Cat Breeds Originating In Canada

A colourful world map with a Canadian flag sticking out

Most people can only think of cats in terms of their shape, from tuxedos to tabbies. But there is a whole world of cat breeds originating in Canada. Here in this article, we tell you about Canada’s most popular cat breeds along with their unique qualities and abilities and why they are famous for!

There are 4 cat breeds originating in Canada. They are:

  1. Cymric
  2. Foldex
  3. Sphynx
  4. Tonkinese

Colour and appearance are essential to potential cat owners, but that doesn’t seem to be the case always. The top two most important traits new cat parents look for in a cat are love and flexibility. Most cats are rescued or adopted from shelters, with 46% of cat owners saying they found their feline partner that way. Further than that, 22% said their cat found them, which means they showed up on their doorstep, and the rest was history!

Since cats are one of Canada’s most popular pets, it’s no surprise that a handful of your furry friends have made their debut in the North.

Cat Breeds Originating In Canada

1.     Cymric

The Cymric is a breed of a domestic cat. Some cat registries have considered Cymric to be a semi-long-haired Manx breed, rather than a separate breed.

Except for the fur’s length, the two types are the same in all other respects, and any kind of kitten can appear in the same litter. Cymric is a large, muscular cat and is often called a long-haired Manx.

Cymric first appeared in Canada in the 1960s. Despite having lost their tails, they have an excellent balance and can be bouncy. They were raised as hunters and maintain a strong hunting drive.

This cat breed loves his family and likes to be around people. While they are a comfortable cat, they enjoy playing time and is found carrying their toys around the house.

2.     Foldex

The Foldex cat, also known as the Exotic Fold, is a rare breed of cat bred in Quebec’s Canadian province. This breed is currently recognized only by a single cat registry, i.e., with the Canadian Cat Association.

The Foldex is medium-sized cats with round faces, short legs, and connecting ears. The latter is a specific feature of the breed. Their eyes are well rounded and wide open; they have a pair of ears with small and smooth edges.

The Foldex has a sweet, charming personality, and they are lively and cheerful cats that enjoy being petted. They were first registered as a new breed by the Cat Association of Canada in 2006 and was finally given the championship status in 2010.

Born and raised in Quebec City, Foldex is ​​an adorable, cute, and curious cat. They are very confident and intelligent and like to be pet.

This Canadian cat breed is a cross between an Exotic shorthair and a Scottish fold. The Foldex had to look like a little teddy bear, and that’s what happens! Its ears are attached, and face and eyes are very round. Foldex’s neck and legs are also short.

3.     Sphynx

A grey and white sphynx sitting on a fluffy white blanket.

The Sphynx Cat is a breed of cat known for its lack of coat. Having hair in cats is a genetic variable. However, as a breed, the Sphynx Cat was bred through selective breeding, beginning in Canada’s 1960s.

The skin should have soft leather texture, as it has fine hair, or the cat may be completely hairless. Whiskers may be present, either complete or broken, or completely absent.

Sphynx cats have long heads, narrow and webbed feet. Their skin colour is that they will have fur, and all the usual cat marks (solid, dot, tabby, tortie, etc.) are found on the skin of the Sphynx cat. Because they do not have fur, they lose more body heat than hair coated cats, making them more sensitive to touch and prone to cold or warm places.

If you’ve ever seen the Sphynx, you’ll be familiar with their signature style. This Canadian cat breed has started with a couple of hairless kittens born in Ontario.

Because the Sphynx is a hairless cat with a sparse layer of fur on its ears, face, tail and legs. Therefore, they need some extra care, so they don’t get sunburned or too cold.

If you are a Sphynx pet parent living in Canada, you might find a sweater or a comfortable blanket for the winter. You will often see Sphynx cats crawling in the shade when there is a sunny day.

The Sphynx is a lively and outgoing cat and can usually be found close to its people.

4.     Tonkinese

A Tonkinese cat close up of his head. He is hiding his chin under the table.

The Tonkinese is a docile and domestic cat breed produced by cross-breeding between Siamese and Burmese. They share their parents’ distinctively, lively, playful personality traits, as well as distinguished by a pointed coat pattern in a variety of colours.

In addition to the modified coat colours of the “mink” pattern, which is the dilution of the paint colour (like watercolour colours), the breed is now appearing in prominent features like Siamese, and Burmese colours: white and solid overall identification (Sepia).

Tonkinese is a cross between Siamese and Burmese and was officially registered by the Cat Association of Canada in 1960s. These beautiful cats often have amazing aqua-coloured eyes.

The short-haired Tonkinese is the most popular type. There is a medium-haired one (sometimes called Tibetan), which is especially popular in Canada, Europe in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France.

The Tonkinese cat breed is a muscular cat who likes to play and be around people. Tonkinese is often described as a dog-like cat due to their friendly and loving personality. You can find them lying in your lap, walking on a leash or riding on your shoulders all day.

Must read “The ascent of cat breeds: Genetic evaluations of breeds and worldwide random-bred populations” to understand better the evolution of cat breeds in the whole world especially in Canada.

[icon name=”info-circle” prefix=”fas fa-2x”] You may also be interested in our article on 10 Cat Breeds That Can Be Left Alone

9 Other Cat Breeds That Have Some Evidence Of Originating In Canada

1.     American Shorthair

Like Domestic Shorthair, American Shorthair cats came from Canada or North America to Europe and were often used by pilgrims to control the local population.

Although American Shorthair cats would love to snatch a sofa with you, they are also known as working cats: muscular, hearty and alert. They are generally compatible with humans and animals and are usually well-rounded in nature.

All cat personalities vary, but an American Shorthair is likely to be attached until they are free. These cats are bred as particular breeds requiring breeding standards, unlike European Shorthair, a mixture of unknown breeds.

