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6 Common Cat Body Types

Often we talk about a cat’s breed, or its personality, or its coloring. But cat body types are another characteristic that cats share 

cat body types

Generally speaking, there are six cat body types. These body types are often connected to breed standards.

Knowing more about your cat’s body type can tell you more about the cats it’s similar to, and ultimately give you more information on caring for your feeling companion.

That’s why today we’re sharing the six common cat body types along with common breeds from each category.

Why It’s Important to Know Cat Body Types

In addition to being a useful piece of information for cat owners, a cat’s body shape or type can also play a role in how they’re scored in a show. 

A cat’s body type is defined by its relative sturdiness, slenderness, and the length and thickness of the legs. Taken together, these complete the overall image of the cat breed.

The 6 Cat Body Types

  1. Substantial

Let’s start with the biggest of the big (house) cats. Substantial body types refer to the large cats we share our homes with. 

The substantial body type includes breeds likes:

  • The Maine Coon (one of the most sizable domestic cat breeds)
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Ragdoll
  • Siberian
  • Turkish Van

Depending on your point of view, this can also include the Bengal, though they tend to be a bit smaller on average.

  1. Cobby

Another type of thick-bodied cat, cobby cats tend to have short, compact frames with broader shoulders. This rounder cat also has a round head and a short tail.

Common cobby cat breeds include:

  • Persian
  • Manx
  • Burmese (the USA type)
  • Cymric (also known as Long-Haired Manx)
  • Himalayan (also known as a pointed Persian)
  • Exotic Shorthair (also known as a short-haired Persian)
  1. Semi-Cobby

The Semi-Cobby type of cat includes cats with more rounded, stocky bodies.

Semi-cobby cat breeds include:

  • Chartreux
  • Korat
  • Scottish Fold
  • British Shorthair
  • American Wirehair
  • American Shorthair
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Singapura

Some find that the Singapura is more semi-foreign than semi-cobby.  It’s worth noting that individual cats within a breed may be slightly bigger or smaller, so their body shape can fall within multiple categories. 

  1. Semi-Foreign

This type of common cat body is for cats that are less slender and slightly thicker. It is similar to the foreign type cat and is set apart by its long lines.

Semi-foreign cat breeds include:

  • American Curl & American Curl Shorthair
  • Devon Rex
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Havana Brown
  • LaPerm
  • Tonkinese
  • Sphynx
  • Snowshoe

We can also include Munchkin cats on this list. Though their legs are short, giving them the sense of being more of a cobby body, the body itself fits here.

  1. Foreign

Foreign cat body types refer to cats that are more slender. In some sense, they could seem to be athletic, with legs that are slim and a long, tapered tail. Often their head is a bit more wedge-shaped, with larger ears and almond or oval-shaped eyes.

Foreign body breed types include:

  • Abyssinian
  • Somali (also known as a long-haired Abyssinian)
  • Japanese Bobtail & Japanese Bobtail Longhair
  • Russian Blue
  • Nebelung
  • Turkish Angora


  1. Oriental/Skinny

Oriental or skinny cat body types refer to a slender body that borders on skinny. These cats often have more triangular heads, leaner bodies, and long tails.

Oriental or skinny cat body type breeds include:

  • Cornish Rex
  • Modern Siamese (also known by the Cat Fanciers Association as the Siamese)
  • Balinese (also known as a long-haired Modern Siamese)
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Oriental Longhair

Schedule Your Next Appointment With Catonsville Cat Clinic 

At Catonsville Cat Clinic, we believe the more you know about your cat, the better you can care for it. Since 1997, our expert team of feline veterinarians have worked exclusively with cats, and it’s a joy for us to help cat owners develop this special bond with their cats.

To schedule an appointment with the Catonsville Cat Clinic, click here.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 5th, 2022 at 11:31 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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