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Which Cat Breed Is Snowball the Cat? (The Simpsons Cat Lore!)

Oliver Jones

By Oliver Jones

Snowball the cat - The Simpsons

If you’re a fan of the long-running animated sitcom, The Simpsons, you’ve undoubtedly seen the family’s pet cat, Snowball. But have you ever wondered about Snowball’s breed? It’s been speculated that she began as a white Persian and is now a Bombay.

However, based on her appearance, she most closely resembles a mixed-breed domestic shorthair cat. To get better insight into her breed, we will dive into the cat lore of The Simpsons, explore Snowball’s various incarnations, and compare her traits to common cat breeds to paint a fuller picture of this beloved feline character.

The Snowball Saga: A Timeline of the Simpsons’ Feline Friends

Let’s begin with the one and only original Snowball. This is the cat that started it all. Although short-lived, Snowball I has many fans to this day—some 30+ years later!

Snowball I: The Original Snowball

The first Snowball graced the Simpson household in the 1980s. She was a white cat with a small build and short fur, characteristics of a domestic shorthair or white Persian cat. Snowball I met her untimely demise when she was hit by a car, an event referenced throughout the series. The family named their subsequent cats “Snowball” in her memory.

White Snowball - The Simpsons
Image Credit: 20th Television Animation, The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Snowball II: The Most Famous Snowball

Snowball II is the most well-known of the Simpson family’s cats, having appeared in numerous episodes since her introduction in the first season. She is a black cat with yellow eyes and short fur, once again resembling a mixed-breed domestic shorthair.

Snowball II has had many adventures and misadventures alongside the Simpson family, making her a staple character in the series.

Snowball III, IV, and V: The Short-Lived Successors

In the episode “I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot,” the Simpson family experiences a string of short-lived pets named Snowball III, IV, and V. Snowball III, a Siamese, drowns in the family’s fish tank. Snowball IV, a grayish-white cat, meets her end after being frightened by Lisa’s music.

Finally, Snowball V, another black domestic shorthair, becomes the new family pet. Lisa decides to call her “Snowball II” to save money on a new personalized food dish.

Image Credit: 20th Television Animation, The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

What Cat Breed Is Snowball?

Most of Snowball’s incarnations—specifically Snowball I, II, and V—share similar physical characteristics, such as short fur, a small build, and a range of solid colors (white or black).

These traits align with those of a mixed-breed domestic shorthair. Domestic shorthairs are not a specific breed but rather a classification for cats with mixed ancestry and short fur.

black domestic shorthair
Image Credit: Pixabay

Personality and Behavior

The Simpsons portrays Snowball as an affectionate, independent, and sometimes mischievous pet. These personality traits are also common in domestic shorthair cats, which are known for their adaptability, intelligence, and playfulness.

Popularity and Prevalence

Domestic shorthairs are the most common type of cat in the United States, making up about 90-95% of the feline population. Given their prevalence, it’s unsurprising that a fictional cat like Snowball would resemble a domestic shorthair.

Honorable Mentions: Other Cat Breeds That Resemble Snowball

Because she is a cartoon character, it’s possible that Snowball is another breed entirely. Here are some possible breeds that seem fitting for the animated feline.

American Shorthair

American shorthair cat
Image Credit: Clement Morin, Shutterstock

Snowball’s physical traits also resemble those of an American shorthair, a breed known for its short, dense coat, muscular body, and wide range of coat colors. However, American shorthairs are generally larger and more solidly built than Snowball’s depiction in the series.

European Shorthair

european shorthair cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: Piqses

The European shorthair is another breed that shares similarities with Snowball. Like the American shorthair, the European shorthair has a short coat and comes in a variety of colors. This breed is also known for being intelligent, adaptable, and good-natured, traits that align with Snowball’s portrayal.

British Shorthair

silver tabby british shorthair cat lying
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

The British shorthair is yet another breed that could be comparable to Snowball, particularly in terms of appearance. This breed has a short, dense coat and is available in various colors, including black and white.

While British shorthairs are known for their calm and affectionate personalities, they typically have a more rounded, stocky build compared to Snowball.

The Cat’s Meow: Snowball’s Impact on Pop Culture

Snowball has been featured in various episodes of The Simpsons. And although she’s often a side character or makes brief appearances, there’s no denying the cat’s cultural impact on society.

Snowball-Themed Merchandise

The popularity of Snowball has led to the creation of a wide range of merchandise, from plush toys and collectible figurines to clothing and accessories. These items are popular among fans of the show and cat lovers alike

Snowball as a Symbol of The Simpsons’ Longevity

As a character that has been a part of The Simpsons since its inception, Snowball serves as a symbol of the show’s longevity and enduring appeal. The various incarnations of Snowball also represent the show’s ability to adapt and evolve while still staying true to its roots.

Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy and Safe: Lessons From Snowball’s Adventures

If there’s one lesson to be learned from The Simpsons and their time with Snowball (Snowballs?), it’s that cat care is incredibly important. Whether you have a breed of cat like Snowball or something else entirely, you need to make its health and happiness a top priority. Here’s how you can do just that:

Regular Veterinary Checkups

One of the most important aspects of maintaining your cat’s health is scheduling regular veterinary checkups. This is a must! These visits allow your vet to assess your cat’s overall health, administer necessary vaccinations, and address any potential health concerns early on.

Balanced Diet and Portion Control

Feeding your cat a balanced, age-appropriate diet is crucial for maintaining good health. Consult with your veterinarian about the best type of food for your cat’s specific needs. Additionally, be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overfeeding and obesity-related health issues.

Image Credit: Kylbabka, Shutterstock

Mental and Physical Stimulation

Cats, like Snowball, need mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Provide your cat with toys, scratching posts, and playtime to keep them engaged and active. Interactive play is not only fun for your cat but also helps strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

Safe Outdoor Exploration

If you choose to allow your cat to explore the outdoors, make sure to provide a safe environment. This may include using a cat harness and leash, building a secure outdoor enclosure, or “cat-proofing” your yard. Always supervise your cat’s outdoor time to ensure their safety.

Regular Grooming and Nail Trimming

Regular grooming helps keep your cat’s fur clean and prevents matting, especially for long-haired breeds. It also gives you a chance to check for any skin issues or parasites. Additionally, trim your cat’s nails regularly to prevent overgrowth, which can lead to discomfort and injury.

Cat groomer clips a cat's nails during a grooming session
Image Credit: Oleggg, Shutterstock

Preventive Measures Against Common Dangers

Many episodes of The Simpsons have shown Snowball encountering various dangers. To keep your cat safe, take preventive measures such as:

  • Keeping toxic substances, like cleaning products and certain plants, out of reach.
  • Ensuring windows and balconies are secure to prevent falls.
  • Providing your cat with a breakaway collar and up-to-date identification tags or a microchip in case they get lost.
  • Regularly checking your home for potential hazards, such as exposed wires or small objects that could be swallowed.

By following these tips and taking inspiration from Snowball’s adventures, you can help ensure a long, happy, and healthy life for your feline companion.


Despite her status as a fictional character, Snowball has become a beloved part of The Simpsons universe and pop culture as a whole. And while we may never truly know Snowball’s breed, her various incarnations, adventures, and merchandise have left an indelible paw print on the hearts of fans worldwide.

Featured Image Credit: 20th Television Animation, The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

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