If you’re looking to adopt a cat or just learn more about the different types of cat breeds out there, then you’ve come to the right place. Cats come in all shapes and sizes. Their personalities and activity levels can vary greatly depending upon their breed.
How their color and coat looks, as well as their body type, ear shape, face shape, and tail length are determined by several factors. Some cat breeds are more exotic and harder to find, while others are more common and you can find them just about anywhere you look.
Let’s dive into the 11 most popular cat breeds you’ll come across in your search for a new pet.
British Shorthair Cats
British shorthair cats are one of the most popular breeds in England. Known for their sturdy builds, British shorthair cats typically have round faces and bodies. British shorthair cats used to be known as “British Blues” as they were typically found in the traditional gray coat; however, you can find many different variations of the cat breed now.
Personality: British shorthair cats are known for being more subdued and calm. While they do enjoy human companionship, they aren’t known for being lap cats. They are not very active cats either so you’ll have to watch what they eat to avoid weight problems.
Fun fact: British shorthair cats are a very ancient breed of cat that can be traced back to the Egyptians.
Siamese cats are one of the easiest cat breeds to distinguish due to their striking features and coat colors. Siamese cats are known for their crystal-blue eyes, pointy ears, and coat coloring.
There are different types of Siamese cats distinguished by their color points which are displayed on their faces, paws, ears, and tail. Color points include seal points, chocolate points, blue points, and lilac points- each color point displaying a different hue.
Personality: Siamese cats are known for their distinctive voice and their willingness to use it. These cats are not only smart but they love “talking” to their owners throughout the day. They are also very active and enjoy different types of toys to keep them engaged and stimulated.
Fun fact: Siamese cats originated from Thailand and have a history of being treated as royalty due to their striking coat and features.
If you’re looking for a fluffy and cuddly cat, look no further than the Persian. Known for their signature long and fluffy coats, Persians are a popular choice among cat owners. However, with their long, luscious coat comes plenty of shedding so Persian cat owners need to be ready for the increased maintenance and cleaning. Aside from their coats, they typically have flat faces and chubby cheeks making them even more adorable.
Personality: Persian cats make great family pets due to their gentle temperaments. They are affectionate and loyal cats that love being pampered. Persians are known for being lap cats that enjoy human companionship.
Fun fact: Persian cats were originally found in Iran (Persia) but their roots can be traced further back to the Turkish Angora cat breed.
Scottish Fold Cats
Scottish fold cats are known for having folded ears which make them one of the most distinctive cat breeds on this list. Scottish fold cats typically have rounded heads, large eyes, and short necks which can make them look more like an owl than a cat. Scottish fold cats aren’t very high maintenance, so they’ll require the care you’d give to any other breed.
Personality: Scottish fold cats are sweet, affectionate, and enjoy human companionship. They tend to pick their favorite family member and stick to them like glue. These cats are known to be easygoing and playful so they’ll spend hours playing and chasing around toys and other pets.
Fun fact: Scottish fold cats have one common ancestor named Susie, who was born in Scotland in the 1960s. Distinguished by her folded ears, she was bred with other cats to solidify the folded ear look.
Ragdoll cats are known for being some of the calmest cat breeds out there. This breed of cat typically has a laid-back personality with an affinity for human companionship. If you’re looking to snuggle up with your cat, this is definitely the one for you!
Ragdoll cats can be distinguished by their piercing blue eyes (some only have one blue eye!) and their general light coats with darker colored face, ears, and tail.
Personality: Ragdoll cats are affectionate and known for their docile temperaments. They enjoy being held and carried around while they lounge on a soft, cozy surface. Ragdoll cats are known to be very loving towards humans- especially children making them great family pets!
Fun fact: The name “Ragdoll” was derived from the way these cats go limp in your arms when you pick them up, just like a ragdoll!
Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coon cats are often known as the “gentle giants” of the cat world. These large, fluffy cats require a moderate level of daily care due to their gorgeous coats- so they may not be ideal for busy cat owners. If you have enough time to spend with your furry friend, however, they’ll make great pets!
Maine Coon cats have a long history, dating back to the Vikings who used them as working animals. These cats are powerful and agile with thick coats perfect for cold winters. While it may take time to groom your Maine Coon cat, you’ll love cuddling up to their soft, plush fur.
Personality: Main coon cats are known for their playful and friendly personalities. These gentle giants enjoy playing games like fetch and following their favorite humans around the house. They’re well-equipped for hauling prey up trees so don’t be surprised if your Maine Coon cat brings you presents!
Fun fact: The first Maine Coon cat was brought to the United States in the 19th century. The breed was developed from a mix of American shorthairs and European longhairs so they can be found in a variety of breeds, colors, and patterns.
Bengal cats are known for being playful and high-energy pets that require plenty of human interaction. Bengal cats have been selectively bred to resemble leopards which makes them one of the most exotic cat breeds on this list. These sociable cats make great pets- but they can be a handful for inexperienced owners.
