Australian Mist Shorthair Cats (aka Spotted Mist)
The Australian Mist (formerly known as the Spotted Mist) is a breed of cat developed in Australia.
This breed was developed by Dr Truda Straede in Australia commencing in 1976, hence its name. The breed was developed by crossing the Burmese, Abyssinian, and Domestic shorthair cats to create a shorthaired cat with a spotted coat. The name was changed from ‘Spotted Mist’ to ‘Australian Mist’ in 1998 when cats with marbled coats, rather than spots, were accepted as part of the breed.
Australian Mists are medium-sized shorthaired cats, with a round head and large, expressive eyes. The coat patterns have three levels of definition; (1) ground colour, paler than pattern; (2) pattern, delicate though distinct from ground colour; (3) appears to wear a misted veil, caused by random ticking in the solid colour areas. The legs and tail are ringed or barred, and the face and neck also have delicate lines of colour.
They make perfect pets for children of all ages, even very young ones, as they are tolerant of handling, and are not inclined to scratch. As kittens they are lively, but sober up a little on maturity. Their life expectancy is in the mid to late teens.
Australian Mists thrive on human contact, making them happy to remain indoors between dusk and dawn or to be wholly indoor pets, an advantage as most people now prefer to keep their pets indoors. This also protects native wildlife.
Some Mists can be trained to go for walks on a lead.
Their tendency to crawl into the nearest lap with or without invitation and to constantly hang around to see what people are up to, makes them excellent companions for home workers and those house bound due to illness or disability. Desexed cats and kittens fit in easily with all sorts of cats and dogs. Selective breeding has further enhanced these qualities, creating a truly companionable pet, which quickly becomes a member of the family.
As a relatively new breed, most Australian Mist catteries are in Australia, however there are a few in the U.K. and some desexed cats have been introduced to America and several other countries. The UK breeder who brought the First Australian Mist cats to the UK was Mary Stuart. Two pregnant queens arrived in the UK in February 2007. From those initial queens and a further imported mature male stud boy and one other unrelated queen in August 2007 a colony of over 100 cats was achieved within two years in the UK. By July 2010 when a further six cats had been imported into the UK from Australia there was the chance to widen the gene pool and offer healthy, happy, genetically sound kittens to pet buyers within the UK and the US. Breeding cats have been sent to Norway where two breeders are currently working to get them recognised with FIFE.
The breed is now accepted for Championship status by the World Cat Federation. It gained preliminary recognition with the GCCF in October 2011. The Australian Mist celebrated 20 years as a Championship breed in Australia during 2006.