Cat Breed Info:
Many different cat breeds exist in the world, but this number is extremely low compared to the number of dog breeds.
In addition, very few house cats can truly be said to belong to a particular breed. For an individual cat (or even a dog) to belong to a particular breed, it must meet certain criteria that make up the characteristics of that breed.
Generally, it must also be possible to trace its ancestry for at least four generations as belonging to the same breed. This is rather uncommon in cats – it is in fact estimated that not even five per cent of domestic cats belong to a specific breed, and of this number, not even half are eligible to be show cats.
Of course, most owners are not interested in owning a show cat, and perhaps this is a good thing, as it may avoid the multitude of health and behavioral problems that occur among dogs as a result of a limited genetic pool, as well as the excessive focus on the animal conforming to some ideal that is often defined rather arbitrarily, and by human desires, not nature.
List of Cat Breeds:
Most cat lovers are simply interested in having a companion animal, and will be happy without a show cat, or even any sort of purebred cat. Some people, for aesthetic reasons, health reasons, or for reasons of fashion or prestige, may chose one of around 40 domestic cat breeds that exist. Among the more common breeds are the Chartreux cat, a large cat with a bluish gray double coat that originated in France; the Persian cat, with its characteristic long fur and short, flattened muzzle; the British shorthair, also a rather large and thick set cat with a dense coat that is usually blue in color; and the Siamese cat, with its unique light coat and dark mask and tail. Certain cats such as the Bombay cat tend to be more affectionate and desirous of human company than others, and will appeal to people who want such characteristics in their pet. Other cats such as the Sphynx tend to be sought by people with allergies because they are relatively hairless. However, this does not always work – not only are these cats not truly hairless (they have a fine layer of “peach fuzz”), but moreover, allergic reactions are not necessarily reactions to cat fur, but to cat saliva and the oil secreted by the skin.
Before you get yourself a pedigree cat, it is therefore important to find out all you can about the breed that interests you. For a list of cat breeds, you can look up any cat encyclopedia, or even a number of online resources.