” (they mean “Snowshoe”). She is not. Sorry.

How do I know? Grumpy Cat’s owners say they are not sure what breed she is. That is a bad start because they are making the presumption that she is a breed of cat. However, pedigree, purebred cats are quite rare. Nearly all domestic cats are random bred (non-pedigree, non-purebred).

They say her mother is a domestic short hair calico cat. That implies non-pedigree. They go on to say that her father has grey and white stripes. Once again, there is no reference to a cat breed. I have not seen a picture of Grumpy’s father but he appears to be a bicolour coated cat and random bred. Update: thanks to Marc (see comment), I can see that her dad is a grey mackerel tabby and white moggie. The coat is slightly diluted.

Here is the family (thanks to Marc):

 Grumpy Cat family tree

Grumpy Cat family tree

Grumpy Cat’s brother is Pokey (source: PandaWhale website). Pokey is a cute black and white cat. Pokey has all the appearance of a random bred cat (see header picture).

The pedigree (family tree) that I see on the internet strongly indicates that Grumpy Cat is a random bred cat and not a breed of cat. As for her appearance, yes, it is as if she is a dwarf cat and a Snowshoe cat.

However, her coat type (Siamese pointing with white fur within the pointing) is due to the presence of the pointing gene and the piebald gene (also called the “white spotting gene“). This does not mean she is a pedigree cat. To be a breed of a cat in the USA, a cat has to be registered with a cat association such as the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). This is not the case. We would know if she was.

I discuss the Snowshoe cat on this page. I’ll quote a section about appearance:

The white spotting gene interacts with the Siamese gene and overlays on top of the pointing pushing out the dark pointing caused by the Siamese gene to produce the white markings on the face, limbs and front of the cat.

Grumpy’s appearance is simply about the presence of genes within her. The presence of these genes does not mean she is a breed of cat. The two are separate issues.

As for the dwarfism, this, too, is due to the presence of a gene. In this case a genetic mutation. The same gene has probably caused facial deformities which gives her that famous face.

There it is: Grumpy Cat has inherited certain genes by pure chance which have created her unique appearance but she is not a breed of cat.

Associated page: What breed is my cat?

FB comments (see below)


What breed is Grumpy Cat? — 32 Comments

  1. Actually that is how new breeds are started. A natural mutation will pop up in a litter out of regular parents. There are multiple forms of dwarfism. She could have the other form that is different from the Munchkins form. Bowed legs are a problems in some dwarf cats. She may have bowed legs and that is why she wobbles when she walks. Our Napoleons are from a cross between a Munchkin and a Persian or Exotic. So their faces are semi flat from the Persian parent.

  2. I think Grumpy Cat looks like a Napoleon which is a breed that is from the Munchkins bred to Persians. Napoleons are beautiful cats and very affectionate and playful.

  3. I have a half-feral mackeral tabby and his markings are gorgeous! Problem is he doesn’t like ‘new’ things, including cell phones, cameras, carrots, anything that he doesn’t recognize right off sends him skittering behind the couch so it is really hard to get a photo. The dad cat does indeed have those same markings, only like you said, it is faded in his coat for whatever reason. Still 😀 kitties, they be awesome!

  4. My favorite quote (of many) comes from the crazy cat lady on the Simpsons. I think she was running for office or something. “Cats in your hair! Cats in your pants! Everybody needs more cats!” (or that is how I remember that quote :D)

    • Hi Suzanne. Nice one. I think the “cat in your pants!” is a version of a well-known phrase (certainly in the UK) which is “ants in your pants”. The quote that she made has a certain crazy quality about it, which I like.

  5. Her parents are gorgeous and so is she and her brother too, it’s sad she can’t live an ordinary cat’s life just because her appearance is different.

    • yes – it’s very sad, she deserves to retire immediately and only be given the best quality of care and food etc since she has earned so much money. She should get the best no matter the cost.

  6. BTW – there is a very recent experimental breed called Snowshoe Siamese though it’s very different to the Snowshoe. The Snowshoe Siamese is a Siamese conformation cat with seal points (currently the only colour bred) and white mitts. It’s much frowned on by Siamese breeders as the mitts are too reminiscent of “white toes” – a fault that has been bred out of modern Siamese cats. I’m guessing the website used “Siamese” not realising the correct term is “colourpoint”, and used “snowshoe” instead of the correct term “mitted.”

    • Yes, a pure accident and it just happened to result in a cat that amuses people. Many genetic accidents don’t. They make the cat look less attractive and where do those cats end up? It is not fair.

  7. Wow – Pokey is very cute looking indeed. I realize it’s a boring observation but in this case I just had to say it. I’m glad GC has a friend to be with.

      • Definitely does, which shows us that this coat appearance is not that unusual. I think Piki is actually a calico (tortie and white) because there is some faint orange there. Beautiful cat.

        • Ye she has alot of colours and tones – more than most – and she has the dark patches around her eyes yet white in between on the nose. She’s a wonderful kind and gentle lady who belonged to an old couple who were forced to move out and had to live in a place where no cats were allowed. So Piki has been staying with my ex in Slovenia for a couple of years by now. The older couple don’t seem very stable sadly – with oone going in and out of the mental hospital – they have serious paranoia and it’s very sad. Piki (it means little in Slovenian – actually Piki is short for Pikica, but the letter ‘c’ is pronounced ‘ts’ in Slovenian so it ends up sounding like ‘Pikitsa’) never really got in with the group of cats and my ex since it was thought she would leave again soon. Now I am more worried the couple will want her back – I worry that she won’t be safe. I’ve asked if I can take her – and the plan is I will take her since there’s a new little black cat rescued from the street there now and I am tired of seeing Piki without her ‘own’ family as it were so I’ve insisted she come here as soon as possible. She is very nice and I think she will be ok with my current 3 but one never knows. I’d feel much better having her so she can get the love and attention she needs – she loves me alot because I always pay her special attention when I am there since I feel sorry for her being a loner and never wanting or getting cuddles – when in fact she is very cuddly once she opens up as she does with me.

          Getting her here is a nightmare – 12 hours on the train like Lilly did but Piki isn’t as tough as Lilly I think so it’s going to be hard.

          If only they could be given an effective sleeping pill – so they wake up at the other end without the stress.

          • I am impressed with your concern and willingness to take her on. 12 hrs on a train sounds tough. I have never tried Rescue Remedy on a cat to calm her but it is recommended. I am not sure how it is administered either.

            She is a very beautiful cat.

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