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Australian Mist

Australian Mist

Place of origin

Australia

History

The Australian Mist breed was developed in the late 1970s by Dr. Truda Straede, who crossed Burmese and Abyssinian cats to tabby domestic shorthairs. As with many breeds, the original mating did not go quite as planned. An Abyssinian female that stopped calling whenever she was driven to her intended beau was mated instead to a neighbor's Burmese male in the hope she would get the idea of what was expected of her. However, the attractive ticked and spotted kittens who resulted were of sufficient interest that a breeding program commenced. It ultimately produced this unique tabby breed with the sepia pointing pattern of the Burmese and six colors analogous to Burmese colors. The breed originally earned the name Spotted Mist Foreign Shorthair, reflecting the pattern of the early cats.

When the breed standard was amended in 1998 to include the marbled variants that appeared in litters, the breed was also renamed Australian Mist, better reflecting its country of origin. This cat remains rare outside of Australia, although Australian Mist breeding programs now exist in the United Kingdom, and there has been some interest from American breeders. This is the first breed developed in Australia to have gained wider recognition.

Physical description

Australian Mists are neither too cobby nor too long. The head is rounded and broad with large ears set low on the head and cupped slightly forward. These cats have large, expressive, open, almond-shaped eyes ranging from chartreuse green to aquamarine. A broad muzzle contributes to their sweet expression. The coat is short and glossy, yet with enough length to be resilient to the touch and allow expression of the agouti bands that make the tabby pattern appear to float on top of a misty ticked background.

Colors and varieties

The Australian Mist comes in both a spotted pattern and a marbled tabby pattern against a ticked background and in six colors modified by the Burmese gene: blue, brown (sable), chocolate, cinnamon (gold), fawn (peach), and lilac. As in the Burmese breed, the color continues to darken until the cat reaches two years of age.

Temperament

An affectionate lap cat, the Australian Mist is playful without being too busy. These beautiful cats make excellent family companions and are tolerant of children and other family pets. A temperament suited to indoor living was a specific requirement when the breed was developed, and some stud cats are said to be so sociable that they can live in groups without aggression. Australian Mists have been trained to walk on a leash.

Activity level

Moderate

Vocal level

Moderate

Special needs

None; this is a robust, healthy breed with a widely diverse genetic background.

Variations

Longhaired Australian Mists sometimes occur in litters due to recessive genes inherited from Abyssinian and domestic shorthair ancestors. The Australian Mist was slow to gain interest in the United Kingdom because of its similarity to the Asian Shorthair breed.

From The Cat Bible, Copyright by Sandy Robins, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with I-5 Press

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