14 Cats Breeds Originating In India

A world map with a magnifying glass over India

In the past, Indian people say that “owning a cat” is not a good omen. But this mindset has changed now and people love domestic cats, and now it is not wrong at all.

Cats are territorial – they attach themselves to their territory more than humans. Thus, cats are fundamentally different from dogs. But they make wonderful companions because they are intelligent, loving, and self-sufficient. They are less caring, more self-contained, do not stink, and are calmer creatures than dogs. Like any other pet, they become family members. Whenever a cat patches itself against your leg and wipes over it, looking through those spiritual eyes, it is trying to warm your heart and soul. We have found 14 cat breeds that originate in India.

What Are The Top Cat Breeds Originating In India?

The top 14 cat breeds originating in India are:

  1. Bombay Cat
  2. Himalayan cat
  3. Indian desert cat
  4. Indo-Persian cats (Crossbred Persian, Indian Origin)
  5. Golden Cat
  6. Spotted cat
  7. Abyssinian (Indo-eygpt origin)
  8. Jungle cat
  9. Leopard cat
  10. Pallas’s Cat
  11. Marbled Cat
  12. Fishing Cat
  13. Caracal
  14. Lynx

1.     The Bombay Cat Originates In India

These unique cats can make an ideal pet. Bombay is an excellent cat in look and feel, and it has great power. Bombay cat is a good climber and jumper, and pet parents should give them a cat tree and cat perches for their welfare. This cat breed is robust and stocky, and you need to nurture it carefully to avoid obesity, especially if it does not get proper exercise. Although adult Bombay are placid, they are also great kittens (when young) and enjoy their daily playtime. They love to be loved and cared for by their pet parents. Daily petting sessions are a must for any Bombay.


They look a lot like the little Black Panther having captivating, smooth golden eyes and short, shiny black hair. They have a muscular structure with a round head that is thin on the sides.


They are of Asian breed. Their ancestors are Indian black cats. There are two types – The American and British Bombay, but they originated in India.


Bombay cats are nature friendly. They are eager to learn new tricks and they can quickly adapt to different lifestyles and environments. They behave calmly and can be trained to walk on the leash.

Recently scientists have published a complete breed overview of Bombay cat, which also compares that cat with other world-renown cats along   with Bombay cat breed characteristics

2.     The Himalayan Cat Originates In India

Himalayan is one of the most common breeds of cats. They are known as Colourpoint Persian and Himmie. The Himalayan is a calm cat that exhibits kitten-like activities. She loves to sleep in the sun, where she roams around while running and rolling.

The Himalayans will always stretch out next to you, will sleep in your bed and even sit in your lap when she is in a mood. She doesn’t mind the usual changes and usually be friends with anyone or everyone else.


Himalayan cats are usually white and have a long fluffy coat. They are also available in other colours such as brown, red, cream with coloured dots spread on the face, legs, ears, tail. Their eyes are beautiful and blue and are medium to hefty in size.

A Himalayan Cat laying down outside
[Himalayan Cat]


This breed came into being after crossing the Indian desert cat and Persian breeds to get blue eyes and various colour points.


Himalayan cats are very loyal and loving. They want human companionship. They prefer to rest with their owners instead of wandering around. Himalayan cats are not very athletic.

3.    The Indian Desert Cat Originates In India

If you want a companion that remain active all day, an Indian desert cat may be the best for you. This breed is also the cheapest. The Indian desert cat is not only good-looking but also brilliant. These beautiful cats can be trained to walk on a leash. However, this intelligence does not mean that she can be trained to do whatever she wants. Like other highly intelligent breeds, the Indian desert cat has its desires.

Indian desert cat is a cute cat and needs to be as devoted to its parents to be at their best. Her parents should be affectionate to the Indian desert cat and make time to play with her.


They have medium-sized, long slender legs, wedge-shaped heads, triangular ears, bright brownish eyes, oval paws and long tails. They have an athletic body. Indian desert cat cats are light in colour, and their colour points are brown, camel, and mix.

Origin and Habitat

Indian desert cat found in western Rajasthan’s scrub habitat and hunt hares, rats, grey partridges, doves, and other ground birds. These cats also live in tropical rain forests, dense forests, scrublands, semi-desert, and western India villages. These cats are now considered growing pets in India.


Indian desert cat can be curious, alert and demanding. They want great attention. They can “talk” for hours, expressing their views on everything possible.

4.     The Indo-Persian Cats (Crossbred Persian, Indian Origin) Originates In India

This glamorous breed of cat is also called Indo-Persian Longhair and Iranian. Indo-Persian is a calm cat that exhibits kitten-like activities. Their all primary characters are like Persian cats, especially the flat face.

