There are several dozen recognized cat breeds around the world, although the vast majority of cats are “moggies” or mixed-breed cats. While many cat breeds do have distinct differences from others, the differences are arguably more subtle than in pedigree dogs. However, there are still some breeds of cats that prove very popular with pet owners, and below we have listed the 10 most popular breeds, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association.1
These breeds were the ones with the most registrations through the American Association. The list does not include moggies, because they are not a pure breed of cat, but if they were on the list, they would take the top spot by some distance.
Top 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds
The Ragdoll was the most popular cat breed in 2022, marking the fourth successive year that the breed took the honor. It has a beautiful long coat, and stunning blue eyes, and is named for the fact that it collapses into your arms like a ragdoll. The breed is very popular with owners because it tends to be so loving.
2. Maine Coon
If you like your cats as large as dogs, the Maine Coon is the ideal breed. They can weigh up to 30 pounds, although most will weigh closer to 20, and approximately half of them are born with extra toes. Their shaggy coats give them the look of a wild cat, and their impressive ability to climb, clamber, and cuddle makes them a great choice for a family pet.
That coat does take some care, however, and a Maine Coon does benefit from having plenty of vertical space to explore.
3. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is a shorthaired cat, which means that it will take less brushing and less maintenance than long-hair cats. The breed has big ears, bulging eyes, and a head that really protrudes from the body, giving it an almost alien appearance. This is a breed that is favored by owners who want an affectionate cat that wants to be part of everyday family life.
You can expect yours to follow you around and they are known for being highly intelligent and very vocal.
4. Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair is another breed with a shorter coat. Despite the coat being short, it does take quite a lot of care. They look similar to Persians except that their hair is much shorter. The Exotic Shorthair tends to be friendly and sociable, usually getting along with people, other cats, and potentially even dogs.
Persians were used in the development of the Exotic Shorthair, but they remain a popular pet breed themselves, ranking as the 5th most popular breed. Where the Exotic Shorthair has a short coat, the same is definitely not true of the luscious long coat of the Persian.
While the Persian is the 5th most popular pet cat, it is one of if not the most popular breed for showing and exhibitions with multiple divisions and classes required to accommodate the number of show Persians.
6. British Shorthair
The British Shorthair comes in at 6th place, thanks to its combination of chunky size and loving nature. The breed was once only available in blue but does come in a wider array of colors now. Its coat is short but it’s also very dense, which only serves to give the cat an even more muscular and stout-looking posture.
The Abyssinian is a slender, streamlined cat, and its short hair only serves to make its slight build more obvious. It has an elegant appearance, but this cat is not afraid to play, and it tends to have a lot of love to give. The Abyssinian does need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and it will absolutely benefit from being given places to climb and ways to burn off excess energy.
This intelligent breed can be taught tricks and it will learn to play some games with its humans.
8. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold gets its name from the fact that its ears are folded down, which also gives it a very distinctive look. Combined with its big round eyes, the Scottish Fold can be quite “owl-like.” Although the Scottish Fold typically has folded ears, you can find them with straight ears too.
The Sphynx is a very recognizable cat that divides opinions, although the fact it is the 9th most popular breed suggests that more people like it than don’t. The Sphynx is a hairless breed, and it tends to be outgoing and personable. The lack of a coat can pose a few problems, especially the fact that the breed does struggle in cold conditions, and you may need to apply sunscreen if it is sunny.
The Sphynx still produces natural oils, which typically help protect a cat’s coat, and these oils can make the cat greasy so you will need to manage this, too.
The Siberian is a new entry into the top 10 most popular breeds, having just missed out in 2021 when it ranked 11th. Prior to that, it ranked 15th in 2020, having only been introduced to the U.S. in the 1990s. It has quickly become popular because of its stunning looks and beautiful coat. That coat, though, does require a lot of maintenance as it is a triple-layered coat. The breed is known to be loving, but a little mischievous.
The 10 cat breeds above are the breeds that saw the most registrations in 2022, although the moggy or mixed-breed cat is certainly more popular than all of them. There are plenty of cat breeds, and many have unique traits and characteristics, which means that whatever you look for in a pet cat, you can be sure to find a breed to match your tastes.
It is also worth remembering that the character of a cat is primarily governed by the individual cat as well as the treatment and life that the cat has.
Featured Image Credit: Nynke-van-Holten, Shutterstock