Cats are diminutive animals that belong to the Felidae family. They are the only domesticated species in this family. To differentiate them from the other wild members of the family, they are often called domestic cats. Although they are carnivorous, they are human-friendly and typically live within homes.
Besides, humans hold them dear for their ability to provide companionship as well as hunt rodents. We know that cats have strong and flexible bodies as well as quick reflexes which ensure that their backs never touch the ground. They have retractable claws and sharp teeth that enable them to kill small prey.
Furthermore, they have a well-developed sense of smell, great night vision and a heightened sense of hearing. Because of these, they are good predators, hunting at dusk and at dawn. They are able to hear sounds that are too low or too high in frequency for humans.
Cat are social animals. They secrete as well as perceive pheromones which is a hormone that triggers a social reaction in animals of the same species. Felines as they may also be referred to have various ways in which they communicate.
These include meowing, trilling, purring, growling, grunting and hissing. They may also have a cat-specific language. There are many breeds of cat but the specific number varies based on different cat registries, societies, or organizations. Essentially, there are around 40 to 70 breeds.
Categories Of Cat Breeds
Feline breeds are categorized into three types. They are natural, cross-bred and mutated.
These are purebred cats that originated by themselves. There is no human involvement in their lineage although humans may help in their procreation. Purebreds do not change as their lineage is perpetuated through natural procreation. Some of these felines are:
- The Aegean cat
- American shorthair
- Agia Eleni
- Arabian Mau
- British shorthair
- Egyptian Mau
- Dragon Li
- Russian Blue, etc.
All these originated from different countries and still largely remain the way they are due to a lack of human intervention.
These came about through intentional breeding by humans. They were cross-bred between two or more other lines. Interestingly, a large amount of cross-bred came about through selectively crossing the Siamese breed with other cats. Cross-bred felines include:
- American bobtail which is a cross between Ragdoll, Himalayan, Birman and Siamese.
- California Spangled is a cross of Angora, Siamese, Abyssinian, Manx, domestic as well as American and British Shorthair.
- Himalayan is a cross between Persian and Siamese
- Havana Brown involves American Shorthair, Black British and Siamese.
- Javanese has traits of Balinese and Oriental Shorthair
- Ocicat is made up of Abyssinian, Siamese and American Shorthair
- Oriental Shorthair is made up of Abyssinian, Burmese, American Shorthair, domestic, Siamese and Russian Blue.
- Oriental Longhair came from the combination of Balinese and Oriental Shorthair.
Some breeds were crossed between two other breeds that are hybrids themselves but not from Siamese. These types are:
- Australian Tiffanie came about through a combination of Burmilla and Chinchilla.
- Australian Mist from Burmese, domestic and Abyssinian.
- Exotic is a combination of American Shorthair and Persian.
- Bombay is made up of Burmese and American Shorthair.
- Tiffanie is a combination of Persian and Burmese.
Breeders ensure to keep the cat’s personality and appearance as much as possible when they cross-breed. They typically choose to work on the dominant skills of the cats to create a new offspring. You can read more on how cat breeds are created here.
A lot of more recent breeds came about through mutations. Breeders selectively propagate felines with unique mutations such as short legs or a curled ear. This helps to continue the perpetuity of felines with this mutation.
Identifying Your Cat’s Breed
You may be tempted to guess what breed your cat is if you already own one. In reality, felines are meticulously bred. This means that they have definite breeds and are registered as such. Your pet should have its papers when you bought it telling of its breed and characteristics.
If your cat does not have papers, it is likely to be a domestic one. If you believe otherwise, you can check specific characteristics like its size, fur and facial features. You can also check the cat’s behavioral patterns.
Typically, cat breeds come in specific sizes so you may use the size to determine your cat’s breed. Additionally, when it comes to facial features, cats have specific standards. Their ears, eyes, shape of head and muzzle are breed-centric.
Most cats are cuddly, sociable and friendly so it does not matter what breed your pet is, it definitely has these traits. Whether they are natural, cross-bred, or mutated, they remain wonderful creatures that you can enjoy their companionship. You can learn more about identifying your cat breed here https://thecatsite.com/c/what-breed-is-my-cat/.
Felines are one-of-a-kind animals. They are unique in their looks and in the way they behave. They are the second most popular and second most domesticated animals superseded only by dogs. They come in many breeds and each fall under one of the three categories above.
The most important thing is getting a breed that fits into your lifestyle and you are sure to enjoy having them around.