There is beauty in variety and the world is filled with it; no wonder it is said that variety is the spice of life. There are different types of everything that we see and each is unique in its own way and each has its own functions.
Even though mostly similar, humans too are different, in color, race and stature. Even at the personal level, every individual is unique with unique tastes, habits, likes and dislikes. Because of unique nature of individuals, the society tries to defend each individual’s right to be unique in the person’s own way.
However, when it comes to our pets, many of us do not know that this uniqueness extends to them too. With each breed or specie having its own uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. People usually take notice of the dog breeds but many do not note or know of the various cat breeds.
Are There Many Cat Breeds?
The answer to this question is yes. Many people do not know this but there are very many cat breeds and they are bred or groomed in such a way that their unique genetics are preserved.This activity is one that requires special skills. You can read more on this here.
The exact number of the various species are not yet agreed on as The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) agree on 47 while the International Cat Association (TICA) agree on 71. The reason for this impasse is because of the controversial nature of some species that are cross breeds like the Bambino species. This specie is a cross between a munchkin and a sphynx but organizations question the reason for making such species because of certain health or mutation challenges for such cats.What are the Various Cat Types?
They are basically three types namely:
- The natural breeds
- The cross-bred
- The mutated
These species simply put, are pure breeds that reproduce on their own without any human or organized intervention. Obviously, when this happens, they reproduce after their own kinds thus they are called naturals.But, not everyone agrees with this practice because of the uncertainties about their pigmentation or mutation challenges or the quality of life that the pet may have. Some even go as far as to say that in breeding certain species is unethical.
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Examples of the in-bredor natural species include:
- The Aegean cat that is one of the oldest species around
- The American Shorthair that is of United States origin
- The Arabian Mau of the United Arab Emirates
- The Egyptian Mau of Egypt
- The Abyssinian of unknown origin
A cat is said to be a cross-bred when it is the product of two or more cats from different genetic lines after they are crossed. This sort of activity is handled by professionals and not just anyone who wants to do so. Also, this practice has some of its own advantages that make it a very popular practice today. Some of its advantages are:
- They have a health advantage over naturals as cross breeding reduces if not removes their genetic flaws.
- They have a longer lifespan than naturals since they are not affected by bloodline genetic defects.
The only challenge to getting or adopting a cross bred cat is that you will probably not be aware of its temperaments. Not to worry though, they are usually good and homely companions. Some examples of this specie include
- The Balinese (this is a Siamese that is long haired)
- The Himalayan (a Siamese/Persian mix)
- The Jungala (an Ocicat/domestic)
- The American Bobtail (this is a Siamese/Ragdoll/Birman/Himalayan/Domestic)
These are breeds born with mutations which if found favorable are perpetuated by the breeders. The result of these actions are the hybrid mutations which are a fairly recent activity. This type of breeding is not accepted by some associations as in some cases, they can be harmful or even lead to the death of some pets. Thus, these activities are not always in the best interest of these cats, you can read more on this here: https://animal-world.com/Cats/Cat-Mutations/Mutation-Cat-breeds.php.
Some of these activities have been successful and these type of feline creatures can be identified with some of their features like:
- The Japanese Bobtail is known for its short bob like tail hence the name Bobtail.
- Cats with the Munchkin gene which results in shortened legs though not disabled.
- Felines with small, curly or folded ears like the American curl or the Scottish fold.
Now that you know of the various species that are available and you want to get a feline for pet the question now is; how do you get the right one for you? This question needs you to check yourself first and consider somethings before going ahead with the decision. These questions include:
- Are You An Active Person?: This question is important as it determines if you get species that are active or those that are docile.
- Do You Have Any Experience With Cats?: The answer to this question determines if you should buy one that needs constant attention and grooming or not. However, you can be tutored and helped with your choice of pet at sites like Holistapet or other such institutions.
- Are You Always On The Move?: Your answer to this question determines if you should buy one or more as many of the species can get destructive if they are left on their own.
While many people are fairly knowledgeable about the various dog species, many know next to nothing about cats. This results in wrong conclusion about these adorable pets.
Recognition of the various feline breeds is important because it also means recognition of their various unique qualities. This makes it easier to know how best to treat them.