Today in the world there are about a hundred cat breeds – completely different, often dissimilar not only to each other, but in general to cats! With long hair and completely naked, affectionate and with a complex character, active and lovers of lying on a pillow – they are all representatives of a wonderful family of beloved purring pets.
Before you buy a kitten with a long and “cool” pedigree, you need to find out the specific characteristics of the cat breeds to which it belongs: care, nutrition, and character traits. The latter is important for understanding what can be expected from the animal, and vice versa – what it will never do.
How cat breeds came to be?
According to statistics, only about 1 percent of cats on the planet are purebred. Some of the cat breeds arose naturally, and many as a result of long-term selection. There are also a number of cat breeds that have retained the external characteristics and habits of wild animals. For example, the Siberian cat belongs to such – it was kept by our ancestors, without even thinking that many centuries later it will be registered by specialists.
The ancestors of the now popular British shorthair cats were not at all considered aristocrats and therefore did not disdain to catch mice on the streets of English cities. Purposefully developing new cat breeds began only in the 19th century. Most of the pedigree animals known today were registered in the 20th century.
Some ancient cat breeds have undergone a lot of changes. So, in the old days, Persian cats looked completely different than when Europeans first saw them. The most colorful example is the cats of “bald” breeds with their somewhat alien appearance, so very different from the usual feline.
What is a breed?
A breed is a collection of cats artificially created by man and characterized by: certain hereditary characteristics, hereditarily fixed productivity and appearance.
Cats are distinguished into a separate breed depending on the following characteristics: constitution; coat and eye color; length of wool, its presence or absence; interesting morphological features (short tail, ears pressed to the head, etc.).
Cats and cats of different breeds differ from each other in the set of these traits, which must be unique.
How many breeds of cat exist?
Purebred animals correspond to one of the officially recognized breeds. That is, if a breed is not documented by international organizations, it does not formally exist.
Different international systems recognize a different number of cat breeds because each of them has its own process of recognition: some systems are more conservative, others less. Therefore, the answer to the question of how many cat breeds there are in the world will be several numbers at once. Thus, the WCF organization recognizes about 70 breeds, CFA – 40, CFF – 30, FIFe – 50, TICA – 70. The data are approximate, rounded to the nearest tens. the number of breeds recognized by an organization is constantly changing.
List of cat breeds
What breeds of cats are there? Feline breeds are divided into several groups – different international organizations in different ways. Breeds fall into one or another group depending on a number of characteristics.
FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline, International Cat Federation) divides cat breeds into 4 categories:
- Exotic and Persian;
- Shorthaired and Somali;
- Oriental (oriental).
WCF (World Cat Federation) divides cat breeds into 4 groups:
- Siamese oriental hairless.
Varieties of domestic cats
Cat breeds are generally divided into three groups based on the length of their coat.
Long-haired cat breeds include:
Short-haired cat breeds include:
Hairless Cat Breeds:
Rex Cat Breeds
Wire-haired cat breeds:
Bobtail Cat Breeds:
Despite the abundance of various cat breeds, the question arises, how really significant is the difference between them? Fans of aristocratic (and therefore expensive) breeds believe that cats with impressive pedigrees are distinguished by obedience, love of cleanliness and accuracy, independence and a high level of feline intelligence. The arguments of the owners of “simple” cats are no less weighty – even the recent tailed inhabitants of basements and courtyards can boast of both cleanliness and remarkable ingenuity.
However, whatever cat is next to a person, he will always bring joy, warmth into his life and make him, even if not much, happier.