Malayan Cats: The Ultimate Guide to Their History, Types, Characteristics, Temperament and Care

The Malayan cat, also known as the Asian cat, is a more recent breed with a very unique personality. While they may appear quite similar to other shorthair breeds out there, they are cats that are highly sociable, talkative and may be even seen as demanding.

Let’s take a deeper look into these unique cats and what they have to offer.

What’s the nature of the breed?

If you want a cat that is definitely going to want your attention, then the Malayan cat is worth considering. These cats are talkative, affectionate and very fond of their human family members.

Exploring, cuddling and meowing are some of their favorite pastimes. Their unique personalities can certainly make them a favorite with many.

Origin and history of the breed

Today, there are so many different breeds of cat in the world. From the wild Savannah cat to the fluffy Siberian, a great deal of variety has developed in the cat world since they first became domesticated.

However, the initial cat breed dates back to ancient Egypt, where many loved and even revered the creature.

Also known as the Asian cat, or Asian Shorthair, the name of this breed doesn’t exactly portray its origins. Initially, this breed actually first showed up in Britain under the creation of a baroness.

Here’s some interesting facts about Malayan Cats, otherwise known as Asian Cats: 

As a relatively recent breed, the first litter came into the world in 1981.

Physical standards of the breed

Health and possible diseases

Generally speaking, the Malayan cat is one that is decently healthy. That said, it’s worth keeping an eye out for renal issues as well as problems with snoring in this breed.

Regular checkups with your vet should help to ensure that any issues are addressed as early as possible.

If you adopt one of these cats, hopefully you don’t mind a pet that may snore a little. The structure of their face can result in higher chances of snoring in this breed.

There may be a bit of a risk for renal issues in this breed, but often that is something that can be taken care of with efficient, early care.


Because these are cats with a shorter coat, they don’t require a lot in the way of  grooming. Brushing on a weekly basis is often more than enough to help with shedding.

You can also opt to use something like a glove or cloth just to help with removing stray hairs.

Height and size

These cats are of a medium size, and only reach heights of about 12 inches at the most. Smaller individuals may only reach 10 inches, but keep in mind that each cat can vary in size a little bit.

For the most part, the size of the Malayan rests somewhere in the middle. Some members may be closer to a small size while others may be a bit larger. Each cat is going to be unique when it comes to personality, exact size and even coloring.


As medium-sized cats, you’re likely to find that a member of the Malayan breed can reach up to 13 lbs. At a minimum, smaller members can weigh as little as 6 lbs. Males are often larger than females.


These cats have a pretty average level of activity. They enjoy playing and interacting with humans, but aren’t likely to be running all over your home nonstop.

This is a breed that likes to explore, so giving them places to enjoy like cat trees, boxes and other cat furniture is a good idea.


These cats are not hypoallergenic. Allergies to cats are often based on things like saliva and dander, which all cats have. However, some breeds like the Malayan, can produce less of it than others.

Because of that, some people may find that they have fewer allergic reactions.


As far as cat lifespans go, the Malayan cat can have quite a long one. This breed can typically live between 12 and 18 years.

That said, the longevity of your cat can also be based on the environment they live in and the care they receive. Regular vet checkups and keeping your cat indoors are good ideas.

Caring Difficulty

Caring for the Malayan isn’t particularly difficult. They don’t have long fur in need of frequent brushing, intense health issues or added exercise needs like you might find with something like the Savannah cat. Because of this, they are an easy choice for many pet owners.

Where to get a Malayan Cat

As a newer breed, these cats may be a bit more difficult to find than others. You can certainly check local shelters in your area, as it’s always a good idea.

Aside from that, be prepared to look for qualified breeders who raise healthy, well-socialized kittens that you can take your pick from.

How much does a Malayan Cat cost?

If you decide to go with a breeder, it’s generally a good idea to prepare to pay a bit more for a Malayan kitten. These cats may range from $300 to around $500 or more. Otherwise, those found in shelters can typically be less costly.

Choosing the right type of Malayan Cat

Considering the basics about the personalities these cats can have, it’s wise to consider whether or not a cat who can be demanding when it comes to affection is going to fit into your home. If it is something you can handle, then meeting some members of the breed is a great next step.

Responsibilities to consider in the care of a Malayan Cat

What do they require?

Malayan cats don’t have many more needs than most other breeds. Naturally, they’ll need quality food, clean water, exercise, attention and love.

Trimming their nails regularly, cleaning their ears and brushing their teeth are also good ideas, as well as having them checked out at the vet at least once a year.

Do they need a certain level of care and attention?

These cats are known to be quite affectionate, so making sure that they get the attention they need is wise. Malayan cats can be strong-willed and enjoy talking to their owners.

Giving them a lot of affection, playing with them and providing lots of snuggle time will keep them happy.

Characteristics of Malayan Cat


Malayan cats can be quite demanding when it comes to receiving affection from their owners. They have voices that can be quite loud and they often want to be held, pampered and loved.

They are a great choice for those who have plenty of time to spend cuddling.


While this is a breed known for their short, soft fur. They can come in many different patterns and colors, so each cat is likely to have its own look and personality. Essentially, this breed comes in four varieties that can help to guide the selection process.


These cats are not only affectionate, but they can also be rather demanding. Owners of these cats should expect to offer plenty of love and have many conversations, as the breed is very talkative.

In addition, you may even find that these cats love to travel as long as they are safely in their carrier.


Malayan cats aren’t too difficult when it comes to getting along with others. As long as other pets and children in your home understand how to be gentle and kind with cats, members of this breed are sure to get along with them quite well.


This is a relatively intelligent breed, so they will enjoy things like puzzle toys. However, it’s not a breed that is necessarily ideal for teaching tricks, which often isn’t a big deal to cat owners.

Most often, this breed is just happy to spend time talking and cuddling with you.


Malayan cats do have an abundance of energy, so it’s wise to make sure they can spend it in healthy ways.

Providing exciting furniture that allows them to run, jump and climb can be very useful. In addition, playing with them can benefit their health as well as your bonding.


When it comes to things like grooming and health, this isn’t a high-maintenance breed. However, they can be needy when it comes to providing them with attention.

Because of this, it’s worth considering the amount of attention you can provide to a cat before adopting a Malayan.

Types of Malayan Cats

There are four types, which mainly refer to the colors and patterns you’ll find these cats in. The types you’ll find in this breed are Asian tabbies, Burmillas, Asian Selfs and Asian smokes.

Each of these types will give you a different idea about the appearance a cat will take on.

You can find these cats in a wide range of colors, including black, gray, white as well as a few other varieties that coincide with certain patterns.

In cases like the Burmilla, you may even find that cats are shaded with both darker and lighter colors. Depending on their bloodlines, each cat can be a little different.

Malayan cats can be found in several different patterns, from solid to tabby and Burmilla varieties. This allows pet owners with different preferences to find members of this breed with just the right look quite easily, if appearance is something they are concerned with.

Malayan Cats compared to other Breeds

The Malayan can be a bit more needy when it comes to other breeds out there. They are going to want more attention, so they may not be the ideal choice for those who are away from home for long hours and simply don’t have the time to provide plenty of playtime and cuddles.


The Malayan breed is a great choice for those who want a very lovable cat. They are happy to spend time with you and even have conversations.

Because of that, it’s a breed worth considering if you’re looking for a loveable addition to your home.