Introduction

It’s impossible to rank the best cat breeds to find which is the most popular, as there are so many amazing breeds out there. Many people could look at pictures of dogs and identify the breed right away, but how many people could confidently identify different breeds of cats? 

Whether you’re looking to adopt your feline friend, or just want to brush up on your knowledge of cats, we have you covered. We’ll be looking at 30 of the most popular cat breeds all over the world, with interesting tidbits about each one.

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Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold cats are always adorable and can make you fall in love with them instantly. They get their name from their small ears that fold down to an almost closed position. The Scottish Fold cat originates from Scotland, and they are characterized as affectionate, sensitive, and sometimes clingy. 

You don’t want to leave your Scottish Fold cat home alone for too long, unless you want to get some angry complaints from the neighbors. They tend to prefer company; however, this can be in the form of another cat. 

These cats tend to be on the larger side, males being capable of weighing up to 13 pounds. Scottish Fold cats tend to act a little differently to other popular breeds of cats, but this can sometimes be desirable for cat owners. 

The Scottish Fold cat enjoys some playtime, but they’re not the most active cat out there. Rather than chasing a ball, this breed prefers intellectual toys that test their brainpower. Scottish Fold cats enjoy lots of attention, so make sure that you have enough time for them before adopting one!

How old is your cat in human years? Try our cat age in human years calculator.

British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is an affectionate cat once it gets to know you, however, they can be rather reserved towards unknown people. Their coats are commonly seen in almost every color imaginable for a cat, and their hair is rather short and dense. This doesn’t mean you’re immune from grooming needs; however, as British Shorthair cats do shed a lot. 

One of the first things you’ll notice when looking at a British Shorthair is that they’re very rounded. Their head shape, paws, and eyes are all very circular and there are no harsh lines to be seen associated with this cat. Blue is the most common color for a British Shorthair’s coat. 

British Shorthair cats are very affectionate and intelligent, displaying more dignity than most other cats out there do. They don’t often enjoy being picked up or carried anywhere, and they’d prefer not to sit on your lap. If you have a space open on the couch next to you, they’ll happily sit there, but they do enjoy their personal space.

Persian

A Persian cat is another dignified breed, and they’re known for being as docile as they are beautiful. One of the sweetest cat breeds around, they’re relaxed but they aren’t afraid to show you how annoyed they are by loud noises or children running around. The Persian cat won’t scratch or growl, but they will make sure that you know about it! 

Persian cats have long, flowing coats of fine hair with thick-looking necks and bushy tails. Their ears are small with rounded tips, and their noses are often short and in line with their full cheeks. You’ll need to groom a Persian cat daily as litter and other dirt can easily get stuck in their coats. 

Expect to see sizes of 7 to 12 pounds in this medium-sized cat. As Persian cats are so regal, they enjoy an owner that shares their beliefs and enjoys relaxing on the sofa. Your Persian cat might bond best with you by sitting on your lap as you groom them. 

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon cat is the largest breed of cat out there, with a very muscular body and long legs. Looking at the face shape of a Maine Coon, you can instantly tell that this breed means business. Their nose is squared and their ears are large and pointed. Their eyes are intimidating and they own every room that they walk into. 

A Maine Coon coat is thick, glossy, and waterproof. The tail is very bushy and their ears are elongated with tufts of hair poking out. The Maine Coon cat is very active and curious; however, they’re also very dependent on their owners. Don’t let the stocky build fool you, your Maine Coon will be very sociable and friendly. 

Due to their size, Maine Coon cats need to be outdoor cats to ensure that they get enough exercise. Their longer hair requires grooming regularly to ensure that it doesn’t get ruined with dirt or mud from outside. This breed can reach sizes up to 18 pounds.

Sphynx

Surely everyone has heard of the Sphynx cat, or rather the hairless cat! Well, they’re not completely hairless, but their coats are so fine that it resembles peach fuzz rather than a thick coat of fur. This gives the illusion that they’re hairless, as you can see every marking on their skin very easily. 

