It’s easy to tell the difference between a Pug and a Poodle, but how much do you actually know about the most popular cat breeds out there? Did you know that there are at least 43 cat breeds—each with their own personality, traits, and history—in the US alone? And this doesn’t even count the domestic cats that don’t have a pedigree or your run-of-the-mill stray and feral cats.

For all we know about cats, they are still creatures of mystery. Maybe getting the basic info on the best species of cats in the world will bring us closer to learning what makes cats ticks and why they bother with us, humans. 

50 of the Most Popular Cat Breeds in the World (Infographic) (1)

50 of the Most Popular Cat Breeds in the World (Infographic) (2)

Abyssinian

Rounding off the top 10 most popular cat breeds in the US is the playful and inquisitive Abyssinian cat. With a ticked coat that alternates between lighter and darker shades and a slender, muscular body, the Aby looks like royalty. 

This is a very intelligent cat known for its curiosity and the desire to explore everything around it. It’s also a social pet and gets along with children, dogs, and ferrets. However, the Abyssinian is not likely to curl up in your lap, but it will show you love by always being in your presence. These cat types thrive on attention and would like to have some company, perhaps another kitten, when you’re not home. 

Although believed to originate from Abyssinia, genetic evidence suggests this breed actually comes from Southeast Asia. Well, what’s in a name anyway? 

Aegean 

The Aegean is a natural cat, i.e., it was not bred by people but developed naturally. It comes from the Cyclades, Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, where it’s considered a national treasure. 

Seeing as they live on islands, this cat species is not one to shy away from water. In fact, this is one of the few cat breeds known to go fishing. Aegeans are friendly and sweet cats, plus they’re easy to take care of and don’t need a lot of outdoor space, maybe just a patch in the sun on a terrace or balcony. 

The Aegean cat is rare across the world, the only way it gets to the US is if Americans on vacation in Greece take a liking to it and decide to adopt it. 

American Bobtail

One of the orange cat breeds, American Bobtails are known for their wild look and bobbed tail, but also for their devotion and loyalty to their families. They’re so in tune with human emotions that many recommend them as therapy cats. 

Another great thing about this cat breed is its adaptability to different environments and other pets and people. This feature makes them great for traveling, which is why it’s not uncommon to see the American bobtail going on road trips in trucks and RVs. 

The types of cats like this one are playful, they love to fetch and even go for walks, but they are not overly active. 

The American Bobtail was developed naturally in the 1960s when a Siamese was crossed with a short-haired tabby with a stubbed tail. That union produced the ancestors of the feral-looking, but sweet-tempered kitty cats we know and love today. 

American Curl 

The American Curl is distinguished by its unique fluffy ears that curl backward, as well as its almost feathery tail. 

Ranked 25th on the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s list of most popular cat breeds in 2018, this isn’t a common cat.

American Curls are incredibly cheerful, loyal, and attentive. They may not sit in your lap, but they will follow you around anywhere. Like other felines, these cute cats love to perch in high places and are fans of playtime, even as adults. 

This cat with its unusual ears was created by a spontaneous mutation in the 1980s when a California couple adopted a stray with curled ears. Cat breeders were intrigued, and they developed the breed. 

Their ears make them one of the more interesting breeds of cats because they are not born like this. Their ears start to curl at 3–5 days old, and are permanently set after 16 weeks. However, some kittens’ ears will not curl, but instead remain normal. 

American Shorthair

The ancestors of this cat are believed to have come to the US with the first settlers. Valued and “employed” as mousers, these cats quickly became popular as a pet as well. Today, they’re a favorite among Americans and are consistently found in the top 10 of the US’s most popular cat breeds

Playful, but not too active, lazy, but not a lap cat, the American Shorthair has conquered the nation’s heart with its mild manners and docile, sweet disposition. 

This is a cat that gets along with everyone, pets and kids alike. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to maintain. The American is affectionate, but it’s also independent and has no problem being left alone for longer periods of time. In short, this is one of the best cat breeds for families with kids—and for singles, too. 

American Wirehair 

The American Wirehair is very similar to the American Shorthair, the main difference being the former’s wiry whiskers and coat, which are thick and dense. Some have even described the coat as feeling like “steel wool.” 

This kitty is easy-going, tolerant of others, quiet, and calm. It doesn’t want a lot of attention as it is perfectly happy to play by itself. Despite its complicated-looking fur, these types of cats are quite easy to groom—just regular brushing will do.  

These kitty cats are the result of a spontaneous mutation, which isn’t unusual in the world of felines. It’s actually quite common for breeders to become interested in a mutation and develop it into a separate breed. 

