There are close to 100 breed of cats with an amazing variety of body types, coats, colorations, ear and tail formations, and temperaments. Because there are so many cats being euthanized daily for lack of a suitable home, generally it is desirable to adopt a mixed breed kitten or cat from a shelter in order to save a life. Some pet owners are devoted to particular breeds, however. If this is the case, it is frequently possible to adopt a cat from a breed rescue organization. Such cats become available for a number of reasons, none of them reflecting on the pets themselves, and may become loving companions to their new owners. There is, of course, always the possibility of purchasing a purebred cat from a reliable breeder as well.
Some Popular Cat Breeds
Each breed of purebred cats has a distinctive look and a particular set of habits. They vary considerably in size and build. Although there are a great many more breeds, the following purebred cats are the most popular:
- American Shorthairs
- Maine Coons
The most commonly seen house cats are mixed breeds with varying colorations, such as Tabby cats, Tortoise shell cats and Calico cats. Interestingly, the great majority of orange Tabby cats are male and almost all Tortoise shells and Calico cats are female.
Cat Breed Characteristics
When choosing a cat breed for adoption, there are many factors to consider. Would-be cat owners should evaluate the traits of a particular breed in terms of how well it will fit into their household. Characteristics to be considered are:
- Activity level
- Need for attention
- Frequency of vocalization
- Possible genetic health problems
- Compatibility with children
- Compatibility with other pets
- Grooming needs
Before adopting any cats, family allergies should be taken into account since it is heartbreaking to have to give up a beloved pet for reasons of human health. Any cat is capable of creating an allergic reaction in a sensitive person, regardless of its type of hair or frequency of shedding. Even the hairless Sphynx can cause an allergic reaction since the allergen, for individuals with this sensitivity, is a protein present in the dander, urine or saliva of the cat.