Cat were domesticated by the ancient Egyptians over 8000 years ago, yet it was only in the late 19th century that the first pedigree breeds were developed. Now more than 300 breeds and varieties are recognised, although they vary relatively little in appearance.  Differing head shapes are one of the main distinguishing characteristics, as is length of the hair.  The latter feature is, perhaps, the most straightforward method of categorizing pedigree and non-predigree cats. Shorthair breeds outnumber longhair ones.