All of these features make the Wirehair a purr-fect companion to families, singles, and seniors. Sadly, ranked last on the CFA’s list of common felines, it’s one of the least popular breeds of cat in America. 

Balinese-Javanese

It’s easy to mistake the Balinese for a Siamese cat. After all, they have the same colors, size, and brilliant blue eyes. It’s even believed that the former actually comes from Siamese kittens who were too puffy to meet the standards of Siamese cat breeders. However, the main difference between the two is the long-haired coat of the Balinese, which adds elegance to this feline’s graceful shape. No wonder it’s named after the Balinese Temple Dancers.

This unique representative of long-haired cat breeds loves to entertain and requires a lot of affection. It also loves to jump and perch on high spots, so owners should provide suitable equipment. It has no issues with other pets, but it can be quite vocal. 

The Balinese is not a particularly common feline and is ranked 30th on the CFA’s list of cat breeds.

Bengal 

If you’ve always wanted a smaller version of a leopard or jaguar, the Bengal cat is the one for you. Their size, athletic build, and coat markings make them look just like a miniature wild cat even though they’re among the domestic cat breeds. But don’t be fooled by their appearance. The Bengal is actually quite a sweet and devoted feline. 

Bengals are very active and curious cats who love outdoor exercise. The only thing these kitty cats love more is affection from their people. Be aware that a Bengal will get destructive if it doesn’t get the attention it wants. They’re also prone to repeat undesired behavior just to catch your eye and get you to interact with them.

As they’re among the large cat breeds, Bengals are not among the most common felines, but they aren’t rare, either. Their low prevalence might be due to their demanding character or their price, which ranges between $400 and $10,000. 

Birman 

The Birman is a color-pointed cat with a long, flowy single coat that doesn’t mat and is soft and silky to the touch. Other striking features of these felines are their piercing blue eyes and white feet. 

This kitty, which is always listed among the most popular cat breeds, is an affectionate and independent pet. It isn’t attention-grabbing or jealous. Actually, this is another of the rare cats that likes sharing the household with another animal. This kitty also respects your privacy. It won’t bother you if it sees that you’re busy or asleep. 

Birmans first arrived in the US in the 1960s from Europe, and they’ve been beloved companions ever since. 

Bombay 

The Bombay looks like a panther that has shrunk in the wash. With the exception of the eyes, everything is black on the Bombay, even his paw pads, an uncommon feature in other black cat breeds. This is a hybrid breed, a cross between a Sable Burmese and an American Shorthair, first developed in the 1950s.

This is an active, intelligent, and curious feline who likes to be the center of attention. The Bombay has no problem sharing the house with another cat as long as the other feline accepts its authority. It’s also the perfect lap cat, always demanding cuddles from its owners. And do try to adopt one of these beauties if you get the chance. The relevant pet shelter statistics and data show that black cats are the most commonly euthanized animals in shelters (most likely because of the superstition that surrounds them).

British Shorthair

The thick and dense coat, copper-colored teddy-bear eyes, and signature blue color make these cats a very popular choice among the large cat breeds. This sturdy cat is actually ranked third among the US’s most popular felines. 

The British Shorthair cat is a laid-back furball that likes to play but doesn’t demand attention. It’s more dignified and calm, especially as it gets older. 

People who own British Shorthairs should brush this cat daily, especially when the seasons change. Another thing to remember is that this kitty cat is already stocky, so keeping an eye on its diet is a must. 

This cat breed is one of the oldest, dating as far back as the domestic cats of the Romans. 

Burmese 

A big, heavy-boned cat, the Burmese is distinctive for its round look and short, soft coat—which might be in the original sable, as well as light brown, blue, and lilac. 

All the Burmese cats in the US can be traced back to one chocolate-colored cat, brought to the US from Burma in 1930. Recognized by the CFA in 1957, this feline is now in 19th place among the most popular cat breeds for 2019.

Despite its hefty build, this kitty loves to play and jump, although it gets more placid as it ages. Burmese cats like to dominate the house, particularly the females. They want to keep a close eye on their owners and follow them from room to room or sit next to them while they watch TV. In short, the Burmese demands attention and is quite vocal about it. 

Chartreux 

This medium-sized, wooly feline is one of the best cat breeds for someone who wants nothing more than to have a pet sit in their lap when they watch TV or relax.

The history of this domestic cat is long and covers three continents. It was brought from Persia to France, where it lived with monks, then to Britain, and finally to the US, where it was recognized by the CFA in 1987. 

