Sizing up cats

Dogs range in size from tiny Chihuahuas to bulky Great Danes, even though they are technically the same species. There is no such size difference among the many breeds of Felis catus, the common house cat.

Humans have been breeding and crossbreeding dogs for centuries, which is why we have tiny breeds, huge breeds and every size and shape in between, all so different that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude that these dogs are different species. Not so for cats, which have never lent themselves to the same kind of genetic manipulation.

So the largest breed of cats (the Maine Coon) isn’t that much bigger than the smaller breeds, and frankly there isn’t much variation of the basic body shape of cats. The differences are mostly matters of hair color, hair length and texture, eye color and head shape.
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