53 of the Most Colorful Cat Breeds in the World

From funny cat videos on the internet to affectionate house pets, cats are an important part of our lives. And while most of us are familiar with mixed-breed pet cats, there are plenty of pure cat breeds with interesting and spectacular colors, too!

Here’s our list of the world’s most colorful cat breeds:

1. Siamese

A siamese cat with blue eyes sitting outside.
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Coat: Short, fine, and glossy with dark points
  • Size: About 7-11 pounds
  • Lifespan: From about 10-14 years
  • Colorful feature: These striking cats have white to cream-colored coats with darker faces, ears, tails, and feet. The dark “points” can be seal brown, lilac, blue, or chocolate brown. The eyes are a captivating bright blue.

Siamese cats are named for their homeland. They come from Thailand, a country once called “Siam.” These cats are sleek and graceful; they are definitely one of the most elegant cat breeds! As a relatively old breed, the Siamese has been part of the foundation stock for newer breeds including the Balinese, Bengal, Havana Brown, Ocicat, Snowshoe, and others.

2. Bengal

Bengal cat standing on branch.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short and sleek with a gold shimmer
  • Size: Usually from 8-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: From about 12-16 years
  • Colorful feature: These exquisite cats have beautifully patterned coats. The most common is probably a rosette pattern that looks like a jaguar coat. Thanks to their wildcat ancestors, Bengal cats also have a very glossy coat that seems to have a golden shine.

Bengal cats look distinctively wild. That’s because the breed originated from crossing domestic cat breeds with the Asian leopard cat, a small wildcat. But because Bengal cats were developed by hybridizing domestic cats with wild ones, some areas restrict ownership. For example, in Hawaii and New York City, it is illegal to own a Bengal. In other areas, only Bengals of a certain generation or later are legal to own.

3. Pixie-Bob

Pixie bob cat sitting in studio.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Usually short; some cats have small “lynx tips” on the ears
  • Size: About 11 pounds on average
  • Lifespan: About 13-16 years
  • Colorful feature: These lovely cats have spotted, ticked patterns that look a lot like the coats of bobcats. Many have captivating greenish-hazel eyes.

This cat’s odd breed name is an homage to the breed’s foundation cat, a female named Pixie. The breed was developed by Carol Ann Brewer. Her breeding program included several cats believed to have some wild bobcat ancestors. As a result, many Pixie-bob cats look a bit like bobcats. 

4. Norwegian Forest Cat

Side view of an adult male Norwegian forest cat standing in the grass looking around.
  • Origin: Norway
  • Coat: Long and glossy with a thick, woolly undercoat
  • Size: About 10-18 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-16 years
  • Colorful feature: These cats can be almost any color, and many are a combination of colors. You can find Norwegian Forest cats in tabby, bicolor, tortoiseshell, or calico patterns. In terms of coat color, you might see cream, black, white, red, cream, blue, gold, and silver.

The magical-looking Norwegian Forest cat is descended from forest-dwelling cats known for their climbing ability. And before they became recognized by major cat breed associations, Norwegian forest cats were often kept on farms for their ability to hunt mice! And while these cats make great pets, they can be expensive when bought from a breeder. On average, a purebred Norwegian Forest cat can cost from $800-$1500!

5. Snowshoe

Snow shoe cat with blue eyes.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short with point coloration and white feet
  • Size: About 9-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-19 pounds
  • Colorful feature: These lovely cats have colors that are a bit like that of a Siamese, but with more white. They have bright blue eyes, a small white blaze on the face, and white feet.

The beautiful Snowshoe cat was developed after a litter of Siamese kittens included a few individuals with white feet. These kittens were crossed with other breeds to produce what is known as the Snowshoe cat today. But this breed is still fairly rare, as it is difficult to produce the breed-standard markings.

6. Somali

Pedigree orange Somali cat photographed indoors in studio on black background.
  • Origin: Somalia
  • Coat: Long and fine in texture
  • Size: Usually between 6-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-16 years
  • Colorful feature: The beautiful Somali cat comes in 28 different colors! But the most common color is a deep red brown. This color looks especially brilliant against the cat’s intense green eyes.

The Somali cat is believed to be a distant relative of the Abyssinian. It looks a bit like a long-haired Abyssinian, too. Thanks to its pointy ears and bushy tail, it is sometimes called the “fox cat.” Its especially beautiful color comes from the fact that each hair on its coat can have up to several different colors. This leads to it having complex coloration much like its relative, the Abyssinian.

7. Persian

Cute Persian cat at home.
  • Origin: Iran (Persia)
  • Coat: Long and soft with a woolly undercoat
  • Size: About 8-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-17
  • Colorful feature: Persians are one of the breeds that come in a huge range of colors. Some have seal or blue points, some have silver coats, some are white, and some have coats that come in tabby, bicolor, and other patterns.