The Chartreux has a specific look with its smiling face, distinct blue coat, wooly fur, sturdy body, and slender legs. It’s not one of the most popular breeds of cat, but it’s a great companion, nonetheless.

This cat doesn’t want to be entertained all the time, but it does love to spend time with its pet parents. This generally quiet and easy-going, gentle kitty quickly forms a bond with its humans. 

Chausie

All cat lovers dream of owning a big wild cat. While many have given up on the dream, due to the obvious dangers of keeping a tiger in the house, some American breeders still had hope of creating different kinds of cats that resemble a jungle cat, and so they developed the Chausie, a miniature version of its wilder brethren. 

This feline is a hybrid of a domestic cat and the jungle cat. First developed in the 1960s, it wasn’t officially recognized until 2003—and only in the US and France.

The Chausie is not a small cat, but it is still lean, muscular, and athletic. It retains these  features in its temperament as well. It’s extremely active and playful, jumping to great heights with no problem. On the other hand, this cat species is fiercely loyal and affectionate, something it probably inherited from its ancestor, the domestic cat.

Cornish Rex

Anyone who has seen or petted a Cornish Rex knows there’s nothing like it in the world of felines. Its oversized, pointed ears, arched back, and soft, wavy coat are some of the most specific characteristics of this cat breed.

The first cat of this breed was born in Cornwall as the result of a spontaneous mutation.

What cat breeds are hypoallergenic? Many believe that these kitty cats are good for people with allergies, but the truth is that they still shed. Although not as much as a long-haired breed, they may still cause allergies. Namely, pet allergy research shows that there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic cat – or rather, a hypoallergenic cat is one that trigger symptoms to a far lesser degree.

The Cornish Rex isn’t the type of cat that will enjoy sitting quietly and lazing around. They’re more likely to jump or play fetch, and they’re even more likely to try to become involved in everything you’re doing. This playfulness and sociable nature make this feline perfect for families with smaller kids.

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is one of the most mischievous and friendliest cat breeds. This feline lives to entertain owners with its silly antics and tricks. It’s not just the family it loves. These cute cats also get on with other felines, dogs, rabbits—you name it. As they demonstrate levels of socialization and playfulness unusual for cats, it’s sometimes said that the Devon Rex is part-cat, part-dog, and part-monkey. 

Many have described the elvish look of this kitty as outlandish and even alien-like. Maybe it’s the unusual appearance or pixie-like personality that makes them such sought-after pets and one of the top cats’ breeds in the US and the world. 

The biggest downside to this feline is its diet. Put simply, the Devon Rex loves food and will eat anything you give it (or that it finds itself). While this is great news for the pet industry, owners should keep a close eye on their pet’s nutrition. 

Donskoy 

Donskoy cats are one of the most unique cats in the world. Discovered by accident in Russia and bred afterward, these felines are medium-sized, lean, and slender. The Donskoy is a representative of one of the hairless cat breeds, although this cat might grow some fur on their chest and tail in the winter, which later falls off. 

Donskoys are curious and extremely loyal, almost like a dog. This also means that they need a lot of attention and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. Unsurprisingly, they’re sensitive to the cold and will need lots of snuggles in the wintertime. 

Dwelf 

This is one of the newer breeds of cat, in fact a combination of three different breeds—and it has inherited unique traits from each of them. 

The Dwelf gets its short legs from the Munchkin, it has no hair courtesy of its Sphynx ancestor, and to top it off, it has curly ears just like the American Curl. Plus, it’s a truly strange-looking feline that only grows to half the size of other cats. 

If you’re up for having an unusual-looking pet, you’ll be surprised by how cute and lovable this member of the small cat breeds can be. Dwelfs are loyal to their family, they love to play, and they generally get along with everyone, four- and two-legged creatures alike. 

Egyptian Mau

Sometimes referred to as the greyhound of felines, this kitty has incredibly fast reflexes that are only matched by its elegance and grace. The Egyptian Mau cat is also a  jumper, so don’t be surprised when you see it leap impossible heights or find it perched on top of a tall bookcase.

This feline is aptly named: “mau” means cat in Egyptian, and this feline is said to resemble the ancient worshipped Egyptian cat breeds. 

The Egyptian Mau has a beautiful, soft silver or bronze coat characterized by spotted markings. In fact, among the spotted cats, this is the only domestic cat with naturally occurring spots. 

This cat is devoted to its family and will express that affection with trills and chirps, though it can be scared and wary of strangers. 

Exotic Shorthair

For people who want a Persian cat but can’t be bothered with all the grooming of fluffy cat breeds, there’s the Exotic. It’s like a Persian, but it has short hair. This kitty has a thick, heavy-boned body, as well as a wonderful, plush coat, squashed face, and large, round eyes. 

