The pristine beauty of a white cat… don’t these elegant beauties always turn heads? Since white cats are not linked to any one breed, they can grace us with their presence from many different types of cats! However, getting just the right mix of genetics to produce a white cat is complicated, which is why these snowy furballs are so rare. In fact, only 5% of cats have white coats! So, what types of white cats are out there? Let’s take a look!
White Cat Genetics and Care
Although they are white, the various types of white cats on this list are not actually albino – they just have a special gene that codes for white fur. These genes can also affect a cat’s eye color. This is why you may see all-white cats with stunningly colored eyes, like orange, yellow, blue, green, or even a unique combination of colors! Known as “odd-eyed” cats, these felines have eyes that are each a different color, like one blue and one yellow eye.
Unfortunately, this genetic cocktail can sometimes lead to partial or full deafness in a white cat. However, these lovely cats are still playful and can live long and healthy lives. If you are lucky enough to care for one of these unique beauties, you’ll just need to make a few adjustments to keep them safe, such as always keeping them indoors unless they are on a leash or in a carrier.
And don’t forget to protect your furry white furbaby from sunburn — which they’re more prone to — by keeping them indoors and out of direct sunlight. Like humans with light-colored skin, white cats have a much higher chance of sunburn, especially on their eyelids, ears, and noses. This, unfortunately, also means they have a great risk of developing skin cancer, so it’s important to take precautions when it comes to your kitty’s time in the sun.
If the Persian were in high school, she’d be deemed “most popular” since she’s so well-known and loved. Persian cats are medium-sized but often appear much bigger because of the explosion of fur they carry around. They’re like one soft, giant, beautiful hairball, requiring daily brushing to keep their coats tangle-free and silky-soft.
Persian cats love a gentle touch and a calm environment. Playing with a ball or a mouse toy is on their agenda, but you’ll need to actively be involved with giving them a daily exercise regimen since they can plump up quickly.
|Personality:||Quiet, sweet, gentle|
|Coat:||Fluffy, long, flowing|
2. Turkish Angora
With their natural beauty and unparalleled grace, Turkish angoras have been prized by royalty for centuries. These cats are considered the “ballerinas” of the cat world with their long, slender bodies and strong acrobatic skills. Although they have long, luscious hair like a Persian, Turkish angoras do not have an undercoat. They still require consistent grooming, but their hair is a bit softer and easier to care for than many other fluffy cat breeds. White Turkish angoras are highly prized for stunning coats, like Duchess in Disney’s The Aristocats. Although today they come in many other colors as well.
While their almond eyes, tufted ears, and luxurious fur coats make these cats look like feline royalty, beneath all that white fluff is an oversized kitten ready to play — but on their own terms, of course. Turkies can be quite demanding, but if you roll out the red carpet, they are benevolent rulers of your home and even snuggle up with you from time to time. They are intelligent and curious and are infamous for getting into mischief around the house.
|Personality:||Playful, graceful, outgoing, vocal|
|Coat:||Long, flowing, fluffy, no undercoat|
3. Turkish Van
Although it looks suspiciously like the Turkish angora, the Turkish van is a separate cat breed with its own distinctive qualities. Turkish vans are usually larger than angora cats and have a bigger bone structure. While they are also white, they have patches of color on their tails and heads. Some may have additional color on their bodies as well. Even though they have lots of fluffy hair, the unique texture of their coats keeps them from matting, so they only need to be brushed once a week.
Turkish vans are a type of white cat known for being a bit more “dog-like” in their personality. These cats are extremely athletic and active, and for some odd reason — they really like water! Turkish vans are one of the few cat breeds out there that chooses to go swimming! These energetic cats need lots of playtime to keep them happy.
|Personality:||Affectionate, water-loving, adventurous, playful|
|Coat:||Medium/semi-long, soft, fluffy, heavy seasonal shed|
4. Norwegian Forest Cat
Believed by many to be the cat of the Vikings, the Norwegian forest cat gets along with everyone, including people, dogs, and other cats. In white, these cats are absolutely stunning. They are a natural breed with a wild-like appearance, large paws, and wedge-shaped heads that have led to the nickname “Wedgies.” At first glance, you might mistake one of these cats for a Maine Coon, but Norwegian forest cats are not quite as blocky. And even with their large size and thick, hardy fur coat, the grooming regimen for a Wedgie is not nearly as high maintenance as it is for a Persian cat.
