The general public recognizes an unusual, beautiful representative of anything in our society. It's not any different for those who enjoy the varieties of domesticated cats. People enjoy the distinctive things in their lives and, although some may call it snobbish, an animal with a heritage and a resume can be particularly attractive. Witness the fact that often, when people acquire a mixed breed of cat, they will attempt to identify the breed of pedigreed cat that most reminds them of their new companion.

Red AbyssinianPeople value pedigreed cats for their attractive and uncommon physical characteristics. Breeders working with these breeding programs strive to reproduce, with predictability, time after time, the breed characteristics that we have come to appreciate. When one purchases a pedigreed Abyssinian for instance, it is expected that its hairs will be ticked or banded. It is expected that the cat will have the facial markings associated with the Abyssinian tabby gene (i.e., the ticked tabby gene). It is expected that the cat will be colorful with almond shaped eyes and large ears. If the cat or kitten does not possess these features, then it is reasonable to assume that it is not an Abyssinian.

But it's not just the physical characteristics that make purebred cats attractive. Nearly every breed has a predictable, reproducible and distinct personality - something that for some is even more important than the cat's appearance. To continue with the Abyssinian example, if you enjoy a busy, active, agenda-driven breed of cat then the Abyssinian is for you. Abys are not given to quietly resting on a pillow in the sun for more than a few minutes at a time. If that is not a personality that attracts, then you may wish to pursue a breed of cat with a quieter, more sedate personality. Because temperament and personality is an important characteristic of each breed of pedigreed cat, every cat lover will likely be able to find a match among the many different breeds.

Adapted from the CFA Mentor Program.


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