The Top 6 Skinny-Faced Cat Breeds

From the well-known Siamese to the hairless Peterbald, skinny-faced cats have an exotic elegant and slender appearance. Some may look unusual, but all have quirky and affectionate personalities which makes the popular in a range of households. If you’re considering adding a skinny-faced breed to your home, it’s important to do your homework and ensure you choose the breed that’s right for you and your circumstances. In this guide, we take a look at some of the most popular skinny-faced breeds to help you choose the perfect companion.

Siamese

Tabby point Siamese

About:

The Siamese is one of the oldest breeds in the cat fancy that originated in Thailand (formerly Siam) where they were said to have guarded Buddhist temples. They were first introduced to England in the late 1800s and early 1900s and were recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1906.

The Siamese is known for its distinctive dark points and white or ivory body which is caused by a form of partial albinism where pigmentation is inactivated on warmer parts of the body.

Personality:

Siamese cats are known for their outgoing and curious personalities. They are intelligent and playful, often engaging in conversation with their owners in their distinctively loud and expressive meows.

The Siamese is known for their affectionate and loyal temperament, who love to follow their human family around the house demanding attention. It is not uncommon for a Siamese to bond with one member of the family and some can show signs of jealousy.

Siamese are active and love to play well into adulthood. Their intelligence makes them easy to train to play a game of fetch or walk on a lead.

Appearance:

The Siamese is an elegant breed with a sleek, long, and muscular body and a wedge-shaped head. They have long, slender legs, small, oval paws and a long, tapered tail.

Siamese cats have a short and close lying coat which originally came in seal, blue, lilac or chocolate points, but now come in a variety of colours and patterns.

The head is wedge-shaped and should form an equilateral triangle from the tips of the ears to the jaw. The ears are large and low set and the almond-shaped eyes are a deep blue colour. Siamese cats have a long and straight nose with a slight break at the bridge. The muzzle is fine and pointed.

Related: Flat faced cat breeds

Oriental shorthair

About:

The Oriental Shorthair was developed in England in the 1950s by breeders who wanted to create a shorthaired version of the Siamese cat with a wider range of colours and patterns. To achieve this, they crossbred Siamese cats with other shorthaired breeds such as the British Shorthair and the Abyssinian. The resulting cats had the distinctive appearance of the Siamese but came in a wider range of colours and patterns.

The first Oriental Shorthair cats arrived in the United States in the 1970s and breeders crossed Siamese to American Shorthairs to introduce new colours to the breed. The Cat Fanciers Association accepted the Oriental Shorthair for championship status in 1977.

Personality:

Oriental Shorthairs are a highly intelligent, active and curious breed but are less intense than their Siamese cousins. They are extremely social, and are never far from their human family. Oriental Shorthairs love to be a part of the family and do not do well if left on their own for extended periods.

Oriental Shorthairs are talkative, but not to the extent of the Siamese, and have a sweeter-sounding voice. They will tell you when they want your attention, or when it’s time for dinner.

Their intelligent and curious nature can sometimes lead to mischief, and they may get into things they shouldn’t. However, their sweet and loving personality makes them a favourite among cat lovers.

Appearance:

The Oriental Shorthair is a medium-sized cat with a lean, muscular and long, slender body. Their coat is  short, close-lying coat, and comes in over 300 colours and patterns.

The head is wedge-shaped, with a straight profile, and large, wide-set, pointed ears that form an equilateral triangle from the tips to the jaw. Eyes are almond-shaped and slightly slanted and can be blue, green or gold, depending on the coat colour.

Foreign white

Foreign white cat

About:

The Foreign White is a domestic breed recognised for its pure white coat and blue eyes. Geneticist Patricia Turner developed the breed in 1962 with the goal to create a cat with the appearance of a Siamese, but with a pure white coat. A Siamese was crossed with a white British Shorthair and then backcrossed the offspring to Siamese cats to maintain the type and temperament of the Siamese.

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) recognised the Foreign White in 1977, however, some cat registrars consider the breed to be a white Oriental Shorthair.

While the breed has grown in popularity over the years, it is still relatively rare compared to other breeds of cats.

Personality:

The Foreign White is a sweet, social and intelligent breed who enjoys being around their human family and will often seek out affection. Their natural intelligence means they enjoy exploring their environment and are quick to learn. Interactive toys and games are recommended to challenge their minds and help to burn off some energy.

Despite their high energy levels, Foreign White cats are also very gentle and loving. They make excellent family pets and are great with children, as they are patient and tolerant of their antics.

Appearance:

As is expected, the Foreign White has a similar lean and lithe muscular body type to their Siamese and Oriental Shorthair cousins. The coat is pure white, with no markings.

Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex

About:

The history of the Cornish Rex really is a rags-to-riches story. A tortoiseshell cat named Serena owned by Nina Ennismore gave birth to a litter of five kittens in July 1950. One of the kittens, a red and white male had an unusually curly coat. The kitten was named Kallibunker (Kalli) and became the founder of the Cornish Rex breed.