The Persian is one of the earliest cat breeds. In fact, it was presented at the very first organized cat show, held in London in 1871. This is also one of the most famous cat breeds, and it has a long history of depiction in art.

8. Bombay

Black bombay cat on rug.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short and sleek
  • Size: About 8-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 15-20 years
  • Colorful feature: These cats may well be the blackest cat out there! They have black coats, lips, and noses. Even their whiskers are black. But this deep coloration makes the brilliant green-gold of their eyes stand out even more.

The Bombay cat was developed by breeder Nikki Horner, who was trying to create a cat that looked like a black panther. The Bombay cat definitely meets that criteria. Its coat is sleek and incredibly glossy, and its eyes are the same color as that of a black panther.

9. Siberian

Portrait of cute siberian cat with green eyes lying on grey textile sofa.
  • Origin: Russia
  • Coat: Long, textured, and glossy
  • Size: About 9-11 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-18 years
  • Colorful feature: This is one of the most colorful breeds on the list when it comes to color varieties. The Siberian cat is genetically capable of being any color. And while most breeds like his have a few colors that are more typical than others, there are no usual colors for the Siberian cat.

The Siberian cat breed is actually a landrace breed, meaning that it developed naturally. In the recent past, it has become a standardized breed. The natural variety of the cat is likely ancient, and experts believe that it may be the ancestor of all modern longhaired breeds.

10. Turkish Angora

Turkish angora with different colored eyes.
  • Origin: Turkey
  • Coat: Long and silky
  • Size: Usually from 5-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 15-18 years
  • Colorful feature: Many of these cats have heterochromia, or different-colored eyes. In many cases, one eye is blue and the other is green. These eyes look especially stunning against the cat’s often white coat.

The Turkish Angora is famous for being a white cat, but it comes in a variety of colors. Smoke, tabby, and chocolate are three of the more common alternative colors. Interestingly enough, Turkish breeders feel that the American purebred Angoras are too fine-boned. Turkish Angoras bred in Turkey tend to be stockier in build, and they look a good bit more like the original foundation stock.

11. Korat

Silver tipped blue adult Korat cat sitting sideways and looking straight at camera with green eyes
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Coat: Short, sleek, and blue
  • Size: About 6-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-15 years
  • Colorful feature: These beautiful cats are a distinctive silvery blue-gray in color. They also are well known for their lovely, large green eyes.

The Korat cat is one of the oldest breeds in the world. And unlike many other older breeds, this one has remained very close to the original breed standard. Now, some registries accept newer colors. These include the Thai lilac point and Thai blue point.

12. LaPerm

LaPerme cat sitting next to blue blanket.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Soft and curly
  • Size: About 5-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-14 years
  • Colorful feature: The curly-coated LaPerm is another of the cat breeds that can come in just about any color. In the case of bicolor or tabby cats, the wavy coat makes the patterning much more noticeable.

As you might guess from the name, LaPerm cats have curly coats. On most cats, the curls at the throat are tighter, while the rest of the coat is looser. The result is what looks like a cat with a messy perm. This is one of the newer breeds on the list; it originated when cats bred for pest control spontaneously produced kittens with curly coats. Breed developers Linda and Richard Koehle cared for a colony of these cats for a decade before embarking on a more deliberate breeding program.

13. Serengeti

Serengeti cat on a white background.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short, sleek, and glossy
  • Size: About 8-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 8-12 years
  • Colorful feature: This cat breed has some Bengal cat blood, so its coat is very glossy. Most individuals have brown, tan, or silver base coats with black spots. Officially, recognized colors are tabby, ebony smoke, ebony silver, and black.

The Serengeti cat breed is still in development. The ultimate goal of breed enthusiasts is to create a cat that looks like a serval (a type of wildcat). However, breeders aim to do so without introducing any wildcat blood, with the exception of the wild ancestry of Bengal cats. Serengeti cats are tall and very sleek, and their large, rounded ears do make them a bit like wildcats.

14. Himalayan

The Himalayan has blue eyes and point coloration.
  • Origin: United States, Thailand, and Iran
  • Coat: Long, thick, and soft
  • Size: About 7-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 9-12 years
  • Colorful feature: Himalayan cats have bright crystal blue eyes. The body color is mostly white or off-white. The point coloring can be seal, blue, lilac, red/flame, chocolate, or cream.

These beautiful cats look a bit like Persians. However, somewhat like a Siamese cat, the Himalayan has blue eyes and point coloration. Just like Persian cats, Himalayans have two face shapes. The first is the “doll face,” or what looks more like a typical cat face. The second is the “peke face,” a face that looks more smushed in. Generally, show-quality Himalayans have shorter noses, although breed standards may vary slightly depending on the association.