Indo-Persian cats will chill out with you, and she will sleep alongside you when she is in the mood. She doesn’t mind the usual changes and usually makes friends quickly (both with other pets and humans).


A round face usually characterizes them with shining eyes, a short muzzle and long white hair. They need to be groom regularly.


This breed is originated in Iran and shifted to India in the early 20th century.


These cats are lazy and laid back. They are happiest with comfort. However, they are prone to scratching and biting, which they consider as play. They want attention and can make a little fuss if not petted regularly.

5.     The Golden Cat Originates In India

This uncommon domestic cat is best known for its golden colour. The Golden Cat is adaptable, so she’s a good traveller. Long-distance truckers and rovers seem to be great companion. These cats have also found a niche with some psychiatrists because of their love and intuition. This adaptation and compassion make her a good family companion and suited to various lifestyles ranging from casual.


They have a medium to a large body which is quite rectangular and complete. These cats have an athletic and muscular shape. They are deceptively generous in behaviour. They come in different colours and patterns; the most prominent is the gold colour. Their notable trait is their tail, which is flexible and usually covers one-third of the body’s entire length.

Origin and habitat

Asian golden cat lives throughout the Indian Subcontinent and prefers forest habitats with rocky areas and found in the rain forest. The open grasslands and terrain of Manas National Park in West Assam is the best place to spot the Asian golden cat in India.


Golden Cats are intelligent and loving cats. They are interactive and quickly bond with great devotion. In domestication, they love to play games and get involved in games like hiding and seeking or playing fetch games. The Golden Cat breed is lucky and can be easily trained.

Here you can read the research study on “Food habits and activity patterns of the Asiatic golden cat.”

6.     The Spotted Cat Originates In India

Most people seek out these cats for their extraordinary beauty. Also, they can adapt to Indian climatic conditions. The rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus Rubi​​gnosis) is one of the youngest members of the cat family, of which the historical record is known only from India and Sri Lanka. In 2012, it was also recorded in the Western Terai of Nepal.


They have grey to silver-whitish spots all over their bodies, and their tails are usually darker than their body colour. Spotted cats have oval-shaped paws that are generally of average length. The long tail extends to the shoulder.

A Rusty Spotted Cat sitting on a log, licking his lips in front of green plants
[Rusty Spotted Cat]

Origin and habitat

Their historical record shows that they are from India, Sri Lanka. The best place for rusty spot cat in India. Satpura, Panna, Bandhavgarh, Gir and Mondanthorai  National Parks.


These feisty felines are quite shy but lovely. Because they are wild cats, they avoid humans and prefer to hunt at night. You may think that it is difficult for a wild spotted cat to get to trust you. They usually eat reptiles, frogs, rats, insects and small birds. The threat to these little cats is habitat destruction and deforestation in India.

7.     The Abyssinian Cat Has Indo-Eygpt Origins

Indo-Eygpt origin Abyssinian is a medium-large sized cat with a long body and well-developed muscles. She is an active domestic cat who loves to jump and play.

The Abyssinian is moderate looking in every aspect with smooth planes on his head. It has a slight dip in its triangular head. Instead, her big ears are bent over her head, giving her a warning and alert look, as if she is always paying concentration to everything going on around her. Her eyes, which look huge on her face, show the alertness and intelligence within the breed.

The Abyssinian has a short coat and hair in her ears. The colour of the Abyssinian cat is extraordinary. The majority of furs have coloured bands on each individual’s hair, with a darker coat over the spine. The colour on her body under the cat’s neck and the underside and inside her legs makes it soft and light.


Abyssinian is a fine-boned, slender, medium-sized cat. The head is usually wedge-like, with a slight interval at the muzzle, and the nose and chin form an ideal straight vertical line when viewed in profile. They have alert, relatively large pointed ears. The eyes are almond-shaped and, depending on the coat’s colour, are made of gold, green, brown or copper. The legs tend to be slim and long in proportion to the graceful body, with tiny oval paws, and the tail is similarly long and tapering.


Mix origin starts from Eygpt to Subcontinent (India) and Ethiopia.


The Abyssinians are popular thanks to their extraordinary intelligence and generally extroverted, playful, deliberate personalities. They are said to be depressed without constant activity and the attention of their owners.


The breed can suffer from gingivitis, which can lead to more severe periodontitis. Familial AA amyloidosis or renal amyloidosis, a kidney disorder caused by mutations in the AA amyloid protein gene, has been observed in Abyssinians. Abyssinian has a severe problem with blindness due to hereditary retinal degeneration due to mutations in the rdAc gene.

