The Most Common Cat Breeds Well-Loved Cats You've Likely Seen Around

BY | July 02 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
The Most Common Cat Breeds

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You've probably seen most of these common cat breeds at some point or another, but you might be surprised about the most common cat of all -- making up 95% of US cats!

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, itโ€™s recommended that you look for a breed that matches your own personality and temperament. Here are some common cat breeds.

Domestic Shorthair and Domestic Longhair Cats

Otherwise known as โ€œthat catโ€ (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.



Persian Cats

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.





Maine Coon Cats

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.





Siamese Cats

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.






American Shorthair

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.





The Abyssinian Cat

Known for their colorful personalities, Abyssinians are famously playful. Contrary to all our notions about cats, many Abyssinians love to play in water.






Exotic Shorthair

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 Persianโ€™s recommended every-day brushing.




Ragdoll

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.





Burmese Cats

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.




Himalayan

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, theyโ€™re brown tabby with long hair and fluffy tails.




American Shorthair

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.





American Bobtail

Entirely unrelated to the more common Japanese Bobtail, both breeds do have one thing in common: a short nubby tail. The tailโ€™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 itโ€™s recessive; meaning the short tail occurs like a lottery.




American Curl

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.




California Spangled Cat

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 โ€œdefect,โ€ but some defects are especially loveable, apparently. American Polydactyls are bred specifically to produce cats with extra toes. The polydactylsโ€™ popularity rose due to Ernest Hemingwayโ€™s love for the breed. They can come in a variety of colors, and tend to be easygoing and sociable.

LaPerm Cat

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.




Munchkin Cat

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.




Ocicat

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 coat. Theyโ€™re known for their distinctive spots, and come in a variety of different colors.




More on Cat Breeds

Where Cat Breeds Come From - Infographic
The History of Cats
Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat Parents

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Domestic Abyssinian American Shorthair Burmese Exotic Shorthair Himalayan Maine Coon Cat Persian Ragdoll Siamese

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