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What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds?

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Updated on: April 5, 2021
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There are dozens of different breeds of cats. Determining the type that is best for you is an important part of responsible cat ownership. If you are thinking about adopting a cat or you would like to familiarize yourself with cat breeds, here’s some useful information.

What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 12

The three main cat associations that recognize purebred cats recognize between 43 and 58 different modern breeds. Most fit into one or more general categories including:

  • Large
  • Small
  • Long-hair, medium-hair, and short-hair
  • High, low, and medium energy
  • Heavy, little, or no shedding

Within those categories are standardized breeds including:

  • Abyssinian
  • American Bobtail
  • American Curl
  • American Shorthair
  • American Wirehair
  • Balinese cat
  • Bengal
  • Birman
  • Bombay
  • British Longhair
  • British Shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Burmilla
  • California Spangled
  • Californian Rex
  • Ceylon
  • Chartreux
  • Chausie
  • Chinchilla Persian
  • Cornish Rex
  • Cymric
  • Devon Rex
  • Domestic shorthair
  • Donskoy
  • Egyptian Mau
  • European Shorthair
  • Exotic shorthair
  • German Rex
  • Havana Brown
  • Highland Fold
  • Himalayen
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Javanese
  • Khao Manee
  • Korat
  • LaPerm
  • Maine Coon
  • Maine Coon
  • Manx
  • Munchkin
  • Nebelung
  • Norwegian Forest cat
  • Ocicat
  • Oriental
  • Persian
  • Peterbald
  • Pixie-bob
  • Ragamuffin
  • Ragdoll
  • Russian Blue
  • Safari
  • Savannah
  • Scottish Fold
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Siamese Cat
  • Siberian cat
  • Singapura
  • Snowshoe
  • Sokoke
  • Somali
  • Sphynx
  • Sphynx
  • Thaï
  • Tiffany
  • Tonkinese
  • Toyger
  • Turkish Angora
  • Turkish Van

Which Breeds are the Most Popular?

Certain breeds of cats are more popular than others. This means that a great deal of the population has embraced these breeds and invited them into their homes. These cat breeds are popular for a variety of reasons, from their personalities to their appearances to their rarity.

The 10 most popular cat breeds, according to the larger organizations that recognize breeds, include:

  • Siamese
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 13
  • Persian
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 14
  • Maine Coon
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 15
  • Ragdoll
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 16
  • Bengal
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 17
  • Abyssinian
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 18
  • Birman
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 19
  • Oriental Shorthair
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 20
  • Sphynx
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 21
  • Devon Rex
What are the Different Types of Cat Breeds? 22

Which Breed of Cat is Best for You?

Determining which type of cat is best for you can be challenging. Breed popularity might be based on personality or color of coat or other factor, but there’s more to consider than these issues. Taking the decision step-by-step helps. If you are thinking of getting a cat and you aren’t sure about things, consider the following:

  • What’s your lifestyle like? Are you home a lot or do you travel or work outside of the house full-time. Many people consider cats independent, but some breeds are more independent than others. Also assess who lives in your home, whether you have other pets, and how much time and money you have to invest in a particular breed. The last thing you want to do is bring a cat home that needs a lot of attention and not be able to provide your cat with what it needs.
  • Are there physical attributes you like or dislike? Size of the cat and length of hair are the two most important factors here. But many people like the “look” of certain breeds.
  • Do you want an adult cat or kitten? Kittens are great for assimilating in your home with ease, but full-grown cats have plenty of great attributes too. Not to mention it might be inexpensive or free to adopt a full-grown purebred cat, whereas purebred kittens tend to be expensive.

The most important thing to think about when considering cat breeds is whether or not a particular breed will fit into your family. There might be a breed you like, but if they are not known for a personality that suits your lifestyle, it’s not going to be a good relationship for you or your pet. The breed you choose isn’t as important as whether or not you and your family can meet your cat’s needs and bond with the pet.

If you have a breed in mind, invest plenty of time in learning about the needs of that breed. If you aren’t sure of a particular breed, consider taking an online test that evaluates your lifestyle and compares it to a variety of different breeds.

Cat Breeds by Coat Type

  • Long-hair cat breeds: Persian, Siberian, Birman, Selkirk Rex, Somali
  • Medium-hair cat breeds: American Bobtail, Abyssinian, American Wirehair, Balinese, Bengal
  • Short-hair cat breeds: Exotic Shorthair, British Shorthair, American Shorthair, Devon Rex, Scottish Fold
  • Hairless cat breeds: Bambino, Donskoy, Peterbald, Sphynx, Uranium Levkoy

Cat Breeds by Size

  • Large: Maine Coon, Selkirk Rex, Ragdoll, Bengal
  • Small: Abyssinian, American Curl, Balinese, Burmese

Cat Breeds by Personality

  • Energetic: Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Turkish Angora, Manx
  • Laid-back: Ragdoll, Persian, Russian Blue

What to  Consider if You're Thinking of Adopting a Cat

If you’re thinking of bringing a cat into your home, it’s important to take your time, prepare your home and family, and make smart decisions about the inclusion process. For example:

  • Find a reputable breeder if you want a purebred kitten. If you are open to different breeds or adult cats, consider visiting a nearby shelter to see what’s available.
  • Meet your cat. Most breeders allow people to visit a kitten’s mother or parents and the litter of kittens from which they are adopting before the kitten is old enough to go home.
  • Assess the health history of the cat and its lineage as much as possible. If you are working with a breeder, you should receive information about your kitten’s parents, at a minimum.
  • Prepare your home for your cat. Invest in one or more litter boxes (at least one per cat in your home), research high-quality food, choose which one you’ll start your cat on, and make sure there are toy and enrichment activities on and for your new pet.

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