What Breed Is Shorty?

If I had a nickel…

Yes, Shorty is a stunning beauty with her long dark fur, bushy long tail, round even face and massive eyes, and many have wondered what her breed is or how they could get a cat like her. But I have no idea.

On her paperwork at the Toronto Humane Society, her cat breed was listed as “domestic long-hair.” But over the years, many people have enjoyed guessing at her breed or origins. Some have said she may have Bombay in her because she’s black, but you’ll see in certain lights that Shorty does have a rust undertone to her colour, and Bombays are actually the only breed that are completely black. Here’s what some others have said and what I think.

Turkish Angora

Photo source: Alexsis Corcoran, PetMD.com

This picture does look at lot like Shorty: long dark hair that doesn’t register completely black in certain light, big eyes and round face. And some of the description definitely fits Shorty: single-layer coat that doesn’t get matted, affectionate, playful, and even loves to dance.

But then there are the differences: the Angora generally has long legs, large ears, loves to talk, and doesn’t like being held for more than a few minutes at a time. Sho’s got short legs, her ears aren’t all that large, Kodi’s the talker, and Shorty could lay in your arms comfortably for hours until you annoy her by getting up. I think Sho does have traces of Angora, but there are enough differences to make me think otherwise. But it’s pretty even.

Verdict? I’d say the chances of her being an Angora are 50%.

You can see Shorty's red tones in this yellow light.

You can see hints of Shorty’s red tones in this yellow light.

Maine Coon

Photo source: kittentoob

This is a picture of a Black Smoke Maine Coon that shares many similarities with Shorty: lighter undercoat especially around the chest, sturdy structure, long luxurious tail, and releasing a “loud yowling sound” when playing. While not always vocal, Sho does have a distinct yowl, noticeable particularly at about 3 a.m.

Also characteristic of Maine Coons is a fierce loyalty to their humans. I’d say that describes Sho as well. Have you seen the video of Shorty defending Bryan from a pesky Kodi?

After reviewing many pictures online, this one may comes close to revealing Shorty’s roots. But she still has that red tinge in her fur in certain lights so I can’t be certain and this description says they’re curiously attracted to water. Did you see the time when Shorty jumped into the bathtub???

Chances – 70%


Shorty, looking very Maine Coon here with her massive tail

Black Chantilly (Tiffany)

Photo Source: PetMD

The Black Chantilly, or Tiffany, has a coat that is semi-long that is so soft and plush, “that you will want to hold it on your lap, nuzzling for hours.” Check. One coat of fur, so no matting and minimal shedding. Check. “The full coat grows in slowly, reaching its full potential by the time the Tiffany is about 24 months of age… and the tail will grow into a full plume.” Double check. No one knew when Shorty was a scruffy little kitten with a thin, short tail that she would become the fluffy beauty she did.

And the personality? “The Tiffany combines a healthy, balanced dose of docility with activity. It can stay still for extended periods, happily lounging in the lap of its loved one.” Yup. “Bonds extremely well with humans.” Big yup. “Speaks to its loved ones in its characteristically soft, sweet chirping voice.” This one describes her well. Kodi will go on and on in a monotonous meow with little variation while Shorty’s little chirps have such inflection and tone when she speaks to you that it does sound like she understands and is communicating. Whenever she jumps or takes off on a sprint, it’s accompanied by a sweet little chirp, much like the sound and reaction of a plush toy when squeezed. “Enjoys snuggling and following its people around the house, but in an undemanding and nonharassing manner.” Totally. Sho will gently announce her presence with the faintest brush of her paw hairs against your arm, while Kodi would bombastically pounce on or over you to get your attention.

We may have a winner here. I’ll never be totally sure, and she could be a mix of all of these, but the majority of the Tiffany’s characteristics do seem to align with Shorty’s. What do you think?

Chances – 90%

Shelter Cat

Shorty's the best breed of all: a shelter cat.

Shorty’s the best breed of all: a shelter cat.

In reality, Shorty’s the best breed of them all: a Shelter Cat.

Characteristics of this breed are: needing a good home, needing a caring guardian, wanting someone warm to snuggle with, tends to be very appreciative and loving to their rescuer, may be the best thing that will ever happen to you.

I highly suggest you seek out this special breed and give them all the love you possibly can.