15. American Shorthair

Studio photography of an American shorthair cat on black background.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short and soft
  • Size: From 6-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: From about 15-16 years
  • Colorful feature: The American Shorthair comes in more than 80 colors! You can find these cats in calico, tabby, silver, smoke, blue-eyed white, and more. However, if an American Shorthair has point coloring like cats in the Siamese family, it is disqualified from being shown.

The American Shorthair (formerly known as the Domestic Shorthair) is sometimes considered to be a breed of “working cat.” The breed was descended from European cats brought over on the Mayflower. These cats were carried on the ship in order to protect the cargo from rodent infestation. Many people might mistakenly think that “American Shorthair” refers to the common shorthaired mixed-breed cat. However, the American Shorthair is a pedigreed breed of cat with a breed standard.

16. American Wirehair

American Wirehair sitting on shelf.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Wiry or “springy”
  • Size: From 6-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 15-16 years
  • Colorful feature: Like the American Shorthair, the American Wirehair comes in a whole range of coat patterns. These cats have especially colorful eyes, too; most have eyes that are an intense amber, but some white cats have eyes that are amber or even blue.

When it comes to physical features, the American Wirehair looks a lot like the American Shorthair. That’s because this cat’s wiry coat originated as a spontaneous mutation when breeding American Shorthairs. If you take a good look at American Wirehair, you’ll see that the whiskers and ear hairs are curled, too! These cats are a good mix of playful and relaxed, and they make ideal pets.

17. Sphynx

Cute sphynx cat and blanket on sofa.
  • Origin: Canada
  • Coat: None, or a very short, fine coat
  • Size: About 10-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 8-14 years
  • Colorful feature: Even though Sphynx cats have no hair, that doesn’t mean they are colorless! The skin is patterned like a coat would be, and Sphynx cats come in all manner of colors, including tabby, bicolor, and tortoiseshell.

The Sphynx breed is known for its hairlessness. And while some individual cats have no hair at all, the breed standard allows for the skin to have a “chamois leather” texture, a soft texture that comes from very short, very fine hairs. Though some people may be put off by their appearance, these cats are very friendly and are known for their ability to bond with their owners.

18. Devon Rex

Four different colored Devon Rex kittens sitting.
  • Origin: England
  • Coat: Curly or wavy and very soft
  • Size: About 6-9 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 9-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Devon Rex comes in many types of colors, including tortoiseshell, orange, smoke, cream, and spotted.

In the cat world, a “rexed” coat is a curly one. And while the curly coat of the Devon Rex is interesting, this cat’s dynamic personality is much more so. Some breed enthusiasts call the Devon Rex a “monkey in a cat suit” because of its love for climbing and exploring. These cats are slender and athletic with large toes, so they are well-equipped for leaping and climbing.

19. Ragamuffin

A man holding a ragamuffin cat on his shoulder.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Thick, soft, and somewhat long, much like that of a rabbit
  • Size: About 10-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 13-16 years
  • Colorful feature: Like many cat breeds, the Ragamuffin can come in almost any conceivable color, although cats with point coloring can’t be shown. These cats often have eyes of different colors, making them all the more colorful!

As you might have guessed from the name, the Ragamuffin cat is an offshoot from the Ragdoll breed. Ann Baker, the developer of the Ragdoll breed, trademarked the name and did not allow Ragdoll cats to be registered with any breed association but hers. A group of Ragdoll breeders became tired of the trademark and worked toward developing their own breed.

20. Cymric

Cymric cat sitting on a grunge background and looking into the camera.
  • Origin: Canada
  • Coat: Long, silky, and soft
  • Size: Between 7-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 8-14 years
  • Colorful feature: Any color or pattern is possible, including bright red cats like the one in the picture! However, all-white Cymric cats are very rare.

The Cymric cat is almost just like the Manx with the exception of its long hair. As a result, some breed associations do not recognize it as a separate breed. Like the Manx cat, it has a shortened tail due to a genetic mutation. The name of the breed is a bit of a mystery. It comes from “Cymru,” which is the Welsh name for Wales. However, this breed is not connected to Wales at all!

21. Lykoi

A Lykoi cat looking at the camera.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short, although older cats will often lose some or all of their hair
  • Size: About 6-11 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: This odd-looking cat is sometimes called a “wolf cat” or “werewolf cat.” The coat is black roan, meaning that the base color is black with white hairs interspersed. Lykoi cats have wide, green-yellow eyes that look especially striking against the dark coat.

