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People are stumped over what kind of cat is in this photo

Did you know over 25.4% of American households are home to at least one cat? Small, cuddly, and quiet, a cat is the ideal fur baby whether you live in a cramped apartment with thin walls, or you have a massive house with a spacious backyard. Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), an organization that certifies cat pedigrees, officially recognizes 45 purebred cat breeds worldwide. The CFA also acknowledges non-pedigreed cats in a class of their own: non-pedigreed Companion Cats (CCW). Some of the most popular cat breeds include Maine coons, Siamese cats, Ragdolls, and Bengals. While the aforementioned felines are easily identified, some hybrids and mixed breed cats can leave us befuddled. 

Can you identify this mystery cat?

In the Reddit forum (known as a subreddit) r/Eyebleach, user u/StcStasi posted a video of a stunning, pale gray, long-haired cat with a black face and large, heavily tufted ears. Reddit user u/nigerianprinceas commented, “It looks like a lemur,” with u/jvsweet adding, “Zaboomafoo the lemur,” and u/AdLazy4608 chiming in, “Looks like momo from “avatar the last air bender.”” [sic] 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Despite the vague resemblance to the beloved anime character, the cat in question is decidedly not Momo from Avatar: The Last Airbender (or a lemur, for that matter). Currently, speculation as to the cat’s ancestry continues. Some commenters took a serious stab at guessing the breed, such as u/Vast-Attorney1983, who said, “Looks like a Maine Coon to me,” [sic] while others were more comical: u/WilyDeject’s guess (referencing the Gremlins franchise) was, “Mogwai. Don’t get it wet or feed it after midnight.” 

So, what kind of cat is it? Without running a DNA test on this fascinating feline, we can only guess, but we think the cat is most likely a Maine coon/Persian mix. We’ll tell you why.   

A closeup of a Maine Coon cat.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why we think the cat is part Maine coon 

Reddit’s mystery cat is obviously large, and Maine coons are big cats. In fact, a Maine coon named Stewie holds the world record for the longest domestic cat. Measuring a whopping 48.5 inches (or 123 centimeters) long, Stewie’s full length amounts to over 4 feet of adorableness. Often described as “kittens in big cat suits,” Maine coons retain their playfulness throughout their lives. Maine coons get their name from the debunked (and impossible) theory that the breed is part raccoon.

Another theory is that a domestic cat mated with a bobcat, resulting in the Maine coon’s large size, tufted paws, and tufted ears. This theory, too, is highly unlikely. The most likely scenario may be less entertaining, but it’s grounded in reality: modern-day Maine coons are descendants of long-haired cats brought to America around the colonial period. The cat featured in u/StcStasi’s video has the ear and paw tufts — not to mention the large size — of a Maine coon. 

Why we think the cat might be part Persian  

With their characteristically round faces, luxurious, flowing coats, and flat noses, Persians are one of the most elegant cat breeds in the world. Originally hailing from Persia (modern-day Iran), this regal stunner became wildly popular in Victorian England. While flat-faced Persians are favorites in the world of cat shows, traditional Persians (known as doll face Persians) don’t have the same exaggerated features. The cat in the picture has a rounded face, somewhat flat nose, and flowing coat of a doll face Persian.

A cream colored traditional Persian cat.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What’s your guess about this cat?

Like the infamous blue and black (or white and gold) dress that divided the internet years ago, the debate over this cat’s parentage doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon. (Thankfully, the debate over the dress has since been explained.) Whether this mysterious cat is a Maine coon/Persian hybrid or something else entirely, we’re grateful to u/StcStasi for sharing the video and putting a smile on our faces. 

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Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
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