A Sphynx cat’s head is rather small and pointed, and carries their oversized ears. The ears are almost as large as the cat’s head. The body is slender and muscular with a barrel chest to assert dominance. Their tails are long, skinny and hard to touch. Sphynx cats are very smooth and soft, however, they cannot compare to the feel of a haired cat. 

For this reason, not everyone gets along with Sphynx cats. However, if you can get used to their unique look and feel, they’re very elegant and friendly cats. They vocalize to converse with you, and they become very attached to their owners. 

Siberian

The Siberian cat is a stocky breed with a barrel-shaped chest and a heavier weight. Their coat is long and dense, giving you the illusion that they’re bigger than they are. Their heads are rounded and their eyes are wide and expressive. On the contrary, their ears are smaller in comparison to their other features with rounded tips. 

A tabby coat pattern is the most common for Siberian cats; however, a Siberian Forest Cat can have a coat in a larger range of colors. These cats are playful, inquisitive, and sociable. They enjoy using their voice to communicate with you and enjoy chirping and squeaking. 

Siberian cats tend to enjoy playing in water, which is somewhat uncommon for the majority of cats, and they’re loyal to their owners. They’re confident and enjoy working for what they want. Don’t be surprised if you see a Siberian cat trying to solve a problem independently – they enjoy the challenge!

Somali

Somali cats are muscular and have a tough build. Their head has soft contours and their ears are pointed and far apart. Their eyes are the traditional almond shape, with the most common colors being amber, green, or hazel. Their coat is dense and gives them a thicker appearance. The Somali tail is thick and very bushy.

The coat can come in a range of different colors, and each hair will have six bands of color across each strand. This gives the Somali cat a very variegated color scheme which is often why they’re so popular. Somali cats often have a golden-brown coat, but there are 27 other color options to choose from. 

Somali cats are very quiet cats who don’t tend to vocalize much. They’re friendly towards their owners but also enjoy a lot of alone time, and they don’t mind being left home alone for periods. They’re very intelligent and enjoy brain teaser toys, and they need to be able to explore the outside world on their own.

Ragdoll

Ragdoll cats are powerful and distinctive, so you’ll know when you see one. Despite the larger size, the Ragdoll cat is particularly laid back and friendly, so you don’t have to steer clear if you see one on the street. 

The Ragdoll cats get their names from this very relaxed demeanor, as a traditional ragdoll is floppy and unstructured. Their heads are larger with a flat, wide area between their ears. Their eyes are typically bright blue, and their body is strong and long. Their tail is long and bushy, and their coat is often long. 

This docile cat is sociable but likes their alone time also, and they don’t tend to use their voices. Due to the length and hair type of their coats, they require grooming every day. Ragdoll cats need some outdoor space to stretch their large muscles, so be prepared to groom out questionable substances from your cat’s long fur.

Siamese

The Siamese cat looks incredibly dressed up and elegant, with their signature dark paws, legs, face, ears, and the tip of their tail. Their eyes are traditionally a vivid blue color to put anyone who stares into them in a trance. 

Siamese cats are very friendly and affectionate, and they love to use their voices to talk to you. Seriously, you could find yourself in the middle of an hour-long conversation with a Siamese cat. This breed is very active, so make sure that you stock up on enough toys to keep them happy. 

One thing to keep in mind is that Siamese cats are very opinionated and aren’t afraid to let you know what they think. They’ll use their raspy voice to do so, and will often not stop until you follow their advice. They’ll also often be found following you around supervising your every move. This is very endearing for some people; however, others don’t find it adorable.

Tonkinese

Tonkinese cats are robust, intelligent, and friendly. If you were to compare one breed of cat to a dog, it would most likely be a Tonkinese cat. They’re a medium-sized cat, weighing anywhere from 3 to 7 kilograms. Tonkinese cats enjoy being up well above their owners, so don’t be surprised if you find your kitten on top of the wardrobe or sleeping above the door. 

Tonkinese cats are smart and affectionate to their owners, and they’re considerably chattier than most other cat breeds. Their heads are triangular and long, which goes hand in hand with their long and slender bodies. The large ears will often look misplaced on their smaller heads. 

