Categories: Cat BreedingCat Fancy

How many cat breeds are there?

How many cat breeds are there? Well, the answer is that we can’t produce a figure. But I can say that there are more than 104 cat breeds.

This is because the video that I made below shows 104 cat breeds and I know that there are more.

Cat Breeds Video 2 (correcting name of Kurilian Bobtail) from Michael Broad on Vimeo.

The number of cat breeds recognised by the various cat associations varies enormously. Some cat associations are quite adventurous (e.g. The International Cat Association – TICA) and accept more than the more conservative associations (e.g. Cat Fancier’s Association – CFA). Both of these are based in the United States.

Cat Associations based in Europe, the UK and Russia have different ideas about the cat breeds, different categorisation and different numbers of recognised breeds.

Wild cat hybrids are a bone of contention. Some people think they should not be cat breeds. The people at the CFA believe this and don’t accept the well established Bengal cat for instance. TICA being more adventurous accept wild cat hybrids in principle.

The concept of cat breeds is interesting in a way. Any random bred cat can become a cat breed provided it is selectively bred and its parentage recorded and the created breed accepted by a cat association. That is how many cat breeds started anyway. The well known Ragdoll cat comes to mind.

All cat breeds started life as moggies. At one time say in about the early to mid-1800s there were no cat breeds. Cat breeds therefore are a man made creation and wholly artificial.

All cat breeds are one species of cat, Felis silvestris catus. And that species is a subspecies of the wild cat. Of course it is domesticated.

You will get some feral cats in places such as Egypt that are possibly more purebred Egyptian Maus than the most purebred American Egyptian Maus. This is because selective breeding can take the cat away from its origins to a place where the cat is not longer the original breed. That statement applies to the popular Persian, incidentally.

How many cat breeds are there? My guess is that there are probably about 120 cat breeds. There are far more dog breeds because the dog was first domesticated well before the cat and therefore there has been more time to develop dog breeds. The dog was considered utilitarian.

Hope this helps.

How many cat breeds are there? to Home page.

Tags: cat breeds
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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