How Many Breeds Are There?

Finding out how many cat breeds exist depends on where you look for your information. International cat registries and other organizations all list different qualifications for the breeds they accept, and the total number varies among them—though there are far fewer recognized cat breeds than there are dog breeds.

While Encyclopedia Britannica only lists fifteen cat breeds, The International Cat Association, the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, recognizes seventy-one different kinds. Many other well-recognized registries and associations tend to fall between those two numbers.

For example, The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the largest American cat registration body, recognizes forty-four different breeds as of 2018. Fédération Internationale Féline, with member organizations in forty countries, recognizes forty-eight breeds broken down into four categories.

There are a few reasons why various associations qualify cat breeds differently. The simplest reason is the overall classification. Some registries won’t consider non-pedigreed cats that don’t have their parents’ names and breeds traced back a certain number of generations. Additionally, some associations include multiple types of cats in one classification, while others separate them into their own categories.