How Many Cat Breeds Are There?

How Many Cat Breeds Are There?
Photo by Sergey Semin

How many cat breeds are familiar to you? The Persian, the British Shorthair, and the Maine Coon are the first breeds that come to mind for me.

However, this is typically where the list ends since there are not as many cat breeds as there are dog breeds.

So, how many cat breeds are there anyway?

The History of Cat Breeds

As early as 8,000 years ago, cats began congregating around human settlements and feasting on the rodents that posed a risk to our grain reserves. This was reported by National Geographic.

However, it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that people who were passionate about cats began breeding cats intentionally for a specific personality.

Only a few breeds of cats, such as the Egyptian Mau, have retained many of the characteristics of their desert-dwelling wild forebears from the Middle East. 

The rest are the product of human ingenuity applied to one of the perfect animal companions that nature has to provide.

Cats, in contrast to dogs, have undergone just a minimal amount of genetic change since the wild cats that initially roamed around our ancient farms. 

Because cats were never bred for specific hunting or herding tasks like dogs were, their variations are more subtle than, say, the difference between a Rottweiler and a beagle.

The cat variation is slight because cats were never bred for specific hunting or herding tasks.

How Many Cat Breeds Are There?

Where you look for information can determine how many cat breeds are worldwide. There are hundreds of different cat breeds.

You should know that the total number of recognized cat breeds is significantly lower than the number of dog breeds. 

This happens even though international cat registries and other organizations set various requirements for the breeds they accept.

The International Cat Association, the most significant genetic registry of pedigree cats globally, recognizes seventy-three different kinds of cats.

While the Encyclopedia Britannica only mentions fifteen other breeds of cats. Quite a few other well-known registries and associations often fall somewhere between those two amounts.

For instance, as of 2022, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), dedicated to certifying cats, recognizes forty-five different breeds.

Fédération Internationale Féline, which has 40 member organizations, recognizes 48 species. These breeds are divided into four categories.

There are a few reasons different cat breed groups have varying criteria for qualifying breeds. The general classification is the most straightforward explanation.

Some registries won’t consider non-pedigreed cats because they can’t verify the breeds. They can’t verify their forefathers’ names beyond a certain number of generations.

In addition, some organizations group several distinct breeds of cats under a single classification, whereas others divide them into subgroups.

Are There Any New Cat Breeds That Have Been Accepted?

The breed lists accepted by registries often do not change very frequently. Despite this, new breeds are continuously being gains of gaining recognition. Lykoi and Khao Manee are two new breeds the CFA will approve for the 2018 season.

Additionally, breeds of cats are frequently established from a small number of cats that all share a specific genetic feature. Breeding may be difficult when a character is misunderstood or related to a hereditary illness risk.

Breeders are held to stringent standards by the CFA and other organizations to ensure that purebred cats are healthy.  And also do not carry a genetic predisposition for inherited diseases.

The best cat is one that wants to be your buddy and live in your home, not one with blue eyes or stripes. Many cats are waiting for a happy home at shelters, while they might not be purebreds. 

Indeed, they would also love nothing more than to have you adopt them. Before classifying a cat as belonging to a particular breed, it is crucial to take the time to become familiar with its characteristics. 

Your trusted veterinarian can give you the most accurate information regarding your pet. They will also provide the requirements necessary for them to lead a happy and healthy life. 

Also, don’t forget to look into cats that combine several breeds. Every year in the United States, thousands of cats like these are put up for adoption.

However, you should know that many of them carry genetic features comparable to those of the pedigreed cats that are their ancestors.

It doesn’t matter how many types of cats there are; the perfect cat for you will have its own set of distinctive traits. Now that you know how many cat breeds are there, let us know what you think in the comment box.

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