What Kind of Cat Is Garfield?

Last Updated on: September 14, 2020

There are few cats as well-known or as beloved as Garfield. This fat orange cat has brightened people’s days with his surly attitude since 1978, and he’s inspired books, TV shows, and even a few movies.

He also inspired us to ask a simple question: Just what kind of cat is he?

You might think that the answer would be easy to find, but it’s surprisingly difficult!

Below, we’ll lay out everything that we know about this chubby kitty before finally sharing our groundbreaking conclusion.

garfield
Image Credit: Jameson / CC BY-SA

What Do We Know About Garfield?

Thanks to all the literature, media, and suction cup art that’s been produced featuring Garfield, we have a wealth of information on him. So much so, in fact, that we were able to compile a dossier on the big fella.

Sex: Male
Age: Unknown
Weight: Big
Known Associates: Jon Arbuckle (owner); Odie (brother); Nermal (nephew?); Arlene (on-again/off-again girlfriend); Binky the Clown (TV personality); various aunts, uncles, and cousins (mostly deceased)
Hobbies: Eating lasagna, sleeping, not exercising, being mean to Odie
Pet Peeves: Mondays, other living things, diets, raisins, spiders, RX-2 the talking scale
Appearance: Orange with black stripes on back, pointy ears, big eyes, giant eyelids

After reviewing our dossier, it seems like we’re no closer to determining the type of cat he is. Maybe it would be better if we looked at two of the breeds most commonly cited as matching Garfield’s description.

Exotic Shorthair

exotic shorthair
Image Credit: Heikki Siltala, Wikimedia Commons

Exotic shorthair cats are basically Persians with a short coat. They have Persian features, especially in the face, but their bodies are dissimilar.

That’s fairly in keeping with Garfield’s general aesthetic. He does have exotic features, and his rotund torso in no way resembles a Persian’s.

But exotic shorthairs are calm, gentle, agile, and playful. They love being held and spending time with their owners.

Garfield is none of those things. He’s reactive and mean-spirited and has all the agility of a bowling ball. We can’t imagine Jon trying to pick him up, much less wanting to spend time with him.

Let’s hope there are more options because we can’t imagine why anyone would think Garfield is an exotic shorthair.

Tabby

tabby
Image Credit: Tomas Andreopoulos, Pexels

A tabby isn’t a breed of cat, per se; rather, it refers to any cat that has distinct marks on their coat. This could be spots, stripes, swirls, or whatever it is that’s going on with Garfield.

This gives us leeway to work with. However, tabbies run into the same problems of exotic shorthairs, namely, the fact that they’re friendly and playful.

However, they have one thing going for them that the exotics do not: a reputation for being bossy. Garfield is nothing if not that; he’s constantly telling Jon, Odie, and the various mice in his house what to do.

Tabby seems like a better fit for Garfield than exotic shorthair did, but it’s still not a perfect match.Cat ball divider 1

Let’s Cut to the Chase — What Kind of Cats Love Lasagna?

As it turns out, many cats do. After all, it’s full of meat. Just about any cat would be happy to scarf down a bit of your lasagna.

That doesn’t mean you should share, however. Lasagna is actually one of the worst foods that you can give your cat. Here’s a quick rundown of the unsuitable ingredients in each pan:

  • Cheese: Most cats are lactose intolerant. While cheese won’t kill them, they will spend a great deal of time in their litter box for a few days.
  • Onions: Onions are toxic to cats.
  • Pasta: Pasta is filled with carbs, which is a great way to make your cat obese. Maybe Garfield was based on a true story after all!
  • Garlic: This is also toxic.
  • Tomato Sauce: Tomatoes are toxic as well!

Not only are we no closer to solving the mystery, but we’ve learned that Garfield shouldn’t be eating entire pans of lasagna, either.

Which Cats Hate Mondays?

This is a trick question, as cats can’t tell one day of the week from another.

They manage to get around it, though, by seemingly hating every single day of the week equally.

What Did Jim Davis Say?

Now might be a good time to consult the ultimate source: Jim Davis, the creator and illustrator of the Garfield comic strips.

According to Davis, Garfield was actually an amalgamation of every single cat that he could remember from his childhood.

3 cat face dividerThe Verdict: Garfield Is Whatever Kind of Cat You Want Him to Be

Jim Davis might be the ultimate authority on this matter, since it’s hard to pinpoint an exact breed that would fit Garfield to a T.

As a result, we’re going to give you permission to say that Garfield is whatever kind of cat that you want him to be. We’re sure that’s fine with him — anything that doesn’t require him to get out of bed usually gets his seal of approval.


Featured Image Credit: Evelyn Jung, Shutterstock