Norwegian forest cats are a type of white cat that is hardy and athletic. They like to climb as high as possible to survey their kingdoms, so a tall scratching post with perches would be a great birthday present. You may also need to child-proof your cabinets with these smarty-pants around. However, Wedgies are also social kitties that love to spend time with you. They are affectionate, playful, and loyal companions that seem to love everyone unconditionally.
|Personality:||Affectionate, loving, intelligent, athletic|
|Coat:||Thick, heavy, double-layered, suited for harsh winters|
Soft and gentle, Himalayan cats have a calming presence that seems to bring tranquility to any home. Their long puffy hair and flat faces look like giant snowballs in white. They enjoy playing but are not as energetic and wild as many other breeds. These blue-eyed beauties enjoy a calm environment, so if you have kids that are about as quiet as a catfight, this pretty kitty isn’t for you.
But if you want a calm cat that loves you and even greets you at the door, the Himalayan may be the white furball you’ve been searching for. These gorgeous kitties are very attuned to their owners and love affection, cuddling, and being pet. And they certainly need to be brushed at least every few days so that gorgeous hair does not get tangled or matted. Martha Stewart has six Himalayans, and I’m sure they’re quite organized.
|Personality:||Quiet, calm, gentle, affectionate|
|Coat:||Long, straight, sheds a lot|
6. Maine Coon
Talk about an easy cat. This feline loves dogs, cats, kids, and even strangers! Well, they’ll tolerate them anyway. And while white is pretty rare in the Maine Coon breed, it makes these large cats look like majestic lions! Or an elf-like version of Santa Claus, depending on who you’re talking to. This massive cat is built to last and can handle the winter cold and snow. However, that luxurious double coat is going to require some serious grooming.
Don’t let their regal and powerful appearance fool you, however. Maine Coons are a type of white cat that is playful, friendly cats that love attention. Many also enjoy water — swatting at it and playing with it, so you may want to shut the door while in the shower if you want some privacy.
|Personality:||Friendly, adaptable, intelligent, playful|
|Coat:||Not dense, long, silky|
7. American Shorthair
This lap kitty gets along well with their human guardians — even if they’re miniature — and loves birdwatching. American shorthairs are trainable, highly adaptable, and enjoy a good wand toy. They are relatively active, but they can also be independent and often play on their own, as well as with humans and other cats.
As a white tabby, these cats are beautiful, but as a solid white cat? They look like little angel furbabies straight from heaven. And if you’re still unsure what color you prefer, you’ve got plenty to choose from — these cute kitties come in more than 80 recognized colors and patterns! American shorthairs have strong legs that are a bit shorter than other breeds, with wide, round paws. Their strong bodies exude confidence and power, with a rounded shape that adds a bit of grace and hints at their cuddly natures.
|Personality:||Loving, affectionate, easy-going, fun|
|Coat:||Short, dense, thick|
8. American Curl
No, these cats don’t have curly hair – they have curly ears! Their eyes fold over slightly and curl backward, giving them a very distinctive appearance. Their ears are straight when they’re born and start to curl in three to five days until they’re tightly positioned. At approximately 16 weeks, they unfurl and move in place until they’re in their permanent position. I guess you could say that, finally, they’re all ears.
Although they look like the wind is always blowing straight towards them, American curls need minimal grooming, preferring to do it themselves. With that incredible bushy tail and quiet disposition, they’re quite an elegant type of white cat. American curls are also playful and intelligent and can be long-haired or short-haired.
|Personality:||Curious, loving, determined|
|Coat:||Silky, flat-lying, minimal undercoat, fine|
9. British shorthair
From the other side of the pond comes the British shorthair, which you will most commonly see sporting an iconic grey-blue coat. However, sporting a white color, they look like a giant cuddly powder puff. The pristine white color is also great for bringing out their large sparkling eyes, which are usually copper, gold, blue, or green.
These kitties want to hang out with the family — even the kids and the dog — but not always in your lap. They have a precious round face and always look “full,” like they just ate Thanksgiving dinner. Health-wise, obesity can be an issue because they tend to be sedentary, so it’s a good idea to give them interactive toys or make sure they’re getting some form of exercise daily. They are intelligent cats and can easily learn tricks.
|Personality:||Intelligent, calm, laid-back, affectionate|
|Coat:||Very dense with no undercoat|
10. Oriental shorthair
This energetic cat was developed using a Siamese and several other breeds. The Oriental has green eyes (unlike Siamese who have blue), but white cats can have blue, green, or odd (different colored) eyes. Their profiles are striking, with sleek bodies, unusually large ears, and sharp-angled heads.
