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10 Popular Cat Breed Personalities Revealed (According to Research)

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Abyssinian young cat sitting at tower

10 Popular Cat Breed Personalities Revealed (According to Research)

Have you ever wondered whether your cat’s personality is typical for their breed? There is a wealth of cat breeds in the world, and although each cat is an individual, there are some shared traits in each breed. So if your cat is aloof, outgoing, or affectionate, it could be due to their breed.

We’re taking a closer look at the personalities of ten popular cat breeds (frequently adopted in the U.S.) to discover what makes these kitties so widely adored. Keep reading to find out whether your cat’s breed and personality match!

  • Least aggressive: Ragdoll
  • Most cuddly: Maine Coon
  • Most active: Devon Rex
  • Least active: Exotic Shorthair and Persian
  • Bravest: Abyssinian

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Which Breeds Are We Looking At?

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the personalities of ten of the most adopted breeds in the US, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the world’s largest and oldest pedigreed cat registry. This registry determines the top ten popular cat breeds of the year.1 How do they do that? They look at all the felines registered with them that year and see which breeds were the most registered.

There are, of course, other common cat personalities that are associated with their breeds, like the infamous Tortitude in tortoiseshell cats.

The Personalities of 10 Popular Cat Breeds:

1. Ragdoll

White Ragdoll Cat
Image Credit: cataliniturca, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Docile, relaxed, affectionate
Origin: Riverside, California
Lifespan: 15–20 years
Height: 9–11 inches

The Ragdoll gets its name because the breed gets floppy when picked up. Considering these cats can be on the larger side, it’s an adorable trait! As for their personalities, these felines are known for being docile and affectionate. The more attention they get, the happier these kitties are. They’re a very chill breed that isn’t very talkative. They’re also intelligent and love to play, so training them to do tricks isn’t terribly difficult.

A study done in 2019 found that Ragdolls are among the felines who are least aggressive and docile toward other animals, so if you have other pets in the home, this cat shouldn’t have trouble getting along with them.2

2. Maine Coon

Maine Coon cat sits on snowy frozen path
Image Credit: Konstantin Zaykov, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Adaptable, laidback, intelligent, affectionate
Origin: Maine
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Height: 8–16 inches

These large kitties are an absolute delight to have around. The breed is known for being adaptable and laidback, so they fit in well with many types of homes. They also exhibit a canine-like loyalty to their owners. Because they’re incredibly intelligent, Maine Coons are easy to train and pick up on human emotions quickly. They love attention and play, so be prepared to spend a lot of time with this feline!

The 2019 study from above found that the Maine Coon is one of the felines most likely to want human contact, so expect plenty of cuddles if you have one of these cats.

3. Devon Rex

Devon Rex Cat side Pose
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Sociable, mischievous, sweet, active
Origin: Devon, England
Lifespan: 9–15 years
Height: 10–12 inches

The Devon Rex is on the small side, but what the breed lacks in stature, they make up for in personality! These cats are sociable, mischievous, and sweet. They’re also highly active (and somewhat acrobatic), so they’re a blast to have around. These kitties love to cuddle up to their humans and love to play. The Devon Rex is a breed that will surely keep you on your feet.

This breed is another that was part of the 2019 study on feline personalities; they were found to be among the most likely breeds to seek out contact with people and among the most active of felines.

4. Exotic Shorthair

exotic shorthair cat sitting on the couch
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Sweet, affectionate, low-maintenance
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: 10–12 inches

If you love the look of the Persian but don’t love the thought of all that fur, the Exotic Shorthair may be just the feline you’re looking for. This breed has the face of a Persian but (as the name suggests) a much shorter coat. When it comes to the personality of the Exotic Shorthair, you’ll find this breed to be sweet, affectionate, and fairly low-maintenance.

These cats have much less energy than many breeds, so they aren’t always the most playful (though they do enjoy playing). You’ll more likely have them cuddled up to you than chasing something around, though.

A 2021 study on feline behavior and personality traits verified that Exotic Shorthairs are some of the least active cats around!

