The breed was developed by crossing breeds such as the Burmese and Abyssinian to create a new shorthaired breed with a spotted coat. The original breeder was called Truda Straede and in 1977, she submitted a plan to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW to develop a truly unique Australian breed of domestic cat. Her plan was to use Burmese for the brown, blue, chocolate and lilac colours and Abyssinian for the ticked or agouti pattern. Her aim was to produce ghost spotted Burmese and well spotted domestic cats. The first generation accepted on the Australian cat register was in 1980 and by 1986, the fourth generation had been registered. It was renamed as the Australian Mist in 1998 when marbled as well as spotted cats were accepted as part of the breed standard. It was accepted by the World Cat Federation in 2004 and by the American Cat Fanciers Association in 2011.
The breed has spread from Australia with a few cats now being bred in the UK and other countries. The first UK breeder was Mary Stuart who brought two pregnant females to the UK in 2007 and within two years with other imports, there was a colony of around 100 of the cats. A similar program is currently being worked on in Norway and the cats are now also available in the US.
The Australian Mist is unusual among domestic breeds due to full extend of its documented breed history. Relatively accurate records have been kept since the breed was started meaning that complete genetic background can be ascertained on any cat when considering it for breeding purposes. Three new lines are currently under development with experimental breeding licenses.
Blue-Spotted Australian Mist
These cats are of medium size with a rounded head and large eyes. Their coat is very short and doesn’t have an undercoat, meaning they need very little brushing. The coat has three elements; the ground colour, which is paler than the pattern; the pattern and the appearance of a ‘misted veil’ that is caused by random areas of ticked hair amid otherwise solid areas of colour. Their legs and tail have rings or bars and both the face and neck have colour lines. As well as the spotted or marbled pattern, they are recognised in seven colours; brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, caramel, gold and peach.
As kittens, the Australian Mist tend to be very active and lively but do calm somewhat when they mature. They are very good indoor cats who are tolerant of being handled and rarely scratch people. They can even be trained to walk on a lead. They are fine with other pets and children, particularly after being neutered or spayed.
This breed of cat is also recommended for people who work from home or are housebound as they love to take part in whatever people are doing around the house but aren’t too active. They are very affectionate and friendly and are rapidly becoming a favourite with pet owners.