Cats have a way of wiggling into homes and hearts. Many Americans adopt cats from the shelter. However, adopting a specific breed can be a great choice as well. Like dogs, there are several breeds of cats available, each with their own unique characteristics. This article discusses the best breeds of cats from the most common to the least, and what to expect from each one.

 The Top 5 Breeds of Cats

1: Maine Coon

three maine coon cats

When someone asks about fluffy cat breeds, the Maine Coon is usually the first to come to mind. Despite its popularity, the coon has a somewhat unknown origin; some experts speculate that this great cat descended directly from the bobcat, while others believe it was bred from the Viking Cat, Norwegian Skogkatt.

Maine Coons are a massive breed, weighing an average of 15-20lbs. They possess a hefty coat that is surprisingly easy to maintain. Like any cat, you will need to vacuum frequently and keep a lint roller nearby.

In many ways, the Maine Coon is very dog-like. Overly affectionate and sociable, they possess a social confidence that is rare for cats. Even less cat-like, Maine coons have been known to enjoy romps in the water. If you’re looking for an affectionate, albeit large, cat breed, consider the Maine Coon.

2: American Shorthair

a large cat with black stripes on its fur

American Shorthairs are intrinsically tied to American history. These cats braved the Atlantic with their pilgrim owners, spending weeks on the Mayflower. Although the American shorthairs were originally brought to rid the new settlers of rodents, they quickly became beloved companions.

Markings and colorings on the American shorthairs are very diverse. However, they can easily be recognized by their wide muzzles and overall stout face. Their coat requires minimal maintenance, though you should expect mild shedding.

Their personality is extremely well-rounded, making them a great companion for almost any family. American Shorthairs are relatively laid-back, though they can be playful and enjoy a variety of cat toys. They typically enjoy meeting new people and being around other breeds of cats.

3: Siamese Cat

a Siamese cat's head looking angry

Hailing from Thailand, the Siamese cat’s unique personality and stunning features have captured the appreciation of cat owners for centuries. The breed was introduced to Great Britain in the late 1800s, where firm breed standards formed.

There are actually three types of Siamese cats: the traditional, classic, and modern. The traditional and classic Siamese are very similar, with medium statures and round faces, though the classic is slightly elongated. The modern Siamese cat has a sleek, elongated body and a triangular face.

Each of these cats shares light-colored bodies and color-pointed ears, tail, and paws, and stunning blue eyes. Siamese cats are almost completely maintenance-free and require only the occasional brushing.

A Siamese cat’s distinctive personality is not for everyone. They usually have something to “say” about everything and possess a unique dialect for doing so. A well-entertained Siamese cat can be an ever-present, affectionate companion. However, it will need a lot of attention and significant mental stimulation to avoid destructive behaviors.

4: Ragdoll

a fluffy ragdoll cat

Also known as a ragamuffin cat, the Ragdoll is one of the most affectionate cat breeds on this list. The ragdoll breed has very humble beginnings, forming essentially in a breeder’s backyard in the 1960s. The breeder focused on mixing cats with Himalayan and Persian features that also displayed very docile, affectionate traits. Over time, additional breeders created a standardized form of the breed.

Ragdolls can be very enchanting, even from kittenhood. Typically born white, ragdolls are distinguished by their stunning blue eyes, long silky fur, and color-pointed features. They are a very large breed, weighing about 20lbs. Despite their long hair, ragdolls only require weekly brushing sessions. However, prepare to invest in a good vacuum.

Ragdoll cats received their name from their docile nature. These cats are known to sit on the lap of friends and strangers alike and adore as much affection as you can give them. Moreover, their sturdy build and docile nature make them an excellent choice for households with small children.

5: Sphynx

a Sphynx cat without fur

People either love or hate the Sphynx. Its outlandish appearance resembles the hieroglyphs of ancient tombs or outlandish depictions of aliens. Despite the sphynx’s ancient profile, it is a new breed that is still among the rarest cat breeds available.

A breeder discovered the sphynx in the 1960s, after birthing a litter with a surprising genetic anomaly. Since this progenitor, the breed has been crossed with a distant cousin, the Devon Rex, to create the Sphynx we now know and love.

The Sphynx resembles its namesake; it is long, angular, lean, and looks completely bald. However, the sphynx cat can require more maintenance than many long-haired breeds. Without hair to moderate the cat’s natural oils, the Sphynx requires weekly baths.

Despite the sphynx’s slightly abrasive appearance, it is a very fun-loving, bold cat. This feline pet has a lot of energy and loves to play, climb, and race throughout the house. In addition, it is very people-oriented. It happily greets its owners and household guests and can be quite vocal when it desires attention. Also, the sphynx’s hairless physique makes it an excellent choice for hypoallergenic households.

Summing It Up

Finally, cats can make great companions. If you’re looking for long-haired breeds of cats, consider the Maine coon or ragdoll. For shorthaired breeds of cats, consider the American Shorthair, Siamese, or the Sphynx. If none of these cats appeal to you, don’t fret. A few decades ago, if someone asked, “How many breeds of cats are there,” the answer would have been negligible.

Now the Cat Fancier Association recognizes a total of 43 breeds of cats. This diversity ensures that there is a unique cat for every home. Do you have a cat breed that you can’t imagine life without? Share your experiences to help readers reach their decision.

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