The Lykoi cat’s unique appearance comes from a genetic mutation found in domestic shorthair cats. The mutated gene can be found naturally in feral cats, but developers of the Lykoi breed have worked to develop a distinct breed around the gene. In the development of the breed, they made sure to outcross foundation stock (mostly with solid black shorthair cats) to create ample genetic diversity.

22. Selkirk Rex

White Selkirk rex cat with orange eyes, isolated on black background.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Can be long or short, but is always highly curled
  • Size: About 7-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The lovely curls of the Selkirk Rex’s coat make any color pattern look much more dynamic. These cats can come in just about any color, including unique and beautiful colors like smoke, cinnamon, and chocolate.

The Selkirk Rex may be one of the curliest-coated of all the rex breeds. Its coat is extremely dense and fluffy, and as a result, it’s not recommended for would-be cat owners who have allergies to cat hair. The breed is the only cat breed named after a person; breed developer Jeri Newman named the breed after her stepfather, Selkirk.

23. Munchkin

A muchkin cat isolated on black background.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Medium-length and plush
  • Size: About 6-9 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: Munchkins are one of the many cat breeds that can come in any color. And as you can see from the cat in the picture, that includes intriguing mottled and striped patterns as well!

The Munchkin breed is a relatively new cat breed that was introduced in 1991. It’s considered to be the original breed of “dwarf cat.” The breed is built around the genetic mutation achondroplasia, which causes dwarfism. Since the breed is largely distinguished by a deformity, many cat fancier associations refuse to recognize it. They cite ethical issues with encouraging the breeding of animals whose genetics may compromise their quality of life.

24. Chausie

Chausie kitten on the hunt.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short, sleek, and glossy
  • Size: About 8-16 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-14 years
  • Colorful feature: Many of these cats are black ticked tabby cats. This is the pattern seen on Abyssinian cats. The background color of black ticked Chausies varies widely. They also appear in a rare pattern called “black grizzled tabby” (a color only seen in cats with wildcat ancestry) and solid black.

The name of this breed comes from the fact that it was partially descended from Felis chaus, the jungle cat. Breed developers crossed a few jungle cats with several domestic cats, so the Chausie doesn’t look nearly as “wild” as some other breeds descended from wild breeds of cats.

25. Serval

Beautiful serval (Leptailurus serval) on a black background.
  • Origin: Africa
  • Coat: Short and spotted
  • Size: About 18-40 pounds
  • Lifespan: Up to about 12 years in captivity
  • Colorful feature: These lovely cats have a pale, yellowish-tan base color marked with deep black spots and stripes.

The serval is a wildcat, although it is occasionally kept as a pet in areas where it’s legally permitted to have one. Servals can be crossed with domestic cats to produce the Savannah cat. And as we mentioned above, the Serengeti cat was developed to emulate the serval (without actually including any serval blood).

26. Exotic Shorthair

Exotic shorthair colorpoint cat standing on scale looking up.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short and dense
  • Size: About 10-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Exotic Shorthair can come in any of the patterns that the Persian appears in, so just about any color is possible. As you can see from the cat in the picture, the colorpoint varieties are especially stunning!

The Exotic Shorthair might look a little familiar; the breed was developed to effectively be a shorthaired version of a Persian. Most notably, the Exotic Shorthair has the same flat-fronted face and is of similar size. But in terms of temperament, the Exotic Shorthair is often described as being a bit more lively than the quieter Persian.

27. California Spangled

A California Spangled sitting outside.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short and sleek, marked with leopard-like spots
  • Size: About 9-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-14 years
  • Colorful feature: The coats of these cats can be any of a number of colors, including red, gold, brown, charcoal, and silver. They are marked by roundish spots somewhat like the spots on a leopard.

Though it isn’t quite as popular as some other spotted cat breeds bred to look like wildcats, the California Spangled nonetheless has an interesting history. The breed’s creation was inspired, in part, by an anthropologist. He had witnessed a leopard killed by poachers, and he hoped the creation of a leopard-like cat would inspire them to want to preserve the leopard.

28. Ocicat

A close up of an Adorable ocicat.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short, sleek, and patterned like that of an ocelot
  • Size: From 6-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: Between 12 and 14 years
  • Colorful feature: The Ocicat has a coat marked with spots and stripes like that of a wildcat. But that pattern comes in a whole range of colors. There are ocicats with silver coats, red coats, cinnamon coats, and brown coats.

The Ocicat looks a lot like a wildcat. But it may come as a surprise to hear that these cats don’t have any wild blood at all! The breed comes from a mix of Abyssinian, Siamese, and American Shorthair cats. But somewhat surprisingly, the Ocicat doesn’t look a whole lot like any of these breeds. And since it has no wildcat ancestry, its temperament is very laid back and friendly.

