The Australian Mist cat is a beautiful medium-sized cat breed that’s known for their patterned coat and striking green eyes, but that’s not what makes it special. This cat is one of the friendliest and most agreeable of cat breeds, making them a great choice for first-time owners, families, and homebody owners.
Still rare outside Australia, the Australian Mist is a breed that’s growing in popularity. Learn more about this special cat breed and what you need to know if you want to bring one home.
|7 –9 inches
|Brown, chocolate, lilac, fawn, cinnamon, blue, caramel
|Laid-back owners, first-time owners, quiet families
|Needy, talkative, social
The Australian Mist cat was developed in Australia in the 1970s by crossing Asian cats like the Burmese and Abyssinian with short-haired cat breeds. The cat was initially known as the Spotted Mist, but continued development led to more color variations and a new name—the Australian Mist. The breed is rare in the US and the UK and not yet recognized by cat fancier organizations.
Australian Mist Cat Characteristics
Australian Mist Kittens
As kittens, Australian Mist cats are lively and active, but they slow a lot with age. They thrive on human contact, so it’s crucial to devote a lot of attention to them as kittens. Because these cats are rare in the US and UK, finding an Australian Mist from a breeder may be difficult. There are a few breeders in the US, but be prepared for waitlists and travel to get your kitten.
As tempting as it may be, avoid getting an Australian Mist—or any other breed—from questionable breeders. Like puppy mills, kitten mills produce high volumes of kittens for profit, often neglecting the health of the parents and kittens. These animals often grow up to have health and behavioral issues.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Australian Mist Cat
The Australian Mist cat is a desirable breed for their looks and easygoing personality. They enjoy lounging around and spending time with their owners, unlike more independent breeds. They’re also friendly with children and other pets, making them a top choice for many cat owners. That said, make sure you have the time to devote to the needy Australian Mist. Otherwise, your cat may develop emotional or behavioral problems from boredom and loneliness.
Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪
Australian Mist cats are ideal for families. They get along well with children of all ages, even young children who can be a little rough with handling. These cats tolerate a lot of behaviors without hissing, scratching, or biting. Still, it’s important to supervise interactions to ensure that children play gently and carefully with your cat to avoid injuries.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
With their laid-back personalities, Australian Mist cats are a good choice for multi-cat or multi-pet homes. They’re passive and unlikely to fight for territory or develop conflicts with other cats or dogs. However, if you have small animals like reptiles, birds, or rodents, it’s best to keep them separated from your cat and never allow the two together. Though they may be easygoing, Australian Mist cats are still cats with a high prey drive and an instinct to stalk and hunt.
Things to Know When Owning an Australian Mist Cat
Food & Diet Requirements 🐡
Like other cat breeds, the Australian Mist cat is an obligate carnivore and needs a balanced, complete cat food. Your cat should have quality kitten food while they’re young and active, but you can transition to an adult maintenance cat food as they mellow out. You’ll want to give your cat appropriate portion control—especially as they age—to avoid obesity and the health problems that can go along with it.
Australian Mist cats can be couch potatoes, but they’re incredibly intelligent and need an outlet for mental and physical stimulation. They enjoy regular play like interactive toys and classic, simple games like chasing a toy on a pole. Otherwise, these cats are happy to lay on your lap and get lots of attention. They’re a great choice for people who work from home or older cat owners.
Australian Mist cats are highly intelligent and can be trained easily, especially if you start early. In addition to basic obedience, you can train your Australian Mist to walk on a leash, come when called, or perform tricks like fetch and roll over. They are loving, sensitive cats, however, so use positive reinforcement training and never any aversive methods like scolding or hitting.
The short coat of the Australian Mist requires minimal grooming. You may only need to brush your cat once a week or so, but they do like the attention that comes with grooming. You will also need to trim your cat’s nails every few weeks and brush their teeth as often as possible. Fortunately, the agreeable and easy-to-train Australian Mist cat often takes to grooming better than some other breeds.
Health and Conditions 🏥
As a rarer breed, the Australian Mist has no specific health concerns. They’re long-lived cats, especially with regular vet exams, preventative care like flea and tick prevention, and vaccinations. They can develop common health conditions in all cat breeds, such as cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and parasite-borne diseases like heartworm.
Male vs Female
There’s not much difference between the male and female Australian Mist cat. The males can be a bit larger, but not enough to make a big difference in their care or costs. Many of the behavioral differences between male and female Australian Mist cats are due to sex hormones, such as roaming and fighting, and can be prevented or reduced with spaying or neutering. Aside from the behavioral benefits, spaying and neutering your cat can prevent serious health conditions like reproductive cancers and infections.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Australian Mist Cat
1. They Used to Be Spotted.
When they were initially developed in the 1970s, the Australian Mist cats had spotted coats almost exclusively. Over time, more colors developed in litters, including a marbled pattern that was accepted in 1998. As these cats expanded beyond simple spotted coats, they had to have a name change.
2. They’re Extremely Rare Outside Australia.
Australian Mist cats originated in Australia, and the breed is still primarily developed there. In 2011, breeding pairs came to the US from the UK but are still not well-established foreign breeds like the Siamese or Burmese. There are only a handful of breeders in the US.
3. They Were Developed for Personality.
Australian Mist cats are beautiful and come in a range of colors, but their looks weren’t the goal. The purpose of crossbreeding Asian and domestic shorthair cats was to create a friendly, mellow, and affectionate cat that enjoys spending time with their owner, leading to the Australian Mist.
Australian Mist cats are lovable, friendly cats that can turn just about anyone into a cat lover. They’re ideal for people who want affectionate, relaxed cats—rather than independent and aloof breeds—and spend a lot of time at home giving them attention.
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Featured Image Credit: Daniel Thompson, Shutterstock