Though it is impossible to judge the true number of pet cats in the United States, some generalities can be made through analyzing the cats registered in the many associations and federations around the world. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) is the largest registry of purebred cats in the world, currently listing forty-one pedigreed breeds, one provisional breed, and one miscellaneous breed. Though not all owners register their cats, it is still quite easy to see which breeds are the most popular.
The Persian and Its Characteristics
Topping the list in most years is the elegant Persian. This cat has long hair and a stubby nose that appears to have been pushed in. They are sometimes called the ‘Pug of the cat world.’ This breed is gentle and quiet, and is usually quite lazy. They prefer lounging in the sun all day to having to romp and play with children, so they are more suited to adults, and are especially appropriate for the elderly.
The Exotic and Its Characteristics
Rising in popularity in recent years is the stubby Exotic. It seems that many people have never heard of this breed, and yet as recently as 2009, they were the second most popular breed of cat in the United States. These odd-looking creatures were bred to meet the exact standards of the Persian, with one very notable exception — the length of the coat. This cat could be a shorthaired version of the Persian. This unique breed allows for the enjoyment that can be achieved through living with a Persian, but without the constant grooming.
The Maine Coon Cat and Its Characteristics
The strikingly-beautiful Maine Coon Cat falls in at number three on the list of most popular breeds in the United States. This breed is the largest of the domestic cats and is quite sturdy. Known for a loving disposition and great intelligence, Maine Coon Cats are particularly good with dogs, small children, and the elderly, making them a much sought-after pet.
The Siamese and Its Characteristics
This cat has fascinated and enchanted people all around the world since first being exported from Siam (now known as Thailand) in the late 1800s. They are sleek, beautiful, elegant, and striking in color. Their blue eyes can hold anyone enraptured, and their constant vocalizations are the subject of much discussion in the world of cat fancy. The Siamese is almost always in the top five on any list detailing the most popular cats.
The Ragdoll and Its Characteristics
Rounding out the top five on the list of most popular cats in the United States is the magnificent Ragdoll. These large, laid-back cats have stunning blue eyes and striking colors. With silky hair, a budding personality, and an avid interest in humans, these cats maintain their position as one of the most popular breeds, both in Europe and North America. They are naturally gentle and their coats require minimum upkeep.
This list changes a little from year to year. However, in general, the top five merely switch places a little. With the exception of the Exotic, the breeds on the list have been present on the list for many years, and their popularity will likely continue.