Their coats can come in a range of different colors, such as blue, red, brown, tabby, and tortoiseshell. Tonkinese cats love company, so they’d make the ideal family cat with someone always on hand to provide them with enough love. This loyal breed will certainly reciprocate the love you give them, and more! 

American Shorthair

American Shorthair cats are very friendly and will quickly bond with every member of the household. They are medium to large-sized cats, weighing in from 8 to over 12 pounds. You should monitor their diets closely to prevent obesity from becoming a risk to their health. 

Their coat length is short and straight, and can come in almost every color imaginable for cats. The same can be said about their eye color, and they don’t require much grooming at all. Heavy bones and muscles make the American Shorthair harder to handle than other breeds, which is good for them as they don’t like to be picked up regularly. 

The stocky build might give you the impression that the American Shorthair is a protective and independent cat; however, they still do enjoy human company and playtime. You’ll notice that the American Shorthair breed knows what they want and knows how to get it – if they want to play, you’ll be brought a toy.

LaPerm

The LaPerm cat got their name from their coat, which is characterized by the bouncy curls that it holds up no matter what. The curls are loose but still distinct enough to warrant their name paying homage to them. LaPerm cats are often a smaller breed of cats, weighing 5 to 8 pounds. 

LaPerm cats are often born bald with tabby markings on their skin and ears that look too big for their bodies. Once they begin to mature and grow, the curly coat quickly grows out and leaves them with long, luscious hair. 

Many cat lovers refer to the LaPerm as the most mischievous cat around, quickly learning tricks to confuse and wow their owners. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and like to follow them around to see what they’re up to. 

LaPerm cats are loving, attentive, and active, so they’re a great breed for anyone who wants a doting cat to become quick best friends with.

American Curl

You can distinguish the American Curl from other cat breeds thanks to their rounded ears and tufts of hair protruding out of them. They are a very friendly breed that enjoys the presence of children and other pets. They weigh anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds and shed a lot, so get the lint rollers ready. 

American Curl cats enjoy playing with toys and people, and they like to explore to satisfy their curiosity. While this breed isn’t clingy per se, they have been known to seek their owners out and follow them around the house. This can be put down to their inquisitive nature. 

It is possible to teach the American Curl how to play fetch, which is one of the reasons why this breed is so popular with children. The interactive game is fun for both the cat and the child playing. The Curl has also been known to open doors and wreak havoc in china cabinets, so make sure that you install locks to save your breakables.

Balinese

Balinese cats are medium-sized, often weighing from 6 to 11 pounds, with long coats that give them the illusion that they’re much bigger than they are. Their coats are always predominantly white, however, the face points can be different variants of darker colors. 

Fall in love with their bright, vivid blue eyes and small pointed ears. They’re highly affectionate and friendly, and make great family pets thanks to their tolerance of children and other pets. They require lots of exercise and therefore you might find yourself playing with them for hours to burn enough energy to tire them out! 

The Balinese breed is very intelligent, curious, and enjoys talking to you often. Due to their long hair, they will need to be groomed more than a short-haired cat, so bear this in mind. They shed their hair moderately, however, it is longer than other cat breeds. 

Like many cats, the Balinese cat enjoys finding high points to rest and recharge, so make sure that they have access to all of these areas around your home. They are very attentive and have been known to use their voice to demand attention.

Birman

Birman is a very specific breed of cat. They have lighter colored fur covering their entire body, with slightly darker hair over their face, legs, ears, and the tip of their tail. The large cat has medium length hair and their feet are covered with long strands of hair, which can get dirty very easily. 

Many cat owners regard the Birman breed as a companion cat due to their affectionate nature. They don’t tend to use their voices much and are rather docile for the most part. Birman cats are curious, sociable, and smart – but they won’t let you into all of their secrets. 

Although the Birman breed isn’t as high-maintenance as a Persian cat, they do still require vigorous grooming regimes to ensure that their coats don’t become matted and uncomfortable. A Birman should have a thorough grooming session once a week while being brushed daily.

