The blue-blooded, pedigree cat is an aristocrat, but one with a family tree that goes back little more than a century, and which has its roots in much humbler soil. Over a hundred different breeds and varieties of Felis catus are officially recognized world-wide, and they can be divided into five principal categories - Longhairs or Persians, other longhaired cats, British Shorthairs, American Shorthairs, and Foregin or Oriental Shorthairs. Although some are "natural" breeds that were originally indigenous to a particular country, the large majority are the result of carefully designed breeding programmes that began with the selection of the best examples of run-of-the-mill, mongrel cats.
Some breeds are descended from more chance, genetic mutations that suddenly appeared among otherwise "orthodox" litters and would, by the evolutionary rules of natural selection, have perished because of the disadvantages bestowed by the mutation, had not man for purely aesthetic reasons, nurtured the off-beat line. That it should have taken no more than one hundred years to develop the spectrum of feline aristocracy is due to the relatively short gestation period, rapid maturing and often generous litter sizes of the cat. Today, national associating in each country (the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Great Britain) lay down the standards that pedigree cats are judged by, and also register kittens.


* Coat Types
* Eye Types

* Longhaired Cats

* Shorthaired Cats

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