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 you’re after a housepet that’s especially
beautiful, distinct, and a bit fancy, Asian cat breeds could be
perfect for your tastes.
Persians are one of the most ancient and most popular domestic
house cat breeds. They’re also one of the fluffiest long-haired
breeds. They’re known to be easy-going and affectionate.
They’re a favorite for a reason: Persian cats make great pets.
That is, if you’re willing to keep a closet full of
lint-removers. Persians are known to be prolific shedders.
Beloved for centuries, and made famous in Lady & The
Tramp, the Siamese’s distinctive, sleek, short-haired
beauty and blue eyes are undeniably elegant; but they’re more
than just looks! Siamese cats are known to be friendly and
extroverted as well.
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.
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, they’re known to be outgoing and playful with
big personalities (and big ears).
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.
With a distinctive, shimmery, silver-blue coat, Korat cats are
believed to originate in Siam. They’re known to be good
companions; they’re intelligent and affectionate. Unlike many
other cat breeds, Korats can be easily trainable.
Japanese Bobtails can be found in paintings from Japan and
Southeast Asia that date back centuries. They’re so named for
their short, stubby, bunny-like tail. Whether or not you’ve
seen a Japanese Bobtail in real life, you’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
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.
They’re primarily white, but can
sometimes come in other colors. As compared to other breeds,
health problems in Angoras are
A fairly modern breed, Tonkinese were “invented” 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. They’re
loving, sociable cats with strong memories and strong wills.
Breeds of Spotted Cats
There’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 “wild” looking
animal wandering around our windowsills gives us a little
thrill. It could just be that they’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
“wild” 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.
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!
Another naturally occurring spotted domestic cat is the sleek,
slim, and speedy Egyptian Mau. This cat, which hasn’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
The Savannah is one of the few spotted breeds that’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
Savannah’s wildness doesn’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 -
The History of Cats
Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat