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An Introduction to Some of the Major Breeds of Cats
Most people can identify major dog breeds, but it is more difficult to spot the cat breeds. While most domestic cats are not purebreds (only 3% belong to a certain cat breed), there is a wide variety of breeds and most house cats reflect the traits of one or more of the different cat breeds. For show and breeding purposes, however, there are specific standards for the different types of cats. Here's some more information about the major cat breeds:
A list of other longhair cat breeds: American Bobtail,American Keuda, Angora, Tiffanie, Balinese, Birman, British Longhair, Cherubim, Colourpoint Longhair, Exotic cat, Javanese, Maine Coon, Nebelung, Neva Masquerade, Oriental Longhair, Siberian, Snow cat, Somali, Sterling, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, York Chocolate cat
A list of other shorthair cat breeds: Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Antipodean, Asian Shorthair, Australian Mist, Bahraini Dilmun cat, Bombay, British Shorthair, Brazilian Shorthair, Burmilla, Chartreux, Colorpoint Shorthair, Cornish Rex, European Shorthair, Havana Brown, Jungala, Khao Manee, Korat, Kucing Malaysia, Malayan, Oriental Shorthair, Seychellois, Templecat
You can also categorize domestic cats in cat types. The 2 main cat type categories are longhaired and shorthaired. There are further subdivisions according to the cat's coat pattern: tabby cats, bicolor cats, tortoiseshell cats, calico cats, oriental cats, Maltese cats (blue cats) and black cats.
Siamese cats are a definite breed. The pattern of coloring seen on a Siamese cat, however, is sometimes seen on different cat breeds. The Tonkinese, for instance, has the same coloring in many instances, but has a completely different build and face. Another Asian cat that often features the darkened feet, ears, and tail is the Burmese. These breeds are each distinctly different from the others, however.
Whether a cat has long or short hair is usually part of the standard for various cat breeds. Many people call any long haired cat a Persian, but this is not always accurate. For instance, the large friendly Ragdoll cats have long, luxurious coats. They differ from the popular Persian cats, however, in face and size, even though the Persians have a similar type of long hair. The Himalayan and the Norwegian Forest Cat are two other long-haired cat breeds. The Himalayan is a long haired cat that has the color pattern, or points, usually associated with the Siamese.
The Manx cat is a recognized breed characterized by no tail. Oddly, the mothers of champion Manx cats sometimes have tails themselves. Another stub-tailed cat breed is the desert lynx cat. Like the Bengal cats, desert lynx cats and Savannah cats are breeds that are closely related to wild cats and resemble them in coloring.
In addition to long haired cats and short haired cats, some cats have no hair at all! These unusual cat breeds include the Don Hairless cat and the Sphynx cat. Sometimes people talk about the “Egyptian Hairless” but there is no such breed. Instead, there is an Egyptian Mau, which has a beautiful spotted coat, often in shades of smokey gray.
Of all breeds of cat, one of the few that is determined by color is the Russian blue. All Russian blue cats exhibit the same smoky blue color. The Munchkin cat, on the other hand, is characterized by unusually short legs. It looks like the Dachshund of the cat breeds.
Different cat breeds not only look different, but have characteristic personalities as well. Some breeds are more suited to be house cats, while others are safe to let play outdoors a bit. They also vary in energy, playfulness, and friendliness. With a little research, however, you are sure to determine which cat breeds are suited to your own situation.