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How Many Cat Breeds Are There in the World?

Have you ever found yourself wondering just how many cat breeds there are in the world? It’s a question that might seem straightforward, but the answer can vary depending on which organization you ask. Let’s take a journey through the world of cat breeds and explore the fascinating diversity of our feline friends.

 

The Major Cat Associations

Just like different countries have their own rules and regulations, the cat fancy world has several major associations that set breed standards and recognition processes. These associations include:

TICA is one of the largest and most respected cat registries globally. It currently recognizes 73 cat breeds. This extensive list includes familiar favorites like the Persian and Siamese, as well as newer breeds like the Lykoi, affectionately known as the “werewolf cat” due to its unique appearance.

The CFA, particularly prominent in North America, recognizes 45 cat breeds. Among its roster are beloved breeds such as the Maine Coon and the Ragdoll, along with distinctive breeds like the LaPerm, known for its curly coat.

FIFe, an international federation based in Europe, recognizes 48 cat breeds. This organization includes breeds like the Norwegian Forest Cat, a majestic and hardy breed, and the Sacred Birman, known for its striking blue eyes and gentle disposition.

Why do Numbers Vary?

The variation in the number of recognized breeds among these organisations can be ascribed to a number of factors:

Each registry has its own set of standards and criteria for recognizing a breed. What one organization considers a distinct breed, another might not.

Cat breeds can be more popular or recognized in certain regions. For example, a breed that is well-known in Europe might be less recognized in North America.

The world of cat breeding is ever-evolving. New breeds are developed through selective breeding, and it can take years for these breeds to gain official recognition.

Some organizations are more open to recognizing experimental or newer breeds, while others have stricter criteria.

So, What are the Notable Cat Breeds?

Regardless of the varying numbers, here are some cat breeds that are widely recognized and loved:

1. Persian


With their long, flowing coats and sweet personalities, Persians are a favorite for many cat lovers. They are known for their gentle and docile demeanor, making them perfect for families with children. Persians require regular grooming to maintain their luxurious coats, but they are relatively low-maintenance cats in other ways.

2. Siamese


Known for their striking blue eyes and vocal personalities, Siamese cats are both elegant and affectionate. They are intelligent and social cats that thrive on attention. Siamese cats are not for the faint of heart, as they can be quite vocal and demanding. However, they are also incredibly loving and loyal companions.

3. Maine Coon


One of the largest domestic cat breeds, the Maine Coon is known for its gentle and playful demeanor. They are often called “gentle giants” because of their large size and friendly temperament. Maine Coons are intelligent and social cats that love to play fetch and learn tricks. They are also relatively low-maintenance cats in terms of grooming.

4. Ragdoll


Ragdolls are known for their docile and laid-back personality. They are often called “lap cats” because of their love of cuddling. Ragdolls are intelligent and social cats that get along well with children and other pets. They are also relatively low-maintenance cats in terms of grooming.

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5. Sphynx:


This hairless wonder might look a little unusual at first, but don’t be fooled! Sphynx cats are incredibly loving and affectionate, earning them the nickname “the hot water bottle cat.” They are intelligent and social cats that crave attention. Sphynx cats require regular bathing to remove oils from their skin, but they are relatively low-maintenance cats in other ways.

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6. Abyssinian


Abyssinian cats are known for their energetic and playful personalities. They are intelligent and social cats that love to climb and explore. Abyssinian cats require regular playtime and attention to prevent boredom. They are also relatively low-maintenance cats in terms of grooming.

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7. Bengal


Bengal cats are recognised for having wild appearances and energetic personalities. They are intelligent and social cats that love to play fetch and learn tricks. Bengals require regular playtime and attention to prevent boredom. They are also relatively high-maintenance cats in terms of grooming.

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By Mihai Matei - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

8. Scottish Fold


Scottish Folds are known for their folded ears and owl-like appearance. They are intelligent and social cats that get along well with children and other pets. Scottish Folds are relatively low-maintenance cats in terms of grooming. However, they are prone to a genetic condition that can affect their joints.

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9. Birman


Birmans are known for their beautiful blue eyes and pointed markings. They are intelligent and social cats that get along well with children and other pets. Birmans are relatively low-maintenance cats in terms of grooming.

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By Artem Field, Exotic Shorthair, Source: flickr.com CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

10. Exotic Shorthair


Exotic Shorthairs are a short-haired version of the Persian cat. They have the same sweet personality and gentle demeanor as Persians, but their short hair is much easier to care for. Exotic Shorthairs are intelligent and social cats that get along well with children and other pets.

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So, how many cat breeds are there in the world? The answer can range from around 40 to 70, depending on the registry you consult. This diversity is part of what makes the world of cats so fascinating. Each breed has its own unique characteristics, history, and charm. There is a vast world of cat breeds to discover and enjoy, whether you are a cat lover hoping to adopt a new feline friend or you want to do is find out more about the various varieties of cats.
For more information on cat breeds, their characteristics, and how to care for them, stay tuned to our blog. We’ll continue to bring you the best insights and tips to help you understand and enjoy your feline companions better.

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