What Makes A Cat A Pure Bred?

Have you ever wondered what makes a cat a pure bred or what makes him a mixed breed, or what many refer to as a Heinz-57?

Pure breed is a term used for dogs and cats and many animals but shouldn’t be confused with the term thoroughbred, which is a specific type of horse breed developed in the early 1800’s.

A pure breed of cat is one that specifies the lineage of the cat and means that it has no other breed mix in its blood or heritage than that which it is named.

persian cat photo

Pure Breed or Mixed?

Many people who adopt or purchase a cat do not think in the terms of “pure bred.” They fall in love with the cat or kitten’s characteristics, personality and behaviors.

There are some, however, who have a particular breed of cat in mine when purchasing or adopting a cat.

Maybe they fell in love with the look of a particular breed, or they need their cat to be hairless, such in the case of the hairless cat breed. Or perhaps they just like the status of saying they own a pure bred.


What does pure bred mean?

persian cat photo

When you get a pure bred cat, if purchased from a reputable cat breeder, you are getting a cat that has a long lineage of cats from the same breed.

Every time a litter of kittens is born, each kitten is registered with the CFA, or Cat Fancier’s Association and they can trace each kitten’s heritage with these papers to see its long history of pure breeding.


Pure bred cats are mated with their like breed; for instance, a pure bred Persian with another pure bred Persian and Siamese with a Siamese and so on.

There cannot be any other breed of cat in the lineage or the offspring will not be considered pure bred.

One big misconception that’s often made when speaking about cat breeds is with Calicos.

Many people think Calicos are type of breed when it is not. Calico refers to the coloring of a cat and not a breed.


Cat Fancier’s Association

cfa photo
Photo by RaeAllen

The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) was founded in 1906 and is a non-profit organization that has many objectives including the welfare of all cats, regulating cat shows and the detecting, recording and registering of cats and their breeds.

Today, there are 41 breeds of cats recognized by the CFA.


The CFA is also a good place to find information about all the different breeds of cats; their characteristics, features and typical temperaments.

You can also get help finding reputable cat breeders for different breeds of cats, breed owners, and information on how to register your cat.

If you’re interested in cat shows or want other valuable cat facts and information, you’re sure to find this information as well, through the CFA.


Popular Pure Bred Cats

Some of the most popular pure bred cats include:


persian cat photo
Photo by jaideepsinghmann|cc


siamese cats photo
Photo by rihaij|cc


burmese photo
Photo by ** RCB **|cc

Cornish Rex

devon rex cats photo
Photo by Nickolas Titkov|cc

Devon Rex

devon rex cats photo
Photo by andrechinn|cc

Main Coon

main coon cats photo
Photo by LSC|cc

American Shorthair

american shorthair cats photo
Photo by Takashi(aes256)|cc


If you are considering a pure bred cat for a pet, it’s always best to do your homework on the different breeds to find out which breed might be best suitable for your wants and needs in a cat.

Like any pure bred animal, different breeds have their own set of pros and cons.

So do your research to make sure you find your suitable match.

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