The Exotic is the perfect cat for apartments. It doesn’t need a lot of room, it’s extremely quiet and gentle, and it desires nothing more than to sit next to its owner and watch you lovingly with its big, teddy-bear eyes.

These felines reigned supreme among the common cat breeds in the US for many years until they were supplanted just this year by the Ragdoll.

Surprisingly, with this cat breed, it’s the males that are more loving than the females. Female Exotics can be a bit reserved, but still adorable. Because of its kind temperament and low maintenance, this cat breed is just right for singles and seniors. 

Havana Brown

This is a muscular, medium-sized cat with a long and lean body. It’s also one of the extremely rare cat breeds.

The Havana Brown is the boss in households. Not only does it expect to be a part of everything that happens, it also wants to have the last word in everything.  

These chocolate-colored felines are focused on their humans and love interactive playtime. Curious by nature, the Havana Brown uses its paws both to investigate and to ask for attention, so if you feel a gentle pat, know that it’s cat time.

If this is one of the cat species and breeds you’re considering, keep in mind that it won’t be happy if you leave it alone for long stretches of time. So if you aren’t ready to dedicate yourself to this feline, choose another breed. 

Himalayan 

The Himalayan is a crossbreed between a Siamese and a Persian cat. It has the fluff of the Persian and the color point and deep blue eyes of the Siamese. Because it’s a hybrid, it isn’t recognized by the CFA as a separate breed.

One of the more cute cat breeds, Himmies are quiet and docile pets. They’re content to be by themselves for most of the day and will cuddle in your lap, if they feel like it. Sadly, Himalayans are not the smartest animals, but what they lack in intelligence, they make up for in looks and sweetness. 

Because of their subdued character, these pets are best suited to seniors or people who like their cat to be seen but not heard.  

Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtails are extremely popular cat breeds in their native country and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. The figure of the beckoning cat, or Maneki Neko, that we all know and associate with Japan is actually that of a Bobtail. 

The Japanse Bobtail is a small cat, and as the name suggests, it has a pom-pom-like stubbed tail, which is the result of a natural mutation and is not the same in any two representatives of this species. Another popular feature of this member of the small cat breeds is its tricolor coat, which comes in different shades and can be short or long. 

This is an active and lively cat, but most of all, it’s known for its intelligence. This feline is so smart it knows its name and responds with a mixture of chirps and meows that almost sounds like a song. 

Korat 

The Korat comes from Thailand, where it’s considered a living symbol of luck. They’re part of the grey cat breeds, and with their silvery coat and heart-shaped face, these kitty cats are just absolutely adorable. 

Korats are cats that love being in the spotlight and have an almost dog-like loyalty—always being near their owners. They’re also pretty social, although they can be easily startled by strangers and loud noises, which doesn’t make them a good fit for families with young kids. 

Although they aren’t one of the true hypoallergenic cat breeds, they do shed less than others, plus their hair doesn’t float off when you stroke them. 

An uncommon cat breed, it’s currently ranked 40th on the list of the most popular cats in America.

LaPerm

The LaPerm looks like a cat that’s been washed with extra volume shampoo. It’s famous for its curly coat, which is the result of a spontaneous mutation and can come in all the expected cat colors and patterns. 

An interesting thing is that all the kittens from these types of cats are born completely bald and don’t start to grow curls until they are two or three years old. Not all kittens manage to develop curls—some have a straight coat instead. 

This domestic cat is an energetic and loving companion, always seeking the attention of its owners and even using its paws to get it. Like other cats, the LaPerm also loves heights and is commonly found observing the household from a tall vantage point. 

Maine Coon

Known as a “gentle giant,” the Maine Coon is the only American longhair cat. It is also the oldest of the American breeds. People believe that the Maine Coon cat is a cross between a domestic short-haired cat and a long-haired European feline, although there are many who think it’s actually a hybrid between a raccoon and a cat.

In addition to its size, the Maine Coon is also recognizable for its shaggy coat and the extra joint on its paws. However, it has low grooming and maintenance needs despite being the biggest domestic cat.

There are a lot of things that make Maine Coon cats excellent pets: they’re quiet, gentle, and people-oriented, but not too demanding. Actually, this cat is totally cool and laid-back. No wonder it’s seen as a national treasure in the US. 

Always ranked in the top five of the most common cats in the US, the Maine Coon was officially declared the state cat of Maine in 1985.