29. Caracat

Caracat sitting inside.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short and usually tan
  • Size: About 20-30 pounds (depends on generation)
  • Lifespan: Around 12 years
  • Colorful feature: These lovely cats often have ticked coats like their Abyssinian parents. The result is a complex, shimmering coat. Most caracats also have the black “ear tufts” found on caracals, too.

The caracat is a relatively new breed created from crossing caracals with Abyssinian cats. Like other hybrid breeds, it takes a few generations for a caracat to be considered fully domestic. By the fifth generation, caracats tend to look and act more like domestic cats.

30. Savannah

Cute young Savannah cat with green/yellow eyes.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short and glossy
  • Size: About 10-20 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 17 to 20 years
  • Colorful feature: The Savannah is another cat breed created to resemble a wildcat. Its shiny coat comes in brown-spotted tabby, silver-spotted tabby, black smoke, and black.

Yet another breed developed by hybridizing domestic cats with wildcats, the Savannah is a beautiful and friendly cat. Like many hybrid breeds, the appearance of Savannah cats varies greatly depending on the generation. First-generation cats have one serval parent and one domestic cat parent. Later generations tend to look more like domestic cats than servals, and they tend to have friendlier temperaments.

31. American Bobtail

A red American bobtail cat with blurred background.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Shaggy and medium-length
  • Size: About 8-13 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 11-15 years
  • Colorful feature: American Bobtail cats come in a very wide range of colors, including red (like the cat in the picture). However, when it comes to show cats, judges have a strong preference for cats with the “wild tabby” type pattern. Wildcats usually have a short coat, so the wild pattern paired with the shaggy coat of the American Bobtail makes its coloring especially unique.

Some people incorrectly assume that the American Bobtail developed from a cross between the bobcat and a domestic cat, but this is how the Pixie-Bob developed. The American Bobtail originated from a spontaneous genetic mutation causing shortened tails. The foundation cats included Siamese ancestry, although the modern American Bobtail includes ancestry from a range of breeds.

32. Chartreux

A Chartreux with fiery eyes lying down.
  • Origin: France
  • Coat: Short and thick
  • Size: About 11-18 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 19-20 years
  • Colorful feature: These cats have a beautifully thick charcoal blue coat. The coat makes the cat’s golden-green eyes especially stand out.

When you see the exotic-looking blue coloring of the Chartreux, you might assume that these cats are delicate indoor cats. However, Chartreux cats are extremely good hunters, so they are sought after by farmers. They have been known to play fetch with their owners, too! They also are very affectionate household pets, although they often bond with one person in the home more than with others. And unlike many other breeds, Chartreux are very quiet and rarely make sounds at all. Some seem to be completely mute.

33. Khao Manee

Portrait of a white cat breed Khao Manee from Thailand.
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Coat: Short, smooth, and white
  • Size: About 7-11 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-12 years
  • Colorful feature: These cats have snowy all-white coats. But their most colorful feature is probably their eyes. These cats can have eyes that are blue or gold, but they often have one eye of each color!

The exquisitely beautiful Khao Manee is another of the beautiful breeds hailing from Thailand. Its name even means “white gem.” Interestingly enough, though it is much older than the Siamese and many other cat breeds, the Khao Manee has only been accepted into most cat fancier organizations relatively recently. Some historians believe that these cats were once prized pets for Thai royalty. It’s easy to see why; in addition to being beautiful, these cats are intelligent, inquisitive, and affectionate toward their owners.

34. Manx

A playful young black and white Manx cat sitting on the top of a scratching post.
  • Origin: Isle of Man
  • Coat: Short and glossy
  • Size: About 8-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-13 years
  • Colorful feature: Many Manx breed standards allow for a huge range of color patterns. Colorpoint varieties are even accepted in the show ring! Some cats, like the cat in the picture, have especially eye-catching bicolor patterns.

The Manx cat gets its name from its place of origin, the Isle of Man. Some of these cats have short tails, but the breed is probably best known for having no tail at all. And like other breeds with shortened tails, the Manx’s nonexistent tail came from a spontaneous genetic mutation. They were often kept on ships thank to their impressive hunting abilities.

35. Havana Brown

A Havana Brown cat resting on a chair outdoors.
  • Origin: England
  • Coat: Short and glossy
  • Size: About 6-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 8-13 years
  • Colorful feature: As the name suggests, Havana Brown cats have deep, rich brown coloring. Even their whiskers are brown! The breed standard calls for the eyes to be green, and this color looks especially striking against the distinctive brown color.

