15 Most Popular Cat Breeds In 2021

Here are 15 of the most popular cat breeds. Learn more about the breeds including their unique characteristics and temperaments.

Most Popular Cat Breeds

I spent the whole day researching, checking over 100 different websites to find out the most popular cat breeds among cat lovers. Then I made them into a list for you. 

It can be difficult to find the most popular breeds as each website says different breeds. I set out to try and fix that and save you some time. 

I compared the websites against the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) who base their most popular cat breeds based on worldwide breeder registration in a yearly report. 

Keep reading to find out which breeds were the most popular in the world.

1. Ragdoll

Ragdoll Cat Breed

The Ragdoll breed is very similar to Siamese cats and known for its easygoing, gentle temperament. When they’re picked up, they tend to go limp, like a ragdoll!

This breed is prevalent due to its kind nature towards children and their ability to learn similar tricks as dogs, such as playing fetch or rolling over! Hence they’re often referred to as ‘puppy cats. 

According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, these beautiful cats can weigh between 10 to 20 pounds and be approximately 11 to 13 inches in height. 

Common types of colours Ragdoll’s can be; black, white, chocolate, red, blue, cream, lilac or seal. This breed is also known for its distinctive blue eyes, but this isn’t an exclusive feature.

Ragdoll’s require careful breeding, so they’re far less common than other breeds. Typically you can find a kitten from around $400 to as high as $2,000; be aware that the price will vary depending on the cat’s age and pedigree.

2. Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair

Recognised in 1967 by the American Cat Fanciers’ Association and later by the International Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1979, this breed is often known as the ‘lazy man’s Persian’.

This sweet looking breed can weigh around 7 to 12 pounds. Other distinctive features such as its plush coat, squashed face and large round eyes mean this is a charming breed. 

The Exotic is very similar to the Persian cat but with half the maintenance. Its shorter hair means less grooming! If you’re considering this breed, try to brush their coat at least twice a week to remove excess dead hair and keep their coats nice and shiny!

Like the Persian, the Exotic’s quiet and gentle nature means they can adapt easily to their environment. They do well in homes with children and even dogs. Just don’t be fooled by how quiet they are; they love to play when they’re not sitting in a lap!

3. Maine Coon

Maine Coon

Maine Coons are one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, known for their thick fur coat and large stature. Recognised by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in the late 1970s, this breed is known to be great hunters!

This breed is from the state of (you guessed it) Maine and is the state’s official cat. Maine Coons’ are one of the largest breeds you can find, living up to its nickname ‘the gentle giant’. 

Over the years, Maine Coon’s have ranked in the top 10 breeds for popularity worldwide. In 2020, they were ranked 3rd by the CFA.

A male Maine Coon can weigh up to 20 pounds approximately, and it’s all muscle. They generally reach full size by age three to five. A fascinating fact about this breed is that they have polydactylism. It is common in this breed, affecting around 40 per cent of the breed. [1]

The Maine Coon easily adapts to many lifestyles and personalities. They like being around people, typically developing the habit of following behind you whenever you leave the room. Don’t be misled, though; this breed can wait patiently for you if you’re busy doing something and ‘oversee’ instead. They’re fantastic with children as well and can be very friendly with dogs too! 

The average cost of a Maine Coon kitten can range between $400 to $1,500, depending on their age and pedigree. 

4. Persian

Persian Cat

Probably one of the most recognisable breeds in the world, Persians can be found in hieroglyphics dating as far back as 1684 B.C.

Persians are a medium-sized breed and will take their role in the house of loving companions very seriously. They love a fuss and a stroke, so be ready to give them tones of attention. But unlike other breeds, Persians can be discriminating with their attention, reserving it for family members and limited guests that they can trust.

Crucially,  Persian cats need a lot of grooming. Their long beautiful coats don’t stay clean and tangle-free on their own, meaning they need brushing every day. Not only this, but they need regular bathing too, at least once a month.

Because of its picky nature, Persians aren’t the best choice for households with children and dogs but can adapt if children show them the respect and calmness they deserve. 

This cat breed requires a lot of work, but you won’t find a more rewarding, loving companion in return.

