Over 42 million Americans have at least one cat and 1.6 million cats get adopted annually. It's safe to say that feline family members are the most independent, loving, and entertaining furry friends you can have.
If you're looking for a feline companion to join your crew, it can be overwhelming to figure out who might fit in the best. Looking at the most popular breeds of cats will give you more insight and understanding about the new family member you bring home.
It's time to cozy up and dive into this comprehensive cat breed list. Read on to learn about popular cat breeds and delve into the exciting and mysterious world of felines!
1. American Shorthair Cats
Let's start this furry feline breed investigation with the American Shorthair. This breed has established a reputation as "America's breed."
The American Shorthair is medium in size and has a wonderful, gentle nature. This makes this breed one of the most popular cats for families with children and other pets. This breed is descended from cats brought over to North America on various European shipping vessels.
You can easily find them needing loving homes in shelters and rescue groups.
1.1 Appearance and Characteristics
American Shorthairs don't reach their full mature size until they're at least three years old.
American Shorthairs come in a wide array of colors and you'll often find they have striped coats. However, most of these cats are tabbies, with silver tabbies being the most common.
You'll also find other characteristics like:
- Mostly green and hazel eye colors
- Powerful and sturdy
- They'll turn your home into a playground
- Moderate shedders
- Not a hypoallergenic breed
Some American Shorthairs can have a rounded and thick appearance and aren't always the most athletic of felines.
1.2 Personality Traits
American Shorthairs are easygoing and affectionate, so you can expect this feline to enjoy cuddle time.
As with any feline, American Shorthairs also prefer affection when they want it, not so much when you do. Therefore, you'll need to be alert to signs of irritation like ears set back or attempting a grand escape.
1.3 Suitable Living Environment and Care Needs
American Shorthairs do well as indoor cats. They're able to provide their own entertainment, and usually won't be too anxious about you leaving the house.
These felines also do well with large families with other pets and in homes with only a single adult.
Make sure to have enough toys so this independent feline can get enough exercise and stimulation to keep healthy.
Grooming once a week should suffice to keep this furbaby's coat in great condition.
1.4 Common Health Problems
In general, American Shorthairs live long lives and aren't genetically predisposed to develop specific health issues, except heart disease on occasion.
This breed has a lifespan that ranges from 15 to 20 years, as long as there are no major health problems.
However, they can develop chronic issues if you allow them to traverse the outdoors regularly. This allows regular contact with parasites, bacteria, and viruses. It also increases the likelihood of ingesting toxic substances.
2. Maine Coon Cats
The Maine Coon; indeed you've seen pictures of this beautiful breed around the internet. Maine Coons can look intimidating and much like bobcats, but don't let this fool you.
They're one of the oldest breeds in North America and are often referred to as "gentle giants." They've been in the US since the 1800s and are among the oldest native cat breeds.
Maine Coons were also particularly popular in Maine around the 1860s as some farmers showcased them as prize cats. Today, you can find Maine Coons in breed-specific cat rescue groups and shelters.
With proper care, you can have this lovely breed in your family for 12 to 15 years, sometimes up to 20.
Let's dive into more details about this beloved furry breed.
2.1 Appearance and Characteristics
Since the Maine Coon is the largest domestic cat breed, it definitely has physical characteristics that make it stand out. It measures an average of 10 to 16 inches in height and weighs up to 18 lbs.
You'll see this gorgeous feline has a square muzzle that's quite distinctive and large. They also have massive tufted ears like a bobcat and a beautiful shaggy coat.
Maine Coons come in many color patterns, but the most common is chocolate, Himalayan, and lavender patterns. Solid coat colors like cream, black, blue, or black and white are also common.
Eye color varies too, with green, gold, copper, blue, or multi-color eyes.
If you have allergies, take note. The Maine Coon isn't hypoallergenic and has a long coat.
2.2 Personality Traits
You'll love the Maine Coon's friendly, gentle, and intelligent personality. This feline is laid back to the maximum and makes a fantastic playmate for your children. Maine Coons can easily exist with other cats, dogs, and other household pets.
Since Maine Coons are social and curious, they'll always want to be where the action is. This furball may be affectionate, but it's not big on being a lap cat.
You can also easily train Maine Coons since they love to learn tricks. Many Maine Coons are also certified as therapy cats since they make great visitors for people in senior care facilities and hospitals.
Not to mention the old cat-hating water stereotype doesn't apply here. Maine Coons love water and are more than willing to bathe, play, and go for a swim most any day of the week.
2.3 Suitable Living Environment and Care Needs
The Maine Coon is best as an indoor feline companion. However, since they love the outdoors, you must make sure they get plenty of exercise time.
The good news is that you can easily train this breed to walk on a leash. You should also keep them easily engaged with various toys like feathers and an approved scratching area like a scratching post.
If you're gone from home for long periods during the day, you may have an issue with this breed. Maine Coons don't do well being left at home by themselves all day and may get into mischief.