Based on the name, you might think that these cats are from Cuba. But the breed was developed mostly from crossing Siamese cats with black domestic cats of varying ancestry. Some people think the breed name may come from the fact that the breed’s brown color resembles that of Havana cigars. However, the more likely story is that the breed is the same color as a rabbit breed known as the Havana.

36. Burmilla

A silver burmilla cat isolated on white background.
  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Coat: Either shorthair or semi-longhair
  • Size: About 9-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-15 years
  • Colorful feature: Due in part to their Chinchilla Persian ancestry. Burmilla cats often have a distinctive silvery-white coat that appears to sparkle under light. They also have thin, dark lining around the eyes that makes it look like they are wearing makeup. However, they come in a range of colors including lilac, calico, blue, tortoiseshell, and brown.

The beautifully-colored Burmilla cat breed developed from an accidental breeding. A Chinchilla Persian and Burmese cat were waiting to be bred, but they escaped their enclosures and created a litter of kittens. Those kittens became the foundation stock for the interesting yet uncommon Burmilla breed.

37. Birman

A Birman cat sitting, isolated against black background.
  • Origin: Burma and France
  • Coat: Medium-length and silky
  • Size: About 10-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-15 years
  • Colorful feature: Like some other breeds on the list, Birman cats have point coloration. Their points can be lilac, seal, blue, red, and more. Their eyes are blue, but they are a much deeper blue than the blue eyes commonly found on other cats. They also have prominent white markings on the feet, a characteristic that sets them apart from many other colorpoint breeds.

The Birman is sometimes called the “Sacred Cat of Burma.” (However, it is a different breed from the Burmese!) Unlike many other cat breeds, the Birman has a history that is not particularly clear. Some people believe that the cats may have originally been companions for priests in Myanmar (formerly called Burma). However, the breed appeared in France in the early 1900s. There’s a good deal of speculation as to how this happened, but it’s possible that a few Birman cats were stolen and smuggled into France.

38. Japanese Bobtail

A Japanese bobcat in the studio.
  • Origin: Japan
  • Coat: Medium to long
  • Size: About 6-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 15-16 years
  • Colorful feature: The Japanese Bobtail comes in most colors. However, judges and cat fanciers seem to lean toward calico cats who are mostly white. Part of that may be due to the fact that these colorful cats make several appearances in Japanese folklore.

While it looks a little like the Manx and other short-tailed breeds, the Japanese Bobtail developed independently. Its tail is roughly the length of a rabbit’s tail. The short tail is very important to the cat’s symbolism in folklore. In many Japanese folk tales, the length of the cat’s tail is important. Short-tailed cats like the Japanese Bobtail are seen as good omens, but long-tailed cats sometimes turn out to be evil spirits. Statues of Japanese Bobtails with one raised front paw are commonly viewed as being good-luck charms.

39. Aphrodite

An Aphrodite cat posing in the studio.
  • Origin: Cyprus
  • Coat: Short or semi-long
  • Size: About 10-18 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: These cats come in a whole range of colors. One of the most common is tabby with large amounts of white on the chest and belly, similar to the cat in the picture. However, many cats have a deep brown and black tabby coloration in patches over a white base coat.

This cat breed is known as the Aphrodite in TICA, or The International Cat Association. However, it has several different names. It is more commonly called the Cyprus cat, Cypriot cat, Saint Helen cat, or Saint Nicholas cat. The name largely refers to a landrace of cats found in Cyprus, although enthusiasts are currently working on developing a standardized breed. The Aphrodite breed has been recognized by TICA on a provisionary basis.

40. Highlander

A Highlander lying next to a doorway.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Usually short, although there is a longhaired variant
  • Size: About 10-20 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 7-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Highlander is one of the many newer cat breeds whose coat is patterned like that of a wildcat. Most cats have a deep gray-brown base color with black tabby markings.

This pretty cat breed was originally known as the Highland Lynx. It has interesting ancestry, as it resulted from a cross between the Jungle Curl and the Desert Lynx. Both of these are relatively new and experimental breeds in their own right. In some cases, people have asserted that the Jungle Curl and Desert Lynx have wildcat ancestry. However, genetic analysis has proven that these breeds (and consequently the Highlander) have only domestic cat ancestry. But when it comes to temperament, that’s a good thing, as all domestic cats tend to have laid-back temperaments.

41. Singapura

A Singapura looking up.
  • Origin: Singapore
  • Coat: Short and sleek
  • Size: About 4-9 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 7-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The only recognized color for the Singapura is a ticked tabby, where each hair has multiple colors. The Singapura ticked tabby coloring is ivory and dark brown. This gives the coat a unique, roan-like look that offers a complex beauty.