2.     Domestic Shorthair

Domestic Shorthair is often considered the “mutt” of cat breeds due to their mixed and unknown heritage. Some of their roots go back to Canadian short hair breeds. Some breeders say that their origin is also started in Canada.

Domestic Shorthair cats have various physical features, but they usually have medium-sized faces, sleek and soft short coats, and mixed colours.

After being bred in Egypt in 2000 BC, cats such as the Domestic Shorthair are thought to have travelled worldwide, including Canada (including Mayflower and other ships).

These cats were preferred to prey rats, mice and other small insects, and were considered hard workers. Domestic Shorthair cats live an average of 12 to 14 years, but they are also known to live longer.

3.     Siamese

One of the most distinguishing breeds, Siamese cats, is often cream-coloured, with brown claws and icy blue eyes. From the triangular, large ears to their delicate nails, everything about the Siamese is more prominent than other breeds. Their ears and faces are often the same grey colour. Siamese cats are now bred in Canada with a variety of colours and patterns.

Their personalities are often busy and communicative, which makes them the perfect companions for equally dynamic people. They prefer not to be alone for long periods of time and may need more time than your average cat. Siamese felines are also known for being very intelligent.

Siamese gets its name from their country of origin: Thailand. Before the renaming of Thailand in 1939, the country was called Siam. The Siamese cats eventually migrated to Canada and Europe in the late 1800s, and later to North America, where, during 1877-1881, Roderford B. Hayes also adopted a Siamese cat during his presidency.

4.     Domestic Longhair

Like Domestic Shorthair cats, Domestic Longhair cats have straight cats with long hair and are of unknown origin. But some evidence leads to villages of old Hamilton to be the origin place of this breed. They are especially common for the same reason – most cats are not purebred!

These cats come in a whole range of colours from orange to white and from black to grey. Their coats are usually a few inches long and have separate laces around their ears and on the bottoms of their claws. Domestic long-haired cats benefit from regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coats.

Their exact history is an unknown, but some breeders speculate that the recessive gene for long hair was due to mutation. But due to excessive selective breeding, this recessive gene becomes dormant and leads to its origin. Domestic Longhair cats have a status for being great predators, which is especially appealing to humans looking to help them control mice.

5.     Ragdoll

Fluffy and medium to large size,  Ragdoll cats are a pointed breed. In light-bodied cats, light-coloured boding may be slightly different, with distinctive blue eyes.

One of the more loving breeds, the Ragdolls will often follow their humans, greet at the door and hope for a place in bed. He is known to walk quickly and not be overly active.

Ragdolls were largely free-roaming cats until the 1960s, when Anne Baker, a Canadian breeder, developed what we know today as Ragdolls.

6.     Maine Coon

Maine Coon has a relatively large body and lush, heavy coat. They are muscular, healthy and at the same time, tall. Their large eyes, important claws and high cheekbones distinguish them from other breeds of cats.

When it comes to personality, these cats want to be close to their humans and need their place. They have a reputation for uncertain attention and can follow family members around them, but they can be cautious about new people like many cats. Although unlike most breeds of cats, the Maine Coons have a dense, water-repellent coat – they can enjoy playing in the water fountains or even in the water!

Maine Coons, believed to belong to Northern areas including Canada and America. They were mapped out during the colonial era. Maine Coons gained popularity because of their attention-grabbing, yet offensive personalities.

With the introduction of Canadian Persian cats and other long-haired breeds in Canada, Maine Coons was mistakenly declared extinct in the 1950s. Since then, the Maine Coons have tested its top paw, becoming the sixth most popular cat breed in Canada.

7.     Canadian Persian

Persian cats have flat, stocky bodies, with slightly sunken looking faces. This is one of the characteristics that most people are attracted to, but it may require additional medical attention. They play long, soft coats that come in a variety of colours, including white and black. Although they share some physical features with Maine Coons, they are often small and weigh between 8-13 pounds.

Despite being very kind to their humans, Persian cats have a reputation for standing out with new people and are generally considered less likely to demand attention than other breeds. They will be left behind compared to other races and will be able to soften.

The Persians are one of the most famous ancient breeds and were first seen in Iran, then known as Persia. This breed was introduced to Canada in 1800s, and now it’s native to Canada. Every Canadain cat association recognized this cat breed, and now it is generally known as Canadian Persian Breed in Canada.

The breed was also introduced to a large audience at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in 1871 and is also known as Queen Victoria’s favourite choice.

Honourable Mentions Of Cats That Originated In Canada(Two of the most emerging popular breeds in Canada)

1.     Russian blue

These awesome cats have short, soft coats in various shades of dark grey and silver. They can show faint spots but are typical. The Russian blues have double coats, which give them a plush look in their otherwise more delicate frames. Their eyes are often pale green, and they have a distinct “smile” on their face.

Russian blues are often described as calm and will have a comfortable place to sleep, but they are social with their families. They may hide during large gatherings of other people.

The cat’s real story has many rumours, but some believe that Russian Blue came from cats kept by Russian Czars. Eventually, these cats were imported to Canada in the early 1900s. They were slowly gaining popularity over time as one of the most popular cat breeds in the Canada and United States today.

2.     Himalayan

Himalayan cats are medium-sized with strong bones and plenty of furs, which often makes them look bigger than them. They are known for their lush, long coat and needs daily brushing to keep fit.

The Himalayans have short, thick legs, short ears and short tails. Their large round-eyed face is known for being a relatively kitten-like, familiar figure. These cats will likely get along with strangers and be equally pleased to play or sleep in their humans’ bed.

Presumably, this beautiful breed results from people wanting a Persian cat with the pattern of a Siamese. The first Himalayan was raised in the United States in the 1930s and eventually gained popularity in Canada as well.


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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