Bengal cats typically have spotted coats and vibrant amber or green eyes that help them look like miniature leopards. They come in a variety of colors including black, brown, and gray.
Personality: Bengal cats are high-energy and acrobatic pets. They love climbing and jumping into baskets, boxes, and other nooks around the house. Bengal cats are known for being mischievous and may enjoy getting into your things- so they’re not great for people who prefer a neat, tidy home!
Fun fact: The Bengal cat breed was developed to look like leopards. They’re named after the Asian leopard cat, which they were bred from.
American Shorthair Cats
American shorthairs are one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds and can be found in a variety of colors and patterns. This breed is known for being adaptable and easy-going which makes them great pets for people with families.
American shorthairs have a variety of colors including brown tabby, white, black, red tabby, solid black or white, tortoiseshell, 2011 silver tabby, and calico. While they typically have short hair that sheds seasonally, some American shorthairs have medium-length shaggy coats.
Personality: American shorthair cats are known for being outgoing and sociable. They enjoy being the center of attention and will greet you when you get home from a long day at work! They’re also easy-going and relaxed, so they’ll happily lounge around your house all day if you have the time.
Fun fact: American Shorthairs are descendants of cats first brought to North America by English settlers. The cats were then bred with other shorthaired breeds including the Siamese cat to create the American Shorthair breed as we know it today.
Sphynx cats are one of the hairless cat breeds and should be handled frequently to keep their skin healthy. These affectionate, low-maintenance pets have been popular among cat owners for years.
Their light or dark gray skin is often covered with patches of a darker color. Sphynx cats also have a variety of markings including stripes, spots, and tabby patterns. Their skin is usually very soft and smooth to the touch.
Personality: Sphynx cats are extremely affectionate pets that love cuddling with their favorite people. They’re also natural explorers who enjoy playing games like hide-and-seek! If you want a pet that loves to cuddle- but doesn’t shed hair all over your furniture, a Sphynx cat might be the perfect choice for you!
Fun fact: The first hairless cat breed was discovered in Canada. It took several generations of breeding to create the Sphynx cats we know and love today!
Norwegian Forest Cats
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large breed that looks like a wild cat. They’re known for their fluffy, water-repellant coats and bushy tails. These cats are extremely playful and enjoy games like fetch and hide-and-seek!
Norwegian Forest Cats come in a variety of colors including black, brown tabby, silver tabby, and white. They also have a variety of markings including tabby patches, bicolor coats, and asymmetrical spots. In addition to their long coat- they also have bushy tails!
Personality: Norwegian Forest Cats are sweet cats that love being around people. They’re intelligent pets who enjoy playing games like fetch and hide-and-seek. If you enjoy spending time with your cat or giving them lots of attention, this breed might be perfect for you!
Fun fact: The first Norwegian Forest Cat was discovered in the forests of Norway! Like many other rare breeds, these cats were almost extinct during World War II. Luckily several breeders worked to bring them back from the brink of extinction.
The first thing to note is that calico cats aren’t technically a breed of cat. Many different cat breeds can have a calico coat color. Calico cats are known for their signature 3 color coats: blending white, orange, and black across their bodies.
Fun fact: Almost all calico cats are females! This is because their coloring is related to the X chromosome. Two X chromosomes are needed to get the distinct-looking coat of a calico cat- which results in the cat being a female.
Because of the need for having two X chromosomes, if you do find a male calico cat they may suffer from Klinefelter’s Syndrome because they have XXY chromosomes. This can impact their health and result in shorter life spans. Female calico cats, on the other hand, live normal lives.
Personality: Calico cats are known to have spunky and outgoing personalities. They are also sweet and loyal cats who make great companions.
What is the most common breed of cat?
The most common cat breed is the domestic short-haired cat. This type of cat includes common cats you may be familiar with like gray and orange tabby cats, tuxedo cats, and calico cats.
If you are adopting a cat from a shelter, there is a high chance it is some type of domestic short-haired cat.
What are the top 3 cat breeds?
It can be difficult to nail down the top 3 cat breeds, as cat breed popularity changes over time. Many cat owners have short-haired cats as they are the most common.
Other types of popular cat breeds include Ragdoll, Persian, and Siamese breeds.
What are the rarest cat breeds?
There are plenty of cat breeds out there you’ve probably never heard of. Some rare cat breeds can only be found in certain parts of the world, while other breeds are small in numbers.
Some of the rarer breeds of cats include Burmilla, Sokoke, Cornish Rex, and Korat breeds.
What breed of house cat is best?
There’s no one breed of house cat you should go with if you’re looking to adopt a new feline friend.
In general, the best breed of cat is one that fits into your lifestyle and has a temperament that best suits you. Some cats are more active and enjoy playing, but others are calmer and prefer to lay around. Do your research to figure out which breed may be a better match for you. Just remember that each cat has their own personality! Get to know your cat’s personality and give it time as you bond with your new pet.
Ready to take the plunge and adopt a cat? Check out this comprehensive list of cat essentials for your new furry friend.