Manx 

On the long list of cat breeds, this kitty cat is one of the oldest in the world. Recognizable for its round face and stubbed tail, it’s believed to have originated from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. Plus, there are many legends about this feline and tales of how it lost its tail. 

Manx cats can have short and long coats, either of which will be dense and rich, covering its larger flank. 

In addition to being very playful and devoted to their families, these are one of the breeds of cats known to be excellent hunters. So don’t worry about mice in the house with your Manx on the prowl.

Minskin 

Described as the Corgi of cats due to its sturdy body and very short legs, the Minskin is a new cat that wasn’t developed until 1998. As there were only 50 Minskin cats recorded by 2005, it still isn’t recognized as a separate breed by all cat associations. 

This lap cat is a hybrid of several cat species and breeds, such as the Munchkin, Siamese, Sphynx, Devon Rex, and Burmese. The result is a cat that is almost completely hairless, except for some parts of the body, but is also a loving, faithful, and fun companion.

Despite its small stature, the Minskin is just like all other cats, it loves its family and is particularly good with kids. 

Norwegian Forest

A sturdy build and fluffy fur make this big cat if not the largest cat breed, definitely one of the top five in the world. But don’t be fooled by its size, this is actually a kind and caring pet. 

Born in the cold winters of Norway, this feline hasn’t forgotten where it comes from and still keeps some of its keen hunting instincts. 

When you first see a Wedgie, as they’re called, you might mistake it for a Maine Coon. The difference is in the profile: the Main Coon has a concave profile, while the Wedgie’s is straight. Also, according to the cat breed identifier, this feline’s eyes are almond-shaped, while Maine Coons have oval-shaped eyes. 

Ocicat 

Another breed made specifically to look like a wild cat, the Ocicat makes a lot of feline fanciers around the world happy to own a leopard, well, in miniature, at least. Named Ocicat because it resembles an ocelot and a cat, this is a feral-looking kitty with a sweet disposition. 

This feline is a crossbreed between an Abyssinian, Siamese, and American Shorthair, specially developed to look like one of the exotic cat breeds. 

The Ocicat is characterized by its soft, spotted coat that comes in so many shades it’s tough picking the best one. It’s devoted to its owners, but not by being clingy—Ocicats are too confident and independent for that. What it likes is spending time with its parents, playing with them, and getting petted and loved. 

Oriental 

To many, the Oriental is just a Siamese without the color pointing, but this is actually a different cat species altogether. It was recognized by the CFA in the 1970s and has risen in popularity ever since. It’s currently ranked 11th on the CFA’s list of most popular cats in 2019.

If you had to describe the Oriental Shorthair in one word, it would be long. This cat has a long and slender body, a long and thin tail, a long neck, and large triangular ears. Its coat is usually short and can have any one of over 300 colors and patterns. 

If you’re wondering what cat breeds shed the least, the Oriental one of them. Their fur is short and fine and therefore doesn’t shed as much. 

This breed is very intelligent, curious, and affectionate. When they feel like it, they’ll play with you or quietly sit in your lap and cuddle. They’re also extremely attached to their owners and don’t handle new people very well. 

Persian

Despite its demanding grooming routine, the Persian cat is one of the most popular cat breeds in the world. Famous for its flowy, silky coat and “open-pansy” face, the Persian kitty is a wonder to behold and pet. 

In addition to being very common, this cat breed is also one of the oldest in the world. It’s estimated that it dates as far back as 1684 BC. 

Because they’re so popular, Persians are also costly. Owners can get this cat for anywhere between $1,800 and $5,500, which puts it among the more expensive cat breeds.

Persians are dignified and placid, sometimes a bit distant and aloof, but incredibly affectionate when they want to be. They prefer quiet and serene surroundings, although these felines are adaptable and could get used to a more noisy environment as long as they’re treated with kindness. 

Keep in mind that Persians require daily brushing, combing, and cleaning, and they shouldn’t be let outside alone. This is an indoor cat, and owners should treat it as such. 

Peterbald 

Unlike other hairless cat breeds, the Peterbald is actually born with hair, which it loses as it ages, sometimes retaining a bit of fuzz on its body. This is a relatively new cat breed that wasn’t recognized internationally until 2005. 

These kitty cats are the perfect pet for people who want to lavish attention on their cat and get it back twofold. The Peterbald loves to follow its owner around the house and accompany its pet parents in everything they do. 

This is definitely one of the breeds of cats you’ll find waiting by the door for you to come home from work. They’re also athletic and active and friendly with other pets and humans. 