If you’d love an active feline, this one’s for you. Muscular and athletic, you can find them on top of the fridge or opening cabinets. Give them puzzle toys and teach them tricks to keep their minds busy. They can handle it, no problem. They’re especially attached to their people, so socializing them early might give them a better taste for outsiders. Oriental shorthairs are known to be vocal and do not like being left alone all day, so be sure to give them plenty of attention.
|Personality:||Lively, fun-loving, chatty, loving, curious|
11. Russian White
From ear tip to tail tip, this gorgeous cat is as white as snow. The Russian white was recognized for championship status in 2010 by the American Cat Fanciers Association. However, it’s a rare breed, originating from a white Siberian cat and a Russian blue.
Russian whites are highly active and would enjoy interactive toys to stimulate their minds. They are sensitive and quiet, and although they bond deeply with their people, strangers won’t get any special treatment and will probably be ignored. Maybe hold off on the dinner parties.
|Personality:||Affectionate, loving, gentle, loyal|
|Coat:||Sleek, short, dense, plush, soft|
Major lap-cat alert! These big beauties have crystal-blue eyes and are kid- and dog-friendly, too, though they’ll need some time to warm up to strangers. They’re not loud or boisterous but do insist on being around you as much as possible.
Ragdoll kittens are born pure white but, as adults, have pointed coloring (darker face, legs, tail, and ears). They are late bloomers and don’t reach their full size until they’re four years old. Their fur is more low maintenance than many other long-haired cats, but they still require regular grooming.
|Personality:||Friendly, loving, relaxed, laid-back, good-natured|
|Coat:||Silky, medium length, fluffy with no undercoat|
13. Snow Bengal
With the markings of a wild animal, it would be hard to find a more exquisite type of white cat than the Bengal. Jean S. Mill developed the Bengal in the early 1960s by crossing domestic cats with the Asian leopard cat. Bengals of today, however, are only bred with other Bengals. With rosette markings like leopards, jaguars, and ocelots, this incredible feline is the only domestic with these wild-cat features.
Although regular Bengals are brown, reddish, or orangish, snow Bengals have a cream or pale white base coat with slightly darker markings, making them look more like a white snow leopard. Stunning and beautiful, Bengal cats are energetic and pretty high maintenance. If they don’t get enough stimulation, these energetic cats will get into trouble due to boredom. These aren’t cats to be left home alone for long periods of time, so it’s a perfect time to start working from home, or to get a second cat or even a dog to join the family. The more, the merrier, right?
|Personality:||Intelligent, curious, active, social|
|Coat:||Short, plush, dense, soft|
14. Japanese Bobtail
This distinctive breed gets its name from its naturally bobbed tail. Japanese bobtails come in many solid colors, as well as “Mi-Ke” tricolor patterns. Many cats are almost entirely white, with color patches on their heads and tails. You might recognize Japanese bobtail cats from the Maneki-Neko or “lucky cat” figurines of Japan, but in real life, these white kitties are just as cute and twice as sweet.
Japanese bobtails are friendly and outgoing and get along with humans as well as other pets. They are loving cats with a strong sense of loyalty and will follow their favorite humans around the house as they chatter on to get your attention. In fact, Japanese bobtail cats are some of the friendliest cats you’ll ever meet, and they love to be involved in everything you do. Many even like to play fetch! They are also quite curious kitties that love exploring.
|Personality:||Intelligent, curious, active, very friendly, social|
|Coat:||Short or long, silky, soft, no undercoat|
These aristocratic cats originally came from the kingdom of Siam (modern-day Thailand), where they were seen as sacred and kept by monks and royalty. Today’s Siamese cats have not forgotten their illustrious history and continue to demand love and attention from everyone they meet. One of the most vocal breeds, Siamese cats love spending their days chattering on with their favorite humans and never seem to run out of things to say.
These charming felines are friendly, intelligent, playful, and extremely curious, which means that you will never be bored with a Siamese cat in your life. Of course, this also means that they require a bit more attention, and if you leave them alone too long, they quickly get into trouble. Fortunately, friendly cats and dogs also make great playmates for this cat.
Siamese kittens are always born white. After the first several days, they develop some dark coloring on the tips of their noses and ears, and many eventually develop a dark face mask. Siamese are slender cats with a sleek appearance. They are known for their beautiful blue eyes, almost as mesmerizing as their personalities. There is nothing quite like a white Siamese cat.
|Personality:||Intelligent, chatty, extroverted|
|Coat:||Short, shiny, flat|
Since only 5% of the cat population is white, these felines know they’re something special. And now that you know all about the many types of white cats, you may need to get one. Or maybe even two.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © TheCats/Shutterstock.com
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- PETCARERX, Available here: https://www.petcarerx.com/breed-guide/siamese-cat-information-get-to-know-this-famous-breed/70
- allaboutcats, Available here: https://allaboutcats.com/cat-breeds/japanese-bobtail
- Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc, Available here: https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/cat-breeds/himalayan
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