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The 11 Most Popular Cat Breeds

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Written by Wag! Staff

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 08/16/2023, edited: 09/27/2023

Overview

Here at WAG! we don’t believe in favoritism. Every dog’s a fabulous dog, every cat’s a wonderful cat. They’re all good boys (and girls) and we won’t hear otherwise. But there’s no denying that some breeds are more popular with pet parents than others. Let’s take a look at several of the most popular cat breeds, all among the most popular.

We’re not going to rank these different cat breeds - that might be too controversial - but we will give you a rundown of the 11 types of cats that invariably crop up in these lists because of their fabulous qualities.

Small cat breeds, cute cat breeds, gray cat breeds, tabby cat breeds - you’ll find a wide range of fabulous felines right here. If you’re in the market for a cat, this is a great place to be: think of it as a literal cat-walk where the most popular cat breeds in the world are strutting their stuff in front of you.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon Cat

If you’ve ever wanted to pretend that your cat is a lion (or is that just us?) look no further than the Maine Coon. One of the most majestic-looking long-haired cat breeds, the Maine Coon isn’t just playful and sociable, it will draw admiring noises from anyone who catches a glimpse of it.

Considered to be America’s first ever show cat, the Maine Coon is consistently one of the most popular cat breeds in the world. It’s a great hunter, its relatively big brain means that it can learn tricks for you and its coat doesn’t require much maintenance. It’s also unusual in the cat world for being pretty fond of water.

As the Maine Coon cat breed is an active and energetic one, it needs plenty of protein in its diet. Offering a high-quality wet food can be beneficial, while you might also want to consider introducing cat grass into its diet to help with the passing of furballs. The Maine Coon may also benefit from a raw food diet; you can read more about whether that’s right for your cat here.


Domestic Shorthair

Domestic Shorthair Cat

When it comes to talk of ‘best cat breeds’, the Domestic Shorthair is always up there vying for the top spot. Short of hair and vague in origin, the shorthair is so common and so popular it is often known simply as a ‘house cat’. In fact, if this were purely a numbers game, the domestic shorthair would win outright: 96% of the cats in the US fall into this category. It must be doing something right.

This is a cat that tends to live a long time - 15 to 20 years if you’re lucky - and that won’t generally present unexpected health problems because of its mixed heritage. (Bear in mind that taking out pet insurance is always a good idea, even if the risks to your pet may be low.)

One thing you ought to look out for, however, is that over-feeding can cause the domestic shorthair to become obese. Ensure it has as healthy as possible a diet and that you’re giving it an active life. You can find a range of best cat foods from our trusted partners, Cat Food Advisor.



Ragdoll

Ragdoll Cat

A beautiful fluffy cat breed notable for the inverted V on its cheeky face, the ragdoll gets its name from the calm and placid reaction it displays when you pick it up for a cuddle. Blue-eyed, silky and long-haired, this is one of the cat breeds that can set you back a few bucks: ragdoll cats are deliberately designed and bred to remain exactly as beautiful as they are. 

In the US, ragdolls are often ranked as the most popular cat of all, even if they’re not the most common. Their temperament is affectionate - they will happily follow you around the house - and they’re great with children. They’re not shrinking violets, weighing in heavier than many other breeds (between 12 and 20 pounds) and taking four years to reach their full potential. Long, strong - you can’t go wrong.


Bombay

Bombay Cat

Black cat breeds have a unique kind of charm, so it’s little wonder that people fall head over heels in love with the Bombay time and time again. Don’t be surprised if you’re reading a book and your Bombay leaps into your lap for a bit of snuggle time: this is a cat that is affectionate beyond your wildest dreams, and one that always wants to find out what’s happening. If it were a person, it would be your bestie. 

A playful, loving cat, the Bombay derives from the black American shorthair and the sable Burmese. It has vivid gold or copper eyes and black coloring across absolutely everything: paws, tail, nose, mouth, coat.

As with all cat breeds, if you want to look after it as best you can, we’d recommend considering a wellness plan which covers a range of routine vet bills and can help to maintain its health and wellbeing (as well as your peace of mind).

Abyssinian

Abyssinian

Originally from southeast Asia, the Abyssinian is a product of the late 19th century, when it was bred in Britain following a military expedition in Ethiopia. 

One of the very finest tabby cat breeds, the Abyssinian is always playing and exploring its environment, not necessarily one to sit still as the world goes by. A gorgeous slender cat with ever-so-slightly large ears, an ‘Aby’ cat needs a good deal of activity and attention to stay happy - perfect if you’re someone who loves really playing with their cats. 

When you add that the Abyssinian maintains its weight easily with regular exercise and has fur that’s easily maintained, it’s no shock that the Abyssinian is regularly at the very top of the cat popularity charts.


