There are two distinct schools of thought when it comes to cat owners. The majority are quite happy sharing their home with a “moggie” which is any mixed bred cat. Generally, especially after neutering or spaying they are loving affectionate creatures that in return for some tender loving care will give you joy and affection.
However, there is also another school of cat owners who are devoted to one of the pure breeds of cat. There are over 70 plus separate breeds of cat which are officially recognized by the national cat societies. Although cat breeds do not differ in shape and size as much as canines there are still large differences between the various breeds.
In simple terms cats can be divided between short haired and long haired varieties. British, American and Oriental short haired varieties come in a range of different colors. Apart from the more common black, white, tabby (calico) and ginger cats there are also cream, lilac and chocolate colored short haired varieties.
The most well know of the long haired cat breeds is possibly the Persian. It is believed that the Persian Longhair was probably the fist pedigree breed that was imported into the UK and USA. They are believed to be descended from Angora cats of Turkey and Iran and were bought back to Europe by sailors sometime in the sixteenth century.
Other non Persian long haired breeds include Angora, Balinese, Chinchilla and Birman. In the USA the Maine Coon is a popular long haired breed as are the Norwegian Forest cat and the Ragdoll. Owners of the long haired breed will tell you that their pets can be very placid and docile and they seem to lack the aggressive tendencies of some other breeds. On the downside long haired cats do require a great deal of grooming and are very prone to getting hairballs.
Short haired breeds include Abyssinian American Wirehair, Bengal, Egyptian Mau, Rex and of course the Siamese considered by some to be the real aristocrats of the cat world. Because of their short coats they do not need as much grooming as their long haired cousins.
Pedigree cats tend can cost a lot of money especially if they are descended from winners at major cat shows. Whether you opt for “moggie” from your local cat rescue centre or go to a specialist breeder you are going to a pet that is going to become part of yours and your family’s life.