What breed is my cat?

What breed is my cat?

by Jacqueline Lammers
(Sydney, Australia)

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I am from Sydney, Australia. About two and half years ago I found a young male in backyard which I thought belonged to someone in the neighbourhood and thought he was in my backyard because he was attracted to my older cat. It become obvious over a few days that he had been abandoned. I took him to the vet who told me he was less than a year old. He was such a beautiful cat both in nature and looks that I decided to keep him. Over time I came to believe he was more than a moggie because he displayed traits and looks that I have not seen in other moggies.

I began to search on the internet to try to see what type of breed he could be and I came across this site which featured the Sokoke. I am not saying he is as I know the rarity of the breed and where they are located would rule him out but he displays such similar behavioural and physical traits of the Sokoke that I'm thinking maybe he is related to another exotic breed of cat that maybe similar. He is a course cross breed but he still looks exotic (to me anyway).

I would dearly love to obtain the opinions of the cat experts and cat enthusiasts as to what breed he could possibly be related to. He of course could be just an exceptional moggie. Whatever he is I love him to bits. I have uploaded some pictures I have taken of him. I would really appreciate the opinion of anybody who could help me.

looks like a Sokoke
looks like a Sokoke


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What breed is my cat?

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Jan 01, 2011 Is this breed a mix?
by: Anonymous

My cat is a White Tabby. Is that breed a mix or a purebread?

Jul 24, 2010 sokoke type
by: Anonymous

we are in the states, and had a "sokoke-type" drop into our lives...her face and your cat's are almost identical. She is not as mottled on the sides, keeping a traditional tabby stripe, but her build and demeanor has us curious and seeking.....maybe she is just a small common tabby short hair, but her small angular head, runners build (& speed), intelligence, bonding, tolerance for showering, and climbing passion are notable--she is not so vocal. She was in a litter rescued in a barn after a dog mauled the mother. The family raised the litter and found homes, placing one with my son's friend, who quickly realized the kitten & her toddler were not a good mix, so she gave the kitten to him. We've had her a year. She doesn't like to be picked up, but periodically will demand to sit on us, loves being stroked.

Feb 21, 2010 Long Tail Small Body - my baby
by: Jane

He was a stray and he loved me and only me, but he has deformed toes and a LONG tail for a cat with a small body. hes orange and white and can someone please help me by finding out his breed hes about 1 1/2 born 8/9/08...Jane

stray cat loved by Jane

ANSWER... Thanks for visiting and asking. Your baby is (was?) a random bred cat (a moggie). He is gorgeous. Your mutual love was even better. Is he dead as you write in the past tense?

Michael Avatar

Feb 11, 2010 I'm in the same spot!
by: Anonymous

A couple of years ago I adopted a cat from a shelter here in the United States. Ever since then I have become more and more aware that she is far from the average cat... and she looks just like yours! She's impossible to keep up with, as she's far more active than any other cat I've seen, and she barely sleeps. She loves her veggies, and to the point that I have to stop her from eating things she shouldn't, like lima beans. She follows me around the house and tries to stick her paws in everything. She has a tiny head and very thick tail, and a heavily marbled brown and black pattern. Unlike what you said about your cat, she's very large for a female housecat. Other than that, she walks like a wildcat and loves to play in water, especially if there is something for her to fish out of a cup or bowl. Whatever the explanation for your cat's origins, I'm sure mine shares the same!

Apr 12, 2009 Things are OK
by: Anonymous

Hi Jacqueline, I agree with you. It would seem that he might have been abandoned deliberately. Who knows. The Australian government is against wildcat hybrids (the Savannah cat story comes to mind). Neutering was a good thing if only for that reason. When I see him again, it is the wild look that comes across a lot. This is something breeders like and go for. You get that most in, for example, the F2 Savannah of Karen Stucki (A1 Supremes). The other factors are noticeable too.

Thank you for sharing the story with us and good luck to you and the boy.

Apr 11, 2009 Could he be a Bengal?
by: Jacqueline

Hi Michael
I think you are right that he is a wildcat hybrid and I think I will look into DNA testing. It might not provide the answer but if I don't look into it I will always wonder. I also agree that he looks more Sokoke than a Bengal but I thought your suggestion about checking with the Breeders was worth looking into but then I realised it probably wasn't as they sell their cats microchipped and my boy wasn't when I found him. I was hoping he was when I first found him and one of the reasons I took him to the vet.

The ironic thing is if he is a Sokoke then I have a cat that is very rare but can't be breed. I had him neutered when my ex partner sold the house we were living in and moved into an apartment. Had I known I may never have had it done although may be that doesn't really matter given the fact that I would have found it very hard to find a queen for him to mate with here in Australia. If I do have a Sokoke I will be truly amazed but then this may prove your theory that the Sokoke is a hybrid and not a cat specific to the Kenyan region. I was thinking about approaching the breeders for their opinion but realise that would be a bad idea as I am sure I would probably be dimissed or worse raise their ire.


Apr 10, 2009 Wild blood
by: Michael

Hi Jacqueline, the more you talk of him and his characteristics the more I believe that he is a wildcat hybrid. His looks are very specific too which leads to the possibility of being purebred. There are numerous possibilities as to how he arrived. He also, by the way has the look of a 4th or 5th generation Savannah, illegal in Australia as I understand it. Although that could not be proved so I wouldn't worry. All three, Bengal, Savannah, Sokoke have the general look that your boy has.

