A-Z: Cat Breeds (5)

Over 8 posts, I am going to go through cat breeds, and cover some basic titbits about the breeds; a little bit of history surrounding the breed, including the original use for the breed, and some other interesting facts.

This, the fifth, post will cover M-O of cat breeds. In the follow-up posts I will look into cat breeds from P-R, S-V, and W-Z… basically I am doing an A-Z of cat breeds, covering 1-3 breeds per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your cat in this post, and you would like me to; please leave the breed in the thoughts comment box below, or post it via the contact page, or get in touch via any social media pages listed at the end of each post – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow-up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular cat breed, or if you would like to share a photo of your cat(s)!


Maine Coon

Country of Origin: America (State of Maine)

Lifespan: 12-17 years                  Breed Size: Large

Hair/Fur Length: Long               Colour(s):  Any

Breed History: One of the folk tales tells the story of long-haired cats on the ship of Capatin Charles Coon, departing the ship when docked and mating with the local cats – the long-haired kittens became known as “Coon’s Cats”.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  The sheer size of these domestic cats is quite unique; as well as the lucious long hair.

Maine Coon

Country of Origin: Isle of Man

Lifespan: 8-14 years                Breed Size: Medium

Hair/Fur Length: Shorthair or Longhair

Colour(s): Solid, tabby, tortoiseshell and calico. Chocolate/ lavender colours and pointed are not accepted in show, but do exist.

Breed History: This breed matures very slowly, and may not be fully grown until 5 years old. They are thought to have arrived via ship – different stories tell of different ships; Japanese trader, Viking settlers, Spanish armada. What is certain is the tailless cat breed inhabited the Isle, and the island became known for them – hence the cat breed being named after the island.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  The most noticeable is the tail length / lack of tail. This breed also has hind legs higher than their front legs, and are known for their round features.



Norwegian Forest Cat

Country of Origin: Norway

Lifespan: 12-16                                     Breed Size: Large

Hair/Fur Length: Longhair

Colour(s): Almost every colour/pattern except for chocolate/ lavender colours and pointed.

Breed History: This cat is called “Skogkatt” in Norway, which literally translates as “forest cat”. This breed is said to have been the choice pet for Vikings, and it is theorised that  Viking traders brought them with them on their ships, as ratters/mousers. Still used for this purpose on farms nowadays. Like the Manx, this breed also matures slowly and is fully grown at approximately 5 years old.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  The stunning long fur of this cat – it is an insulating, waterproof double coat (designed to withstand harsh temperatures of its country of origin). The  longer, coarse guard hairs cover a dense undercoat. The cat has a frontal ruff, a bushy tail, full britches, and tufted paws – more insulation for living in a country bordering the Arctic.

Norwegian Forest Cat



Country of Origin: USA

Lifespan: 12-15                           Breed Size: M

Hair/Fur Length: Shorthair

Colour(s): Bred for spots, but also comes in four other patterns: ticked, classic tabby, solid, and pointed.

Breed History: This is a spotted, domestic cat – selectively bred to look like wild cats (named after the Ocelot). When a breeder, Virginia Daly, crossed a seal-point Siamese with a ruddy Abyssinian in 1964 the resulting kittens looked like Abys; when one of this litter was crossed with a Siamese, it resulted in a litter of Aby-pointed Siamese but also one kitten with an ivory-coloured coat, with gold spots. This spotted kitten was named Tonga and  was neutered and sold as a pet. When repeated breeding resulted in more spotted kittens, they were used to found a new breed – the Ocicat.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  Spotted coat; wild look.

Oriental Shorthair

Country of Origin: Britain (man-made breed)

Lifespan: 10-14                              Breed Size: Small/Medium

Hair/Fur Length: Shorthair

Colour(s): Solid, shaded, smoke, parti-color, bi-color, tabby, patch-tabby, blotched tabby, pointed, spotted, ticked, mackerel… there are estimated to be over 600 colour/pattern combinations for this breed!

Breed History: This breed came about from selective breeding of the Siamese, to explore colour and pattern possibilities, by crossing the Siamese with other breeds; cross breeding was also to widen the gene pool of the Siamese, due to devastation during World War II. breeders out-bred the Siamese to restore the breed and keep gene diversity, in the 1950’s.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  Orientals come in more colours and patterns than any other breed!

Blotched Tabby                                  Solid, Chocolate

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.

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