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Australian Mist

Height: 7 – 9 inches
Weight: 8 – 15 pounds
Lifespan: 15 – 18 years
Colors: Peach, chocolate, lilac, gold, blue, brown, caramel
Suitable for: Subdued families, those looking for an indoor-only cat
Temperament: Affectionate, social, easygoing, tolerant, mellow, needy

Anyone who dislikes cats can quickly run off a laundry list of things they find disagreeable about the animals: they’re moody, they scratch too much, they only want affection on their terms, and so on.

None of that is true of the Australian Mist. These cats are endlessly tolerant, loving, and affectionate, and they’re experts at winning over even the most dedicated cat hater.

A mixture of Burmese, Abyssinian, and other domesticated short-haired cats, the Australian Mist is a relatively new breed, dating back to only 1975. As a result, they’re not as well-known as some other breeds, so if you’d like to learn more about these wonderful animals, the guide below will fill you in on all the key details.

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Australian Mist Kittens – Before You Buy…

Australian Mist kittens
Image Credit: OrangeGroup, Shutterstock
Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Australian Mists, like virtually every other cat breed, are unbelievably adorable as kittens. However, their general demeanor can be misleading, so it’s best if you know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time.

These cats stay very kitten-like throughout their entire lives, with one big exception: they’re extremely active and lively as kittens but become much more mellow as they age.

As a result, if you want a cat that’s always interested in running around and playing, the Australian Mist may not be the best for you. However, if you want a docile pet that’s content just to sit around soaking up affection all day, you can’t do much better.

Even as kittens, though, they’re happy to cuddle up next to you or get picked up for some lovin’. They’re much more accepting of being handled than most other cats, so you can pick them up without having your hands shredded along the way.

Their docile nature means they should be kept indoors at all times, as they’re not suited for the rough-and-tumble outdoor life. That’s good news for the wildlife in your area — and also good news for anyone who doesn’t enjoy finding a dead mouse in their shoes every morning.

What’s the Price of Australian Mist Kittens?

Australian Mist cats aren’t as easy to find as many other breeds, which can drive the price for kittens up accordingly. Generally speaking, you can find a kitten for anywhere from $700 to $1,000.

There are certainly more expensive breeds out there, especially if you’re looking to show your cat. Australian Mists aren’t accepted by all the breed-governing bodies, so they’re not the best choice for showing.

The good news about that is that it sets a hard cap on how much you’ll be expected to pay for one of these cats. You won’t find a cat with super-premium bloodlines that can command top dollar for their offspring.

If you decide to buy one of these cats, do your homework first. Check the breeder’s references, and try to visit their facilities in person if you can. Make sure the cats are properly taken care of and are given plenty of space and clean quarters.

You can also look for an Australian Mist at your local animal shelter or from dedicated rescue groups. They’ll likely be hard to find, but if you’re dedicated enough, you may be able to track one down at a much lower price (and save a life along the way).

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3 Little-Known Facts About Australian Mists

1. Their personality is no accident.

These cats were bred by an Australian doctor named Truda Straede in 1975. She combined Burmese, Abyssinians, and over 30 other short-haired cats to make the Australian Mist.

The idea was to create a mellow, easygoing cat that was okay with being picked up and content to stay indoors at all times. Dr. Straede was certainly successful on all counts, as these cats are perfectly happy being cooped up in your house, soaking up your physical affection all day.

2. They were originally known as the “Spotted Mist.”

In the early days of the breed, only cats with spotted coats were considered official members. That all changed in 1998 when marbled Australian Mists became acceptable.

Of course, this necessitated a name change, and the natural thing to do was honor their country of origin.

3. They’re extremely hard to find outside Australia.

The breed was developed in Australia, and most breeders remain there today. It’s extremely hard to find Australian Mist breeders anywhere else.

Breeding pairs weren’t introduced in the United States until 2011, and these actually came from the U.K., which only got the cats in 2007. These cats are growing in popularity, so it shouldn’t be long until they’re easier to find, but as it stands right now, you might have your work cut out for you.

Australian Mist Cat_Daniel Thompson_shutterstock
Credit: Daniel Thompson, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Australian Mist

The Australian Mist’s temperament is the breed’s biggest selling point. Simply put, they’re one of the friendliest, most easygoing cat breeds on the planet.

These cats care about one thing and one thing only: soaking up as much affection from you as they can. They don’t mind being handled, so long as it ends in plenty of pets and cuddles from you.

Their need for affection means they can be quite codependent as well. They need plenty of attention, or else they can become depressed, morose, and destructive. If you don’t have the ability to spend lots of time with your cat, you should find a more independent breed.

Australian Mists are intelligent cats, and they can quickly figure things out without much help from you. However, their intelligence may not be as apparent as it is with other breeds because they won’t necessarily do much with it.

That means that, while they can figure out how to get into the treat cabinet, they may not have the motivation necessary to actually get up and do it. It can be quite nice for you, but it also means that you may never see the full breadth of their intelligence.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

There may not be a better family cat on the planet than the Australian Mist. These cats love to be around people, and they’ll happily follow around whichever member of the family happens to be available at the time.

They’re fantastic with kids, as they don’t mind being picked up and carried. They’re not likely to tear up your poor child’s arms or face — but, like any cat, they will protect themselves if mistreated, so be sure to teach your kid the proper way to handle a cat.

Due to their laid-back nature, Australian Mists are excellent pets for seniors or those with mobility issues. You won’t have to try to keep up with this cat, as they’ll be glued to your side every time you sit down.