Not too many cat breeds are surrounded by controversy, but the Singapura is one of them. Initially, the breed was said to be based on three foundation cats imported from Singapore. But controversy erupted when it was discovered that the cats brought to the United States from Singapore had actually been previously brought to Singapore from the United States! The breed has been shown to be very similar (in terms of genetics) to the Burmese, and some people in the cat fancier world assert that the Singapura is not a natural breed.

42. Ragdoll

A Ragdoll cat isolated against a grey background.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Soft, silky, and semi-long
  • Size: About 8-20 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 9-15 years
  • Colorful feature: One of the most immediately noticeable colorful features of these cats is their large blue eyes. Ragdoll cats usually have whitish bodies with darker point coloring. But their semi-long coats give the points a soft, watercolor-like appearance. Ragdolls also come in a range of other colors, although the point coloring is very common.

The Ragdoll is another breed marked by controversy; we mentioned above that the Ragamuffin breed was formed by Ragdoll enthusiasts who wanted to escape the restrictive rules of the Ragdoll breed association. You might wonder where the breed name came from; it references the fact that these cats tend to go limp (like a ragdoll) when they are picked up. They are relaxed, friendly, affectionate, and soft, so it’s no wonder that they are popular pets!

43. Peterbald

Two Peterbald cats sitting and looking at the camera, isolated on white.
  • Origin: Russia
  • Coat: Often hairless, although some cats have very short, very fine coats or full shorthair coats
  • Size: About 7-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-16 years
  • Colorful feature: Like other hairless cat breeds, the hairless Peterbald has skin that is patterned just like a coat would be. The bicolor cats are especially colorful, as their pale skin is marked with large darker patches.

Though it may look similar, the Peterbald is genetically distinct from the Sphynx and other hairless breeds. Some individual cats may be born with coats, but they tend to gradually lose them. It might be surprising that a hairless cat originated in Russia, where the weather is generally very cold. But the breed originated from an experimental mating between a Don Hairless cat and a World Champion Oriental Shorthair.

44. Scottish Fold

Studio photography of a Scottish Fold shorthair cat on colored backgrounds.
  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Coat: Can be either short or long
  • Size: About 6-13 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 11-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Scottish Fold is usually an ash color, sometimes with a hint of blue. But other colors are possible. Some of the most beautiful other colors are lilac, calico, and various shades of tabby.

The popular Scottish Fold is sometimes described as looking like an owl, as its ears appear to be “folded” close to the head. That’s thanks to a mutation that causes abnormal cartilage. Both that trait and the fact that Scottish Folds are friendly and playful cats have made this breed a popular pet. But since they are so sought after, Scottish Fold kittens tend to be very expensive. Sometimes, Scottish Fold litters also produce kittens who do not have the gene for folded ears. These kittens are known as “Scottish Straights.”

45. Kurilian Bobtail

Studio shot of young Kurilian Bobtail cat.
  • Origin: Russia, Japan
  • Coat: Either short or long
  • Size: About 8-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 15-20 years
  • Colorful feature: Like many cats on the list, the Kurilian Bobtail comes in several colors. The traditional “bobtail stripe” is one. But many of these cats are soft grey or intense red, too. Their eyes are similarly intense, as many are a beautiful yellow-green, yellow, or green.

This is another bobtail breed of cat. It gets its name from Russia’s Kuril Islands. There is some possibility that it is a relative of the somewhat similar-looking Japanese Bobtail. But since the breeds developed far away from each other, experts don’t believe that they are very closely related. Geneticists believe that since the breed developed in relative isolation, there may have been a spontaneous genetic mutation (similar to the mutation found in other short-tailed cats) that caused the short tails. These cats make gentle pets, but they do have an unusual characteristic: since they often fish in the wild, they love to play in water!

46. British Shorthair

British Shorthair Kitten Cat Isolated on grey background.
  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Coat: Short and dense
  • Size: About 7-17 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-13 years
  • Colorful feature: The British Shorthair comes in a range of colors and patterns. The most famous is the British Blue, a cat with a blue-grey coat and captivating orange eyes.

Much like the American Shorthair, the British Shorthair is a purebred version of the common British domestic shorthair. Historians say it may be able to be traced all the way back to the first century AD. That would make it one of the most ancient cat breeds that can still be identified. Remarkably, the breed seems to have remained relatively unchanged over the centuries. It was also featured at the world’s first official cat show, held in 1871 in London.

47. Russian Blue

Portrait of Russian Blue cat with turquoise eyes on Isolated black Background.
  • Origin: Russia
  • Coat: Short and dense
  • Size: About 7-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 15-20 years
  • Colorful feature: The Russian Blue may sound like it only comes in one color, but there are actually several variations. On the paler side, you can find them in soft silver. Darker cats are a distinctive slate blue. They also have beautiful and unusual green eyes that look striking against the blue coat.

