Whether exotic or plain, of long or short fur, of frisky or lazy temperament, there are a few cat breeds that are most commonly found in households. Adoption and rescue are always recommended, and in most cases, your adopted kitty will not be purebred. If you do opt for a pedigreed cat, it’s recommended that you look for a breed that matches your own personality and temperament. Here are some common cat breeds.
Otherwise known as “that cat” (or your standard alley cat) domestics are not an officially recognized or pedigreed breed. Then again, most modern cat breeds are descendents of one type of domestic or another, and 95% of house cats in the US are Domestics. Domestics come in all colors and sizes, and may have long or short of hair.
Despite the need for daily brushing, Persians are a household favorite. Persian cats are known to be calm and somewhat sensitive. As such, gentle environments are recommended for Persians.
Large and playful, but gentle and intelligent, Maine Coons are great with both children and dogs. Popular on farms, Maine Coons tend to follow their people around both inside and outdoors.
Popular among those who desire a pedigreed pet, the Siamese is as vocal as they are playful. Known to be frisky and full of energy, Siamese cats are a popular household choice.
Descended from European forebears, as are many of their human counterparts, the American Shorthair is a very low-maintenance cat. Personalities can vary from cat to cat, but overall American Shorthairs are quiet cats.
Known for their colorful personalities, Abyssinians are famously playful. Contrary to all our notions about cats, many Abyssinians love to play in water.
The Exotic Shorthair resembles the Persian in just about every way. Except one -- their hair is shorter and denser. Thus, their coat requires far less maintenance. Exotic Shorthair cats do require brushing at least weekly, or better twice weekly, which is still far less than the Persian’s recommended every-day brushing.
So named because they tend to go limp when you pick them up, Ragdolls are the quintessential lap-cat. Ragdoll cats tend to grow quite large. They can weigh upwards of 20 lbs, and sometimes males weigh more.
Regarded as one of the most intelligent cats out there, Burmese cats are also known to be fairly dog-like, with a propensity to greet their people at the door the way a devoted puppy might. Also like dogs, Burmese cats crave human attention, and should not be left alone for long periods of time.
Like Persians, Himalayan cats have long silky fur which requires daily human intervention to prevent matting. Himalayan cats may have short smushed-in faces (like the Pug dog breed), or they may have a slightly longer and more traditional-looking face. Himalayans are descended from Siamese, and so are outgoing, active, and sociable companions.
American Cat Breeds
Like most American humans, most American cat breeds are a mish-mash of global culture and history. Also like many Americans, most feline predecessors arrived by boat! Several still-existent cat breeds are native to the continent, but most landed here with their European immigrant companions.
When boats arrived from across the drink, they brought with them ship cats. These cats were often called on board to battle vermin, but were also cherished by certain famous captains as prized companions. When the ships docked, these cats ventured out into the new world, where they mated with native breeds. Many of our naturally occurring cat breeds are the ancestors of these pioneering marauders.
Maine Coon, aka American Longhair
As the official state cat of Maine, Maine Coons are one of the most popular cat breeds in the whole world. Although originally known for their hunting skills, Maine Coons are now known for their gentle personality. Traditionally, they’re brown tabby with long hair and fluffy tails.
Formerly known as the Domestic Shorthair, the American Shorthair is a version of the Domestic with their best evolutionary traits enhanced through breeding. These cats tend to be great companions, sociable, hardy, and healthy.
Entirely unrelated to the more common Japanese Bobtail, both breeds do have one thing in common: a short nubby tail. The tail’s length is the result of a genetic mutation. In American Bobtails, the gene is dominant; meaning all cats in the lineage can expect a short tail. Japanese Bobtails have a similar gene, but it’s recessive; meaning the short tail occurs like a lottery.
So named for ears that arc in toward the center of the head, American Curl Cats have been show cats since the 1980s. American Curls are not especially common as housepets, but if one does come into your life, you should handle their ears with care, and clean them from time to time.
As with the Oriental Shorthair, the California Spangled Cat was bred for aesthetic reasons. Their spotted appearance was intended to imitate wild spotted jungle cats. Originally bred from a cross of a handful of other breeds, the California Spangled fell a bit to the wayside when other spotted cats began to appear in the fancy cat market.
