9 Asian Cat Breeds Original Kitties All the Way from the Orient

9 Asian Cat Breeds

Cats come from all corners of the globe, but cats that originated in Asia have some distinct characteristics. Learn about these Asian cat breeds.

Some of the best known Asian cat breeds are eponymously named for where they were originally bred. The sleek and soft Siamese, for example, was bred in -- you guessed it -- Siam. Some of the most elegant-looking cats come from the largest continent. If youโ€™re after a housepet thatโ€™s especially beautiful, distinct, and a bit fancy, Asian cat breeds could be perfect for your tastes.

Persian Cats

Persians are one of the most ancient and most popular domestic house cat breeds. Theyโ€™re also one of the fluffiest long-haired breeds. Theyโ€™re known to be easy-going and affectionate. Theyโ€™re a favorite for a reason: Persian cats make great pets. That is, if youโ€™re willing to keep a closet full of lint-removers. Persians are known to be prolific shedders.

Siamese Cats

Beloved for centuries, and made famous in Lady & The Tramp, the Siameseโ€™s distinctive, sleek, short-haired beauty and blue eyes are undeniably elegant; but theyโ€™re more than just looks! Siamese cats are known to be friendly and extroverted as well.

Bengal Cats

Whether spotted or marbled, Bengals look more like exotic jungle animals than sleepy house pets. Another unusual Bengal trait: they love to play in water.

Oriental Shorthair Cats

Orientals are a lot like Siamese cats of another color, and were in fact bred for this purpose -- to give their ancient owners more variety of choice. Colorful on the inside as well as the outside, theyโ€™re known to be outgoing and playful with big personalities (and big ears).

Burmese Cats

Charming and sweet, with seductive almond-shaped eyes, Burmese cats are great companions. Burmese cats are known to tag along while you walk the dog, or on errands that may be close to home. They have silky smooth coats, in a variety of colors, and require little human intervention in the grooming department.

Korat Cats

With a distinctive, shimmery, silver-blue coat, Korat cats are believed to originate in Siam. Theyโ€™re known to be good companions; theyโ€™re intelligent and affectionate. Unlike many other cat breeds, Korats can be easily trainable.

Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtails can be found in paintings from Japan and Southeast Asia that date back centuries. Theyโ€™re so named for their short, stubby, bunny-like tail. Whether or not youโ€™ve seen a Japanese Bobtail in real life, youโ€™ve probably seen their likeness in the form of a popular good-luck statue called a Maneki-neko that tends to adorn counters in local Asian restaurants.

Turkish Angora

Believed to be a natural breed -- that is, evolved without any human intervention -- Turkish Angora cats are descended from African Wildcats. Regarded as one of the most elegant and graceful domestic cat breeds, Angoras have long wispy hair. Theyโ€™re primarily white, but can sometimes come in other colors. As compared to other breeds, health problems in Angoras are relatively low.

Tonkinese Cats

A fairly modern breed, Tonkinese were โ€œinventedโ€ in the 1960s in Canada, when a breeder crossed a Burmese and a Siamese. The Tonkinese ended up with the best traits of both breeds. Theyโ€™re loving, sociable cats with strong memories and strong wills.

Breeds of Spotted Cats

Thereโ€™s something about the look of spotted cats that gets people oohing and ahhing. It could be our ancestral associations with great big spotted cats like the Cheetah and Jaguar, and the threat these cats once posed. It could be that the sight of a โ€œwildโ€ looking animal wandering around our windowsills gives us a little thrill. It could just be that theyโ€™re breathtakingly beautiful, and more than a little unique.

Not surprisingly, spotted domestic cats are gaining in popularity in the United States, and worldwide. Despite their โ€œwildโ€ appearance, most domestic spotted cats are descended from breeds who were never actually wild. Domestics have been selectively bred for centuries to acquire a certain look or personality trait. Spotted cats are, by and large, no different. Here a few of the most lovely, and popular, of these spotted kittens for the fancy-cat-fancier.

California Spangled Cat                 

If hobnobbing with Hollywood stars and playwrights is a dream of yours, then the California Spangled Cat might the breed for you. This beautifully spotted cat is, unlike the Bengal and Savannah, a purely domestic breed. The breed was developed by California writer Paul Casey Jr. This cat has adorned the cover of the 1986 Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue and often fetches a price of $2,000 or more!

Egyptian Mau

Another naturally occurring spotted domestic cat is the sleek, slim, and speedy Egyptian Mau. This cat, which hasnโ€™t changed much in appearance in more than 3,000 years, can run faster than 30 miles per hour. The Mau is also uniquely expressive, and their eye color and facial expressions change depending on their mood.


The Savannah is one of the few spotted breeds thatโ€™s a cross breed between a housecat and their wild cousin, in this case, the African Serval. In addition to their wildly patterned coat, the breed is also known for their enormous size, with male Savannahs reaching 20 pounds or more. Thankfully, the Savannahโ€™s wildness doesnโ€™t extend to their personality. With their loyalty and tendency to fetch, the Savannah is beloved as a house pet, and is often compared to dogs.


Like the Savannah, the Bengal is a mix between a domestic cat and a wilder species, the Asian Leopard Cat. Unlike the Savannah, however, the Bengal is of a much more modest size, weighing in at about 10 to 15 pounds. The cat, with their origins on the Malay Peninsula, has been bred over the years to be a sweet tempered and affection pet and as such is a popular breed in many countries.


Our last spotted cat actually comes in a few different coat patterns, some whose markings are more stripped, and some who tend towards the spotted. Though the first breeder of Pixie-Bobs claimed they were the offspring of naturally occurring Bobcat hybrids, genetic testing indicates they are of fully domestic stock. The Pixie-Bob is highly intelligent and very social. They take readily to both human strangers and other cats.

More on Cat Breeds

Where Cat Breeds Come From - Infographic
The History of Cats
Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat Parents

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Bengal Burmese Japanese Bobtail Korat Oriental Persian Siamese Tonkinese Turkish Angora