How Many Cat Breeds Are There?

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According to The International Cat Association, there are 55 breeds of cat that are allowed to compete on a championship level. The number of officially recognized breeds changes between organizations. TICA also points out that the number of breeds grows as new breeds are developed.

Catster says that there are some breeds that are more sought after than others. This site lists the top 10 cat breeds in the United States as the Persian, Maine Coon, Exotic, Siamese, Abyssinian, Ragdoll, Birman, American Shorthair, Oriental and Sphynx, respectively. The Persian has been at the top of the list since the Cat Fanciers Association started keeping records in 1871. Pet owners love the Persian breed due to its loyal and affectionate nature.

In 1992, the Maine Coon took second place on the Top 10 cat breeds list. Despite the large size of these cats, which often weigh between 15 and 25 pounds, they are extremely loving and gentle. Although Maine Coons have long fur like a Persian, these cats do not require as much grooming.

The Siamese breed fits well with pet owners who want more vocal cats. The cry of the Siamese is one of the easiest to recognize of any cat breed. These cats cry not only for attention but also to communicate with their owners. They often “talk” with their owners when they know they are being addressed.

Like all other domestic animals, cats are divided into breeds developed by selective breeding for desired characteristics. Cat breeds have a wide range of coat types, colors and patterns. Cat registries maintain records of registered cats' pedigrees, preserve recognized breeds, maintain breed standards, put on sanctioned cat shows, train show judges, disseminate information about cats, encourage responsible breeding, inspect catteries and promote cats' well-being.