Pixiebob 

The Pixiebob was said to have been the product of a love affair between a bobcat and a domestic cat. When you see this cat with its wild look, stubbed tail, and brown tabby pattern, you too might believe this story. 

Like other wild-looking cats, the Pixiebob only retains its feral streak in appearance. In reality, it’s another of the large cat breeds that make a gentle, playful, devoted pet. 

They’re very intelligent and can learn to do tricks and even walk on a leash. Plus, their heavy build and outgoing nature let them be a good companion and playmate for children.  

Ragamuffin 

This cat and the Ragdoll share the same ancestor and, as such, many specific qualities. The main difference between the two is that Ragamuffins come in more colors and patterns than their cousin.

Its open-pansy face makes it one of the most beautiful cat species out there. Its most distinctive feature is its lush, silky coat, which many have compared to rabbit fur or even a touch of heaven. Its fur is so plush it actually makes this sturdy feline appear even larger. 

Ragamuffins are amazingly sociable, especially with kids. They are so calm and patient that they don’t mind being dressed up for tea parties or driven around like tiny dolls. Another thing that makes these cute cats great apartment pets is their low maintenance, both in their grooming and attention-related needs. 

Ragdoll 

One of the largest cat species, the Ragdoll is mostly known for its brilliant blue eyes and gorgeous, silky smooth coat, as well as its ability to go limp when picked up, just like a rag doll. 

Ragdolls were created in California in the 1960s and have been adored by the nation ever since. In fact, the CFA ranked the Ragdoll the most common feline for 2019, surpassing both the Persian and the Exotic Shorthair in popularity. 

In addition to their stunning looks, Ragdolls are one of the most affectionate cat breeds. They’re the perfect lap cat and cuddle companion. These sweet, docile felines will get along with anyone, anywhere. 

Russian Blue

The most specific features of the Russian Blue cat include its slender, ballerina-like body, bright green eyes, and of course, its silver coat, which is dense and thick, giving this feline a regal and sophisticated look. 

Its coat does more than just complement its beauty, it also allows this cat to shed less. In fact, the Russian Blue cat is one of the best hypoallergenic cat breeds as it contains lower levels of  the allergens glycoprotein Fel d 1.

The Russian Blue is as smart as it is loving. It’s one of those cats who greets its parents at the door and loves spending time with them. But far from being too demanding, Russians also love some me-time. They might find a quiet, solitary place to nap, especially if you have guests. 

This is one of the few house cat breeds whose history is linked to royal families, both in Russia and in England, although all the facts surrounding its past aren’t completely clear. Wherever the Russian Blue comes from, it’s a welcome addition to every household.

Savannah 

A crossbreed between an African serval and a domestic cat, the Savannah is a new breed that wasn’t created until 1986 and wasn’t recognized by The International Cat Association until 2012. It gets its looks from the African serval, particularly its spotted, golden-colored coat, lean body, and long legs. 

Having a miniature jungle cat in the house doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the Savannah is second on the list of most expensive cat breeds. Depending on the generation, the Savannah can cost up to $20,000.

Savannahs are very active cats who like to keep busy, usually in interactive games with their owners. Because of their height (they’re the tallest house cat), they can take great leaps and climb almost anywhere. 

Selkirk Rex

This cat looks like it’s been put in the hands of an overzealous hairstylist. With the rich, flowing curls covering its body, the Selkirk Rex is as unique as they come. 

It’s a somewhat common breed coming in at number 23 on the list of most popular cat breeds.

The Selkirk Rex originates from Montana and is the result of a natural mutation. It’s not surprising that it was later developed into a separate breed—this domestic cat is more than just a disguised lamb. 

It’s remarkably active and playful, always looking for new toys and ways to challenge itself. It may not crave constant attention, but it doesn’t like being alone or ignored, which is why this cat will sometimes act like a clown. 

Scottish Fold

Possibly one of the cutest cat breeds, this feline has won over the nation with its rounded appearance and unusual features. The fold in the name refers to its small folded ears, making it look like a tiny owl. This genetic mutation doesn’t affect all kittens, and it doesn’t kick in until they’re three months old. 

Even though the “original” Fold came from Britain, this cat has been more popular in America and is currently ranked 9th among the most popular cat breeds in the US.

Highly adjustable to any environment, the Fold is a curious and clever cat that doesn’t make a fuss about noisy kids or other pets. It’s charming and lovable, easy to care for and be around. All in all, the perfect furry companion.

Serengeti 

Like the Savannah, the Serengeti is reminiscent of wild African cats. The primary difference is that unlike the former, the Serengeti is all domestic. Developed by conservation biologist Karen Sausman, this feline is a mixture between a Bengal cat and an Oriental Shorthair. 

