Have you ever wondered which cat breeds are the most popular among cat parents? We did, which is why we created this list of the five most popular breeds and a summary of what it is about them that leads to their popularity. But is one of these breeds also the most popular cat? Or is there another possibility?
How Many Cat Breeds Are There to Choose From?
The answer depends on who you ask. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, accepts 45 pedigreed breeds for registration. The International Cat Association (TICA), the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed and domestic cats, recognizes 73 breeds for championship competition. So the answer is somewhere between 45 and 73, with new breeds added regularly.
Who Wins the Popularity Contest?
As with all “most popular” lists, choosing which breeds are the most popular could be a subjective decision. We’ve made our list (in no particular order) based on the five breeds that have consistently been in the top five of the CFA’s annual most popular breeds list. The CFA list is based on the number of cats registered worldwide for each breed.
To help explain why these breeds are the consistent winners, we’ve summarized their personalities and best features, based on CFA’s breed descriptions. You’ll notice a theme that all of these breeds love attention from their humans. It’s also important to note that these are general observations of each breed. Each cat has their own distinctive personality and may not “fit” these descriptions, but that’s why we love ’em.
For people who love affection and companionship from their cat, a ragdoll is the perfect breed. They love to be constantly by your side and can even play fetch. They’re easygoing in both personality and maintenance, with a semi-longhaired coat that requires minimal grooming. Created in the 1960s, ragdolls are a relatively new breed.
The exotic breed is great for people who love how Persians look but aren’t so keen on a Persian’s daily grooming requirements. Exotic cats have a thick, dense coat that does not mat and big eyes perfect for persuading their owners to open the treat jar. They love cuddles, are loyal and generally face the world with a laid-back attitude.
British shorthair cats are very affectionate and can form strong bonds with their owners. They’re also easily trained and very adaptable to their environment. British shorthairs are probably the oldest English breed of cat, with ancestry that goes back to Roman domestic cats. They’re medium to large cats that come in a variety of colors and patterns.
When you envision a Persian cat, a white cat with a magnificent long coat probably comes to mind. However, they come in a variety of colors, not just white. Their pretty coat will need daily grooming with a metal comb and occasional baths to keep it healthy, clean and tangle-free. Persians generally aren’t fans of loud households or of climbing or jumping — they’d rather pose for your latest Insta pic.
Maine Coon Cat
For cat parents that like their cat’s coat to look a little more tousled than smooth all over, the Maine coon cat is a good choice. They have an uneven shaggy coat that is easier to maintain than other long-haired breeds and a thick tail that they can wrap around their body to keep them warm. Maine coon cats also have big, tufted ears for warmth and protection and large, tufted paws for walking on top of snow. Intelligent cats that are easily trained, they are also one of the few breeds that love playing in and around water. Maine coon cats want to be involved in every part of their human’s life — to the point that if you want privacy from your Maine coon cat, you may have to shut the door.
The Real Popularity Winners Are Not the Pedigrees
However, more than 95 percent of the world’s cat population are non-pedigree cats. So if we want to talk about which cats are most popular, it’s not one single breed of cat but the cats whose ancestries are a combination of breeds. In the U.S., mixed-breed cats are typically called domestic shorthair (or longhair) cats, and in Britain they use the fun term “moggies.”
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