FIFe's Easy Mind System for Cat Breeds and Colours

Note: The codes have been slightly modified, for instance so that we don't use "non" for breeds that are not recognized by the FIFe, and some breed codes might be added, for our use. Those cases, that are not completely according to FIFe's EMS system, are marked ** in the table below.

Latest update: 2017-05-25

Breed Codes

ABL = American Bobtail Longhair**
ABS = American Bobtail Shorthair**
ABY = Abyssinian
ACL = American Curl Longhair
ACS = American Curl Shorthair
AMS = American Shorthair**
AMW = American Wirehair**
ASL = Asian Longhair**
ASS = Asian Shorthair**
AUM = Australian Mist**
BAL = Balinese
BEN = Bengal
BML = Burmilla
BOL = Bombay Longhair**
BOS = Bombay Shorthair**
BRI = British Shorthair
BRL = British Longhair
BRX = Bohemian Rex**
BUR = Burmese
CEY = Ceylon**
CHA = Chartreuse
CLS = California Spangled**
CRX = Cornish Rex
CYM = Cymric
DOM = Domestic cat, no breed**
DRX = Devon Rex
DSP = Don Sphynx
EUR = European Shorthair
EXO = Exotic Shorthair
GRX = German Rex
HCL = Domestic cat, longhaired
HCS = Domestic cat, shorthaired
JBT = Japanese Bobtail
KBL = Kurilean Bobtail Longhair
KBS = Kurilean Bobtail Shorthair
KMA = Khao Manee**
KOR = Korat
LPL = La Perm Longhair**
LPS = La Perm Shorthair**
MAN = Manx
MAU = Egyptian Mau
MCO = Maine Coon
MNL = Munchkin, longhaired variety**
MNS = Munchkin, shorthaired variety**
NBL = Nebelung**
NBS = Nebelung, shorthaired variety**
NEM = Neva Masquerade (=colourpoint SIB)
NFO = Norwegian Forest Cat
OCI = Ocicat
OLH = Oriental Longhair
OSH = Oriental Shorthair
PBL = Pixie-Bob Longhair**
PBS = Pixie-Bob Shorthair**
PEB = Peterbald
PER = Persian
RAG = Ragdoll
RMF = Ragamuffin
RUS = Russian Blue, but we also use this code for Russian type cats of other colours than blue**
SAV = Savannah**
SBI = Birman
SFL = Scottish Fold Longhair**
SFS = Scottish Fold Shorthair**
SIA = Siamese
SIB = Siberian
SIN = Singapura**
SNO = Snowshoe
SOK = Sokoke
SOM = Somali
SPH = Sphynx
SRL = Selkirk Rex Longhair**
SRS = Selkirk Rex Shorthair**
SRX = Selkirk Rex, not known if longhair or shorthair**
STE = Sterling**
SYL = Seychellois Longhair
SYS = Seychellois Shorthair
TEM = Temple Cat**
THA = Thai**
TIF = Tiffany**
TOL = Tonkinese Longhair**
TOS = Tonkinese Shorthair**
TUA = Turkish Angora
TUV = Turkish Van
URL = Ural Rex Longhair**
URX = Ural Rex Shorthair**
XSH = Shorthaired hybrid**
XLH = Longhaired hybrid**

Other codes used to identify non cat populations within PawPeds

APH = African Pygmy Hedgehogs**
AZA = Azawakh**
BAR = Barbet**
BDB = Braque du Bourbonnais**
BIF = Bichon Frise**
BPI = Berger Picard**
BRF = Braque Francais**
CAS = Castillonnais horses**
CHI = Chihuahua**
COL = Collie**
CRN = Cairn Terrier**
FOS = **
FOW = **
GAL = Galgo Español**
FER = Ferret**
FRI = Friesian horses**
GRI = Griffon**
HOS = Hollandse Smoushound**
LHE = Lionhead rabbits**
LUN = Norwegian Lundehund**
MAG = Magyar Agar**
MER = Mérens horses**
NMA = Neapolitan Mastiff**
POS = Polish Sighthound**
PEK = **
PUL = Puli**
SAL = Saluki**
SHU = Siberian Husky**
SLO = Sloughi**
TAI = Kirgiz Sighthound Taigan**
TAZ = Kazakh Tazh**
TIN = Tosa Inu**
TRI = Thai Ridgeback**
WSH = White Swiss Shepherd Dog**


The term "Var" may be added at the end of the EMS code to indicate that a shorthair cat carries or may carry the gene for longhair. An example: "ABY n Var" is a shorthaired Aby, but it carries longhair, or it is suspected of carrying longhair, since there is Somali among the ancestors of the cat.