Another one of the spotted cat breeds, the Serengeti also has long legs, a sleek body, and cute, large ears. 

This cat is a real athlete. It loves jumping, playing, and running and needs a lot of space to do its daily activities. If you keep yours inside or leave it alone, make sure it has plenty to do lest it become bored and destructive. 

It’s also loyal and affectionate, as well as quite chatty, probably due to its Oriental heritage.  

Siamese

The Siamese is one of the most easily recognizable cats. It’s also one of the most popular cat breeds in the world, as well as one of the oldest.

What’s not to love about the Siamese cat? The elongated body, cream-colored coat, bright blue eyes, infamous vocalizations and chattiness, intelligence, and beauty—all of these features make the Siamese an extremely sought-after feline. 

The Siamese cat is considered by many to be one of the smartest cat breeds. This means that it can be trained, but also that it has a mind of its own and won’t obey your commands.  Because this is one of the cat types that becomes highly attached to its owners, it hates being left alone. A Siamese wants affection and isn’t shy about demanding attention from its owners.  

A true testament to the popularity of the Siamese cat is so many breeders’ shared desire to create as many possible variations of this feline, such as the Oriental Shorthair, the Himalayan, and the Sphinx. 

Siberian 

With a name like this, one can only assume that this cat is equipped for the cold Russian winters. And it’s true. This is one of the large cat breeds, and it has a rich, thick triple coat. It’s also a substantial size, similar to that of the Maine Coon—the main difference being that the Siberian is a cat of round corners rather than sharp edges. 

This feline is considered a national treasure in Russia, and for almost a thousand years, it has featured in many folk and fairy tales. 

The Siberian is very agile, despite its size, which is a good thing as it’s known to be quite the fearless adventurer. Many would agree that it’s one of the types of cats that are always young at heart—Siberians stay playful and active throughout adulthood, too. 

Singapura 

This cat is believed to come from the streets of Singapore. It is also said that three of these cats were brought to the US by two cat fanciers, and thus the breed was started.

The Singapura is a small domestic cat with a big personality. It packs a lot of spirit and feistiness in such a tiny body. Weighing less than 8 lbs, it’s the smallest cat species in the world and perhaps the most energetic. This kitty loves jumping, playing, and exploring, as well as being with its family. In terms of appearance, it has big, impressionable eyes and a ticked or brown, short coat. 

Ranked 31st on the CFA’s list of cat breeds, the Singapura is a relatively rare pet.

Somali 

The Somali is a gorgeous cat that has the attractive features of the Abyssinian—the vibrant color, the confidence, and the agility—but with an added benefit. It has a long, flowy coat and a bushy tail. 

Very active and alert, this is one of the kinds of cats that can be a little mischievous. The Somali loves to play and leap up to high places. It loves its people, too.

In essence, the Somali is a long-haired Abyssinian cat; however, how it was actually developed is unclear. Also, despite the name, this cat is not native to Somalia, but like the Aby, it most likely hails from Southeast Asia.

Somalis are beautiful cats, but they are quite rare. This year, they made it to number 29 among the most popular felines.

Sphynx 

Another of the more popular cat breeds, the Sphynx is ranked as high as eighth on the chart of common felines in the US. 

It all started when a hairless kitten was born in Toronto in 1966, which encouraged curious cat breeders to do their magic, and thus the Sphynx cat, a beloved pet, was developed. 

Contrary to popular belief, the Sphynx is not completely hairless. It can have a soft, suede-like fuzz and some hair on its nose and ears. It also comes in numerous patterns in addition to being one solid color.

Because this is another of the kinds of cats with little or no hair, the Sphynx cat looks delicate and fragile. However, it is anything but. When it isn’t helping its owners out, it loves to entertain them with clownish performances or snuggle with them, especially on cold winter days. 

Tonkinese 

This feline is a crossbreed between a Siamese and a Burmese, and it gets the best of both these cat breeds. It’s smart, playful, and affectionate—a real treat for cat fanciers. 

The Tonkinese is one of the domestic cat breeds that believes it was felines who domesticated humans—and it acts like it. It’s in charge of the household and will become destructive if it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. 

It will also go after your breakables if it gets bored, which happens often for the affection-seeking Tonkinese. So the best thing to do is give in and get two of them. That way, they’ll keep each other company, and you’ll get double the love. 

These kinds of cats come in a variety of coat and eye colors, all of them gorgeous and mesmerizing.

Toyger 

A cross between a Bengal cat and DSH cat, the Toyger looks like a tiny tiger, especially thanks to its muscular body and distinctive markings. 