15 thoughts on “What Breed Is Shorty?

  1. I think the Tiffany sounds the most like her, but agree that “Shelter Cat” is the best fit and the best place to get a cat, paws down!

  2. Shelter cat is the best breed of course! However, Shorty could be a York Chocolate, especially with the reddish tones in her fur. I say this because my Shane, I believe, is a York Chocolate and he looks very similar to Shorty. He doesn’t have the lush ruff she has, but he does have the softest fur I’ve ever felt (and our Ragdoll, Dori (RIP) was really soft, too), with a plume of a tail, and has the reddish undertones in his fur as well. He is a bit taller than Shorty, though, too. I’ll post a photo of Shane on your FB page sometime soon. So who really knows, it doesn’t really matter – the Love we share is what it’s all about! Blessings to you and Sho Ko!

  3. This was really interesting, Rob. I would have bet that Shorty has a double coat-how lucky for you (and your housekeeping) that she doesn’t! One of my favorite things about Shorty are her ridiculously adorable toe tufts (of fur)! They make it look like she squished very large, furry spiders! And I will have to check out the Bermen breed as my kitty was completely black, with no undertones of red, white or grey.

    And yes, Shorty is definitely 100% rescue shelter cat, the very best breed of all! ?

  4. My kitty brothers are all black long-haired cats that the woman who gave them to me called smoke Persians. Dougy appears to be more of that variety than his brother and has the heavier coat. Andy has a less thick coat and looks more like his Birman father, only all black. I understand Persians sometimes are cross-bred with Birmans to improve the breed, but (not being a cat geneticist…!) that mean (to me) they aren’t Persians but Persian x Birman cats In certain light, there is a tint of red to their coats, and in certain light you can see a shadow or ghost of the classic Birman points (light body, dark points). All I know is they are wonderful kitties, affectionate, funny, great entertainment, hate to be held very long, and rarely talk. (Well, Dougy talks a bit more than nothing, but not a great deal.)

  5. I have a Maine Coon named Louie, and Shorty reminds me of him a lot. Louie has short legs and a long tail. But I am jealous about not seeing much fur. Louie yawns and fur is every where. I also love that Shorty is black. I had a black cat named Cosmo. I adopted him, and it was the one of the best decisions I ever made. I miss him every day.

  6. Love Shorty!!! My friend had a Norwegian Forest Cat. They have shorter legs and a cute little husky build, and are very beautiful and fluffy. Possibly might be what Shorty is, since they’re not well known in the US for some reason! BUT I completely agree, Shelter cats are the best cats regardless 🙂 But it is fun to guess around at what kitty cat genetics Shorty might have 🙂

  7. To be honest, I kinda don’t get the what breed is my cat thing. I say this with the full disclosure that one of my boys is an 18-year-old Maine Coon. But, no offense intended to anyone, just because a cat might look like a certain type of purebred; it doesn’t seem to me that makes the kitty that breed. Isn’t a genetically based quality?

    Anyway, I completely agree that the good old domestic short-, medium- or long-hair are the best. Preferably the shelter type, as they tend to have so much character. And the older the better!

  8. Shorty reminds me of my black female. Sweetie is beautiful with a lovely head and loving eyes. My daughter found her being tortured by some kids in her class and took her home for me. She was about 3 months old and now she is an old lady and one of the best friends that I have ever had. Black cats (and dogs) tend to get that rust color either from grooming themselves or if too much sun hits them.

  9. I am very PROUD to say Rose & Pearl are RESCUED/SHELTER CATS. I believe Shorty most closely aligns with the Tiffany with some Maine Coon under tones. On all their records Rose & Pearl are documented as DSH (domestic short hair). Another breed disceiprion is

  10. shorty is no maincoon she would have to have extra hair inbetween her paws and have three coats of fur, have snow shoe paws and a good vet wood know the difference.

  11. Although it doesn’t seem you’re really looking to investigate what breed Shorty is, I think you ought to take a look at the faces of black siberian cats.

  12. Shorty is most probably a norvegian Skoggkatt. Our cat Felix died a month ago, aged 19 probably (since adopted when wandering on a parking lot in southern France). I can send you pictures of him , a true brother of Shorty
    kind regards and thanks for your blog

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