The Most Popular Cat Breeds in the United States

Four kittens in a pink cushion on the grass looking in the same direction.
Juana Mari Moya / Getty Images

What draws us to cats? Part of their appeal is in how adorable they are: Most of us can't get enough of their big eyes, adorable yawns, and cuddly fur. And their meows, which are only for us and not used to communicate with other cats, evoke similar feelings in us that the sound of a human baby's cry does. Today, cats have become popular pets, and just like their canine counterparts, we enjoy their friendship.

In recognition of this, the Cat Fanciers' Association releases an annual list of the most popular cat breeds registered with their organization. Some breeds, like the Persian and the Ragdoll, rank at the top of this list year after year. But it comes as no surprise to any of us that the humble household cat is now getting much-deserved recognition. After all, the world's cat population consists of 95 percent of rescue, stray, and otherwise non-pedigreed cats. We love them all.

Even our founder Martha Stewart shares her home with numerous cats, including two Persians named Empress Tang and Princess Peony. Cats are sweet and intelligent little animals that also give great cuddles—whenever they're so inclined. Pedigree cats, like the Persian, have their own characteristics that may require specialized care. It's worth keeping these traits in mind when picking your new best friend. The Abyssinian, for one, is more playful than cuddly, whereas, the Ragdoll is known for being affectionate and love to be doted upon. Here, the top cat breeds ranking in as the most popular in the country.

01 of 10


Long hair domestic Ragdoll cat -
Madelein Wolf / Getty Images

For a cuddly companion, this breed is best known for their floppy qualities. Hold one, and she will go limp in your arms; hence, the nickname Ragdoll. This precious beauty can get fairly big at 10 to 15 pounds for the females and up to 20 pounds for the males. Ragdolls have medium-length fluffy fur and come in a variety of color patterns. They're soft and cuddly, beloved for their docile and placid temperament.

02 of 10

Exotic Shorthair

Brown Exotic shorthair cat
Wutlufaipy / Getty Images

The Exotic Shorthair is a Persian cat with shorter fur. With shorter, dense fur, the Exotic has a gentle teddy bear appearance. These cats have a quiet, endearing nature, and their voices are seldom heard.

03 of 10

British Shorthair

Elegant British Short Hair cat sitting on top of a wicker stool
Carlos G. Lopez / Getty Images

While the British Shorthair comes in different color variants, the most familiar is the British Blue—a solid gray-blue coat with copper eyes and a medium-sized tail. While this cat has a broad face and stocky body, which makes it apt to clumsiness, the British Shorthair has no breed specific health-related problems.

04 of 10


Fluffy Persian white cat lying down looking into camera
Olivia 7 / Getty Images

Persian cats originate from Iran, and their long fur and distinctive smush face make them a classic show cat. These felines are known to be friendly toward other animals and children, and they love receiving lots of attention from their people.

05 of 10

Maine Coon Cat

A close-up view of a Maine Coon cat indoors
Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images

The Maine Coon was first recognized as a specific breed in Maine where they were held in high regard by the locals for their mousing talents. Having an easygoing persona, they're often called the "Gentle Giant" of cat breeds, and are commonly sought after as family pets. They are highly intelligent and considered trainable akin to dogs.

06 of 10

Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold Kitty
lafar / Getty Images

Their folded-down ears give them away. The Scottish Fold can come in any color, and they tend to be quite playful. What's interesting is that every Scottish Fold comes from a long line of cats that can be traced back to one cat, a sweet girl named Susie who was found on a farm in Scotland in 1961.

07 of 10

American Shorthair

Close up american short hair cat in the house
Pakin Songmor / Getty Images

The American Shorthair is a breed of domestic cat believed to be descended from European cats brought to North America by early settlers in order to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats. These cats still retain their hunting ability, but these days, she is more likely to be a family companion. This cat is medium-sized and even-tempered.

08 of 10

Devon Rex

Beautiful devon rex cat laying on hammock and chilling
Insonnia / Getty Images

The Devon Rex has a distinctive appearance with its long skinny neck, low-set pointed ears, and oddly shaped head. If you want a loyal cat, the Devon Rex is an ideal companion—they will follow you around the house, play at your feet, and happily chirp and trill up at you to say hello.

09 of 10


Abyssinian cat on staircase
anobis / Getty Images

The Abyssinian cat is one of the oldest known breeds. It has a regal, muscular appearance, alert pointed ears, and a distinctive "ticked" tabby coat, in which individual hairs are banded with different colors. This breed isn't fond of being held or cuddled, but they can be quite playful.

10 of 10


Hairless Sphynx cat
G.M. Nicholas / Getty Images

Sphynx cats have very short, fine hairs that give them the appearance of being hairless. They often need to be bathed to protect their delicate, soft skin. These cats are highly intelligent, too.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles