What are the Some of the Most Popular Cat Breeds?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

The most popular cat breeds are ranked by organizations like the Cat Fanciers Association, which is International in basis, or groups like the Governing Council of The Cat Fancy, a respected group in the UK that is similar to groups for dogs like the Kennel Club. These organizations do not recognize the “mutts” or mixed breeds of the cat world, and in the US and the UK, domestic long hair and short hair cats of mixed parentage are still the most popular cat breeds.

A calico kitten.
A calico kitten.

Information on popular cat breeds can be helpful, if you want a cat that fits certain physical appearance requirements. It can also be a help to understand the differing personalities of cat breeds when you decide to invite a cat into your home. A number of breeds are adaptable to lots of different living situations, but a few will require more care.

Cat breeds are ranked in popularity by the Cat Fanciers Association.
Cat breeds are ranked in popularity by the Cat Fanciers Association.

Some of the popular cat breeds that frequently make the top ten lists include cats like the Persian. Persian cats with their squished faces and long hair can come in a variety of colors. They tend to be deeply mellow cats, which is a good thing since owners will have to groom Persians regularly. The short nose of the cat can create breathing problems for some cats.

There are several other longhaired breeds that are often viewed as some of the most popular cat breeds. These include the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat, both of which can be excellent pets. The Norwegian Forest Cat has been growing in popularity and has a very sweet personality. It’s also one of the largest cats. Maine Coons can be independent, playful and clownish.

Additional popular cat breeds include some short hair and medium length hair cats. The American and British shorthair cats are both great animals. The talkative Siamese is still a clear favorite, with a beautiful coat. The Ragdoll is fluffy cat with an extremely laid-back personality and medium hair length. This breed may not be the best choice for impulsive kids since these cats can get injured if picked up too hastily.

Birmans have coloring similar to Siamese cats but longer hair and rounder faces. Another of the popular cat breeds is the Abyssinian, which is golden in color with varying colors of dark red, fawn, and gold. These are playful cats with muscular bodies and some people compare their appearance to that of mountain lions or cougars.

If you’re looking for a very unusual cat, one of the more popular cat breeds is the Sphynx, also called the hairless cat. The Sphynx actually does have some fine light down on its skin, but it’s not the kind of a cat you’ll need to bother brushing. These are energetic animals, and to some, make the perfect pet in appearance.

There are some inherent problems with cat breeds. Animals that are bred rather than allowed to breed will have a much smaller gene pool, and the breeders will look for suitable mates that continue the best features of a breed. The trouble is that this can mean passing on genetic faults as well as virtues. If you’re looking for a good all around cat with the likelihood to have fewer health difficulties, you may want to stick with adopting one of the “mutts” of the cat world, instead of choosing a cat of a specific breed.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


@carrotisland- I also have a Himalayan and she has been a delight to have around. However, they tend to be demanding at times. Most of the time, they are very loving lap cats that very much enjoy being cuddled.

The daily hair brushing is essential. If you keep yours brushed daily, you will prevent a lot of shedding. Himalayans are bred to be indoor cats but their hair can still become matted. I use a steel comb to brush mine. If you let their hair go, it will become so matted that you would have to get the cat shaved.


@carrotisland- I have raised Himalayans for several years and I absolutely adore them! Just a little background info on them: The Himalayan cat came to be in the 1930s by breeding Siamese and Persian cats.

Himalayans (also known as Himmies) have thick coats that require regular grooming. You really need to brush their hair every day to keep it from matting. Their famous flat face can lead to minor breathing problems occasionally. Also, the Himalayans are known for developing kidney disease. Fortunately, mine have never had any problems with that. I think that you would really enjoy having a Himmie as a pet.


My daughter wants a cat and we are trying to decide what kind to get her. I have looked at several different breeds of cats and I think that we have almost decided on the Himalayan. I am wondering if anyone has one and could give me some information on them.

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