American Polydactyl Cat
Like your standard housecat in most ways, the American Polydactyl has one very special feature: extra toes! Polydactyls can have six or even seven toes on each paw, though mainly the extras are seen in the front paws. The original polydactyls had a mutational “defect,” but some defects are especially loveable, apparently. American Polydactyls are bred specifically to produce cats with extra toes. The polydactyls’ popularity rose due to Ernest Hemingway’s love for the breed. They can come in a variety of colors and tend to be easygoing and sociable.
This breed sounds like an 80s hair treatment, and with good reason. The LaPerm cat has a fluffy coat of tight, soft curls. Like many cat breeds, the original curly cat was just born that way. People liked it and eventually attempted to keep the trait alive through breeding. Aside from their coat, LaPerms are known to be all-around moderate in temperament, intelligence, and athleticism.
Named for the diminutive characters in The Wizard of Oz, Munchkin Cats are, as you may imagine, little. They have especially short legs. Originally a mutational defect, first observed in Louisiana, the shortness spread through the local feral population. Short-legged cats started popping up in the neighborhood, and before long, they were recognized as a breed.
Bred for their good looks, Ocicats look wild but are of entirely domestic origins. They resemble Siamese cats in bone structure and wild jungle cats in coats. They’re known for their distinctive spots and come in a variety of different colors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to toilet-train a cocker spaniel puppy?
The amount of time it takes to toilet-train a cocker spaniel puppy can vary. It typically takes between 4 to 6 months for a puppy to be fully toilet-trained, although some puppies may take longer. Consistency and patience are key factors in successful toilet training. It's important to establish a regular routine for your puppy and to reward them for going to the toilet in the appropriate place. Positive reinforcement and consistency in training will help the puppy understand what is expected of them.
What age should a cocker spaniel be toilet trained?
Most puppies can begin learning the basics of toilet training at around 3 to 4 months of age. It's important to remember that puppies have small bladders and may not be able to hold their urine for long periods of time, so they will need to go outside frequently. By 6 months old, most cocker spaniel puppies should be fully toilet-trained, but this can vary depending on the individual puppy and how well they have been trained. It's best to start toilet training as soon as you bring the puppy home by taking them out to the designated potty area frequently, rewarding them for going potty there, and keeping a close eye on them to prevent accidents.
How often do cocker spaniel puppies pee?
Cocker spaniel puppies, like all puppies, have small bladders and will need to go to the toilet frequently. Generally, puppies need to go outside to pee about once every hour, but this can vary depending on the individual puppy, their age, and their level of training. During the early stages of toilet training, it's important to take your puppy out to their designated potty area frequently, such as after they wake up from a nap, after they eat or drink, and before they go to bed. As they get older and their bladder control improves, they will be able to hold their urine for longer periods of time. It's important to keep a close eye on the puppy, especially when they are inside the house, to prevent accidents. If you notice your puppy sniffing, circling, or whining, take them outside right away.
What is the hardest dog to house train?
House-training any dog can be a challenge, but some breeds may be more difficult to train than others. Small breeds, like toy breeds and miniature breeds, may be more difficult to house-train because they have small bladders and may not be able to hold their urine for long periods of time. Also, breeds that are naturally more independent or stubborn may take longer to train. Dogs with high energy levels and hunting breeds like Beagles, Basset hounds, and some Terrier breeds can be harder to house-train, as their natural instincts to follow their nose may override their training.
Why are cocker spaniels hard to potty train?
Cocker spaniels are not inherently difficult to potty train, but like all dogs, they can present their own set of challenges during the training process. One reason that some people may find cocker spaniels hard to potty train is that they are naturally curious and eager to explore their environment, which can make it difficult for them to focus on going to the toilet in a specific spot. This means that it may take them longer to understand where they are supposed to go. Another reason that cocker spaniels may be harder to potty train is that they are known to be sensitive and may become easily stressed or anxious. This can make training more difficult as the puppy may not respond well to harsh training methods. Also, Cocker spaniels are also known to be prone to separation anxiety, which can lead to accidents if they are left alone for too long. This can make it difficult to train them to hold their urine until they are taken out.
More on Cat Breeds
Where Cat Breeds Come From - Infographic
The History of Cats
Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat Parents