For the Siamese, Oriental & Peterbald database we have had to decide on a policy for how many generations after a known longhair carrier we mark as Var. We also had to decide how to register some other types of cats, like for instance cats who are registered as Colorpoint Shorthairs in the CFA but as Siameses in the FIFe. See below!

Policy for registration in the Siamese, Oriental & Peterbald database

There is a problem with shorthair (SH) cats who carry the longhair (LH) gene or who might carry the LH gene. If one parent is LH, then the progeny must be a Variant (carrying the LH gene). But what to do when one or both parents are Variants? Then the offspring might be a Variant, but we do not know for sure. Should we also mark those cats who might be carriers of the LH gene as Variants?

The problem here is that different clubs/associations handle this problem differently. It is also handled differently for different breeds. In some clubs LH and SH with the same type are bred together without any restrictions, while in other clubs they try to keep the SH breed/variety free of the LH gene.

PawPeds does not wish to take a stand in the question of how to handle the breeding in this respect. This means we have a problem here. How to handle this issue so that breeders from all clubs will think it is reasonably acceptable? It is particularly tricky to decide in the Siamese and Oriental group of cats, since here some clubs also have restrictions on which colours are accepted to be called a Siamese. We simply had to come up with some kind of a compromise in order to be able to register these cats at all.

The compromise we have chosen to follow is:

  • All pointed SH cats - without white - in the Siamese/Oriental group get the breed code SIA
  • All pointed SH cats with white in the Siamese/Oriental group get the breed code SYS
  • White (white all over) SH cats with siamese blue eye colour get the code SIA w 67
  • All non-pointed SH cats in the Siamese/Oriental group get the breed code OSH
  • All pointed LH cats - without white - in the Siamese/Oriental group get the breed code BAL
  • All pointed LH cats with white in the Siamese/Oriental group get the breed code SYL
  • White (white all over) LH cats with siamese blue eye colour get the code BAL w 67
  • All non-pointed LH cats in the Siamese/Oriental group get the breed code OLH

For Variants we mark proven carriers Var-0. This could be cats with a LH parent or a LH offspring, or it could be a cat who is carrying LH according to a gene test.

Offspring of Var-0 cats are marked Var-1
Offspring of Var-1 cats are marked Var-2
Offspring of Var-2 cats are marked Var-3

Etcetera up to Var-8. After that we drop the Var mark. Breeders who want to check further than that will simply have to search back in the database for themselves.

Note that the offspring of for instance a Var-1 cat and a Var-5 cat will be marked Var-2. We are going by the lowest number parent.

Some examples:

  • CH Southview Unacassiopeia, OSH b, has a LH offspring, so she must have been a LH carrier. Because of this she is marked Var-0.
  • Southview Duae, SIA n, is the son of a SIA with no Var mark and CH Southview Unacassiopeia, OSH b Var-0. Duae is then marked Var-1.
  • Southview Quasue, SIA b, is the daughter of Southview Duae, SIA n Var-1, and Southview Alice who is SIA n (no Var mark). Quasue is marked Var-2.
  • Siavana Charlie Brown, OSH b, has a sire who is Var-2 and a dam who is Var-1. He would be Var-3 from his sire and Var-2 from his dam. We go by the lowest number, so Charlie Brown is marked Var-2.
  • Gaynells Theseus, SIA c, has two Var-0 parents. He would have been marked Var-1 because of this, but since Theseus also has LH offspring we do know that he carried the LH gene, and then he is marked Var-0 instead.
  • Yakshi Hi-Fi, SIA d, is SH and his parents are BAL b x SIA h. He is of course then carrying LH since his sire is LH (Balinese), so he is marked Var-0.

