The Most Common Breeds And How To Tell Your Cat’s Breed

According to United States census data, there are approximately ninety-million pet cats in our country. Out of all these cats, it is true that only about three to five percent are purebred.

Pet cats are usually identified as either a domestic longhair, or a domestic shorthair. That being said, the list of cat breeds is incredibly vast.

Most national registries state that there are around forty different breeds of cats. In addition, there is usually a new breed or two added each year to this ever-growing registry.

The Persian was one of the first recognized breeds when it comes to cats, as the first record of them in any sort of database dates back to 1871. They are known to be affectionate in nature and wonderful companion animals. They have a long fur coat has a tendency to get matted, so they should be brushed daily.

Persian cat photo

It’s no wonder that the Maine Coon has been in second place when it comes to popularity since 1992. These cats are one of the largest, as they can weigh anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five pounds. Like the Persian, they have long hair but do not require as much grooming as their coat is considered self-sustaining.

maine coon cat photo

The Siamese is familiar to many and can be identified by their loud, resonant yowl. This breed enjoys communicating with its owners through different meows and sounds.

siamese cat photo

The Birman is a breed that is considered the most dog-like as they are energetic, outgoing and loving creatures that are known to come when called and greet you at the door. Their coat is quite silky but does not require much grooming.

birman cat photo

Photo by lisa cee (Lisa Campeau)

Another popular breed that is speculated to arriving in the United States on the Mayflower is the American Shorthair. They were initially bred for hunting purposes, are known to have quality health, and are one of the quieter breeds. Calicos have three colors to them (usually black, brown, orange, or white.)

american shorthair cat photo

Photo by Pai Shih

Torties, otherwise known as Tortoiseshells have a coat that is generally made up of black and orange. Tabbies can come in a vast number of colors and are known for their compassion, round face, and soft short coat.

torties cat photo

Photo by guano

There are many websites that list all existing breeds in extensive detail for you to view if you desire to expand your knowledge on the subject.

Unless your cat came with official paperwork describing their specific breed and heritage, it can be difficult to differentiate when it comes to their origin. A good way to discover the breed of you cat is to judge characteristics such as body shape, size, and facial proportions.

When looking at their face you can discern weather it is round, square, or triangle. Cats that have square faces could be a breed such as a Maine Coon, whereas cats with a more triangular shape to their face are most likely Siamese or Burmese.

If your cat has a round face with big eyes they are possibly a Persian, Himalayan, or Tabby/Domestic Short Hair. Additionally you need to determine if your cat has long or short hair.

After you have come to these conclusions, you can observe the coloring your cat possesses. It is very rare that your cat is a purebred, unless they came from a breeder or had their proper paperwork.

A great way to decide their breed is to do your research! Look on registry sites at pictures and characteristics of different breeds, make lists, and use process of elimination and information-gathering to come to a conclusion. Also, asking a breeder or veterinarian is a great way to get a professional opinion on the subject.

If you desire a more finite conclusion, it is possibly to do a Cat Ancestry Test. This is when you swab your cats mouth or take a blood sample to acquire DNA, and then send it to a laboratory as you await your result.

In conclusion, there are an abundant number of different breeds of cats. Regardless of your cats heritage, it is important to treat them with love, respect, and kindness throughout the entirety of their life.

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