Bombay

The Bombay breed of cats can be characterized by their signature walk, which strikes a resemblance to the Black Panther that is found in India. Bombay cats have short coats that are smooth and shiny. Their coats will only be completely black and their eyes will either be copper or gold. 

Bombay cats are medium-sized, weighing anywhere upwards of 8 pounds. Picking up a Bombay cat will allow you to experience how heavy they are, as their size can be particularly deceiving. Their head, eyes, chin, ears, and feet are rounded. 

This breed of cat is active and curious, particularly enjoying the action of stopping and watching the world go by. They enjoy looking out of the window for hours on end, but they can be particularly dependent on their owners if necessary. 

They often make their presence known by spreading out over your book or keyboard to stop you from completing the activity you were in the middle of. This can be endearing and show you how much your cat loves you. The affection that Bombay cats give their owners is one of the reasons why they’re so popular.

Burmese

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Burmese cat is their rounded head and their slender, muscular body. Their eyes tend to be large and appear to be busting out of their heads, often displaying hues of yellow as the main color. Their coat is short and glossy and can come in a whole range of colors. 

Burmese cats are very active and inquisitive, enjoying a mystery now and again. Don’t worry about not seeing your cat for days on end, though, as Burmese cats are very dependent on their owners and will always be back in time for dinner. 

They’re not afraid to use their voice to get your attention, and they make a great family cat thanks to their highly sociable demeanors. A lot of people compare the Burmese breed to Siamese cats, however, the latter has a slimmer build than the former. 

Burmese cats are very easy to take care of and don’t require much grooming, so they’re the ideal pet for beginners or people who need an independent cat that doesn’t require round the clock attention.

Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is an athletic cat that enjoys running, playing, and jumping from incredible heights. They are a small breed of cats, with both males and females weighing in at less than 3 kilograms. Their eyes are often the most mesmerizing part about them, as they’re bright and colorful. 

Cornish Rex coats are short and crimped, and they don’t require much grooming. They have large ears that can overpower the cat’s head. Due to their thin and short coat, the Cornish Rex looks incredibly small and dainty. Looking at a Cornish Rex, they’re certainly unique in terms of appearance. 

Cornish Rex cats enjoy being close to their owner and will create an unbreakable bond with their chosen human. They like to have a good amount of bonding time with their owner per day, and will even walk on a lead to spend more quality time with you. As this is such an athletic cat, daily walks are very convenient at ensuring that they burn enough energy.

Egyptian Mau

Don’t let the smaller size of 3 to 5 kilograms fool you – Egyptian Mau cats are very strong and require lots of exercise to suit their lifestyle. As long as your Egyptian Mau has enough exploration time outside, they are very easy to care for thanks to their laidback nature. 

Their eye color is green and their coat short, with colors of silver, smoke, and bronze. The pattern can either be ‘smoke’ or spotted, making them a rare breed of cat and highly sought after by cat lovers all over the world. They don’t need much grooming, but you can always incorporate a brush into playtime to give their coat an added layer of shine.

The Egyptian Mau cat is very athletic, but in their downtime, they do enjoy relaxing high above the ground. This is because they like to survey the whole area and feel as though they’re in control of the house. 

Havana Brown

The Havana Brown cat is an extremely rare breed it is one of the most endangered cat breeds to be known. Their coat is glossy and a deep brown color, and their eyes are more often than not bright green. A medium-sized cat breed, a male Havana Brown can weigh 3 to 5 kilograms, while a female weighs less than 3 kilograms. 

Havana Brown cats enjoy the company of their owners, but they also enjoy their personal space. They have very triangular faces, but their nose and jaw is squared rather than pointed. This gives them an unusual look that is not often seen on cats. 

They don’t need many toys and often become attached to only one toy, playing with only this toy until it breaks or becomes lost. Havana Brown cats mirror this behavior on humans, as well, as they will often become attached to only one or two humans and stay away from any others. 

