“Wild Cat Breeds”

“Wild Cat Breeds”

by Michael
(London, UK)

I thought I would briefly point out the inaccuracy of the title to this post. A good number of people searching for information about wildcats search using the phrase “wild cat breeds”. There are no such cats.

There are 36 species of wildcat and over 100 breeds of purebred domestic cats.

The word, “species” is used to classify animals that are similar at genetic and appearance levels into certain groups. The classification of animals is called, “taxonomy”.

Classification has been changed due to the introduction of DNA testing. In the past classification was based on appearance and anatomical features. Many species created on appearance alone have now been reclassified as a single species or subspecies.

“Breeds” of cat refer only to purebred domestic cats. There are over 100 breeds of domestic cat. All are a single species of cat: Felis silvestris catus. This is a subspecies of the wildcat.

{Note: in this instance the word “wildcat” means the particular species of wildcat not wildcats generally! That can create a bit of confusion}

The original domestic cat was a domesticated African and/or European wildcat, a small wildcat much like the random bred moggie domestic cat.

The many breeds of domestic cat that now exist all came from the random bred cat, both longhaired and shorthaired cats, a single species of cat.

It seems surprising that this is the case.


Wildcat photo: by Jonnee, Domestic by Colin+Alison Warner (both on Flickr)

Hope this helps a bit. Let’s hope people stop searching for, “wild cat breeds”.

Related Pages:

From wildcat to domestic cat

Cat History


From Wild Cat Breeds to Wild Cat Species

Comments for
“Wild Cat Breeds”

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Mar 15, 2011 Cats in India.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Michael thanks for the high regards that you have on my opinions on blogs on “Pictures of cats” and cats.The very fact that i am one of the rare few individuals from the second most populated country on planet earth to blog regularly on cats speaks volumes of the “pet ownership” of cats in India.To date, there are no registered “Cat Shows” in Mumbai,Delhi, Calcutta or Madras let alone other smaller city’s of the country.Cats in some pet shops are bred randomly , mostly the “traditional Persian and Siameese types” , some kept in horrible cramped cages, used as breeding machines. The fact that exotic cats sell means that there is a market for cats, although totally unregulated and with non “PEDIGREE CERTIFICATES” to determine breed lineage or authenticity of breed.Cat food products and shampoos as well as cat accessories are sold in pet shops in Mumbai whose main clients are dog owners.”Dog Clubs” and Dog Ownership” in india and mumbai is on par with the developed World “Dog shows” with some of the best judges from Europe & Asia being invited to judge important canine shows in Mumbai and other city’s of India.”Dog Magazines” have been introduced in India but not a single newspaper nor media magazine writes on the cat owners or cat popularity in Indian.As they say , “Its never too late” and hope “Cat Clubs” are established in Indian city’s in the near future as cats are definitely becoming popular in city’s with small apartment houses.


Mar 15, 2011 Cats in other countries
by: Gail (Boston, USA)

I think the article Michael mentions about cats in India would be amazing.

Another thought – what about the same questions about cats to those living in communist countries? If the political climate has since changed, how has that affected the cat?

I wonder about this due to a conversation last evening with a local pizza shop owner who originally hailed from Bulgaria. He spoke of what it was like living under communist rule and how times have changed. My grandparents used to tell us stories about how it was in Poland back in the day and how different it was coming to America.

I’d bet it would be interesting reading. Thanks!


Mar 15, 2011 Hi Rudolph
by: Michael

I hope you are well. Regards to you and your cats!

I would like you to write an article for me on the situation regarding the keeping of domestic cats in India.

How rare are purebred cats in India? How many people as a percentage in your estimation keep a cat?

How are feral cats treated and do people have their cats neutered?

Finally what are the vets like?

Sorry for all these questions but I would find your thoughts interesting.


Mar 13, 2011 “Wild Breed Cats”.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Thanks Michael for educating us cat fanciers on the derivation of cats breeds and their classification through your blogs and site, “Pictures of Cats”. Modern science , especially “DNA Profiling” has changed the opinion and classification of previous cat breeds categorized purely on their external appearances and characteristics.



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