There are 63 different breeds of cat, as recognised by The International Cat Association, the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigree cats. Each variation of our feline friends has completely different characteristics, behaviours and unique personality traits, from the laid-back Maine Coon, to the attention seeking Siamese cat. Did you know ‘tabby’ is actually the description of a cat’s coat pattern, as opposed to the species? Unfortunately, not all cats as easy to identify as the hairless sphynx cat, so we’ve shared some of the more popular breeds of cat to give you a bit of guidance when it comes to choosing the right companion to suit you and your household.
Mixed breed cats, or ‘moggies’ as they are more lovingly known, are the most common household cats. They do not belong to any specific type of breed which means appearance and personality traits differ for each cat. The low maintenance, independent nature means they make the perfect pet for either families or those living alone. The biggest advantage of owning a mixed breed cat is that they inherit much fewer inherent genetic problems than their pedigree friends, equalling less trips to the vets and a healthy, happy kitty!
Probably the most distinctive species of cat due to its bald appearance, and although it looks completely hairless, the sphynx cat does actually have a coat! It is very short, and feels like chamois leather or soft suede. As it is the only cat with sweat glands, owners will have to bathe them every so often to keep its coat healthy. The absence of fur means the sphynx is one of the most affectionate variations of cat and requires a lot of love and attention, making it the perfect companion for families with children or around other pets.
One of the largest breed of domestic cat in the UK, the mighty Maine Coon has been known to reach a size of 18lbs! Easily distinguished by their thick, bushy tail and strong, muscular frame, they have thick, semi-longhair fur coats with a glossy, waterproof top layer making them the perfect cat to explore the great outdoors. Their relaxed, laid-back personalities mean they do not crave attention all the time, but still enjoys company and would make a brilliant family pet. Fun Fact: In 2012, a Maine Coon named Stewie won a Guinness World Record for being the longest cat in the world! He measured 48.5 inches from his nose to the tip of his tail.
Previously known in its originating country of Ayudha as the “Royal Cat of Siam”, Siamese cats were kept in closely guarded temples and thought to have special powers! This regal feline certainly stands out with its piercing blue eyes to its graceful, slender body. Siamese cats are very intelligent breeds and know exactly how to get what they want! Their affectionate, playful personalities mean they require a lot of interaction, making them an excellent furry friend to be around children and other pets.
As the adorable name suggests, Ragdolls are extremely laid-back and affectionate- getting their name from their floppy ‘ragdoll’ appearance. Clearly Identifiable by its big, beautiful blue eyes, they are the perfect pet to snuggle up with and stroke their incredibly soft, silky coat. They love being around people, especially children, due to their gentle, loving nature. Remember to teach children how to pick them up safely to support their back legs, as they can grow up to 15lbs in weight!
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