Like the British Shorthair, the Russian Blue has a distinctively plush coat. This is another of the breeds that often makes a great pet. The Russian Blue is intelligent and curious, but it also has a very laid-back, relaxed disposition.

48. Toyger

An adult Toyger cat and two kittens.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Short, smooth, and glossy
  • Size: About 7-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-15 years
  • Colorful feature: These cats have stunning, glossy orange-brown coats marked with black stripes. Their eye-catching pattern looks a lot like that of a tiger.

This beautiful cat’s name comes from the fact that it was bred to look like a “toy tiger.” Judy Sugden, the main developer of the Toyger, has said that she wanted to create a tiger-like cat in order to inspire people to care more about conservation efforts to protect wild tigers. Interestingly enough, Judy Sugden’s mother was the one who developed the Bengal breed.

49. American Curl

Close-up of American curl kitten.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Either short or long
  • Size: About 5-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 14-15 years
  • Colorful feature: Like many breeds whose ancestry includes many different cat breeds, the American Curl can come in a range of colors. Some of the most striking include bicolor, buttermilk, blue, tortoiseshell, lilac, and cream.

Like the Scottish Fold, the American Curl has a name that references the shape of its ears. The very first ancestors of the breed were stray cats whose ears happened to curl. That feature later was determined to be a genetic mutation. But oddly enough, the kittens are born with straight ears. They start to curl within the first two days of life.

50. Tonkinese

A Tonkinese cat with blue eyes.
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Coat: Usually short, but a medium-longhair version (often called the Tibetan) also exists
  • Size: About 6-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 12-18 years
  • Colorful feature: The Tonkinese comes in a range of colors. Those colors appear in three patterns: solid, colorpoint, and “mink,” or what looks like a combination. The mink cats are especially beautiful, as the dark parts of their coats seem to fade into the lighter parts. The mink cats also have unusually beautiful aquamarine eyes.

At first, this cat looks a lot like a Siamese. That’s because the Tonkinese largely came from the crossbreeding of Siamese and Burmese cats. And since this cat comes in a huge range of colors and patterns, there’s one to fit virtually every kind of cat fancier!

51. Maine Coon

A big Maine Coon cat lying on with black background.
  • Origin: United States
  • Coat: Long or medium and very fluffy
  • Size: About 8-25 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 10-15 years
  • Colorful feature: The Maine Coon comes in many colors, and the only colors considered to be a disqualification in the show ring are chocolate and lilac. One of the most beautiful color patterns is the silver tabby. The cat’s long hair make the stripes look irregular and almost swirling.

The Maine Coon cat originated in Maine, although nobody knows its exact origin. One origin story holds that Marie Antoinette attempted to flee France by sea, taking six of her favorite longhaired cats. After a shipwreck, the cats reached the shore of Maine and bred with local cats there, gradually forming the Maine Coon breed.

52. Egyptian Mau

Cute silver spotted Egyptian Mau cat kitten laying down isolated on white background.
  • Origin: Egypt
  • Coat: Short and glossy
  • Size: About 8-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 18-20 years
  • Colorful feature: Though the Egyptian Mau is a fully domestic cat, it has spots on its coat much like a wildcat! It comes in six striking base colors: pewter, caramel, black, smoke, silver, and bronze.

The Egyptian Mau is an ancient cat breed that likely contributed to the formation of many modern breeds. Despite that fact, it’s considered to be a rare breed. Its coat pattern is also unique, as the darker colors of its spots only occur on the tips of the hairs.

53. Burmese

Closeup portrait of Burmese cat with yellow eyes on isolated black background.
  • Origin: Burma
  • Coat: Short and satin-like
  • Size: About 8-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: About 9-13 years
  • Colorful feature: Originally, Burmese cats only came in sable, or dark brown. As you can see in the photo, darker colors contrast beautifully with the cat’s yellow eyes! But now, the Burmese comes in a range of colors, including lilac, tortoiseshell, blue, cinnamon, champagne, and platinum.

We’ve mentioned the Burmese cat several times on our list, usually as a foundation for (or influence on) another breed of cat. And if you take a good look at the cat in the picture, you can likely see the resemblance! The Burmese cat also looks a bit like the Siamese. That’s because the foundational pair of cats that began the breed were a domestic cat from Burma and an American Siamese cat. Keep in mind that while they both share Burmese ancestry, the Birman and Burmese are different breeds!

Nature’s Brightly Colored Cat Breeds

Just about every pet cat has ancestry that traces back to a few of the colorful cat breeds mentioned above. And even if you don’t plan on saving up for a purebred or going to a cat show anytime soon, we hope this collection of exotic and beautiful felines has added some color to your day!