White cat breeds lack other
coloration because of an absence of melanin pigmentation. There
are a few genetic elements that can cause a cat to be
completely white. Consistency varies from breed to breed: some
of the white gene traits are recessive, meaning the
pigmentations can skip a generation. Sometimes the traits are
dominant, meaning you can count on it in each and every
Many all-white cats will have blue or green eyes, or two
different colored eyes. Deafness is common among white cats, a
trait shared by white dogs as well. White cats should stay out
of the sun as much as possible, as some white cats are known to
develop skin cancer.
White cats are beloved for their distinct and delicate look,
and aside from the few health considerations mentioned here,
they’re just like other cats in terms of temperament and
Picture the cat you might expect to see in an advert for a
fancy pet food served in a cut crystal goblet. This is the
White Persian. It has a characteristically short smushy face,
and long, fluffy hair. Over time, as breeders have sought more
variation of color in the Persian, their face has become ever
shorter and more pushed in. All Persians, including White
Persians, require daily brushing to prevent mats in their long
luxurious fur. In every other way, they’re well suited to being
housecats, and have a pleasant and placid nature.
Most Siamese cats are wonderfully outgoing, and can even be
affectionate with strangers. The White Siamese is no exception.
These cats tend to be very vocal, and high energy. Some White
Siamese look as though they’ve been dipped in ink, with their
extremities -- including face, feet, and ears -- tinted brown
or black in a fading ombre.
Quiet, obedient, and easy as pie to manage, Ragdoll cats are
named for their tendency to go limp when you lift them.
Ragdolls are not always white, and may also come in all the
Descended from a non-pedigree domestic
Siberian cat and a pedigree
Russian Blue, Russian Whites are fairly rare. Despite the
name, this breed originated in Australia.
Of Siamese descent, Balinese cats have that distinctive angular
look of many cats from the Asian continent. Be warned: although
their beauty can be tempting, these cats are known to be feisty
and high energy. They require a lot in the way of exercise, interaction, and patience.
Himalayans look a bit like the house pet of an eccentric
billionaire. Similar to the Persian, Himalayans have fluffy
fur, smushed in faces, and long whiskers. Their facial
expression is one of severe boredom or even contempt! Their
faces bely their nature, however, as Himalayans are known to be
really very affectionate. They also tend me to be still and
mild, as opposed to rambunctious.
Think of a Greyhound dog in cat form, and you’re thinking of a
creature that will approximate the the Cornish Rex. The Rex has
only one downy layer of fur, as opposed to the standard 3
layers of fur in most cats. Their fur is slightly curly, and is
the softest of all types of cats. Rexes may come in a variety
of colors, including white, or white with patches of another
Unique and Cool Cat Breeds
Cat lovers might posit that every cat is special and unique.
While we wouldn’t deign to disagree, we might throw this into
the conversation: some traits are weirder and less common than
others. From the hairless to the controversial, if giving a
home to a regular old feline isn’t good enough for you, there’s
no shortage of options of cool cat breeds. Especially if you’re
willing to shell out the bucks for an unusual breed.
Despite common perceptions, hairless cats are not
The cat allergies that
some humans suffer from are not, generally, from a cat’s fur.
They’re from a protein on the animal’s skin. Hairless cats
still posses these proteins, and those with cat allergies may
still be allergic to hairless cats.
Ukrainian Levkoy Cats
Slender and lithe, the Ukrainian Levkoy has little or no fur.
Their short ears curl inward toward their face. And they have
big yellow eyes. They originated in the Ukraine, and are not a
naturally occurring breed; they were selectively bred to look
as they do, and they’re not recognized as a pedigreed breed
outside of Russia. Their prickly exteriors do not represent the
breed’s personality, as they’re said to be loving and sweet.
The Sphynx’s most distinctive feature is, clearly, their lack
of a coat. The Sphynx’s body may be solid color or patched.
Their ears are on the larger side, and appear especially large
due to the lack of fur. There are a couple of variations of the
Sphynx breed, including the Don and Peterbald, both of which
are similar to the original, genetically speaking. Sphynxes
share the same hairless gene as the Cornish Rex.
While not technically “hairless,” the Cornish Rex has only one
of the three types of fur most standard cats posses. The Rex
has only the downy undercoat. It’s especially soft and short,
can be a little curly, and requires no extra grooming.
The fold in their title refers to ears that curl inward toward
the face. Some breeders have managed to get ears that curl in
more than once. Like many pedigreed cat traits, the curl in the
ear was originally a deformity to which someone took a liking,
and selectively bred to keep around.
As with many animals who are bred to have features that don’t
make evolutionary sense, breeders of the Scottish Fold are not
favored by some animal rights groups. Scottish Folds can
develop cartilage and bone deformities; as well as,
predictably, ear infections.
These cats have short bodies and short ears. Most notably,
Munchkin cats have very short legs. They’re essentially dwarf
cats. While there’s nothing controversial about being born with
the gene that causes dwarfism, some do take exception to
deliberately causing cats to be born this way. Munchkin cats
can develop debilitating and painful joint and spine problems.
ONLY MARGINALLY WEIRD
Short fur isn’t the only short thing about these cats. They
also have short, smushed-in faces, which gives them an adorable
These spotted cats have an exotic look that might make you
wonder: did an Ocelot just enter that litter box?
Bred to be curly of fur, LaPerms have a fun tousled look. They
look as though they’ve just come in from a long day at the
beach, followed by a ride home in the convertible.
More on Cat Breeds
Where Cat Breeds Come From -
The History of Cats
Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat