­čÉ Find out your dog's personality


Other names: Ceylan Cat, Sri Lankan Cat


The Ceylon originates, as its name suggests, from the island of Ceylon, which has since become part of Sri Lanka. They arrived in Europe for the first time in 1984 in Milan (Italy). They are an extremely rare breed and only a few individual Ceylon cats can currently be found in Italy and France. The breed recognised by the International Feline Federation until 1993. They are active cats, that love coconut pulp, just affirming their tropical origins!


Key facts about the Ceylon

  • Life expectancy : Between 14 and 16 years
  • Temperament : Playful
  • Type of coat : Short

Physical characteristics of the Ceylon

Adult size

Female cat Between 10 and 12 in
Male cat Between 12 and 14 in

Reaches adult size around the age of 1.


Female cat Between 7 and 11 lb
Male cat Between 9 and 13 lb

Coat colour

Black / blue, red, tortoiseshell .
Their principle colour is ashy grey.

Their coat is ticked, which means that their individual hairs are striped with alternating light and dark coloured bands. 
Ceylons have distinctive tabby features on their foreheads.

Coat patterns


Type of coat

Short, almost no undercoat

Eye colour

Yellow or green


Ceylons are medium sized, semi-cobby cats, who interestingly have slightly shorter front legs than its hind legs. One of the main characteristics of this breed is the pronounced angle formed by their real legs. Ceylons have a thin but muscular frame. They have reasonably round heads that are small compared to their bodies, and short noses. They have big eyes, and medium to large ears with rounded tips.

These cats can be both active and calm. They are good hunters in their natural environment due to their agility but they also know how to be affectionate with their owners, and often demand their presence and attention. Ceylons are sociable cats and can easily adapt to life inside. However there are differences in temperament depending on the individual.



yellow-paw yellow-paw grey-paw

Both sociable and playful with humans, this cat is generally cuddly. Letting the Ceylon initiate contact is always a good idea though.


yellow-paw yellow-paw yellow-paw

The playful nature of this cat is one of the key characteristics of this breed. Therefore they need daily play sessions!


yellow-paw yellow-paw grey-paw

Although they can be very active, these Sri Lankan cats do also need some recovery time during which they need some peace and quiet, and their owners must respect their sometimes independent nature.


yellow-paw yellow-paw grey-paw

These cats know exactly how to meet their own needs, but the presence and availability of their owners are just as important as their independence.

Fearful / wary of strangers

yellow-paw grey-paw grey-paw

In general the Sri Lankan cat is extremely sociable. However, there are differences in temperament between individuals.


yellow-paw yellow-paw grey-paw

The Ceylon is independent, in the sense that they will have their own habits and routines. However, these cats loves attention and prefers human presence. They will not enjoy being left alone for long periods and would be most suitable for someone who works from home or has no full time employment.

Behaviour of the Ceylon


yellow-paw yellow-paw grey-paw

These Sri Lankan cats can be very chatty to make sure they get what they want!

Need for exercise / Sporty

yellow-paw yellow-paw yellow-paw

Their playful nature makes them very active. If these cats are to live indoors, a cat tree is recommended, as well as daily play sessions.
Ceylon cats are also very good hunters, because of their island origins: where prior to being domesticated, they had to feed themselves on small rodents.

Tendency to run away

yellow-paw yellow-paw grey-paw

Their love for tracking prey can lead them to roam far from home. If Ceylons are given outside access it is a good idea to create a secure space for them, particularly if you live near busy roads.

Greedy / Gluttony

yellow-paw grey-paw grey-paw

They are not known to be a particularly greedy breed, which makes maintaining a balanced diet more feasible.


Ceylon and cats

yellow-paw yellow-paw yellow-paw

Very sociable in nature, the Sri-Lankan cat adapts very well to feline friends. However it is important to ensure that each cat has their own space.

Ceylon and dogs

yellow-paw yellow-paw yellow-paw

Very sociable in nature, Ceylons are known to adapt easily to their environments, including in the presence of dogs. However, this does depend on the individual cat.

Ceylon and children

yellow-paw yellow-paw grey-paw

Due to their sociable nature, they easily adapt to children's games, as long as the child is respectful towards them. However, this does depend on the individual cat.

Ceylon and the elderly

yellow-paw yellow-paw yellow-paw

Above all Ceylons would love the availability and attention that an elderly person would be able to give it, provided that they’re happy to regularly play with their cats!


We do not have enough data to set an average price for a Ceylon cat. Because of it's rarety, this cat can cost a lot of money. As well, the price will vary according to their age and sex.
It costs on average £35 / month to provide for its needs, to provide a good quality diet and to keep him in good health.


Fur maintenance is easy as their short hair does not require daily brushing.


Ceylon’s short hair and almost complete lack of an undercoat means they don’t leave their hair everywhere!

Nutrition of the Ceylon

A balanced diet suits Ceylons perfectly. From time to time, they will liven up their diet with prey if given the opportunity! 
On their island of origin, Sri Lankan cats are not domesticated. They are completely autonomous in terms of food, feeding exclusively on the fruits of their hunts. Therefore their household food should be very rich in protein.

Health of the Ceylon

Life expectancy

On average the Ceylon lives for 14 to 16 years.

Strong / robust

yellow-paw yellow-paw yellow-paw

Due to their Sri Lankan origins, these cats are more adapted to warm weather than cold weather.

Tendency to put on weight

yellow-paw grey-paw grey-paw

Due to their very active nature Ceylons generally burn a lot of energy. These cats don’t tend to be overweight.

Common illnesses

Ceylons are robust cats and there are no illnesses particular to the breed. However, they can develop the same common illnesses as domestic cats. If they have external access, it is a good idea to vaccinate them against infectious diseases such as Coryza, Leucosis, Rabies (in countries where rabies is present) and Typhus. Also, they can be prone to periodontal diseases (gingivitis and tartar) and therefore dental care is highly recommended.


No cross breeding is allowed.

Good to know

To make a friend for life, offer your Ceylon coconut pulp: it's their guilty pleasure!

Origins and history

In 1984, the Director of the Colombo Zoo authorised Veterinary Doctor Paolo Pellegatta to return to Milan (Italy) with 6 Ceylon cats. He started a breeding programme with them. However, the breed remains quite unknown and it is extremely rare to meet a Ceylon!


Good names for a Ceylon cat: Basil, Inky, Opus, Sunny

Find out name ideas for your cat here