One of the results of our success in breeding a genuine people person/cat, is that  many a vendor out there would like to 'cash in' on our reputation for producing truly delightful pet cats. This includes the vet, kindly trying to place a litter of pretty little tabbies, rather than having to send them to the gas chamber, and one could never have the slightest objection to them telling the buyer ' I think they have a bit of Australian Mist in them' - in truth the vet is telling the truth - in a kind of back to front way - Australian Mist have a bit of that little old Australian Domestic Tabby in them ....and anyway, if another cat lover is created, and another unwanted kitten becomes wanted, rather than dead, this is most satisfactory.
 Then  there are the backyard breeders, who know just a little bit about the breed and do some cross breeding, and sell the kittens through a pet shop. This happens frequently in Victoria,  ( late 2008, Pets Paradise was guilty - but quickly stepped down when they were exposed in the Press) despite the fact  that we know that NO-ONE sells entire stock except to registered breeders, and even then keeps an eye on them, and we (Members of Breed Associations)  are not permitted to sell through pet shops anyway ...... While these kittens may be very nice, they are not the genuine article, and are generally grossly overpriced ....
Then there is that  kitten which someone has taken in to their home, (specially blue sort-of spotted tabbies) which they suddenly think must be Australian Mist, after they have browsed many a cat site on the web ... from these ones I receive emails generally with pictures - and I must reply that while their kitten/cat shares its Domestic ancestry with the Australian Mist, it can at the best only be considered as an 'Honorary' Australian Mist.

So how do you know that the kitten that you have purchased, or plan to purchase is the genuine article?

Not likely
From a Pet Shop, Market, Fair, Animal Shelter.
But it might be a nice kitten deserving of a good home!
Possible *
Has a spotted or marbled coat pattern and short hair.
These are the two patterns of the Australian Mist, but equally apply to lots of lovely tabbies!
Definitely not.
Has white markings, patches, blotches, a white vest, white feet, any white at all. NO Australian Mist have any white markings.
From a Registered Breeder.
Most have the sense to protect their reputation and not to misrepresent  what they are breeding. There are a multitude of Registering Bodies throughout the Australian States, and all over the World, many of which recognise Australian Mist.
Has  Registration Papers from a Cat Registering Body (NOT a photocopy)
In combination with the above this is the clincher - governing bodies only issue registrations for bonefide members of any breed.
Most probably
Has a pedigree, showing at least 4 generations of appropriate cats.
In combination with the breeder being registered, the litter being registered, and/or one or more other kittens from the same litter being registered the truth of the claim increases to certainty.
Most probably
Is described as Brown, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac,
Gold (Cinnamon) or Peach ( Fawn). or in the US, Seal Sepia, Blue Sepia, Chocolate Sepia, Lilac Sepia, Cinnamon Sepia & Fawn Sepia

These are the Australian Mist colours, the full register breed members  come in no other colours. However, there are some exceptions: When the breed is in the development stage ('Experimental') a whole range of tabbies (Black/blue, chocolate / lilac, cinnamon/fawn are produced, and these are also considered to be Australian Mist - provided there is pedigree/registration proof. Occasionally there are 'spotless' Mists, from registered litters, these look a little like Burmese, but have green eyes, and are usually heavily 'ghost' tabby marked. These are due to 2 recessive genes coinciding in some of the progeny. Some associations recognise a colour 'Caramel' on  which the jury is still undecided throughout the global Cat Fancy.  The attempt to establish this colour was based on a misunderstanding of the Australian Mist Breed Standard, which was rewritten by some Governing Bodies, and now differs from that of the Breed Founder's National Governing Body,  which uses the lineal descendent of  the Breed Founder's  original standard, which enshrines a rich warm coat in all colours as part of the general colour standard. Cats so described are still Australian Mist, by all other criteria, and are either blue or lilac in true colouration.
 More about Coat Colour Genetics in the Australian Mist
Definitely  not
Is described as red, ginger, marmalade, cream, apricot. These colours are due to a gene not present at all in the population. It follows that there are NO tortoiseshells either.
Most probably
Ancestry can be traced back to cats bearing Nintu Prefix. The breed was founded by Dr Truda Straede whose cats originally bore the NINTU prefix.  In consequence EVERY  genuine Australian Mist is descended from some  NINTU  ancestors. The proviso lies in the fact that Dr Straede also bred, in the past, Abyssinians, Burmese and Siamese under the same prefix,  and some of these cats still have breeding descendents.
Highly likely
Is microchipped, vaccinated and desexed.
In combination with suitable pedigree/registration proof, one of the hallmarks of Australian Mist Breeders is that they take a very responsible attitude to their hobby, and the welfare of the cats that they breed. Therefore, kittens are never sold  entire, unless to registered breeders with a recognised Governing Body. This is, of course, why genuine Australian Mist are unlikely to turn up in petshops etc.

If your feline friend adds up to 10 stars plus, it is indeed, an Australian Mist,
and the mystery is solved!