8.     The Jungle Cat Originates In India

This well-muscled cat’s body is taller than its overall size. Jungle cats have medium-sized bones, so they are not a delicate cat, despite their body length.

This cat’s head is like a walnut’s eye. It has a long tail. Of course, her unique feature is that she lives in deep shrubs and forts. Its ears are large.

The Jungle cat coat is silky, whether it is short hair or long hair. The length of hair on a long hair curl is longer than the semi-long length. Jungle cats are accepted in all colours and patterns, but the dark greenish-black colour is the most prominent.

Origin and habitat

The beautiful jungle cat is also known as a swamp cat native to India and other subcontinent parts. They are widespread and common, particularly in mountain areas.


These magnificent cats are among the most common cats found around lakes and rivers in the Indian Himalayas. Sometimes they also find around the swamp of Sundarbans.


Because of its large genetic pool with non-breed cats, the Jungle cat is generally a healthy breed. These cats’ ears need frequent cleaning to prevent infection and be handled gently to prevent damage.

9.     The Leopard Cat Originates In India

 This cat has leopard-like spots and the size of a domestic cat. Two prominent black stripes mark them on their long legs and short head, making them different from others.


The breeds of cats originated in India.


A smaller version of an Indian cheetah, these are nocturnal and crepuscular (active during twilight). Cats favourite habitat is the perennial tropical rainforest, cultivated area, moist rocky forest and grasslands. It is solitary but can be seen in a pair during mating or with dependent young ones.


There are two prominent white lines between the eyes, and their muzzle is also white. They lack rosette but have black spots all over their coat. Its tail is half the size of its body and weighs only 3 to 4 kg.

A Leopard Cat sitting in a tree.

10.  The Pallas’s Cat Originates In India


Pallas’s cat, also called Manul, is distinguished from other cats by its grey face, stout build, and long hair, which indicate the white colour from which it appears. Unlike other cats, their pupils do not contract in a vertical slit but become small dark circles. The other cat has thick, long fur that helps them avoid the cold. They wrap their well-protruding tail around the body like a hot muff.


Best place to see a Pallas’s cat in India. They are rarely seen in the trans-Himalayan region of Sikkim and Ladakh. Most of the records are currently captured using camera traps.

They prefer rocky areas, cantonments, caves and mountainous areas, even sheltering in the abandoned dens of marmots and foxes. These cats are solitary cats and sniff their areas for 2 to 4 km. They ambush and beat their prey before she can capture it. Pika is their favourite prey, and it contains about fifty per cent of their diet.

11.   The Marbled Cat Originates In India

The marbled cat is thought to be a smaller version of the clouded leopard with thick, deep spots on its upper body and black spots along its tail and legs. Its head is shorter and more rounded with a forehead and more comprehensive pupils than other feline members.


 It is found in Northeast India and other Southeast Asian countries. Best place to see marble cat in India-Pak Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, Namdhapa National Park


A marbled cat is more like a domestic cat with a thinner and longer body. It weighs only 2 to 5 kg and lives alone. She is an agile climber and arboreal by nature, which is why she is also known as ‘Old World Margay’. Its diet consists of birds, rats, small mammals and animals.

In captivity, it has been found that their gestation period is 65 to 80 days, and 1 to 4 kittens are born in one litter. It achieves sexual maturity within two years.

Honourable Mentions Of Cats That Originate In India

12.  The Fishing Cat Originates In India

A fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat classified as endangered because of the destruction of wetlands areas. The fishing cat is the national animal of West Bengal and is mainly found in the Terai region of the Himalayan mountains in India.

13.  The Caracal Originates In India

The caracal cat is a mysterious cat found in Central and western India. They are mostly present in the cities of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan. The Caracal cat is an endangered species observed in the wild forests of India.

14.  The Lynx Originates In India

Lynx are medium to large-sized wild cats inhabiting high altitude forests and dense cover of Northern India’s shrubs. The Indian Lynx has the distinguishing feature: short tail, long straight tufts, and a distinct pale grey coat.

You can also study the scientific research on wild Indian cats affected with babesia (blood parasite)

5 Facts About Cats That Originate In India

  1. Some Indians believe that if you dream about a black cat, bad luck will follow.
  2. The hearing of the average Indian cat is at least five to six times more than that of humans.
  3. Indian cats spend about 70-75 per cent of the day sleeping. And 15-20 per cent of the day grooming themselves.
  4. Most cats, including Indian cats, cannot see directly under their nose.
  5. Indian cats mostly have no eyelashes.


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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