The Australian Mist started its development with Dr Truda Strade in New South Wales, Australia. Dr Straede used over 30 foundation cats to establish the gene pool for this cat that has essentially become the national cat of Australia. To achieve this ideal cat, Dr Straede interbred the Burmese, Abyssinian and Australian domestic tabby cats.
The Burmese, forming a 50% of the gene pool, contributed to the physical conformation, coat color and the temperament of the breed. The Abyssinian gave the ticked and veiled mist appearance of the coat while domestic tabbies contributed the vitality of health and the stunning spots of the cat, as well as offsetting the tendency of early maturity seen in Burmese.
After years of development through selective breeding, the Australian Mist now breeds true and cross breeding with the original breeds is no longer necessary to maintain the standard. It has become the first breed to have developed entirely in Australia. The first litter of kittens was produced in 1980 and was known as Spotted Mist. During the same period, cats with marble patterned coat were accepted into the breed standard which then led to the change of name to Australian Mist.
The breed was first introduced to the United Kingdom in 2007 by Mary Stuart. Stuart promoted and developed the breed, and within two years, there were about 200 Australian Mist in the U.K. The United States and Norway have also shown interest in the breed and started their own breeding program, according to the standards set in Australia.
The Australian Mist has been accepted by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in October 2011 and is now considered to be one of the latest cat breeds to have gained recognition in the U.K.
Physical appearance and attributes
The Australian Mist breed is a medium sized breed that weighs an average of between 8 – 13 pounds. It looks heavier than it appears with a muscular body as well as a broad and rounded chest. The legs are well proportionate to its body with the hind legs appearing longer than the forelegs. They taper into neat oval paws. It has a complementing tail that is thick with minimal taper.
Head of the Australian Mist is broad and slightly rounded with a broad breath between the ears. Viewed in profile, a gentle curve can be traced between the brow line and the tip of the nose. The nose is broad but balanced with a firm chin and strong whisker pads. It has a medium to large pair of ears that is wide at the base and tapers into a rounded tip. A slight forward tilt is evident, but the outline of the ears continues the modified wedge shape of the head. Australian Mist has large, lustrous eyes that are set wide apart. The upper lid is of a straight outline while the lower lid is curved. Eye colors come in any shades of green. The brilliance and intensity of the color matures with age.
Australian Mist wears a short, glossy and resilient coat. The coat can come in a variety of colors such as brown, blue, caramel, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon or fawn. Each of the colors is set against a warmer tone of ground color. Coat pattern can either be spotted or marbled. Spotted pattern is random and comes in any sizes and shapes. The ticking trait of the coat also creates a misted veil effect, giving the coat its satiny luster.
Personality and temperament
The Australian Mist has been described as a people-loving, friendly and affectionate cat. It is an ideal family pet due to its highly tolerant and adaptable nature. It makes a good companion for children as well as seniors. It is a gentle yet lively cat, thriving on human contact and always wanting to be part of the family activities. It loves cuddles and needs company. With its sociable nature, the Australian Mist is ready and happy to live alongside other pets that are friendly and tolerant towards it.
Care and health issues
This is a generally hearty breed with no known hereditary or genetic health issues and having an average lifespan of 15 years or slightly longer. An annual vaccination will help against common feline ailments. It is also advisable to obtain a written health guarantee when purchasing the cat.
Grooming is easy as the coat needs only a weekly brushing to remove dead hairs and distribute skin oil. Frequent teeth brushing with vet-approved toothpaste as well as regular nail trimming will help in the overall good hygiene. Also, check the ears regularly for the redness and odors that might indicate an infection.
The ideal home
This cat can be suited for indoor living. Outdoor spaces will be ideal for exploration and fun, but needs to be safe and escape-proof. The adaptable and sociable Australian Mist can be suited for most types of household. It can tolerate children’s handling, provided that they know how to handle it with gentleness and care. However, it does not tolerate solitude and would need the family to set aside the time to care and play with it. The excellent temperament and personality of the Australian Mist far outweighs its moderate physicality, making it a charming and endearing pet to have around the home.