14 Look-Alike Cat Breeds and How to Tell Them Apart

Are you a cat lover who finds it hard to tell certain cat breeds apart? Don't worry, you're not alone. With so many similar-looking feline friends out there, it can be a challenge to identify specific cat breeds. In this article, I will introduce you to 14 look-alike cat breeds and provide you with valuable tips on how to tell them apart. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's dive into the wonderful world of look-alike cats!

Ragdoll and Birman: Two Gentle Giants

Ragdoll and Birman:

Ragdoll and Birman cats are known for their striking similarities. Both breeds have luscious, semi-longhair coats and stunning blue eyes. However, there are key differences to watch out for. Ragdolls are generally larger and heavier than Birmans. They have a characteristic docile temperament and are often affectionately known as "puppy cats" due to their tendency to go limp when picked up.

On the other hand, Birmans have a more compact and muscular build. Their personalities are friendly and social, but they are not as laid-back as Ragdolls. Birmans also have a unique feature called "gloves" – white markings on their paws.

Turkish Van and Turkish Angora: Turkish Delights

Turkish Van and Turkish Angora

It's easy to mistake a Turkish Van for a Turkish Angora, as both breeds originate from Turkey and share similar physical traits. Both cats have semi-longhair coats and elegant appearances. However, there are distinguishing features between the two.

Turkish Vans are known for their love of water and their tendency to play in it. They have a distinctive pattern of color on their heads and tails, with the rest of their body being predominantly white. In contrast, Turkish Angoras have a pure white coat, although some may have colored spots on their heads and tails. They are not particularly fond of water like Turkish Vans.

Korat and Russian Blue: Shades of Gray

Korat and Russian Blue

Korats and Russian Blues are two silver-gray cat breeds that might confuse even the keenest observer. Their short, dense coats and bright green eyes make them look like long-lost siblings. However, there are ways to tell them apart.

Korats are known for their heart-shaped faces, which is a distinct characteristic of the breed. Their coats have a unique silver sheen, making them shimmer in the light. Russian Blues, on the other hand, have a more rounded face shape and a bluer shade of gray. While both breeds are gentle and affectionate, Russian Blues tend to be more reserved with strangers.

British Shorthair and Chartreux: Alike, Yet Different

British Shorthair and Chartreux

The British Shorthair and Chartreux breeds share a similar stocky build and round faces, often making them look like feline twins. However, there are subtle differences between them.

British Shorthairs have a wide range of coat colors and patterns, while Chartreux cats are widely recognized for their blue-gray coat. British Shorthairs also have a more rounded body shape, giving them a plush teddy bear appearance. Chartreux cats, on the other hand, have a slightly more elongated and muscular body structure. Both breeds are known for their calm and independent nature.

Siamese and Oriental Shorthair: The Talkative Duo

Siamese and Oriental Shorthair

Siamese and Oriental Shorthair cats are both talkative and boast similar sleek bodies. They are often mistaken for each other due to their striking resemblances. However, there are notable distinctions.

Siamese cats have a signature "color-point" pattern, with darker coloration on their ears, face, paws, and tail. They also have distinct blue eyes. In contrast, Oriental Shorthairs come in a wide array of coat colors and patterns, including color points. They have almond-shaped eyes, which can be green, blue, or a combination of both. Both breeds are highly active and sociable.

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat: Majestic and Mighty

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat

The Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat are both large, majestic cats with long, thick coats. Their similar appearances can confuse even the most experienced cat enthusiasts. However, there are notable differences to distinguish between them.

Maine Coons are known for their tufted ears, large size, and muscular build. They have thick, shaggy fur that helps them combat harsh winters. Norwegian Forest Cats, also referred to as "Wegies," have a more triangular face shape and almond-shaped eyes. Their double-layered waterproof coat protects them from the cold. While both breeds are friendly and sociable, Maine Coons are notorious for their love of water.

American Shorthair and Domestic Shorthair: The All-American Cats

American Shorthair and Domestic Shorthair

American Shorthair and Domestic Shorthair cats are often lumped together due to their similar appearances. Both breeds have short, dense coats and come in a wide array of colors and patterns. However, there are differences that can help you distinguish them.

American Shorthairs have a more refined and muscular body structure, with a round face and expressive eyes. They are often recognized for their silver tabby pattern. Domestic Shorthairs, on the other hand, have a more varied appearance as they encompass mixed-breed cats with short coats. They can have any coat color or pattern. Both breeds are known for their adaptability and friendly dispositions.


While it may take a keen eye and some knowledge about the differences, identifying different cat breeds can be an enjoyable and rewarding task. By familiarizing yourself with the distinct characteristics and traits of each breed, you can become an expert in distinguishing between them. So, the next time you encounter a cat that looks familiar, you'll be able to confidently say, "Ah, I know exactly what breed you are!"

Remember, cats come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and each breed has its own unique charm. So, whether you're a fan of Ragdolls' floppy nature or Maine Coons' majestic presence, there's a feline friend out there waiting to capture your heart. Happy cat-spotting!


1. Are look-alike cat breeds genetically related?

While look-alike cat breeds may share certain physical characteristics, they are not necessarily genetically related. Some breeds may have common ancestry or similar genetic traits, but many look-alike breeds have independently evolved their distinct features and traits over time.

2. How can I tell the difference between two similar-looking cat breeds?

Differentiating between similar-looking cat breeds can be challenging but not impossible. Pay close attention to their physical features such as facial structure, body shape, and coat type. Look for subtle differences in size, eye shape, ear positioning, and specific markings or patterns. Additionally, observe their behavior and personality traits, as these can also help distinguish one breed from another.

3. Can look-alike cat breeds have different temperaments and personalities?

Yes, even among visually similar cat breeds, each breed can have its own distinct temperament and personality traits. Factors such as breeding standards, socialization, and individual experiences can shape a cat's behavior and personality. You need to consider these factors when selecting a cat breed to ensure compatibility with your lifestyle and preferences.

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