There are now over 600 million domesticated house cats in the world. They make beloved and popular pets for millions of people and families around the globe. But cats come in very different breeds. The following Ranking ranks the 10 currently most popular cat breeds in the world.
1. Domestic Shorthair Cat
Origin: Mixed-breed (mainly from Europe & North America)
There are British Shorthair cats, several European Shorthair cats, and also American shorthair cats. Put together, Domestic Shorthair Cats are the by far most popular cat breeds in the world. They don’t have one specific origin but were rather mixed-bred in many variations over time. Genetically, most Shorthairs derive from European and/or North American ancestors, however. Domestic Shorthair cats are known and valued for being especially low-maintenance and very independent pets. They also belong to the most intelligent cats in the world.
2. Persian Cat
The Persian Cat is one of the oldest domesticated cats still in existence today. Originating in what is now Iran, the intercontinental popularity of the Persian as a pet already began in the 17th Century when Italian merchants introduced the breed in Europe. Persian cats have very long-haired coats, which is a rare feature among descendants of the African wildcat, the common ancestor of all domesticated cats. Their beautiful coats require constant maintenance. Aside from that, however, Persian cats are known as quite pleasant, easy-going, and very calm pets. This explains their century-old popularity all over the world.
3. Maine Coon
Origin: United States
There are many legends surrounding the origins of the Maine Coon. Some early theories falsely claimed the Maine Coon as the product of a cross between a cat and a raccoon (hence the name). In reality, the Maine Coon most likely originated from the cross between a Domestic Shorthair and a long-haired Angora cat. The breed was first introduced and popular in the U.S. state of Maine (hence the name). During the 20th Century the Maine Coon then increasingly became popular all over North America and even beyond. Today the breed is the second most popular in North America and the third most popular one in the world. The Maine Coon is the biggest domesticated cat breed. Adults can reach lengths of up to 48 inches (120 centimeters) and heights of up to 16 inches (41 centimeters). Maine Coons are known as gentle pets and are, unlike many other cats, very harmonious in their interaction with kids. The breed is therefore often called “the dog among cats”.
4. Ragdoll Cat
Origin: United States
The Ragdoll cat was developed by known American cat breeder Ann Baker in the 1960s. It is genetically most related to the Persian and Birman breeds. The Ragdoll is one of the largest domesticated cats in the world. Full-grown female Ragdoll cats can weigh up to 15 pounds (7 kilograms) and male Ragdolls even up to around 20 pounds (9 kilograms). Ragdoll cats are incredibly docile and affectionate towards humans. Unlike more independent domesticated breeds like the Shorthair cat, Ragdolls hate being left alone and oftentimes will follow their owners from room to room. The Ragdoll is also known for its sweet and musical voice. Unfortunately, they also belong to the domesticated cat breeds with the shortest life span and rarely live longer than 15 years.
5. Abyssinian Cat
The Abyssinian cat originated from what is now the Eastern African country of Ethiopia (which historically has also been known as Abyssinia, hence the name). It is believed that British sailors brought the cat to Europe in the mid-19th Century. The Abyssinian quickly became popular all over Europe and then eventually all over the world. As a short-haired cat, the Abyssinian does not require a lot of maintenance. Personality-wise Abyssinians are known as very extroverted, playful, and active cats. They don’t like to be locked in small homes and prefer spending their days outside in the open. Abyssinian cats are also characterized by a well above average intelligence level for cats.
6. Sphynx Cat
7. Siamese Cat
8. Scottish Fold Cat
Origin: United Kingdom
9. Bengal Cat
10. Birman Cat