Havana Brown cats are very slim and muscular, so they need a balanced diet with strict nutrition guidelines. It’s not difficult to see why this rare and unique cat is one of the most popular breeds in the world. 

Himalayan

A Himalayan cat often comes equipped with big and stocky bones, as well as long fur that can accentuate their size even more. Male Himalayan cats can weigh more than 12 pounds, with females weighing 8 to 12 pounds, which is rather heavy for any cat. 

Their eye colors tend to be light, such as blue, green, or orange, and their long straight fur isn’t shy when it comes to malting. Get ready for a lifetime of picking hair off of every item you own! You can find Himalayan cats in a plethora of coat colors, such as brown, lilac, red, and golden. 

Himalayan cats tend to have flatter faces with small ears. They tend to be docile for the majority of the day, however, sometimes they will experience short bursts of energy that can confuse their owners. Himalayan cats are very easy to live with and can adapt to changes easily.

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat, which has been lovingly nicknamed Wegie for short, is a loving cat that also enjoys their alone time. You’ll often find your Wegie sitting by themselves for the majority of the day, but when they want love and affection, they’re not afraid to ask for it. 

The Wegie cat can weigh up to 22 pounds, so they’re known as one of the bigger breeds of cats out there. Having said this, they grow slowly and you often won’t have a fully matured Norwegian Forest Cat for up to five years.

Your Norwegian Forest Cat will be friendly and docile, and they’ll often love to make friends with different family members. However, they don’t mind being left home alone for a few hours and can often go for longer periods without scoping out their owners. Just knowing that you’re in the house is enough for the Wegie. 

Ocicat

The Ocicat has a spotted coat and is medium to large-sized. They have a squared jaw and their ears are set wide apart. This cat is very active and enjoys discovering new things. They enjoy spending time with their owners and they aren’t afraid to use their voices now and then.

Ocicats are elegant cats, although they were originally bred to resemble a wild cat. They are clever and enjoy their playtime, and if you don’t give them enough attention as and when they require it, you’ll know about it.

Ragamuffin

The Ragamuffin cat is generally considered calm and docile, which is perfect for people living in apartments. At first glance a Ragamuffin cat will appear large; however, this is mostly down to their long fur that surrounds their face. This splays out and gives the appearance of a larger cat. 

You’ll typically see Ragamuffin cats ranging in size from anywhere upwards of 12 pounds. Their coat is long, silky smooth, and can come in a range of colors. They’ll need a considerable amount of grooming to ensure that their coat remains as impressive as possible. 

A Ragamuffin cat is easy to live with and they don’t typically get upset at changes to their routine. This breed is a good option for a family cat as they don’t mind children or other pets. The Ragamuffin is a variation of the Ragdoll breed and occurred from a disagreement amongst breeders.

Oriental Longhair

Oriental Longhair cats are commonly compared to Siamese cats, however, they’re often larger and have longer fur across their chests and hind legs. Their tails also feature longer hair, giving the cat an elegant and regal appearance. The long fur makes them susceptible to comparisons with Persian cats, but Oriental Longhair’s don’t require as much grooming. 

This breed of cat almost always has green eyes, apart from white-colored cats, which can either have blue or green eyes. It is also rather common for Oriental Longhair cats to be odd-eyed, which means that they have one blue and one green eye. 

The Oriental Longhair is a very active breed and they enjoy talking to their owners. They can become bored easily so be prepared to give them lots of attention and companionship. This breed of cat is inquisitive and always wants to be at the heart of the action – they always want to know what’s going on.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue cat breed is certainly a beautiful one, with a frosty blue colored coat and bright green eyes. Russian Blue kittens start with yellow eyes that have green rims, and this green hue leaks across the entire pupil as the cat matures. Female Russian Blue cats can weigh from 7 to 10 pounds, and males have an expectancy of 10 to 12 months. 

Russian Blue cats are very independent cats that won’t seek you out for much of the day. Having said this, they’re still very affectionate and sweet towards their owners, and they have been known to create a fiercely loyal bond with a singular human.

