We’ve all seen those beautiful two-colored and tricolored cats that are simply impossible to resist, but did you know they have a name? These unique felines are called Harlequin cats, and they’re sure to capture your heart once you see one.
These friendly and playful kitties make for wonderful furry friends and don’t even get us started on how beautiful they are. Since Harlequin is not a single breed, it can be pretty challenging to exactly identify what makes a Harlequin cat, but we’re here to help you understand it.
In this article, we’ll find out what exactly makes a Harlequin cat, explore some different breeds, and see what sets them apart from the rest of the feline world. We’ll help you understand what’s a typical Harlequin really like, so you can decide for yourself if you’d like to bless your life with one. Let’s begin!
What makes a Harlequin cat?
So, what makes Harlequin cats so unique, you may be wondering. For starters, there are around ten genes that define the colors and patterns of these beautiful kitties. Their fur is predominately white, with spots of another color spread over their body and head.
Now, the classification of a Harlequin cat can be a bit difficult, and it depends on the ratio of white to color. They’re categorized by this white spotting scale:
- Low-grade: when less than 40% of the feline’s fur is white
- Medium-grade: when around 40-60% of the feline’s fur is white
- High-grade: when more than 60% of the feline’s fur is white.
In order for a kitty to be considered a Harlequin cat, Fédération Internationale Féline states that she should be 50-75% white with different color patches on her body, head, or tail.
Color combinations for Harlequin cats
When it comes to Harlequin cats, white felines with a few black patches are the most common ones. However, there are many other combinations that make these kitties so unique. Some of the most common ones are:
- Cinnamon (or light brown) and white
- Chocolate (or brown) and white
- Blue (or gray) and white
- Red and white
- Cream and white
- Lavender and white
- Fawn and white.
Some of the most popular Harlequin cat breeds
Since Harlequin cats aren’t a single breed, but rather a color variation across different ones, we should look into some of the most popular feline breeds that have this coat pattern. Who knows, maybe you find your next cuddle buddy in the list below.
1. Colorpoint Shorthair
We’re starting off strong, with one of the most unique cat breeds you can have. The Colorprint Shorthair looks like she comes from a different planet, and we love her because of it. This unique fur baby was created by mixing an American Shorthair with a Siamese cat, creating a perfect combo of both.
Because of their origin, these kitties are pretty similar to the Siamese, both in their looks and their character. The main distinction between them is in the color. Colorpoint Shorthairs have shades that are quite different from the four most common Siamese colors: lilac, blue, seal, and chocolate.
These kitties are loving, and sociable, and love to spend some quality time with their favorite humans. Because they’re so outgoing, they’re known as one of the most extroverted felines out there.
2. Japanese Bobtail
Coming all the way from Japan, the Japanese Bobtails are domestic kitties with a long history and a pretty unique feature – their short tails. This is a result of a natural mutation and it makes them absolutely adorable. Every cat parent who has one of these beauties can tell you how intelligent, playful, and active they can be.
If you’re someone who plans on spending a lot of time with their furry companion, a Japanese Bobtail might be the best kitty for you. They’re very outgoing and sociable, and they require a lot of human interaction. They also get along pretty well with other pets and kids, making them perfect for big families.
They’re usually light to medium brown in color, with black markings on their coats, and adorable white bellies. How could we resist them?
3. Munchkin Cat
Our favorite feature when it comes to Munchkin cats has to be their adorable short legs. Since it’s their most prominent feature, a lot of people aren’t aware that they can also have a Harlequin-patterned fur.
These fluffers are a relatively new breed in the feline world, as they were first developed in the early 90s. Although they’re now crossed with a variety of other breeds, the original cross was between a Siamese cat and a short-legged domesticated one.
These wonderful purrers are pretty mischievous and lively, and they’re sure to bring a lot of fun and excitement into your life. Although they love playing, Munchkins are also pretty loving cats that will spend a lot of time purring in your lap.
4. Norwegian Forest Cat
We had to include at least one long-haired breed to make this list complete. The Norwegian Forest cat has a long, fluffy coat that helps her stay warm during cold Norwegian winters. Since their fur comes in a variety of different patterns and colors, they make one of the most beautiful Harlequin cats out there.
These majestic felines enjoy being around people and they’re pretty sociable. Although they love spending time with people, they’re not huge fans of attention. Although their fluffy coats make us want to cuddle them all they long, they’re not lapcats.
Since they originate from Norway’s cold woods, these beauties are great hunters. Because of that, most of them enjoy playing fetch and other games.
5. Persian Cats
And, lastly, the majestic Persian cats. This ancient cat breed is one of the most popular ones today, and for a good reason. Their classic long coats and adorable noses make the impossible to resist.
These old-school kitties come in a variety of patterns and colors. The most popular variations include white, van, black, and harlequin. Because of their beautiful and unique appearance, they’ve been stealing the hearts of many since the 16th century.
Not only are these majestic felines beautiful, but they also have a wonderful, docile temperament. They truly are a full package! They’re typically pretty calm, silent, and chill kitties that won’t make too much trouble in your home. However, even though they’re pretty laid-back, they don’t like being alone.
If you plan on getting a Persian kitty, make sure you don’t leave her alone for a long period. They get attached to their favorite humans pretty easily and quickly become anxious and sad if you don’t spend enough time with them. They’re loyal and devoted, and they expect the same from you.