5. British Shorthair

British Shorthair

Native to England, the British Shorthair was officially recognised by the American Fanciers’ Association in 1967, but it wasn’t until 1980 that the International Cat Fanciers’ Association followed suit.

Ranking 5th in the CFA’s most popular cat breeds in 2020, it’s no surprise to see why. Their easy-going nature, tendency to play, adorable looks, and non-destructive demeanour mean it’s a trendy choice for families and cat lovers alike.

Not only this, British Shorthairs don’t require a lot of effort to maintain their coats due to their short hair. They only need a brush weekly to remove excess hair, and you hardly have to bathe them!

You can find this breed of cat does not reach physical maturity until around 3 to 5 years and can weigh between 7 to 17 pounds. 

6. Devon Rex

Devon Rex

Discovered by accident in England in 1960, the Devon Rex is a relatively new breed of cat. Over the years, they’ve been called many things: an alien cat, a cat that looks like an elf or, a pixie cat.

Devon Rexes are a brilliant and active breed of cat, often described as the ‘monkey in a catsuit’. They’re a VERY hyper breed and need a stimulating environment with tons of opportunities to burn off excess energy. 

Don’t let that put you off, though, as this breed is really intelligent too. They can learn a variety of tricks and are easy to train. A home with plenty of children who give it the attention it needs, respectfully, is a great environment for them.

This breed craves A LOT of attention, so be prepared. They insist on being with their owner, so you’ll never be lonely. Devon Rexes are relatively uncommon, so you can find that you spend around $600 to $1000 for a kitten from a quality breeder.

7. Abyssinian

Abyssinian

Another one of the oldest cat breeds, the Aby for short, was originally discovered in Ethiopia (previously known as Abyssinia).

Because of their bright, alert tendencies, you can easily discover why they’re a popular breed with humans. They’re blessed with a high amount of intelligence and high energy, meaning they’re natural-born explorers. They’re an inquisitive breed, so watch out!

They are also renowned for not being a typical ‘lap cat’ as they’re so active. They enjoy both the attention of a human and the freedom to explore the big wide world. They’re a natural outdoor cat.

Abyssinian cats have a unique look about them, with their distinctive ruddy agouti coats. If you don’t want a cat that sheds loads, consider this breed because it only sheds during seasons. It’s relatively easy to maintain their coats, with them only needing weekly brushing. 

8. American Shorthair

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair consistently lands in the top 10 most popular cat breeds, according to the CFA. In fact, the American Shorthair is one of the most popular cat breeds in North America. They’re an all-American breed that is a direct descendant of European cats brought to American in the early 1600s. 

This breed is often confused with the domestic mixed-breed cats, but American Shorthairs are purebred. In 1966, its breed name was changed from domestic shorthair to differentiate them.

This intelligent, active feline has a distinctive round face and short ears. It is considered an ideal pet for working families with children because of its gentle nature and high intelligence.

American Shorthairs are medium-sized cats that require minimal maintenance of their dense coats. Typically, we recommend brushing once a week, but you can get away with this on occasions. 

9. Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold

Known for its owl-like appearance, Scottish folds have another unique feature that no other breed has: folded ears. The breed can be traced back to one individual cat, discovered on a Scottish farm in the early 1960s. The Cat Fanciers’ Association explained that ‘all Scottish fold cats today can be traced back to McRae’s Susie, a unique fact in the pedigreed cat world’. 

Scottish fold cats are also known for their soft voices and ability to speak in various purrs and meows. This medium-sized breed can weigh between 6 to 13 pounds and are great for those who own apartments. 

Not only this, Scottish Fold cats don’t require a lot of grooming, only requiring a brush every week to keep their coats in great shape.

These social cats enjoy being around you as much as possible, but they also get on great with other cats and dogs too! 

10. European Shorthair

European Shorthair

Like its ‘American friend’, European Shorthair (previously known as the Celtic Shorthair) is one of the world’s most widespread cats.

These social cats can find this breed in a variety of colours as well as having their tabby, bi-coloured, tri-coloured, marble or single-coloured. 

This breed is popular due to its low maintenance nature. Its ability to be independent and sociable means it’s a great choice for working families, like the American Shorthair. 

Maintaining their coats is just as easy, with the owners only having to brush them once a week to keep their coat smooth and remove excess dead hairs. 

