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By Paul Hertel
Pedigreed cats have distinctive traits -- and personalities. Here are 18 of America’s most beloved feline breeds.
This type has soft, silky fur that changes seasonally: short in summer, longer in winter. Mismatched eye color is not uncommon.
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Reportedly once a favorite of Russian royalty (for supposed healing powers), this cat has a dense, pewter-y double coat with a velvety texture.
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This large breed is people-oriented and outdoorsy, with great claws for climbing and an undercoat to protect it from water and cold.
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This cat has curly long hair -- whiskers and all. It is one of the newest breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
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Don’t let the name fool you: It was first bred in Kentucky, by a woman who set out to replicate the copper eyes and sleek coat of a panther.
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This muscular native of Russia has both brawn and brains -- it’s known for its leaping agility, problem-solving abilities, and loyalty.
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The agile mau, once worshipped by pharaohs, has amazing twisting and jumping skills, due to an excess flap of skin on its hind legs.
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Maine’s state cat has a water-resistant coat. In addition to meowing, it trills and chirps.
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This nimble cat, a great leaper, is curious and loving: It’s especially fond of perching on its owner’s shoulder.
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Having arrived in North America with some of the first European settlers, the breed now exhibits well over 80 recognized colors and patterns.
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This cat first surfaced in Cornwall, England, in the 1950s. It uses its agile paws almost like hands.
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One of Britain’s oldest breeds -- its ancestry dates back to ancient Rome -- this cat takes three years to reach full size.
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A mutation caused the notable tucked ears. Kittens are born with straight ears, and half the litter develop the famous fold within a month.
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True to its name, this large, laid-back feline—it averages up to 20 pounds -- will flop over and go limp when held.
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Cameo White Persian
Kublai Khan, one of Martha’s kittens, is from this popular breed. It doesn’t just love to have its coat groomed -- it needs it on a daily basis.
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The dark-faced seal-point pattern has distinguished it since the 1800s, when it first came to England from Asia. Though affectionate (and chatty), it often bonds with only one family member.
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Known for its luscious coat and gentle nature, this popular Persian uses its expressive eyes to get a point (or desire) across.
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This breed combines the best of an American shorthair and a Persian. With its small ears and short muzzle, it looks quite similar to a Persian -- except for the short coat, which is less prone to matting.
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