If you have never heard of the Australian Mist cat breed, then you are probably not alone! This pretty and unusual cat breed has only been formally recognised within the UK since 2011, when the GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) officially accepted the breed. There are not a huge number of Australian Mist cats around in Britain yet, but the breed is certainly growing in popularity very quickly! If you are keen to learn more about the Australian Mist cat and its origins, read on to find out all about this new and unusual cat breed.
The Australian Mist is a very young breed, even in its home country of Australia. The breed was developed from 1976 onwards, when an Australian enthusiast called Dr. Truda Straede produced the first cats of breed from a variety of origins. The very first cats of the breed were developed from Abyssinian and Burmese ancestors, with a healthy mixture of various different types of common or garden domestic shorthair cats added to the mixture as well. The original intention of developing the breed was to produce the signature spotted coat for which the breed is best known, an unusual coat pattern to find in the domestic cat and one that can be difficult to produce. A marbled variation of the coat is also permitted, and the acceptance of the marbled coat led to the breed’s name changing in 1998 from the “Spotted Mist” which it was originally known as, to the Australian Mist we know today.
The breed was recognised as a Championship breed within Australia in 1986, and gained recognition within the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2011.
The coat of the Australian Mist is its most distinctive feature, and one of the main reasons for the breed’s growing popularity. The coat is short and single layered, and does not require much upkeep or maintenance from people. The tail and legs of the Australian mist have a pattern of either rings or bars, and lighter bars and lines of colour are also present on the neck and face.
The coat itself can come in any one of three accepted colour variants:
The Australian Mist shares some of the traits of the Burmese and Abyssinian cats that are their ancestors, although the Australian Mist is quite distinctive from either breed and has a look and demeanour all of its own. Australian Mists are medium height and build with large, soulful and expressive eyes. They should have round heads and smooth lines with a lean but not angular appearance.
Partially due to the large helping of mixed breed domestic shorthair cat in the Australian Mist’s ancestry, the Australian Mist is considered to be a robust and healthy pedigree cat breed that is not particularly prone to any recurrent or significant health problems or defects. Australian Mists tend to live to a good age, often into their late teens.
The Australian Mist is considered to be an even-tempered, laid back and friendly cat that is totally at home with people. They are a good choice of cat for families with gentle children, and tend to be happy and tolerant in lively, noisy households.
As keeping cats as indoor-only pets is the norm in the breed’s home country of Australia, the Australian Mist makes an excellent indoor cat, and is one of the breeds that are often receptive to supervised walks outside on a lead. The Australian Mist does like to play and explore, however, and will be more than happy to live as an indoor/outdoor cat with the freedom to come and go as they please.
The Australian Mist is sweet tempered and bonds strongly with its family, enjoying plenty of time as a lap cat and the centre of attention! Australian Mists will also generally live alongside of other pets, both cats and dogs, happily and comfortably.
If you are considering buying an Australian Mist cat or kitten, you may have to wait a while and bide your time! Still a relative rarity within the UK, only a small number of breeders in Britain breed the Australian Mist, and you may have to go some distance to find one for sale. Contacting breeders speculatively and joining one of the breed clubs or organisations can also help to keep you informed as to any upcoming litters, or breeders who will allow you to join a waiting list for future kittens.
Check out Australian Mist breeders and Australian Mists for sale here on Pets4Homes.