As to DNA testing, I don't know. This may not even produce the result you want but it would probably help.

It might be productive to check the area for Bengal cat breeders. Just a thought. One might be not to far away. Or you might contact some Bengal cat breeders. The Bengal as I understand it is the only wildcat domestic cat hybrid in Australia. Breeders who have sold to customers will be able to recognise their cats and have pedigree records etc. If he is a purebred Bengal he should be traceable. But to me he looks more Sokoke which is hard to understand.

Apr 10, 2009 P.S. Could he be a Bengal?
by: Anonymous

Hi Michael

As you say, probably the only way to find out if my Bob is Sokoke or Bengal or other is to get a DNA test. Is that possible and how to do I go about doing that? It won't of course make any difference because unfortunately even if I wanted to I couldn't show him because I don't have his birth or any other particulars which leads to the other thing you pointed out. If he was a Sokoke why haven't the owners come forward or worse why did they abandon him as I suspect; unless of course they didn't realise what they had. Silly people!!!!

I would be interested getting him tested just for interest sake. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to present my boy and thank you for your opinions. Much appreciated.


Apr 10, 2009 Could he be a Bengal?
by: Jacqueline

Hi Michael

I agree with you regarding how on earth could my cat have Sokoke blood given the Australian government's stance on Hybrid cats. I read the article in the paper when it was first printed and I personally believe the reasons for their stance are stupid. People who have these cats do so because they are enthusiasts who do not allow their cats to wonder plus these cats are very expensive. Additionally, breeders of these cats are generally very responsible people who have strict conditions and do not sell their cats to just anyone.

If my cat has Sokoke blood how did that happen? Maybe one was imported as a household domestic cat (I know that may seem impossible but you never know)? Another possibility/impossibility is maybe one migrated here with its owners as there has been a recent influx of African nationals from all over that continent who have come to Australia and again it came as a domestic house cat???

As you say a strong possibility is that he as Bengal blood in him. However, the breeders of Bengals I have looked into sell their kittens neutered and if they sell breeders it is at a much higher price normally to registered breeders only. The one thing I have against him having Bengal blood is he is not large enough or heavy enough now that may be due to the moggie blood. The other traits he displays which match the Bengal is that he pick things up with his front paws and he does love to hunt and stalk.

The things that point to him maybe having Sokoke blood are: are his small head, ears in constant alert, hind legs longer than his front and he runs like a little cheetah and he absolutely loves to climb (that's also a Bengal trait as are the following). He is very active, intelligent and talkative and has developed a very strong bond with me. He is my constant companion throughout the day and loves to get involved in everything I do. This bond is very different to the bond I have with my other cat. He also likes to eat fresh food such as lettuce, spinach and other green leaf vegetables. He often tries to raid the crisper box whenever I open the fridge and has been known to open the fridge himself. This is what initially made start to wonder if he had a breed in him other than moggie.

The traits that are different is: his tail is thicker than a pure breed. He does have a short dense coat however he does seem to have an undercoat although it is very minimal particularly when I compare it to my other cat. He feels the cold and I know this because during winter I will wake up in the middle of the night with him sleeping up against me under the covers which is different during the other seasons when the nights are mild then he will sleep up against me on top of the covers.


Apr 10, 2009 PPS - after receiving more pictures
by: Anonymous

This cat has an uncanny likeness to a Sokoke cat. Everything about the cat looks right. The new pics show the browner coat color better. And the wild looking face etc. all point to the Sokoke. But if that is true how did this cat walk into your life, Jacqueline?


Apr 10, 2009 P.S.
by: Anonymous

I am going to add a P.S. to my comment. He could be a Sokoke, of course. I don't know of any Sokoke cat breeders in Australia and the government there are against wildcat hybrids (the Savannah importation story comes to mind). See Savannah cat too.

He could then be imported. But as they are so rare I would have thought that the owner would be kicking up a fuss and be known.

Apr 10, 2009 Some Bengal Cat in Him?
by: Anonymous

Hi Jacqueline. This is my 3 pennies worth! Your cat does look like a Sokoke. I think the Sokoke is not a "found" cat from east Africa as claimed but a manufactured cat. It is a hybrid possibly of a Bengal and one or two other cat breeds or a purebred/non-purebred mix.

Your cat has that perfect tabby coat "M" on the forehead and a brown nose including the bridge of the nose so reminiscent of the Bengal cat and Sokoke and wildcat hybrids. The nose is also very much Bengal cat in shape. The face is alert and has for me a hint of wildcat blood.

You say he could be a super moggie. My gut feel is that he is a moggie but has some Bengal in him. There are some stray Bengals out there is Australia! Or there are some outdoor Bengals that might not be neutered. The thing is, even if he is a purebred you can't prove it (unless someone comes forward) and without documentary proof a cat is really a moggie unless DNA tests etc are carried out.

In the cat fancy as you know people can show moggies (the CFA call them "household pets"). And a moggie can become a pedigree cat if a record of births etc. is kept over time.

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