Video:Identifying Cat Breedswith Franny Syufy
Different cat breeds have taken on many labels over the years. Learn to identify cat breeds with this helpful video.See Transcript
Transcript:Identifying Cat BreedsCat lovers who are not actively involved in the cat fancy, often are confused about identifying terms of cats, such as purebred, DSH, and tabby. Because there seems to be such a general fixation on breeds, there needs to be some clarity in the difference in semantics, so that the uninitiated cat lover can have a better understanding of these terms.
Cat Breeds, "Purebred," and Pedigree.There are currently over 70 breeds of cats recognized by one cat registry or another. The IPCBA (International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance) recognizes 73 feline breeds, while the more conservative CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) gives the nod to only 41. Developing and registering a new breed of cats is a long, involved progress, and not every attempt is successful. A cat must have a traceable lineage going back several generations to be registered as a pedigreed cat. The term "purebred" is not used by breeders or the cat fancy in general, but is a popular term among the general public. Each breed registry determines which color patterns are allowed for each of the breeds, in order to be shown.
Domestic CatsYour every-day non-pedigreed cat may be described by various terms:
- Domestic cat - This is the term used in veterinary offices on charts to identify cats not known to be of any particular breed. It is usually broken down as
- DSH - Domestic Shorthair
- DLH - Domestic Longhair
- MH - Domestic Medium length hair
- House cat
- Moggie - This term was first used in the U.K. as an affectionate description, and many cat lovers in the U.S. and Canada now use it to refer to their cats.
- Alley cat - Thanks to the educational efforts of groups such as ACA (Alley Cat Allies), this term has fallen out of use, as cats are taken out of alleys and brought into loving, permanent homes.
- Mixed Breed - This term is most often used when a cat has identifiable features which might indicate a "purebred" cat is somewhere in its background. Commonly seen mixed breeds in shelters include Maine Coon mix, Persian mix, and Siamese mix.
Polydactyl Cat BreedsPolydactyl cats, also called "Hemingway Cats," are sometimes confused as a "breed." However, they fall under the domestic cat category. Most registries do not accept polydact cats in their standards. Polydactyl means "many toes," and is considered a genetic defect. Polydacts may come in any variety of colors and color patterns.
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