Siamese

Siamese Cat

No one forgets a Siamese cat. It’s a stunning breed, characterized by bright blue eyes, pointy ears and a slender body. It has what’s known as pointed coloration, in which its pale body contrasts with its darker tail, paws and head. One of the oldest breeds on the planet, the Siamese has been with us for a long time. Some cat breeds were essentially created in the 1960s but the Siamese may be almost 1,000 years old. We must respect it. Luckily, this isn’t difficult; look at it, it’s gorgeous.

Because this is a breed that can get lonely if left without company for too long, Siamese cats are often kept with other Siamese cats. They’re very intelligent, meaning that they’re easy to train should you want to. One definite downside is that they can die a little younger than other breeds, so it’s important to maintain its health. 

If you need pet insurance, or want to compare plans for leading providers, use our easy online tool to get a quick quote.

British Shorthair

British Shorthair Cat

Stocky, no-nonsense and muscular, the British Shorthair is a breed that means business. We have the ‘first professional cat breeder’, Harrison Weir, to thank for the British Shorthair’s popularity. Though it’s a breed that probably dates back to the Romans, Weir brought the British Shorthair into the mainstream through a breeding program and the world’s first cat shows in the late 19th century.

It’s lucky he did: the British Shorthair is a gorgeous specimen, with thick, often gray-blue (‘British Blue’) fur and pineapple-coloured eyes. It tends to be a little less active and playful than other cat breeds, preferring to look regal and dignified. It is attentive and loyal, however, with an average lifespan of  14-20 years.

Spyhnx

Sphynx Cat

There’s unlikely to be as divisive a cat breed as the Sphynx, a truly extraordinary-looking animal. What it lacks in hair - it looks completely bald, though it actually has tiny hair on its body - it makes up for in fans, who are adamant it’s one of the most cute cat breeds. If you want to turn heads, invest in a Sphynx; if you want a funny, intelligent, extroverted friend, invest in a Sphynx. This is a cat whose incredible personality matches its incredible appearance. With huge ears, distinctively thin tail and large eyes, it’s easy to identify.

If you have a Sphynx cat, take care of it: its lack of fur means that sunlight will be more damaging to its skin, and it has a higher risk of heart disease than most cats. If you’re prone to allergies, the good news is that the Sphynx – along with others such as the Siamese – is one of the most popular hypoallergenic cat breeds.


Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold Cat

Not to be confused with the British Shorthair, the Scottish Fold is distinct from its compatriot on account of its ‘folded’ ears: an abnormality causes its ears to bend down in the direction of its vivid amber eyes. It’s a unique trait that gives it an adorable look. (Unfortunately it does lead to health complications and some countries have forbidden Scottish Fold for that reason.)

If you’re big into Scottish Folds, the names Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey might mean something to you. They are the names of Taylor Swift’s cats, both of them fine examples of this cat breed that is placid and affectionate and often sleeps on its back. If it’s good enough for Taylor, it might be good enough for you. 


Persian

Persian Cat

Another regal and distinguished-looking cat, the Persian is a feline that looks as though it might have a qualification from an Ivy League university under its belt. Regularly one of the very most popular cat breeds in the States, the breed’s luxurious fur makes it easy to love. It’s a quiet, calm cat that’s generally known to be friendly with strangers and extremely easy to get on with.

As this isn’t a breed that’s in love with vigorous exercise, take care with a Persian’s weight, feeding it a good-quality diet – we’ve got some recommendations from our friends at Cat Food Advisor for wet and dry food. You’ll also need to become its live-in hairdresser too; how do you think that mane’s going to look so irresistible day in day out?


Bengal

Bengal Cat

If you like your cat to be a little on the wild side, meet the Bengal. No domestic cat breed is wilder than the Bengal - it looks as though it’s been plucked straight from the jungle itself. It has a fair claim to having the most memorable markings of any domestic cat, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a baby leopard. It’s also one of the largest cat breeds.

It’s important that you do two things with a Bengal cat. The first is to give it lots of exercise - it’s a big cat that needs to move around. The second? To take plenty of photos with it to show off the fact that you have an exceptionally cool pet.

Because they are bred from the Asian leopard cat, the Bengal is literally considered part-wild and is therefore one of the few breeds on this list to be forbidden or limited in various states. It’s also one of the most rare cat breeds and you can therefore expect to pay a good deal for the significant pleasure of having one in your life.



Comments (2)

Regina ogle

06/12/2024

Trying to find out what breed is my cat is
comment photo

Sifu Zahan

12/11/2023

It's a very useful post. I've learned a lot of things from this web post. I have a question about the cat from bengal. Would you please let me know more about this cat?

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