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Cats are one of the most popular furry companions. In fact, according to a national pet owners survey, 42.7 million households in the US own a cat. More than half of us (67%) own some kind of pet (up from 56% in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted). That’s a lot of cat litter.
People are drawn to cats for their loving nature, independent attitudes, and pure shenanigans. But what are the most common cat breeds? Let’s look at 8 of the most common types of cats and why people love them. If you’re looking to find the best cat breed for you and your family, read on!
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8 of the Most Common Cat Breeds
There are many types of cat breeds to choose from that can be found after a shelter has taken them in for rehoming, however, many people also choose to bring home a “mutt” cat which is an unknown breed. These are some of the most common cat breeds, and you can often find one of these furry friends looking for love at a rescue shelter as well.
A persian cat tops many lists of the most common cat breeds and is known for their silky coat, beautiful eyes, and loving personality. And don’t forget their squishy faces! Persian cats are treated like royalty in any house they live in, and for good reason. While a persian cat might not be the most adventurous player or courageous explorer, they’re the perfect napping buddies and love nothing more than a relaxing day at home.
Persians originated in Iran (then Persia) in the 1500s. The first documented Persian dates back to the cold, mountainous regions of Iran (which might be the reason why they have such long coats today!). They have adorned the laps of royalty, travelers, and Roman rulers. Fast forward to today and Persians are one of the most common show cats. Their big, round, expressive eyes draw you in and they get extra points for their beautiful coats, facial structure, and disposition.
Persians are a relatively small breed of cat. Most males are about 9-15 pounds and most females are about 6-9 pounds. There are countless different variations of Persians, including solid colors, silver and golden, smoke and shaded, tabby, bicolor, and more. One of the most common color variations is called a Himalayan. Himalayans have darker faces and paws.
Ragdolls are another popular breed known for their sweet personalities, super soft coats, and beautiful markings. They’re named for their tendency to just flop in your arms like a, well, ragdoll cat! Some people might consider ragdolls lazy, but we just think they’re channeling their inner California roots. The ragdoll cat breed originated in Riverside, California in the 1960s, making them one of the newest breeds on our list.
Ragdolls make a great addition to a home with children or other pets because of their laidback nature. Like Persians, they are perfectly happy lounging around in the sunshine, birdwatching through the window, or cuddling up with their humans. Some people call them “dog-like” because they love to follow their family around the house. They love being the center of attention and will quickly become your best friend (as long as you have treats handy!).
One of the most notable features of Ragdoll cats is their size. Male cats can get up to 20 pounds, with most averaging between 10-16 pounds. Female ragdolls are about 8-12 pounds. With all this floof, pet owners need to make sure they have a lot of high-quality food on hand, especially for Ragdoll kittens. This beautiful cat grows quickly and seems to always need a snack.
Abyssinian, or Aby, cats are one of the most popular cat breeds and are known for their playful nature. While they might not be the cuddliest of cats, they make up for it with their love for adventure and curiosity. An abyssinian cat is a very smart cat and is always looking to solve its next puzzle. This being said, the Aby needs lots of attention and is great for households that can dedicate time and energy into bonding with it. In addition, they may also love a friend around, whether that means another abyssinian cat, a dog, or another companion.
With one look at an Aby, it’s no surprise that they’re one of the oldest domesticated cats. Their striking markings are similar to the African Wildcats we see today and it’s thought that one of these cats or its relatives was domesticated and brought over from Europe. Aby cats are long and athletic, similar to Siamese cats, and they come in a number of different colors. They use this athletic build to leap into the air, jump an entire cat tower in one bound, and chase around their toys. They are curious, sweet, and make loyal pet cat companions.
American Shorthairs may look similar to domestic shorthairs, but they are a purebred, show-quality version of their more mainstream counterparts. The American Shorthair is known for its calm nature and a low-maintenance lifestyle. If you want a sweet friend without all the upkeep of some other popular purebreds, the American Shorthair is for you.
This pretty kitty is known for its large, round heads, stocky bodies, and expressive eyes. They come in more than 80 colors and patterns, some of which have striking stripes and some of which have a tortoise, bicolor, or calico pattern. Either way, this popular cat breed is a favorite for many households. American Shorthairs get along well with other pets and children in the house and love to play hard and nap even harder.
The Maine Coon cat is often dubbed “gentle giant" and for good reason! These beauties can get up to 20 pounds, but don’t let their intimidating stature fool you. The Maine Coon cat are calm and playful. These sweet kitties are calm and playful and can fit in with nearly any household. Their sweet nature is one of the reasons why they are one of the most common cat breeds today!
The Maine Coon cat originated here in North America (and is still the state cat of Maine). The large cat breed was originally used as farm cats and ship cats to keep the pests away. Although they are great hunters, they’re also just as happy curled up in the lap of their human. Maine Coons have thick, soft coats that are easier to take care of than other domestic longhair breeds, but still require a bit of maintenance. Namely, this breed can shed! They come in nearly every color combination and are super affectionate. The Maine Coon cat owner enjoys having more fluff to love with these big babies!
A Scottish Fold cat is a breed of cat that once you know them, you can instantly recognize them! They are known for their unusual ears that fold forward and downward. This is actually a genetic mutation, but it has now been bred as a favorable characteristic. They are very similar to an Exotic Shorthair cat and American Shorthairs in terms of coat, temperament, and personality. They have low to moderate energy, silky smooth coats, and come in a wide variety of colors.
In addition to their unique ears, the Scottish Fold cat is also loved for their gentle nature and intelligence. They can respond well to training and will do anything to please their humans. If you have your heart set on a Scottish Fold with extreme ears, though, be wary. Only about half of Folds actually develop the signature ears.
Even people who don’t know much about cats can instantly recognize a Sphynx because of its lack of fur. These “naked” kitties are wrinkly, soft, and super sweet. In addition to this notable characteristic, they are also one of the largest domesticated cat breeds and have long, slender bodies. They are an energetic breed and extremely intelligent, which keeps their owners on their toes. They have a high energy level and can learn how to do tricks. In fact, they’re quite the showoffs!
Although Sphynx cat doesn't have fur, they actually have very unique cat grooming needs. For cats with fur, their body oils are naturally absorbed into their fluff, but because Sphynx cats lack this fur, they have to be bathed regularly to keep their skin healthy. Most Sphynx kitties will enjoy a bath about once a week. And luckily, many cute cats in this breed actually enjoy the water! They also need to be safeguarded from the sun because they can get sunburned.
Bengals are some of the most stunning house cats because of their wild markings, large size, and playful nature. Bengals are high energy, but that doesn’t always mean that they’re hard to take care of. With the right training and exercise, a Bengal cat can be tamed easily and become super affectionate with their caretakers (although you likely won’t find them curled up on the sofa). This large cat breed enjoys human company and are loyal to a fault. Although they might not be the best fit for households with small children, they get along well with older children and adults who are willing to play games with them. They can also get along well with other pets in the home. They are hunters by nature and may even enjoy the water! This is thanks to their Asian leopard heritage. So if you are wondering how to trim cat claws, it is a good time to learn how!
As you can see, some of the most popular cat breeds vary in personality types, looks, temperament, and care requirements. These care requirements include knowing the top causes of allergies in cats as well as how to get rid of cat allergies! You don’t want your furry friend to be allergic to anything in your home. Although these breeds are popular, any cat you bring into your household is special in its own way!