Developed in 1976 by Australian-born Dr. Truda Straede through her efforts of selective breeding, the Australian Mist combines the Burmese and Abyssinian in its genetic make-up. Other short-haired domestic cats are thought to have contributed to the breed’s development, although it is uncertain which these are. The Australian Mist was originally known as the ‘Spotted Mist’ until 1998 when its name was changed, when marbled coats as opposed to purely spotted ones became permissible patterning for the breed. The breed is distinctive in appearance, and highly sought as a domestic pet due to its gentle and amiable temperament. It took nine years before the breed was officially recognised.
The breed is described as medium-sized, with a firm but slender structure. The Australian Mist boasts long legs, a thick tail and large eyes. The single coat is fine and glossy, shedding moderately, and is recognised in seven basic colour varieties – brown, chocolate, gold, caramel, peach, blue and lilac. The Burmese is believed to have contributed to the colouring of the breed, while the Abyssinian and various other domestic cats influenced its coat patterning. The Abyssinian is also credited with introducing gold to the Australian Mist’s colour spectrum. The Mist is considered a playful and highly inquisitive breed, and is not fussy when it comes to food.
Owners, breeders and enthusiasts alike value this breed for its gentle, affectionate and sociable nature. Generally docile in the domestic setting, the Australian Mist is a suitable breed choice for families with young children – it is so gentle that small groups of male cats can be housed together without the threat of aggression. The breed enjoys interaction with its owner and family, and is highly compatible with other house pets when introduced to them gradually. Typically, a healthy Australian Mist will weigh 8-12 pounds, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. As with most cat breeds, it is not uncommon for the Mist to outlive this expectancy.
Generally very healthy and resilient like the Burmese, the Australian Mist is a long-lived breed with no breed-specific or genetic health conditions being documented with any great prevalence.