Geneticist A C Jude advised Nina to mate Kallibunker back to his mother. This mating produced three kittens, one straight-coated female and two curly-coated males. One of the males died at a young age. The second, named Podhu, along with Kallibunker went on to sire further litters by outcrossing to domestic cats.

It was initially thought that the curly-coated gene was the same as that of the Devon Rex, but test matings proved the Cornish Rex gene is different. The two recessive genes were named: Gene 1 (Cornish Rex) and Gene 2 (Devon Rex).

Personality:

The Cornish Rex is truly a unique breed of cat in both looks and personality. Cornish Rex cats are highly active and playful, well into adulthood and love to be around people. They will sit on your shoulders or follow you around the house, Cornish Rex cats thrive on attention and affection from their family and unlike other breeds, they don’t tend to play favourites and love everyone equally.

Their inquisitive nature can sometimes get them into trouble, but you will quickly forgive them. Despite their high energy, the Cornish Rex is also very gentle and adaptable. This makes them a great family pet, as they get along so well with children and other pets.

Appearance:

The Cornish Rex has a slender, muscular body with a long, tapering tail. The face is long and slender, with large, pointed ears that sit high on the head, and wide-set, almond-shaped eyes that occur in a range of colours.

The Cornish Rex is known for their soft, curly coat, which has a wool-like texture and can come in a variety of colours and patterns. The curls are caused by the unusual shape of their individual hairs, which are thin, wavy, and tightly packed together. This gives their fur a unique texture that is unlike any other breed of cat.

Balinese

Balinese cat

About:

The Balinese cat breed originated in the United States in the 1940s as a result of breeding Siamese cats with long-haired breeds such as the Turkish Angora. Longhaired Siamese cats had cropped up in litters in the past, however, it is not known if this was the result of a spontaneous mutation or if the longhaired gene had been introduced to the Siamese at some point in the past. Cat breeder Marion Dorsey of Rai-Mar Cattery decided to develop a breeding plan in the 1950s and by the 1960s Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery came on board. It is Helen who chose the name Balinese, and likened the breed to Balinese dancers.

Personality:

The Balinese is an affectionate and outgoing breed with an intelligent and playful nature. Balinese cats form strong bonds with their human family and are known for being loyal and affectionate cats.

Balinese cats are also active and energetic and require plenty of opportunities to exercise and play. Interactive cat toys will give Balinese cats the opportunity to keep their curious nature occupied.

Appearance:

As is expected, the Balinese have a similar body type to the Siamese, with the addition of a long coat. The body is slim, long and muscular with a slender tail that tapers at the tip.

The head of a Balinese cat is wedge-shaped, with a long and angular appearance. The skull is flat, with a straight profile and a well-defined stop. The nose is long and straight, and the jaw is strong and well-developed. The ears are tall and pointed, set well apart on the head, and they tilt forward slightly, giving the cat an alert and inquisitive expression. The eyes are almond-shaped and set at a slight angle, and they are a bright and striking blue colour.

Peterbald

Peterbald cat

About:

The Peterbald is a relatively new breed to the cat family which was created in St Petersburg, Russia by mating a Don Sphynx to an Oriental cat with the goal of producing a hairless cat with a slender body type. The first Peterbalds were born in 1994 and were officially recognised by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1994.

The Peterbald comes in several coat types and all colours and patterns.

  • Bald – Completely hairless.
  • Flock – Down like peach-like fuzz.
  • Velour – Shorthairs between 1 – 5mm in length.
  • Brush coat – Hair is wiry or wavy in appearance and dense, it is between 5-15mm long.
  • Straight coat – These cats have a normal coat.

Personality:

The Peterbald is a highly social, loving, affectionate and playful cat who thrives on human companionship. Their intelligence makes them easy to train to walk on a lead or play a game of fetch. Interactive and puzzle toys are a must for this breed to keep them happy and entertained.

Due to their people-loving nature, the Peterbald loves to be around their human family and will follow you from room to room. They are frequently described as ‘velcro cats’.

Appearance:

The Peterbald is a unique cat with a sleek and slender body, with long, thin legs and small oval paws.

The head is wedge-shaped, with a straight profile and flat forehead. The large ears are wide-set and sit high on the head. Eyes are almond-shaped and slightly slanted, which gives them a curious and intelligent expression. Overall, the Peterbald is elegant and graceful in appearance.

Peterbalds come in all colours and patterns.

Peterbald cats come in several coat types and all colours and patterns.

  • Bald – Completely hairless.
  • Flock – Down like peach-like fuzz.
  • Velour – Shorthairs between 1 – 5mm in length.
  • Brush coat – Hair is wiry or wavy in appearance and dense, it is between 5-15mm long.
  • Straight coat – These cats have a normal coat.

Author

    by
  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio