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Australian Mist Cat: Pictures, Care, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Australian Mist Cat on the bed

Height: 8 – 11 inches
Weight: 8 – 15 pounds
Lifespan: 15 – 18 years
Colors: Blue, brown, caramel, chocolate, gold, lilac, and peach
Suitable for: Families with children, seniors, apartments
Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, energetic as kittens, lazy, even-tempered, sociable, patient

Truda Straede, an Australian doctor, first started developing the Australian Mist in the mid-1970s.1 Due to restrictions on allowing cats to roam outside in Australia, Straede wanted to develop a breed of cat that was more than happy to spend their time indoors. Over 9 years, she crossbred Burmese, Abyssinian, and other domestic shorthair breeds, including the Australian Domestic Tabby, to create a breed that mixed the best traits of each.

Along with their willingness to stay indoors, the Australian Mist is one of the most sociable and affectionate cats around. Their patience, even temper, and sociability make them great companions for families with young children and other pets. They’re also not known for scratching or getting into trouble and are considered to have a docile and gentle nature.

While the Australian Mist has been a member of the Australian championship registries since 1986, they were only accepted into the TICA championships in 2014. They’re still a relatively new breed, particularly in the U.K. and U.S.A., and it can be difficult to find them outside of their homeland.

Australian Mist Kittens — Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Australian Mist Kittens?

The Australian Mist might have been introduced to both the U.S.A. and the U.K., but they’re still not a popular breed in those areas. Their rarity makes them difficult to find, and although they’re not one of the most expensive breeds, they can still cost anywhere between $800 and $1,200. That said, if you go to a breeder, this price will cover the pedigree papers, vaccinations, health checks, and spaying or neutering.

It’s also difficult to find breeders outside of Australia. The Australian Mist wasn’t introduced to the U.S.A. until 2011, 4 years after they made their way to the U.K. While they’re slowly growing in popularity, you should thoroughly research the breeders whom you are considering buying from to make sure they’re trustworthy.

You might be able to find these cats in shelters and rescues, but this can be a challenge. Adoption fees are often cheaper than reputable breeders, though.

Also, remember to consider the ongoing costs of owning a cat, whether you adopt or buy from a breeder. Food, pet insurance, toys, and regular veterinary visits are all important necessities to consider before you take on the responsibility of caring for a new kitten.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Australian Mist Cat

1. They Were Originally Called “Spotted Mist”

When the Australian Mist was first introduced, they only had a spotted pattern on their coats. The marbled patterning came much later in 1998, and the breed’s name was changed to Australian Mist to better cover both acceptable patterns. They also hold the honor of being Australia’s National Cat, so their new name suits them to a T.

2. Their Adult Coloring Takes 2 Years to Fully Develop

Unlike many other cat breeds that stay mostly the same color from the day that they’re born, the Australian Mist’s coat doesn’t develop as quickly. Part of their attractiveness comes from their unique marbled or spotted patterning and colors.

It takes almost 2 years for these cats to properly grow into their adult coats. For owners, part of the fun is finding out what their cat looks like all grown up.

3. Australian Mist Cats Are Homebodies

While most cats want to explore the outside world, the Australian Mist was bred to be a house cat through and through. While they love to sit at a window and watch the birds visit your backyard, they’re more than happy to stay indoors instead of venturing out into the wilderness.

It’s often the best place for them too. They’re generally sedate and gentle and might not be inclined to defend themselves if they get into trouble outdoors.

Australian Mist Cat on white background
Australian Mist Cat on white background (Image Credit: Regis2007 via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Temperament & Intelligence of the Australian Mist Cat

Unlike many other cat breeds, the Australian Mist was deliberately bred for their suitability as house cats to suit the restrictions that many Australian states have on free-roaming felines. This focused breeding encouraged the development of people-pleasing traits over the desire to explore and cause mischief. Their docile nature also makes them more suited for staying safe indoors rather than trawling the streets.

The Australian Mist also inherited plenty of intelligence from their Abyssinian ancestor. You should be prepared for energetic kittens figuring out how to get into cupboards and causing mischief before they grow out of their playfulness.

In general, they’re happy to spend time with their human companions and are more than willing to let you know when they want something. They’re also more inclined to laze around rather than climb the walls like many other breeds.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

In general, the Australian Mist is highly tolerant of many things that some other cats aren’t. Their patience gives them a unique ability to put up with all kinds of mischief from even young children, and the breed rarely resorts to scratching to show their displeasure.

Gentleness aside, the Australian Mist still deserves respect and can benefit from you properly teaching young children to be gentle with these cats in return.

Overall, the breed is highly affectionate and loves to spend time with people, young or old. They enjoy playtime and long naps but might not do well left alone for too long during the day. Their indoor-only nature makes them perfect for apartments that allow pets.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The Australian Mist’s even-tempered nature doesn’t just extend to their human companions. They’re known to be easy-going with other pets too, including other cats and dogs.

You can help make their adjustment to new pets easier by socializing them when they’re kittens and taking steps to introduce any new, four-legged, family members slowly. Plenty of reassurance, patience, and positive reinforcement can help encourage your pets to get along.

Things to Know When Owning an Australian Mist Cat

Compared to some other cat breeds, the Australian Mist doesn’t take much work to look after. Plenty of company, cuddles, and treats are more than enough to keep these lovable couch potatoes happy. But there are still a few things to remember when it comes to keeping up with the responsibility of looking after this breed.

Food & Diet Requirements

High-quality cat food — dry or canned — is the best choice for the Australian Mist. Tailor the amount that your cat eats to take into account their intake of treats and activity levels. By adjusting their food in this way, you can help prevent the development of obesity. Fresh, clean water should be accessible at all times.

You can give your Australian Mist small amounts of certain fruits and vegetables on special occasions. These treats can spice up their usual meals and give them an extra health boost. Remember that cats are obligate carnivores, and plant-based treats shouldn’t become a major part of your cat’s diet.

Exercise 🐕

As a kitten, the Australian Mist is known for their high energy levels and desire to play. Most of the breed grows out of their excitable playfulness, though, which allows them to lean more toward their patient nature.

It’s good to encourage plenty of activity throughout the day to prevent obesity, especially in older cats. As they are bred to be house cats and have a happy-to-cuddle temperament, your Australian Mist can easily nap the day away.

Australian mist cat lying on tiled floor
Image Credit: icon0com, pxhere

Training 🎾

The Australian Mist inherited their intelligence from the Abyssinian. It’s this trait that makes them relatively easy to train, especially with dedication on your part and plenty of positive reinforcement.

Training can be a great way to spend quality time with your Australian Mist and encourage them to get exercise. You can also teach them to walk on a leash so you can both get fresh air.

Grooming ✂️

Short-haired and low shedding, the Australian Mist doesn’t require much grooming. Brushing them once a week is more than enough to keep them looking their best and to remove any dirt or dust that may set off any skin allergies.

Setting up a scratching post in easy reach of your cat will help them keep their claws in top condition. You should also check their ears and teeth regularly to make sure they’re free from dirt and plaque buildup, respectively.

Australian Mist sitting on stone steps
Australian Mist sitting on stone steps (Image Credit: kitty.green66 via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Health and Conditions 🏥

Considering the size of the Australian Mist’s gene pool — with their Burmese, Abyssinian, and Domestic Spotted tabby ancestry — it’s no surprise that this breed is one of the healthiest there is. They’re not known to have many genetic conditions either, though that doesn’t mean they’re immune to them.

While most of the conditions affecting the Australian Mist are considered minor, some can develop into more serious issues if left untreated. Gingivitis, for example, is curable but can develop into periodontitis if it isn’t diagnosed and treated properly.

Serious Conditions

Male vs. Female

There is often not much difference between male and female cats of any breed. The Australian Mist is laidback and affectionate no matter what sex they are. If you’re not planning to breed your Australian Mist, getting them spayed and neutered can help reduce any behavior brought on by hormones.

Most of all, remember that all cats have their own unique personalities. Male or female, your Australian Mist is bound to curl up in your heart and stay there.

Final Thoughts

With their limited availability outside Australia, the Australian Mist isn’t one of the most well-known cat breeds in the world. What they lose in popularity, though, they make up for in their affection toward their family members, human or otherwise.

Bred specifically to be house cats, the Australian Mist are calm, patient, and even-tempered. They suit families with young children and seniors who spend much of their time at home. As they age, their kittenish playfulness mellows out into an easy-going temperament and a love for cuddles. They are calm and endearing and are perfectly suited for life in a house or tiny apartment.


Featured Image Credit: Mihail Tyagunov, Shutterstock

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