Top 10 Most Popular (and Cute!) Cat Breeds

We know cats have been around since the Egyptians, but may have been around even before that. Although we have had a long relationship with felines, it was not until recently that cat breeds came into light–most domestic cat breeds are less than 100 years old!

The popularity of cat shows in 19th century England jump-started the separation of cat breeds and selective cat breeding. Currently, there are about 40 cat breeds recognized by world cat registries, but new and rare breeds are being recognized all the time. Out of the 40 or so that are, here are the 10 most popular (and undeniably cutest).

Learn more about the different breeds in The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds!

 

Munchkin

Adorable, brown colored cat with short legs.

The Munchkin originated as a spontaneous genetic mutation in Louisiana, USA, in 1983. This resulted in a cat with disproportionately short legs, making it the Dachshund of the feline world. It is a newer breed and was officially recognized in 1995.

Birman

Fluffy white cat, with brown nose and ears.

The Birman was first bred in France in the 1920s. It is one of the more social cat breeds; tolerating children and other pets very well.

Bengal

This cat looks like it's ready to pounce.

The Bengal is the result of the crossing of the Asian Leopard Cat with domestic cats in order to produce a wild-looking cat with a docile temperament. The Bengal is a charming, intelligent, and curious cat.

American/British Shorthair

British Shorthair

American

The British Shorthair (top) stems from the first cats to arrive in Britain, with the Romans. The American Shorthair (bottom)  is very similar and stems from the first cats brought over to North America by European settlers. There is in fact very little difference between the two cat breeds.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon cat laying in the grass.

This is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, originating in Maine. The name coon comes from the thought that the breed originated because of mating between cats and raccoons. This, however, is not how the breed came about. It is likely that the breed arose from mating with local cats and long hair breeds brought over by sailors.   

Abyssinian

A gray cat with rounded ears.

The modern Abyssinian is possibly the ancestor of the ancient breed of cats revered by the Ancient Egyptians and depicted as the goddess Bast. This is only one of many possibilities though since its origins are actually uncertain.

Sphynx

Two hairless kittens posing for a photo

The lack of a coat on this cat breed makes it vulnerable to the weather, and more of an indoor cat. Fortunately, the Sphynx loves the company of human beings and is lively and playful.

Siamese

This cat has a brown head and lower body with a white chest.

Siamese have larger-than life personalities; they are energetic and demanding, so it is better to have at least a pair so that they are kept occupied. They are also very vocal, having a loud voice which is said to resemble a baby crying.

Ragdoll

A white cat with brown fur on its face and paws

The Ragdoll is a relatively new breed, originating in California. It is the world’s largest domestic cat, and was named ragdoll after its tendency to go limp in people’s arms.

Persian

A kind of grumpy looking cat with white fur.

The Persian is a large and robust cat with a stocky frame, large head, and short tail.

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The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds. The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breedshas a lot of rich information about the most well-known cat breeds in the world, such as Persian, Maine Coon, Siamese, Abyssinian, Russian Blue, Tonkinese, and Burmese.Cats, both wild and domestic, are presented in this beautiful full-color book featuring hundreds of facts about your favorite felines. It was probably the Ancient Egyptians, 5,000 years ago, who first recognized the value of cats – encouraging the animals into their homes and grain stores to keep rats and mice at bay. It did not take long for the rest of mankind to fall for the charms of the cat, and cats have been part of our lives almost continuously ever since.

In addition to being quiet, clean and efficient hunters of vermin, cats have proved to be playful, intelligent and affectionate companions, too. The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breedsdescribes the origins and characteristics of the cat, its evolution from wild animal to perfect pet, and at the same time places it in its historical and cultural contexts. The book then goes on to provide valuable advice and guidance about all aspects of cat ownership and care, including choosing a cat and keeping it healthy. All major breeds recognized by the international cat fancies are featured, with information on temperament and special grooming requirements to help the would-be owner choose the ideal cat companion. The book is illustrated with over 400 color photographs.