Did you know there are over 40 different cat breeds? There are over 500 million domestic cats in the world and only 40+ breeds! In this article, I am going to be going over the top five most popular cat breeds and discussing what makes them unique, their characteristics and why they are the most popular.

Most Popular Cat Breeds

Cats were domesticated in Egypt in 2000 BC. That’s insane! Even though we have over 40 cat breeds, there are the top seven breeds chosen time and time again by people all over the world. The most popular cat breeds are considered to be:

  • Persian
  • Ragdoll
  • British Shorthair
  • Maine Coon
  • Siamese cat, and
  • Scottish Fold.

These breeds vary in size, color, and temperament but are well-loved by almost anyone who meets them.


A fluffy cat with a flat, squished face (a Persian cat)
Persian cats have flat faces.
(Lajoma at Finnish Wikipedia., Persialainen, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Persian cat was the favorite of French nobility and for good reason. Despite their name, they weren’t bred in Persia. Persian cats were bred in Paris, France.

Persians can live to be anywhere from 12 to 17 years old and are often cuddly lap cats. They love affection and do not like to be left alone.

These cats are considered majestic but are high maintenance due to their coat. They need to be brushed daily and are prone to matting. They have a fluffy, silky coat which makes them luxurious to pet, and are known for their flat faces.

Unlike other breeds, Persian cats are as friendly as dogs, and cute too! They are medium-sized and come in many different colors like chocolate, red, blue, and white.

Persians are known to be lazy and don’t want to move often, so if you enjoy Netflix on the couch and spending the weekends in, you’ve found your perfect companion!

If you plan on traveling a lot, consider another breed such as the Maine Coon!

Maine Coon

Speaking of the Maine Coon, let’s move on to the beloved official cat of Maine. These playful feline friends are famous for being LARGE! They range anywhere from 9 to 20 pounds, and can be as big as 40 inches long!

In terms of cat maintenance, Maine Coons have long fur and a double coat which has a lot of grooming needs. Be prepared to spend a lot of time taking care of your Maine Coon companion!

Maine Coon cats also love to sing – their song is better known as croon.

It is a common myth that all cats hate water, but surprisingly, these felines love to swim. Another surprising fact is that they are very successful hunting cats. Some cats only have a desire to hunt when they are hungry, but Maine Coons will hunt even when properly fed. They like hunting their toys and can become very protective.

Maine Coons are known as gentle giants because even though they are large for a cat, they are sweet and have an amazing temperament. These cats are so easy-going and fun that they have even starred in the Harry Potter movies!

They have thick, lush fur preparing them for any sort of winter and giant beautiful eyes. They are more independent, but still love their owners and can even be caught following them around.

These cats are so versatile, friendly, and easygoing – and they’ve even been cloned successfully! In 2004, there was a cat named Little Nicky who was a clone of a Maine Coon cat. She was cloned after the family’s previous cat, Nicky, had passed away.

All in all, Maine Coons are for you if you have a bit of extra space (and food) and love to hang out at home but also enjoy going out and exploring! Onto the next beautiful breed of felines, the ragdoll!


White fluffy cat with blue eyes
A ragdoll cat with typical blue eyes.
(Ariannatarchini, Afrodite.jpg, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ragdolls all have beautiful eyes and that’s one feature they are widely known for. These sweet friends are also known for being quiet and are considered docile by any owner who is lucky enough to have one.

Ragdolls are a relatively new breed, originating in 1966. They are known as the puppy cat for their dog-like loyalty and can be attuned to their owner’s needs, making them perfect for companionship and support.

However, this often leads to them having separation anxiety. Ragdoll cats are also known for being floppy and playful, and it’s how the name ragdoll was coined. Anytime you pick one up, they go limp.

They are so well-loved that a popular hotel in New York, the Algonquin Hotel, had a Ragdoll cat who would greet guests and work the front desk. She passed away in 2017, but in 2016, she was honored in a hardcover book called Matilda: the Algonquin Cat*.

The only downfall to these devoted docile beings is their reputation for separation anxiety, this is due to their purpose for breeding being companionship. Just like dogs, they want to be with you and go with you everywhere, they’re known as the ‘puppy cat’ for a reason!

Some consider Ragdolls the cat most often stolen due to their overt friendliness and ability to warm up to new people.

They do come in many different coat colors, but the most common rag doll is a seal point color, which is the traditional-looking rag doll. Some also have fur colors such as blue, lilac, and cream.

Even with their variety of colors, all ragdoll cats are born completely porcelain white. They have a plush, silky coat and at 14 days old, their color begins to show. This breed of cats is the perfect cat for anyone and everyone due to their extreme friendliness but beware of their loyalty which, as mentioned, can make them prone to separation anxiety.