This cat breed was developed in the 1980s when a breeder noticed two special markings on the cat’s forehead that looked very much like that of tigers. She decided to take advantage of this and create one of the more different kinds of cats. 

Like their big cat lookalikes, Toygers are graceful and elegant. They’re also energetic, alert, clever kitties that love people, other pets, and playtime. They’re fairly easy to take care of and can even learn some tricks. 

Turkish Angora

Seen as a national treasure in its native Turkey, the Turkish Angora is a beautiful cat that’s also affectionate, faithful, and loyal. 

It’s one of the white cat breeds, although it can come in other colors too. Its most recognizable features are the lush coat, fluffy tail, and slender, graceful body. Energetic and assertive kitty cats, they will rule the household and everyone in it, including dogs and other felines. 

These cats are rare, but they might not have existed at all today if it wasn’t for the carefully crafted breeding programs in Turkish zoos and the determination of American cat breeders who took these cats to the US and started actively breeding them. 

Turkish Van

One of the rare cat breeds, this feline’s history goes as far back as 5,000 years, to the mountains of central and southwest Asia. This cat breed is revered in Turkey for its looks, tradition, and fur, which is soft as cashmere. 

Most cats from this species are white with color on their heads and tails. All of them are energetic, fun, and always on the move. In fact, these cats will only sit in one place long enough to be petted, not cuddled, and then run off in pursuit of some toy. 

What cat breeds like water and swimming? Well, the Aegean isn’t the only one. Also called “swimming cats,” Turkish Vans are said to love showers, pools, and lakes. Of course, you shouldn’t try to give these kitty cats a bath without all the necessary precautions first. 

FAQs

What kind of cat do I have, and is it purebred?

The best way to determine if your cat is purebred or not is to check some of the characteristics of the most common breeds and compare them to your cat. If you’re after a pedigreed cat, you should always buy it directly from a reputable breeder who keeps the kittens at home and takes good care of them. It also helps to meet one of the parents to see if its personality fits yours in order to gauge if the newest member of your family will blend right in or not.

What breed of cat sleeps the most?

The Persian cat is said to be one of the laziest cats out there. Maybe it’s because Persians are notably placid and docile felines, or perhaps it’s due to their easy-going nature. The truth is that all cats like to sleep for at least 15 hours a day to conserve energy. Sometimes they sleep even more as a result of age, illness, or simply due to the cold and rainy weather. 

How many breeds of cats are there, and which ones are the best?

It’s hard to exactly determine how many official cat breeds there are. The International Cat Association (TICA), a North American organization that has spread across the world, recognizes 71 breeds, whereas the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), a US organization,  recognizes 44. The Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) recognizes 43. 

The recognition of a type of cat as a separate breed depends on various factors. Some hybrids like the Dwelf or Peterbald are accepted by TICA, but not the CFA. Also, while the Himalayan is recognized as a separate breed internationally, the CFA considers it a subclass of the Persian cat.

For years, it was the Exotic Shorthair, but this year, at least according to the CFA, the Ragdoll takes the lead with the former champion ranking second. The Persian and the British Shorthair are third and fourth respectively, with America’s cat, the Maine Coon rounding off the top five. Other lists may rank common cats differently. Indeed, the popularity of these five kitties has been undisputed for a long period of time. 

According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the American Wirehair is ranked last on the list of US cat breeds. Other extremely rare breeds include the Chantilly-Tiffany, which was all but extinct, the Chausie, the Bambino, and the Aegean. Their lack of popularity isn’t due to any of their personal traits. Some are rare because of the price, like the Wirehair. In other cases, like that of the Bambino, the breed has not been fully developed yet.

What is the best type of cat to own?

This depends on what you as a potential owner are looking for in a cat and what conditions you have to offer the newest member of your family. Cats have long lifespans, which means that they’ll be in your life for a long time, so buying or adopting a kitten is not a decision or responsibility to be taken lightly. Review all the aspects and get all the info before you make a final decision. Don’t just ask yourself, “What kind of cat should I get?” Make sure you can first answer, “Why should I get a cat?”

Final Thoughts

Cats and humans have always had a special relationship—in fact, the domestic cat has been a part of people’s lives for 9,500 years. Some cats were worshipped as gods, others stopped the spread of disease among early settlers, while some were and are just a simple animal companion, bringing joy and happiness to their owners. 

Whatever their role, felines and humans form a bond that lasts a lifetime. So whether you’re looking to get an alley cat or one of the most popular cat breeds, give them the love and attention they deserve and give to you. 

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