What kind of cat is Garfield?

garfield the cat photo
Photo by JD Hancock

Garfield is one of the most famous felines in the world. Since creator Jim Davis first started drawing the the lasagna-loving, Monday-hating cat, Garfield has morphed into a worldwide phenomenon.

He’s the star of hundreds of comic strips and two feature-films.

For those whose cat mania doesn’t stretch to on-sight identification, Garfield is an orange tabby cat.

The word tabby doesn’t describe a certain breed of cat, but instead refers to the markings on the fur.

It’s a descriptor of a cat with a patterned coat; Classic, Mackerel, Ticked, and Spotted are often referred to as the main types of tabbies.

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They can range from having very clear stripes, to whorls, to spots. Adding to the variety of coats, tabbies can be buff, brown, black, or orange. In short, many domestic cats fall under the label of “tabby.”

garfield the cat photo
Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

Garfield, with his orange coat and distinct black stripes, is frequently identified as an Exotic Shorthair. They are identifiable by their pronounced markings and broad faces.

They have very round eyes, rounded ears that are slightly pointed at the tip, and compact bodies, giving them a teddy bear-like appearance.

Their short, stocky legs and plush fur can make them seem more rotund than their actual bodies are.

 

About Exotic Shorthair Cats

Exotic Shorthairs are the result of breeding Persians and American Shorthairs.

They are sometimes called “the lazy-man’s Persian” because their shorter, denser coats require less maintenance than their purebred Persian relatives’ do.

Their fur doesn’t tangle and owners can get away with less-frequent grooming.

They are know to be quiet animals, rarely vocal, and are relatively difficult to disturb. They seem to exist in a state of general contentment and are peaceful, sweet cats.

orange exotic shorthair cat photo
Photo by woofiegrrl

Exotic Shorthairs are a very friendly breed, often following owners around from room to room.

Though Garfield has a sarcastic, pessimistic streak, he does share the observational trait common to cats of his breed.

They’re very intelligent, love interactive play, and seek out affection.

The playfulness of the breed is derived from its American Shorthair parentage. This trait is visible in Garfield’s pranks against Odie and interactions with Jon.

 

Typically, Exotic Shorthairs are gentle and mild-mannered.

They are also known for their easygoing nature, a quality that Davis played up in creating the very lazy disposition of Garfield.

orange exotic shorthair cat photo
Photo by theilr

Looking at photos of orange Exotic Shorthairs, it’s easy to imagine a real-life version of Garfield.

His chubby belly, short legs, and round eyes, combined with his short, striped, orange coat, are hallmark Exotic Shorthair traits.

Though where his particular penchant for lasagna comes from is unknown. In all of the literature on Exotic Shorthairs, there’s no mention of Italian food.

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