Cat Breeds, Different Types of Cats
From the earliest history of cats dating over 9,500 years, they have often figured alongside man and been a popular subject of many legends. Breeding by themselves, cats were mainly used for hunting down and killing rodents.
With the progress of time and human intervention, hybridization took place in different parts of the world giving rise to many different cat breeds that became country specific, beginning from naturally occurring domestic breeds that were native to a particular geographic region. Careful breeding over several generations have brought about seventy distinctive cat breeds though only about forty types of cats of these domestic breeds are internationally recognized. Categorized into two major categories; the short haired and the long haired, they are found in a variety of cat breeds often specific to a country or region. This is evident in the combination colors, pattern of coat, shape of head, and length of hair, folding of ears and bobbed tails or tailless cats as the Munchkin cat.
Historically some cat breeds have basically remained unchanged in their physical shapes and appearance for over a thousand years, as can be traced in the Japanese Bobtail, and as evident in ancient Egyptian paintings of the Egyptian Mau.
The Persian cat and Siamese cat are the commoner breeds found all over the world. Persians being the oldest cat breed are often not pedigreed and these types of cats are referred to as domestic long hairs. They make good specimens for cat shows and are good companions. They are quiet and come in different color forms. Siamese cats on the other hand are raspy voiced attention seekers, very communicative and intelligent. They are very affectionate and love to be stroked. With short hair lying close to their skin they are athletic and slim in form and sport large ears.
The Sphynx also known as the Canadian Hairless is significant for its lack of coat. Its appearance is rather strange. It appears to be hairless, but in fact it is not. It has no hair to keep it warm and therefore loves to cuddle against people and other animals. Eyebrows and whiskers maybe present or either totally absent. They have heavy bodies and wedge shaped heads. The Sphynx is loving, lively and a loyal breed of cats.
Maine Coon is a domestic cat and has a distinctive physical appearance. It is the official cat in the state of Maine. The Maine Coon has a large bone structure. This breed of cat was popular in cat shows. Its coat is long and flowing and the body is rectangular in shape. The Maine Coon is known for its gentle personality. The average weight of a male cat is twelve to eighteen pounds and a female cat weighs between ten and fourteen pounds. They come in a variety of colors.
The Foreign Blue or the Russian Blue has a lovely silvery blue coat. They tend to be rather timid around strangers, but are quite playful and intelligent. They have a close relationship with humans and are popular cats because of their coat and their personality. The Russian Blue has a lean body and is known for having an undercoat which is very soft in texture. They enjoy playing with toys and get along with children in the household.
An Abyssinian cat is known to be a direct descendent of the sacred cat in Egypt. There is a definitive resemblance between the Abyssinian and the ancient Egyptian cat. This breed of cat is in between a Burmese and a Siamese. It is a colorful cat and very beautiful in its appearance. It shows a lively and eager interest in its environment. The Abyssinian is of medium size and is muscular and strong.
The Birman cat is a domestic cat. It is separate from the Burmese cat. Its body is pale with deep blue eyes. They sport little white boots which are actually their white paws. The Birman cat is supposedly originated from Burma. Birmans are bred for companionship with humans. They form a close bond with their owners. They seem to be very intelligent and take a keen interest in their surroundings. When a Birman is a kitten it requires constant attention and as it grows up it tends to be very lively and playful.
Ragdoll is a breed of cat known for its color point coat and distinct blue eyes. Its coat is silky and soft and has long semi long hair. It has an affectionate nature and is well known for its placid and docile temperament. When a Ragdoll is picked up it has a tendency to become limp. They are considered to be laid back and gentle in nature. A male Ragdoll weighs approximately twenty pounds and a female weighs up to fifteen pounds.
The Tabby cat has dots, stripes and swirling colors which is very similar to the Calico cat. The Tabby cat’s distant descendant is known to be the African Wildcat. The Tabby has an ‘M’ marked on its forehead. The Tabby has four patterns such as classic, spotted, mackerel and ticked. This pattern shows up in other cat breeds which make a Tabby not a real breed.
The Domestic shorthaired cat is not pedigreed; rather it is a fancy cat name to describe a shorthaired cat. They have a wide range in coloring and are similar to a Tabby’s coat. Domestic shorthaired cats tend to look different in various countries and do not have an exact body shape.
The American Shorthair migrated to North America with early British settlers. They were brought to protect the British settler’s precious cargo from mice and rats. The American Shorthair has a lean and large body which is similar to the British Shorthair. Male cats of this breed tend to be much larger than females. These cats require a lot of loving care and have long tails and bodies that are slender and sleek. The American Shorthair comes in more than eighty different colors and a variety of patterns.
Types of Cats
Body types of cats
Foreign – body shape is less slender than the oriental type, but a cat is rather athletic. A cat has long tail, long legs, large ears, almond-shaped eyes. Example of this type of cats: Turkish Angora, Abyssinian Cat, Russian Blue, Somali.
Cats come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes and with distinctive characteristics.
Cats have short or long legs, ears that are pointed and narrow heads. Some faces are round, some are flat. They are shaggy, fluffy or hairless. Cats have short tails, fluffy tails or no tails. Cats are popular pets and are great companions for humans. Many people around the world keep cats as pets and they continue to be wonderful friends to a human household!
Cats have long been a source of mystery to us. They have occupied positions of high esteem. They grace our homes and bring us countless hours of joy. They come in many breeds, colors, temperaments. Some even believe they have the power to comfort and this can lead to healing.
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