Have you thought about cat breeds and what type of cat you have? Cats often come into our lives in unconventional ways (like showing up on the doorstep and deciding they live there now). This means we often do not know much about their history. Most cat lovers can tell the difference between long and short-haired breeds and not much more.

Believe it or not, even experts differ in their opinion of how many official cat breeds exist. Identifying your cat’s breed can help you and your veterinarian provide the best care for your favorite feline. Here are some tips on figuring out what kind of feline is living in your house:

Cat Breeds: The Numbers

So, how many cat breeds are there in the world? It’s hard to say. Encyclopedia Britannica lists fifteen official cat breeds. The International Cat Association, on the other hand, has seventy-one kinds of cats listed. Other resources have numbers that fall somewhere between these two extremes. There are definitely fewer kinds of cat breeds than dog breeds, and cats have not changed as much evolutionarily as their canine counterparts have. How can you possibly determine what your cat is? 

Common American Cat Breeds

Luckily, there are only a handful of cat breeds commonly found across the United States, which makes it much easier to determine what breed your cat is.

Some of the most common cat breeds in America are:

  • The American Shorthair: These cats come in a wide-range of colors and can often live more than fifteen years.
  • The Devon Rex: these kitties are known for their larger-than-average ears and svelte frames
  • The Abyssinian: Although they might not like cuddling, these cats are known to be especially bright.
  • The Sphynx: They might not have any hair, but these unique cats have plenty of personality to make up for it. 
  • The Scottish Fold: As their name suggests, this breed is known for their folded ears.
  • The Maine Coon: Larger than most other American breeds, these cats can often learn tricks.
  • The Persian: Since they have such long, luscious hair, these cats need regular grooming to maintain their coats.
  • The British Shorthair: You can spot one of these cats easily by their large eyes and stocky frame.
  • The Ragdoll: With bright, blue eyes and a large frame, it’s hard not to love these long-haired cats.
  • The Exotic: Often referred to as the “teddy bear” of cats, this breed has been among the most popular in America for the last few years.

De-Breeding the Mystery of Your Cat

It is not as difficult as you might think to determine your cat’s breed. These are the main criteria for determining a cat’s breed:

  • Size
  • Patterns and colors of the fur
  • Hair (long or short)
  • Shape of the face
  • Length of the tail
  • Behavior

You can also ask your veterinarian for a breed breakdown during your next wellness visit. If you are really curious about your cat’s origins and want to be sure, there are different feline DNA tests you could try.

No matter the breed of your cat, Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (OVRS) is here to help them get the specialty care they need. If you are in need of emergency or specialty veterinary services, please call us at (248) 334-6877.