Their coats are short but dense and very soft. This gives the illusion that they’re larger than they are. Russian Blue cats enjoy their own private space to sleep and relax, so cat trees are very popular among this breed. The Russian Blue breed has been widely renowned as one of the prettiest cat breeds around the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most popular.

Savannah

Savannah cats are long, slender, and tall. Their mature size will depend on how early on in the generation line they are, as the earlier generations tend to be the largest. Cats have to be bred multiple times to get this particular breed, and so the size of the Savannah cat can vary greatly, even within the same litter. 

Their coats are typically short and smooth, and show off a lovely spotted pattern. However, there can also be Savannah cats with marble patterns across their coats. Their ears are large, tall and close together, giving them a distinct look that allows you to easily categorize them. 

This rare breed of cat is rather new and therefore there isn’t too much concrete information available on them. Some owners say that they’re sociable and friendly, while others say that they’re territorial and unfriendly to new faces. They like to chirp at their owners and aren’t afraid to hiss if they’re not happy.

Lykoi

The Lykoi cat is a rare breed of cat, and it is not a result of excessive breeding. Instead, sometimes a natural mutation occurs among feral cats when they breed, leading to the Lykoi cat being born. They’re born with black coats, but this can change as they grow and sometimes they enter adulthood without any fur at all. 

Don’t be deterred by their alias – the Werewolf Cat – as Lykois are very friendly, confident, and smart. They enjoy the company and become attached to their owners quickly. They enjoy hunting and need a lot of toys to keep up with, but you should be cautious about allowing them outside as other cats might not recognize them and attack them. 

They are a small breed, weighing up to 3.2 kilograms. Their sparse coats often leave them susceptible to hypothermia and sunburn, so ideally they should be kept as indoor cats. Although they are a unique breed, they have a high resemblance to Sphynx cats. 

American Bobtail

The American Bobtail is a highly distinctive breed of cats thanks to their short and fluffy tails. Although they look as though they lost in a fight to another ferocious cat, the American Bobtail is very friendly and loving towards their owners. 

You can play with an American Bobtail cat for hours on end before they get bored or tired. Try throwing a toy up in the air while your cat is on the prowl – they’ll be sure to catch it in their mouth without a hitch. 

A hunter, the American Bobtail enjoys parading their prey around the house or neighborhood. Don’t be surprised if you see your cat with a brightly colored toy hanging out the side of their mouth, they’re simply showing off. 

The American Bobtail developed naturally through natural selection; however, it has now become one of the most popular cat breeds for experienced breeders to achieve. The Bobtail cat is large, stocky, and of course, comes equipped with the shortened tail. 

This unique feature makes it easy to see why the world fell in love with the American Bobtail so quickly.

Khao Manee

The Khao Manee are muscular cats that adorn a pure white coat that is made up of short hair. Their features are similar to a domestic shorthair cat and nothing too impressive; however, their eyes are the most distinctive feature. They can be almost any color imaginable, or odd-eyed. 

This rare breed of cat originates in Thailand and is also known as the ‘White Gem’. They are commutative, playful, and very intelligent cats. They have lovely voices when they chirp, meow, or purr, and they’re very friendly with their chosen humans.

Video – Watch/Listen: 30 of the Most Popular Cat Breeds

Summary

That concludes our list of the 30 most popular cat breeds. Cats are often overlooked as pets and they’re almost always misunderstood. Their independence is often mistaken for lack of love for their owners, and this gives cats a bad name. 

For the past 9,500 years, humans and cats have coexisted, giving each other joy and companionship that they otherwise would have missed out on. Some cats have been worshipped, some were happy accidents from overbreeding. 

One thing is for certain – different breeds of cats all have different personalities and characteristics. Some are incredibly friendly and attentive, while others demand their own space and will only find you when they require something. 

It’s important to adopt a breed of cat that is going to work for you. If you’re looking for a lap cat, make sure that you don’t opt for a breed like the Maine Coon, who enjoys their private time. You should work with your cat and put in as much effort as you expect from them.

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