11. Sphynx

Sphynx

Originally discovered in Canada in 1966, the Sphynx is well known for its ‘naked’ appearance. It was originally referred to as the Canadian Hairless Cat but was later changed to sphynx due to its similarities to the cats in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Once you get past the nude appearance of the breed, notable traits include lemon-shaped eyes, long, finger-like toes, bat-like ears and large round belly’s.

The Sphynx cat breed is known to be the first breed to be hypoallergenic, meaning they’re less likely to irritate those with allergies caused by cats because they don’t shed fur.

And because they don’t shed, the Sphynx breed has become popular amongst cat owners. This medium-sized cat can weigh as little as 6 pounds (in females) up to 12 pounds.

This breed is a playful, intelligent, dog-like breed that can be extremely loving and friendly, especially towards children. You can typically find a reputable breeder selling this breed of cat for around $1,500 to $6,000, depending on pedigree.

12. Burmese

Burmese

The active and social Burmese cat breed are the ancestors of the Siamese and ‘copper cat’ Burma (now known as Myanmar). They were officially recognized by the CFA in early 1936 and have developed into a popular breed by cat lovers over the years.

This intelligent, playful breed is incredibly social with humans and has the great ability to learn interactive games like fetch or tag! Don’t be surprised if you find them exploring all the nooks and crannies of your home; they love to find new hiding places.

The Burmese cat has soft, short coats that can easily be maintained with a weekly brush to remove dead hair and distribute skin oil. A bath is rarely necessary for this breed, meaning it’s a great choice for working families with children or dogs.

13. Russian Blue

Russian Blue

Little is known about where the Russian Blue came from, but many suspect that the breed originated from Russia due to the dense, thick coat. 

One interesting feature of the Russian blues’ appearance is their eyes, changing from yellow to green over time. In fact, Russian blue kittens are born with light yellow or golden eyes, eventually developing a green ring in their eyes after four months! After reaching adulthood, their eyes will go bright green.

Russian blues’ loving temperament and independent streak mean this is a great pet for families. They’re fairly low maintenance when it comes to grooming as well.

This medium-sized cat can typically cost between $400 to $600.

14. Himalayan

Himalayan

Himalayan cats originated from the crossing of Persians and Siamese in the early 1920s. They’re considered a sub-breed by some cat associations but were accepted into the CFA in 1957.

This breed has a flat face and beautiful, long fur with darker points. This does mean more maintenance, though, with regular bathing needed to keep their coats nice and shiny. Because their coats are so thick, they tend to become matted and tangled. We typically recommend grooming them daily. 

Also, the Himalayans suffer in warm temperatures due to their thick coats, so try to keep them in an air-conditioned room if this ever occurs. 

These cats love attention from their owners and are an extremely loyal breed. If you leave them alone, they won’t mind and can easily entertain themselves with a few toys scattered around the house. 

Although quiet, this breed can get along with just about everyone, including the family dog. What’s great about this breed is that they don’t need companions to be happy, like other cats. 

15. Bengal

Bengal

If you’ve ever seen a cat that looks similar to a leopard, then you’ve seen the Bengal cat breed. They were initially bred from domestic cats and a wildcat and were first accepted as a breed in 1983.

Bengals require a lot of exercise and stimulation. Additionally, they have a high prey drive and enjoy exploring, watching birds or squirrels while in the comfort of their home. This breed isn’t the most talkative but will soon let you know if they need anything, especially ‘my food bowl is empty’.

These affectionate cats are known for their social and outgoing temperament, be sure to be in their good books, and they most certainly will have a favourite family member. 

Also, be careful when purchasing a Bengal cat or kitten as some state and local governments have banned them, including Hawaii and New York. 

What to do next?

I hope you found out more about the most popular cat breeds in 2021. I absolutely loved finding out about some of these breeds. As you can see, each breed has their own unique story and personality!

If you have one of the breeds we’ve mentioned, let us know in the comments below and tell us something you love about them!

Get to know your cat even more with our latest nutritional guide and find out 27 foods toxic to cats.

James Fuller

James Fuller

Founder of Honest Whiskers

Hey! I’ve owned a pet pretty much all my life, in fact, I currently have both a cat and a dog! My mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information

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