5. Persian

Beautiful persian cream colorpoint cat whith blue eyes
Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Relaxed, mellow, sweet
Origin: Most likely Persia (Iran)
Lifespan: 12–17 years
Height: 10–15 inches

Don’t mind long-haired kitties? Then you might like the Persian more than its shorthaired counterpart. Not only do the Persian and Exotic Shorthair share similar looks, but their personalities are very similar, too. Persians tend to be very relaxed and mellow as a pet. They won’t demand attention from their people (though they will enjoy any attention given!), and while they enjoy playing, they, too, are a less active cat breed. They’re generally quite sweet and prefer quiet, calm homes with plenty of routine.

Not only did the 2021 study on feline behavior and personality traits find that the Persian was one of the least active cat breeds, but it also discovered that these kitties show the least predatory behavior, indicating they likely have a low prey drive.

6. British Shorthair

british shorthair calico cat
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Friendly, calm, laid back
Origin: Great Britain
Lifespan: 9–20 years
Height: 12–14 inches

The British Shorthair is a mix of a few breeds and one of the friendliest felines around. This breed gets along well with both people and other animals, making them a wonderful addition to almost any home. Though they enjoy playing, they aren’t a hyperactive breed; these cats tend to be pretty calm and laid back. They enjoy affection but won’t necessarily enjoy being picked up (at least after kittenhood). They’ll be happy to wander around the house with you or curl up for a nap together, though. British Shorthairs really are some of the easiest cats to get along with!

In fact, the 2019 study mentioned earlier found this breed was one of the ones least likely to have their owners evaluate them as having behavioral issues.

7. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat
Image Credit: Pandora Pictures, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Smart, active, bold
Origin: Parts of Southeast Asia and the coast of the Indian Ocean
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 8–10 inches

This feline breed is one of the most ancient around. The Abyssinian is full of grace, elegance, and intelligence. Having one of these cats in your home means getting outsmarted all the time and dealing with acrobatic kitties who are prone to adventuring. In short, this is one breed that brings a host of fun to the home! These cats can be incredibly affectionate with their owners but may be warier around strangers. The breed also requires lots of physical and mental stimulation due to their brilliant and active natures, so entertain them well.

The 2021 study mentioned previously found that the Abyssinian was one of the study’s top two most active felines; the breed was also one of the boldest.

8. Scottish Fold

white scottish fold cat sitting
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Friendly, chill, playful
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 8–10 inches

The Scottish Fold is a rarer breed, but as cute as they are with their folded ears, they’re a popular one. These felines are known to become the shadows of their favorite humans and will follow them wherever they might go. The breed is friendly, chill, playful, and big on the cuddles. These kitties also need to have companionship the majority of the time. They dislike being left on their own for long periods, so doing so is inadvisable.

Unfortunately, the Scottish Fold was not included in the two aforementioned studies on feline personality.

9. Sphynx

a sphynx kitten on grey background
Image By: Ivanova N, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Friendly, cuddly, smart
Origin: Toronto, Canada
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 8–10 inches

Hairless cats might seem an oddity at first, but they’re just like any other cat, only minus a fur coat. The Sphynx came in at #9 on the CFA’s list of top breeds of 2022, so they’re growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. This cat breed is one of the friendliest around and a huge cuddler. They adore being around people and will often follow you wherever you go. They crave attention, so they don’t do well when they’re left alone often. The breed is also incredibly smart, making mental stimulation as important as physical.

The Sphynx was also not included in either of the studies mentioned above.

10. Siberian

Siberian cat
Image By: Tania_Wild, Shutterstock
Top Personality Traits: Sociable, intelligent, curious
Origin: Russia
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: Up to 13 inches

The Siberian was a new addition to the top ten on the CFA’s top breeds list last year, but as beautiful and floofy as these cats are, their jump to the top ten isn’t a surprise. When it comes to personality, you might find that the Siberian is more dog-like than cat-like at times. These kitties are sociable, intelligent, curious, and always up for adventure, so they’re constantly exploring the world around them and looking for things to do. They tend to be less vocal than other felines but make up for that quietness with their adventurous natures.

The 2019 study referenced earlier found these cats among the least aggressive towards other felines, which attests to their friendliness.

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Now you know more about the personalities of popular cat breeds! Was your favorite feline’s breed on the list? The cats on this list are all beautiful and have fabulous personalities. Each breed is friendly and fairly easy to get along with. Some are more playful and active than others, while some breeds are much more chill and relaxed. No matter what you’re looking for in a cat’s personality, you should find a cat breed that has what you’re seeking.

Featured Image Credit: Darya Lavinskaya, Shutterstock

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