Cat Body Types

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What are the three main feline body types?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at

Cats come in such a huge variety of shapes and sizes that it might seem difficult to classify them. But in general, most cats fall into one of three categories.

First are the Cobby cats such as the Manx and Himalayan. These compact kitties are sturdy and muscular… not obese, just heavy-set.

On the other end of the spectrum are the oriental cats such as the Siamese. These felines are known for their thin bodies and long limbs. Even their tails and faces are slender – giving them a dainty appearance.

Finally, there are the Foreign felines. They fall somewhere between the other two extremes. The Abyssynian, for example, has an athletic body that is thin but powerful. So if you think of the Cobby cats as the football players of the feline world, the Foreign cats are the gymnasts.

– Dr. Larry McDaniel, DVM