Image credits - Pixabay
Whether you love dogs, cats, or all animals in general, you might have wondered why pet dogs come in so many uniquely different shapes, sizes, and colors, while cats look so similar with barely any variations in the general characteristics. Why is it that there are so many dog breeds and so few cat breeds? Why do dog breeds differ from each other so much while cat breeds have minimal differences?
- Dogs were bred for specific tasksDogs were brought into people’s lives because they could fulfil very specific functions. Retrievers were bred to retrieve animals and birds that were hunted and shot down by hunters. Shepherding breeds were bred to manage sheep and other cattle on farms. Every breed that exists today was bred for a specific purpose, although some recent breeds have only been bred because people like certain facial features and think they look cute.There are very few dog breeds today that are completely natural and have evolved naturally from their ancestors. Because of such selective breeding, every breed looks, sounds, and behaves a certain way and is markedly different from other breeds.
- Dogs have been domesticated longer than cats haveDogs have been with humans for over 19,000 years and, during this time, have been bred and used for a number of specific tasks. Cats, on the other hand, have been with humans for only 10,000 years and have mostly been kept only as companions.An important point to note here is that dogs were intentionally and specifically domesticated by ancient humans and were chosen to be domesticated for certain tasks. Cats, on the other hand, chose to be with humans and adapted themselves to live with human civilizations. Even today, cats are considered to be only semi-domesticated, while dogs are said to be completely domesticated.
- Many cultures look down on selective cat breedingA big reason cats were never bred specifically on a large scale like dogs is because a number of cultures looked down on the practice of selective breeding of cats. Cats were revered ass deities in many cultures and, therefore, selective breeding was frowned upon. This probably protected cats from selective breeding and allowed them to naturally evolve to be with humans instead.
- Cats are loved for their natural looks and not bred for tasksPeople do not adopt cats to get them to perform tasks. Cats have never been used by humans for labor like dogs have been used. People like cats and keep them around because they can be entertaining, they look cute, and they can provide great companionship.
These are just a few main reason why you do not see the kind of vast differences in cat breeds the way you do among dog breeds.