If you are a cat lover, you probably took one look at the title of this post and thought, “Why choose?” Of course, you love cats!
But all the same, some feline breeds become more popular than others for very good reasons, like that they love playing dress-up with your toddler, will at least tolerate the family dog, won’t destroy your mini-blinds if you desert them for five minutes…that sort of thing.
Here are the most popular cat breeds (at time of publication).
1. Siamese feline.
All together now… “we are Siamese if you please; we are Siamese if you don’t please…” Even if you aren’t a huge “Lady and the Tramp” fan, you probably know the song and the feline breed behind the song. So does everybody else, as it turns out.
Named for their country of origin – then Siam, now Thailand – this feline was originally bred to be companion to royalty. Maybe this is why the Siamese remains one of the all-time most popular feline breeds.
2. Persian feline.
What do you call a feline with a flat face, the world’s most plush coat, is sweet, gentle, quiet and will literally consume hours if not days of your time each week with brushing all that fur?
The Persian feline, of course. This perennially popular breed does actually hail from ancient Persia, not modern-day Iran, which is why it still gets to be called the Persian.
3. Maine Coon feline.
We could just say huge, giant, enormous cat and be done with it. Or we could mention the Maine Coon pet who is reportedly even longer than a baseball bat (and one used by adults, not a kiddie bat).
Not surprisingly, Maine Coons originally hail from the state of Maine, where they are the official state feline.
4. Ragdoll feline.
Guess how this breed got its name? Imagine picking up a feline that loves to be held so much it literally goes limp in your arms. You just imagined the Ragdoll.
Like many of the felines on this list, Ragdolls are often credited with “dog-like” personalities. Of course, if you wanted a dog, you would just get a dog, but still, having a dog in a feline body is arguably cuter.
5. Bengal feline.
The Bengal is definitely the feline breed of choice for anyone who has ever fantasied about watching a wild animal walk – no, slink – through their kitchen.
While today’s Bengal felines are fully domestic (i.e. no wildcat crosses) the first Bengals were domestic felines crossed with Asian Leopard cats.
6. Abyssinian feline.
Like the Persian, the Abyssinian breed gets to keep its hard-to-spell ancient breed name, since the breed was developed back when modern-day Ethiopia was still Abyssinia.
This feline breed is often nicknamed the “Aby” for obvious reasons. Abys are energetic, smart, playful but not much for lap-sitting, if you’re into that sort of thing.
7. Birman feline.
Birmans look a lot like Siamese, but with one important difference. They have a single hair coat so they don’t shed as much as most felines.
This alone has gained them a place on “most popular cat breeds” lists around the world. Add to it that they are chill felines who like kids, dogs and other pets and making this list is pretty much a slam dunk.
8. Oriental Shorthair feline.
Oriental shorthairs are often mixed up with Siamese, a breed that was also incorporated in this breed’s development. It is the slanted eyes that are the source of most cases of confusion – these felines have the most amazing almond-shaped up-turned green eyes you have ever seen.
Add to that their enormous bat-like ears, super-charged personalities and tendency to not just tolerate but actually like other family cats, and it is easy to see how this breed makes the list.
9. Sphynx feline.
The Sphynx breed doesn’t have any hair, so basically it is bald. The cause is a genetic mutation that breeders have carefully developed by cross-breeding with American shorthair and Devon Rex felines.
Sphinxes are, in a word, clingy. Perhaps this is because they are always cold. But they also don’t do alone-time well. Hence the motto: if one Sphynx feline is great, two is even better.
10. Devon Rex feline.
For animal lovers who also have pet allergies, the Devon Rex is one of those modern breeds that seems nearly too good to be true.
While it is a bit of a misnomer to claim this feline – or any feline, really – is hypoallergenic, what is true is that the Devon Rex does not shed to the degree most other breeds will.
11. Himalayan feline.
If you trace the Himalayan’s breed history back far enough, you will find the Persian breed along with the seemingly ever-present Siamese. For this reason, these felines, nicknamed “Himmys,” are still considered to be a sub-breed by some purebred registries.
The whole point of developing the Himalayan breed was to get the Persian’s popular flat face with a body that sports Siamese coloration. This they did, and now Himmys are popular in their own right.
12. American Shorthair feline.
The only bonafide “born in the U.S.A.” breed on this list of the most popular cat breeds, the American Shorthair has become a household name mostly because it looks like a mixed breed yet isn’t.
Weird, perhaps, but this hardy, sturdy, oh-so-catlike feline is a hit not so much for its looks as for its sociable, amiable personality that easily accommodates kids, seniors, other felines and other even family pets.
13. Rescue feline.
Check out these statistics. An estimated 3.4 million felines are relinquished to animal shelters each year. Up to 41 percent of these rescued felines are euthanized because they don’t get adopted before their time is up. SOB.
The moral of this very sad story is: rescue pets are cool. And rescuing a cat is very cool.