The study was conducted in Gamo Goffa Zone of Southern Ethiopia to characterize traditional cattle breeding practices and cattle trait preferences of the Gamo Highland and Gamo Lowland cattle types. Data collected through group discussions and individual interviews were synthesized and summarized using descriptive statistics. Indigenous cattle in the study area provide multiple functions, are well adapted to their production environments, and managed under traditional and subsistent modes of production. Farmers' cattle trait preferences slightly differ across highland and lowland sites. Whereas lowland farmers prefer carcass yield and traction capacity, cattle farmers in highland areas give more weight to adaptation, milk production and manure contributions. Common breeding system in all sites was pure breeding, although very few farmers residing in mid and highland areas exercise crossbreeding with introduced Holstein Friesian bulls for dairy improvement. The main reported selection criteria of farmers for breeding their animals were body size and conformation, milk production, fertility and breeding history of animals. Cattle breeding and management practices of the study area are traditional and low input.