Almost everyone recognizes the popular dog breeds. Whether it’s a Labrador retriever, cocker spaniel, dachsund or beagle, most people can link the breed to an image of a dog they’ve known. Cats, however, are a different sort of creature. Most people recognize few breeds of cats, and are unlikely to link the breed to the cat when faced with the task. Still, true cat lovers can tell the difference, and can cite their favorite breeds, often based its general personality or appearance. Of the 90 million pet cats in the United States, here are the top 10 breeds, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association.
10 – Sphynx
Also known as the “naked climber,” sphynx cats display plenty of energy and are true athletes. Particularly recognizable for their lack of fur, they can have a variety of skin colors. The sphynx are loved for their loyalty and affection.
9 – Oriental
Similar in appearance and temperament, to its more common cousin, the Siamese, Orientals can be either long- or short-haired, and come in more than 300 color combinations. Some choose the Oriental because it is a quieter version of the popular Siamese.
8 – American Shorthair
Pilgrims brought the breed now known as the American shorthair to the continent. Bred for hunting, the cats are generally healthy and quiet companions and are now popular pets for families and children.
7 – Birman
The Birman is a good choice for dog lovers looking to convert to cats. The breed has been described as dog-like thanks to its friendly, outgoing and even-tempered nature. Owners have even reported the long, silky-haired cats coming when called and greeting them at their front doors.
6 – Ragdoll
Ragdolls were so-named because the cats are known to go completely limp in whatever arms are holding them. The cuddly companions are longhaired and look similar to the better-known Maine Coon. Ragdolls are big kitties, growing to be as large as 20 pounds.
5 – Abyssinian
Considered some of the most beautiful specimens of the cat world, the slim and elegant Abyssinian is known for its shiny coat and outgoing, active personality.
4 – Siamese
One of the most easily spotted breed of cat, the Siamese is well known for its loud, attention-seeking yowl. The athletic cats often “talk” to their owners, and are extremely loving and loyal to their owners.
3 – Exotic
When the popular Persian was bred to have short fur, the result became the Exotic breed. The cats are often referred to as “Persians in Pajamas” because of their unique coloring. Many owners prefer Exotics since they only need brushed twice a week.
2 – Maine Coon
The breed has consistently been the No. 2 breed in America since 1992, thanks to its long, beautiful coat, large size and affectionate and gentle nature. Similar in size and fur to the Persian, Maine Coons don’t have to be groomed quite as often.
1 – Persian
The gorgeous long-haired cat has been America’s No. 1 breed since the Cat Fancier’s Association started keeping records in 1871. Known to be loyal and affectionate, the high-maintenance kitty needs its fur groomed daily.
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