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What Type Is Your Cat?

Cat types can be categorized in several different ways. Of course, cats are related to other members of the cat family like lions and tigers, but in this article we will only be looking at domestic cat types (Felis catus).

1. Pedigree or Not?

When considering a cat’s breed, there are three cat types:

Pedigree cats are those that are certified to be a pure example of a particular breed. There are over 50 recognized cat breeds, so we will not list them all here, but some well-known examples are Bengal cats, Siamese cats, Persian cats and the tail-less Manx breed of cats.

Pedigree cat types are more expensive to buy as kittens and less likely to be found in a cat rescue center. Depending on the breed, they are often more susceptible to illness and hereditary disorders than other cats. So the people who choose a pedigree cat need to be prepared to spend a little more than they might expect a regular cat to cost.

Cross-breed cats are not just any old mixed parentage cat. It’s a recognized term for first-generation crosses of two pedigree cats of different breeds. So if you breed an Angora cat and a Persian cat, the kittens will be cross-breeds. That particular cross-breed is known as Chinchilla. Other crosses may have recognized names that sound like breeds, or they may not.

Cross-breed cat types are usually a little more disease-resistant than pure pedigree cats, and also cheaper to buy. However, if you want a particular cross-breed it can be hard to find, because most pedigree cat breeders prefer to breed pedigree kittens.

Non-pedigree cats are all the rest. They are cross-breeds that also have at least one cross-breed for a parent. In some cases, they may be many generations removed from a pedigree cat; in other cases, one parent may have had a pedigree and the other was a non-pedigree of unknown origin. Non-pedigree cats are also known as domestic cats or ‘moggies’.

Non-pedigree cats are easy to find. If you know somebody whose cat is having kittens you can probably get one for free. They are also available from rescue centers if you don’t mind having a slightly older cat.

If your cat does not have an impeccable pedigree, there are still several other ways to differentiate it from other cat types.

2. Long or Short Hair?

Domestic cats may be either long-haired or short-haired.

One of the best known breeds of long-haired domestic cats is the Maine Coon. Many people think that this is a pedigree breed, but it is not. It is a breed that is native to North America, developing naturally from crosses of American short-haired cats with one or more imported long-haired cat types in the early 19th century.

3. Coat Color

While pedigree cats are often restricted to one coat color or a small number of color variations, both long-haired and short-haired domestic cats can be found in a wide variety of colors. These include brown, black, white, ginger and all kinds of mixes of those colors. Many of the mixes have particular names, like tabby, tortoiseshell or calico. So coat color can also be used to describe cat types, especially for non-pedigree cats.

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