We can not guarantee that the database is fully updated when comes to the Var mark. If you find Var without a number, it is probably a Var mark that was added earlier, before the new routines were implemented. Then the Var-0 cat might be found further back than 8 generations. It is also so, that if the ancestry of a cat is updated and new info added, we might not yet have updated the Var marking should this be necessary.


a = Blue
b = Chocolate
c = Lilac
d = Red
e = Cream
f = Black tortie
g = Blue tortie
h = Chocolate tortie
j = Lilac tortie
m = Dilute modifier, caramel
n = Black (seal in Himalayan-patterned cats, ruddy in Abyssinians and Somalis
o = Cinnamon (sorrel in Abyssinians)
p = Fawn
q = Cinnamon (sorrel) tortie
r = Fawn tortie
s = Silver, smoke
t = Amber, light amber
w = White
x = Indicates an unrecognized colour
y = Golden

For caramel cats it is sometimes not known to us if the caramel colour is based on blue, lilac, or fawn. We do however know that the cat is a black gene cat, so just saying that it is *m (any type of dilute modifyer) would not give all the information we have. In these cases we guess a base colour, and indicate the fact that it is a guess by adding a * after the code, for instance SIA am*.


01 = Van
02 = Harlequin
03 = Bicolour
04 = Mitted
09 = Unspecified amount of white
11 = Shaded
12 = Shell, chinchilla
21 = Unspecified tabby pattern
22 = Blotched tabby
23 = Mackerel tabby
24 = Spotted tabby
25 = Ticked tabby
31 = Burmese pointed
32 = Tonkinese pointed
33 = Siamese pointed (Himalayan)
34 = Recessive white with blue eyes

Eye Colours

61 = Blue eyed
62 = Orange eyed
63 = Odd eyed
64 = Green eyed
65 = Burmese eye colour
66 = Tonkinese eye colour
67 = Siamese eye colour

Tail Codes

51 = Rumpy
52 = Rumpy riser
53 = Stumpy (up to 3 cm)
54 = Longie
55 = Bob (between 3 cm and half to hock)**
56 = Hock (between half to hock and hock length)**
57 = Three quarter (a naturally short tail but longer than hock)**

Ear Codes

71 = Straight
72 = Curl
73 = Fold

Paw and Leg Codes

81 = Non-polydactyl, normal paws**
82 = Polydactyl, unspecified**
83 = Polydactyl, both front and back**
84 = Polydactyl front (one or both paws)**
85 = Polydactyl back (one or both paws)**
86 = Legs of normal length, not munchkin**
87 = Short legs, munchkin**

Colour Groups

If you come across codes like MCO 3, or DRX 5, it should be noted that these are not really EMS codes. The first three letters indicates the breed of the cat, as usual, but the number after that indicates the FIFe colour group. Sometimes this is the only information about the colour of a cat that you get in a show catalog.

The groups are according to the following system for Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, Siberians, and Turkish Angoras:

1 = Black and blue
2 = The same as group 1, but with white
3 = Browntabby, bluetabby (any pattern)
4 = The same as group 3, but with white
5 = Red, cream, all kinds of torties. All these varieties with or without agouti (tabby).
6 = The same as group 5, but with white
7 = All silver and smoke varieties
8 = The same as group 7, but with white
9 = White

The above groups are also used for American Curls, but then with the addition of the following two groups:

10 = Colourpoints of all varieties
11 = The same as group 10, but with white

The groups for Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, German Rex, and Sphynx are:

1 = Black, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, and these colours with smoke (ns, as, bs, cs, os, ps)
2 = The same as group 1, but with white
3 = Red, cream, all kinds of torties. Red smoke, cream smoke, all kinds of tortie smokes. Redtabby, creamtabby, all kinds of tortie tabbies (any pattern).
4 = The same as group 3, but with white
5 = All tabby varieties, except redtabby, creamtabby, all kinds of tortie tabbies (any pattern). All silver tabby varieties, including shaded silvers and shell/chinchilla.
6 = The same as group 5, but with white
7 = All cats with siamese colours, burmese colours, or tonkinese colours. With or without agouti (tabby) and silver. With or without white.

Older colour groups

Earlier there were only four colour groups for Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, and Turkish Angoras. In those cases is this colour group, we use the following "codes":

* = Nonagouti without white (or solid white)
* 21 = Agouti without white
* 09 = Nonagouti with white
* 09 21 = Agouti with white

If you find any code in a database that does not correspond to this system, please notify the database maintainer!