They may not be a good fit for single people, though, unless that person is home most of the time. They have high attention needs, and it’s unfair to keep one of these cats home alone all the time.

Australian Mists were bred to be indoor-only, so they can do just as well in apartments as houses. Don’t let your cat wander around outside, as they’re simply not built for the rigors of the outside world.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Australian Mists are famously tolerant of other pets. They get along well with other cats, although they may be too laid-back to make great playmates. They’d much rather lounge around than chase a ball or bat a feather around.

They’ll even get along with dogs. They do especially well with laid-back pups that enjoy cuddling as much as they do. However, their trusting nature could get them in trouble if the dog has a high prey drive, so be careful about which breeds you pair with your Australian Mist.

Since Australian Mists aren’t the greatest predators in the world, you can even have pets like birds and hamsters around. You still don’t want to leave them unattended with your cat, but they have the best survival odds with an Australian Mist around.

Australian Mist
Image Credit: kitty.green66, Flickr

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Things to Know When Owning an Australian Mist:

Australian Mists are very low-maintenance pets, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things about them that you should know.

Given how rare the breed is in the U.S., it’s understandable if you’ve never come across an Australian Mist, much less owned one. Below, we’ll show you some things to keep in mind after you bring one of these cats home.

Food & Diet Requirements

Like all cats, Australian Mists are obligate carnivores, so the overwhelming majority of their diet needs to be made up of meat. Chicken, turkey, and fish are all excellent choices –– but be careful that the food you choose doesn’t use animal by-products, as they use low-grade cuts of meat.

High-quality fruits and veggies are a nice touch, as they can provide antioxidants and other important nutrients, though you should make sure they don’t take up too much room in the formula. Ideally, they should be well down the ingredients list, past several different protein sources.

You may decide to feed them a raw diet instead. This can be great for your cat in terms of both taste and nutrition, but if you’re not careful, you could omit important vitamins and minerals, so run your menu past your vet before you begin.

Be careful not to overfeed your cat, either. Obesity is horrible for their health, so you want to keep them slim and trim. This can be difficult, given their sedentary lifestyle, so managing their portion sizes is the easiest way to keep their weight under control.

Feed them portion-controlled meals on a regular schedule rather than letting them free-feed. Also, don’t go overboard on the treats and table scraps, as they’re much more calorie-dense than kibble.

Australian Mist Cat breed
Image Credit: Daniel Thompson, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐈

While they’re kittens, Australian Mists are just as lively and excitable as other breeds. They’ll tear around your house at odd hours and chase after anything that moves.

Once they mature, though, they become much more sedate. This can make your life much easier, but it also means that it’s more difficult to get them the exercise they need.

That doesn’t mean they won’t play. They’ll still chase a string or bat around a ball, but usually, they’ll only do it if you initiate the play session. They’re not going to just start playing randomly.

You need to stay on top of this because they need exercise the same as any other cat does. If you don’t get them up and moving, it can shorten their lifespan and increase their risk of becoming overweight.

It can be very easy to let their exercise needs fall by the wayside, as it’s always nice to just sit and chill with your cat rather than convince them to race around the house. You still need to do it, though, because it will be much better for their health in the long run.

 

Training 🧶

Given their advanced intelligence, Australian Mists are relatively easy to train. They’re natural people-pleasers, so they’ll likely be more than happy to do whatever you ask of them.

However, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to teach them to do more than what they’re naturally predisposed to do, at least in terms of tricks. For example, you can teach them to roll over if they already enjoy showing you their belly, but it’s hard to convince them to start that behavior from scratch.

The good news is that teaching them to use the litterbox and other basic behaviors should be relatively painless. You can likely teach them these behaviors in a matter of days, and they’ll give little pushback along the way.

When training your cat, always use positive reinforcement rather than more punitive techniques. Your Australian Mist will adore you, and any mistreatment from you will be devastating to the cat. If they lose their trust in you, it can lead to further misbehavior, as well as all manner of physical and emotional problems.

Grooming ✂️

Australian Mists have short, glossy coats that don’t require much in the way of maintenance. You can likely get away with just brushing them once a week, and that should be all it takes to prevent your entire home from being overrun by cat hair.

Brushing them regularly will help prevent mats and tangles from forming in their hair and reduce hairballs. Don’t neglect doing it.

They’ll need their teeth brushed and nails trimmed regularly, and you’ll also want to provide them with plenty of scratching posts so that they’re never tempted to use your furniture instead.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Like many hybrid breeds, Australian Mists are extremely healthy. They aren’t predisposed to any major illnesses, so as long as you take care of them and don’t allow them to become overweight, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Minor Conditions
  • Skin allergies
Serious Conditions
  • None

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Male vs. Female

Male and female Australian Mists are very similar in both size and temperament, so there’s little reason to choose one gender over the other.

Females might be a little more independent and males a bit more playful, but that’s certainly not a hard-and-fast rule. Either way, your cat is likely to be affectionate and needy, so you should do fine with either gender.

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Final Thoughts

Although not as well-known as many other cat breeds, the Australian Mist makes a fantastic pet. They’re extremely laid-back and lovable, and they’re perfectly content to be handled by people of all ages. If you hate getting scratched by your cat during the middle of a petting session, this is the breed for you.

However, they can be hard to find outside of Australia, and they need plenty of companionship – so don’t adopt one if you can’t spend time with it.

The Australian Mist is one of the most affectionate cats on the planet, and they make wonderful pets, even if you’re a diehard cat hater. Of course, if you hate cats, you’ll want to stay away from these animals, as they’ll melt the ice around your heart in record time.


Featured Image: Daniel Thompson, Shutterstock