2.4 Common Health Problems
Maine Coons are predisposed to conditions like hip dysplasia and spinal muscular atrophy. Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic disease that causes the muscles in the hind legs to deteriorate. It also impacts the spinal cord.
They can also develop heart issues like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickening of the heart muscle. This impacts how well the pumping chamber of the heart functions.
For these reasons, getting this friendly feline on a health and wellness plan is crucial. CBD oil for cats is a wonderful place to start and a popular natural health alternative with many benefits.
CBD oil is short for cannabidiol and it's a compound found in the cannabis plant, also known as hemp or marijuana. It can support the immune system, nervous system, cells, and organs.
3. Abyssinian Cats
Though this lovable feline has a fancy name, you can easily find this breed waiting for a new home in shelters and various rescue groups.
Abyssinians are nicknamed "Abys" and are medium in size. They have a short coat and a lean muscular body build.
The Abyssinian also has a remarkable history. Legends of lore state that Egyptian pharaohs owned them, while other people say they really came from Britain, resulting from breeding brown and silver tabby cats.
This amazing breed can live up to 15 years with a good health regime and regular vet visits.
Now, let's look at the furry details.
3.1 Appearance and Characteristics
In addition to being lean and muscular, Abys have large ears, making them look regal. Common colors range from red, cinnamon, or fawn colorations. You'll mainly see eye colors that include gold and green.
Their coat patterns are either solid or ticked. Abys can live up to 15 years and can be less prone to cause allergies. This is because they usually don't shed much at all.
3.2 Personality Traits
This breed is friendly and outgoing, and it will love to play with you all day, every day. They're intelligent, playful, and have a high energy level.
Abys can also be very affectionate and tend to be kid-friendly and other pet-friendly. They love human interaction and crave cuddles and loads of attention.
3.3 Suitable Living Environment and Care Needs
Keeping an Aby in your home is perfect as long as you're home fairly often to give them the care they need. They thrive indoors and love to climb stairs and hang around high surfaces.
You must also ensure they're kept somewhere they can move freely and exercise. Abys are fairly low-maintenance and easy-to-groom types of cats. Their dietary needs mostly depend on activity levels.
3.4 Common Health Problems
Abyssinians are generally healthy, but the breed does have a few common conditions you'll need to watch out for which include:
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Patellar luxation or kneecap dislocation
- Retinal atrophy which is a degenerative eye disease
Due to the tendency for kneecap issues and gum inflammation, Abys can also benefit from CBD oil since it can ease joint pain and inflammation.
Take the time to learn about dosages and frequency so you know you're giving them enough. Overall, cats will need 1 to 5 milligrams for every 10 lbs. However, be sure to talk to your vet about your feline's specific needs.
4. Ragdoll Cats
Ragdoll cats are large and affectionate and love to just go with the flow. If you're looking for a cat that likes to chill out, then this breed is right up your alley.
The Ragdoll is actually fairly new when it comes to cat breeds, coming out of California in the 1960s. A breeder named Ann Baker wanted to create a large beautiful cat with a loving and social personality.
After a few generations, the Ragdolls we know today made an appearance and became an official breed in 1993.
4.1 Appearance and Characteristics
Don't let the size of this furry feline breed intimidate you. Ragdolls can grow up to 40 inches in length and weigh up to 20 lbs. Their coats are medium in length and colors range from red, chocolate, seal, blue, cream, and lilac.
Coat patterns include color point, lynx, tortoiseshell, and mitted. Ragdolls also have blue eyes and can live up to 17 years.
Allergy alert: The Ragdoll's beautiful coat is not hypoallergenic.
4.2 Personality Traits
Ragdolls are easygoing and love to just flop and cuddle on your lap. They're a great fit for any home with many furry and human family members.
They'll make friends with just about any person or animal and are trainable much like the Maine Coon.
4.3 Suitable Living Environment and Care Needs
Ragdolls do great in a loving home with people who are home frequently. They do well as indoor cats as long as you provide them with interactive toys for mental stimulation.
Ragdolls don't need tons of exercise, but plenty of snuggle time is essential for this loveable feline.
They also don't have an undercoat, so they shed less than other heavy-coated breeds. However, they still produce allergens and need brushing at least twice weekly to keep away the mats.
4.4 Common Health Problems
As with most large-breed pet cats, ragdolls can be prone to weight issues. Therefore, you must portion their food to keep them healthy and fit.
Ragdolls tend to develop bladder stones and urinary infections. You can help this by ensuring this fluffball has plenty of water to drink. They're also more likely to develop heart issues like thickening of the heart muscle.
Bailey's CBD Oil for Cats is a quality option to consider for your ragdoll to balance out these health risks.
5. Choose One of These Breeds of Cats as Your Next Feline Family Member
Now that you know more about the popular breeds of cats, you'll be able to find a furry feline that fits into your family puurrfectly.
The next thing you need to do is get the right nutrition and supplements to ensure your new family member lives a long and healthy life. Bailey's CBD for pets can help your new cat achieve a healthy balance.
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