The actual number of Domestic Cat Breeds varies widely by the source of information. The Encyclopedia Britannica only lists fifteen cat breeds. Many of the cat associations list 40 – 71 different cat breeds. The International Cat Association is the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats. In 2021, they recognize seventy-one different cat breeds and tend to be one of longest lists of cat breeds. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) is the largest American cat registration body and they recognizes 45 different pedigreed breeds as of 2021.
Watch the visual guide to 60 different cat breeds below and see how many cat breeds that you recognize.
Visual Guide to 60 Domestic Cat Breeds (video)
Some registries won’t consider non-pedigreed cats that don’t have their parents’ names and breeds traced back a certain number of generations. Some associations include multiple types of cats in one classification. Others separate them into their own categories. their own rules.
New breeds are occasionally developed and aim for recognition each year. For example, the CFA introduced two new breeds to their accepted list for the 2018 season (the Lykoi and the Khao Manee). Cat breeds are often developed from a few cats that shared a certain genetic trait. If that trait is poorly understood or connected to a genetic tendency for a certain disease, breeding can become controversial. For example, some Cat organizations don’t recognize the Munchkin Cat Breed as they argue that short legs on a cat is a genetic mutation that should not be encouraged by a registered breed. Many Munchkin owners defend that the cat is healthy and there are no know health issues specific to having shorter legs. The CFA and other organizations maintain strict rules for breeders to ensure that purebred cats are healthy and are not predisposed to inherited disorders.
Here are some of the popular cat breeds in the United States.
- Siamese: Siamese cats are known for their distinctive blue eyes and pointed coat pattern. They are intelligent, active, and vocal cats that are often loyal to their owners. Siamese cats are popular due to their unique appearance and their social, interactive personalities.
- Persian: Persians are one of the most recognizable cat breeds due to their long, luxurious coat and round faces. They are known for being calm, quiet, and affectionate, making them a popular choice for those who want a more laid-back cat.
- Maine Coon: The Maine Coon is a large, long-haired cat breed that is known for its gentle, friendly nature. They are often referred to as the “gentle giants” of the cat world due to their size and temperament.
- Ragdoll: Ragdoll cats are known for their relaxed, affectionate personality and their tendency to go limp when held, hence their name. They have a soft, plush coat and come in a variety of colors.
- American Shorthair: American Shorthair cats are a versatile breed that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They are known for their friendly, adaptable nature and are often chosen as family pets.
- Sphynx: The Sphynx is a hairless cat breed that is known for its unique appearance and playful personality. They are highly social cats and enjoy interacting with their owners.
- Bengal: The Bengal cat is a breed that is known for its distinctive coat pattern, which resembles that of a wild leopard. They are highly active and require lots of exercise and playtime.
- Scottish Fold: Scottish Fold cats are known for their distinctive ears that fold forward, giving them a unique appearance. They are affectionate, loyal cats that enjoy spending time with their owners.
- Devon Rex: Devon Rex cats are known for their curly coat and large, expressive ears. They are highly social and love to play, making them a popular choice for families with children.
- Russian Blue: Russian Blue cats are known for their plush, silvery-blue coat and their calm, gentle nature. They are often chosen as indoor cats due to their quiet, low-key personality.