Now onto a breed that is not fluffy like the others, the British Shorthair.

British Shorthair

Grey chubby cat with orange eyes
British Shorthair cat looking majestic.
(Martin Hedegaard from Odense C, Danmark, British Shorthair Cat 2, CC BY 3.0)

This ancient cat breed is known for many things, but in modern times is one of the most popular pedigree cat breeds, particularly in its country of origin, Great Britain.

They are often in the spotlight in Hollywood as well, the Cheshire Cat is the star of Alice in Wonderland. They are often chubby as they are generally prone to obesity.

British Shorthair cats have a stocky body, short hair, and are most commonly a British blue color, which looks similar to grey.

Even with all of that, they are a relatively healthy breed of cats. Out of all the breeds we’ve talked about today, the British Shorthair is the one that is best suited for families. They are known to play with children and other pets in the home and have a temperament that makes them ready for anything.

Even though it is a common storyline that the cats and dogs always argue, the British Shorthair cat is known to be perfect with dogs and quite tolerant of their antics. This breed oozes intelligence and if you leave them home alone, make sure to get some interactive cat toys – they are bound to figure out how they works. They can be lazy, but they crave mental stimulation and love the toys they have.

As the name implies, British shorthair cats have short hair, which is low maintenance, and they have a smile naturally on their face due to where the whisker pads are placed. They are cute and adored by many, which no doubt contributes to their popularity.

Something hilarious about these feline pals is that they were once bred as hunting cats. Yes, hunting cats! The cats would go out and look for food for their families. These cats are also the most popular internationally and have inspired many characters such as Puss in Boots and the Cheshire Cat.

They are a beloved favorite and for good reason, you will never go wrong with a British Shorthair.

Siamese cats

A thin sphinx-like cat with pointy ears and a small face with blue eyes.
Siamese cats are friendly and gorgeous.

Next up: Siamese cats. They are chatty as can be, and the breed itself is ancient. They once were
treated like royalty in Siám, Thailand where they originated.

Siam cats have icy blue eyes and commonly are cream cats and are strikingly gorgeous. They also sometimes have fur in other colors like orange, brown, and silver-gray. They often have “socks” where their legs have a darker almost black coloring that goes up to their elbows, resembling knee-high socks.

These felines are super friendly and love to play with other cats. They are good in households with more than one cat. They are quite old, but they have evolved a ton. They used to be cross-eyed and have a hook tail, but now their eyes and tails are perfectly normal. Some cross-eyed and crooked tail Siamese cats do exist, but it is rare as it was bred out.

Siamese cats are so beloved that a U.S president once had one. Lucy Hayes, wife to Ruthford B. Hayes, had a Siamese cat named Simon. Simon was a gift from a US diplomat in Thailand, which is where these cats originated.

One thing constantly remarked on about Siamese cats is that they are extremely talkative. They will talk about everything ranging from their food, people watching, and any experiences they have all day or night. In other words: If you’re easily bothered by noises, they will drive you up the wall!

Siamese cats are always busy and can be caught wandering around acting as if they have a job to do. They love humans and will thrive in a large family as they will love multiple owners, not just one as some other breeds, who pick one human to be loyal to.

A fun fact about Siamese cats is the reason for the darker fur on paws, heads and tail: they have a genetic mutation that makes their hair grow paler where their skin is warmer.

This breed is old and beloved for good reason and would be a good addition to any home, especially one willing to hear them talk and want to play.

Next in line, is the Scottish Fold.

Scottish Fold

These felines are known and named for their unique ears that fold down into their head. This is due to a genetic mutation that affects cartilage throughout their whole body but is most prominent in the ears.

They are often compared to owls due to their ears and head shape. They come in many different colors such as black, white, and cameo. The Scottish Fold has a dense soft fur.

Even though Scottish Folds are considered a breed, they are never bred together due to their mutation and potentially being born with defects. They are typically bred with other shorthair cats.

These felines are the most unique and are often adaptable and willing to do anything with and for their owners. They are generally quiet and not very demanding.

Scottish Fold cats are known for their funny ways of sitting and standing like humans, and sleeping like them too! They sleep on their backs just like us.

The Scottish Fold is another cat that had a book written about it: The Cat Who Went to Paris*. A true story about a man who hated cats – until a little Scottish Fold kitten came into his life.

Even though these cats are friendly and sweet, they are known to potentially have health issues related to their mutation so if vet visits more regularly aren’t something you desire, then maybe choose another cat breed from this list.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, cats are the perfect companions. They sleep 70% of their life, blink slowly to say
they love you and can jump about six times their length. Whether you want a loyal puppy breed,
an independent gentle giant, or a universally loved short hair, with over 40 breeds, you are sure
to find the perfect cat for you.

Categories: Cats in general