The world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats has again determined the world’s most popular cat breeds, based on registrations. This year’s Top 10 list reflects the increasing popularity of certain breeds. However, registrations of all cats have increased substantially, reflecting the growing popularity of pet cats since the beginning of the pandemic. The Cat Fanciers’ Association. (CFA), which has been dedicated to preserving the unique attributes of each cat breed since 1906, now registers 45 pedigreed breeds as well as spayed/neutered non-pedigreed domestic shorthair and longhair cats, which are recognized under CFA’s Companion Cat World program.
For the third consecutive year, the Ragdoll, a large, longhaired cat with a soft, plush coat, is number one. First recognized an official breed by CFA in 1998, Ragdolls come in three distinctive patterns, all with intense blue eyes and a mellow disposition.
Commonly called the “gentle giant,” the Maine Coon Cat has moved up to second place. The largest of all pedigreed cats, these magnificent, shaggy-coated cats were first recognized by CFA in 1976 but their history goes back to Civil War days.
The Exotic was recognized by CFA in 1967 and is ranked third this year. Developed as an easier-care alternative for lovers of the Persian type, this breed has a shorter coat that is plush, dense and full of life. Exotics are so popular in the show ring that they were recently broken out into six different competitive divisions, based on color and pattern.
In fourth place is the Persian, much loved for its luxurious long coat, refined features, expressive round eyes and easygoing temperament. Persians were recognized by CFA in 1906 as a foundation breed of the cat fancy.
The elfin Devon Rex has moved up a notch to fifth place. These outgoing, cuddly creatures have soft wavy coats, expressive eyes and huge batwing ears that give them the look of little pixies. They were recognized by CFA in 1983.
Number six is the British Shorthair, known for its incredibly dense coat and gentle demeanor. Most popular in blue, the Brits also come in many other colors. They have been recognized since 1980.
Number seven, once again, is the Abyssinian, which is often compared to the hunting cats of ancient Egypt. Agile and interactive, these cats have a ticked tabby pattern that gives them a unique wild look. They Aby was one of CFA’s foundation breeds also recognized since 1906.
The American Shorthair has held on to the number eight spot. These sweet, playful cats have powerful builds and strong jaws to catch and hold prey. Most popular in silver tabby, they were selectively bred from cats that traveled into America with the original settlers and have been part of CFA since 1906.
Two cats must be cited for the ninth spot. Recognized since 1978, the Scottish Fold, whose folded ears and round eyes give it an owl-like expression, is the ninth most popular pedigreed cat. Folds are much sought after but since not all kittens will have folded ears, it is hard for the supply to meet current demand.
Rescue cat enthusiasts demonstrated their passion in CFA, as the registered Companion Cat, which are non-pedigree domestic shorthair and longhair cats, have progressed to the ninth most popular ranking. Companion Cats are official card-carriers (yes, they have ID cards) and compete in their own class at CFA shows and earn their own national wins. A portion of all proceeds derived from membership of these cats go to rescue/welfare efforts in their region of residence.
In tenth place among pedigreed cats is the hairless Sphynx, originating from a natural mutation. Breeders have outcrossed to normal-coated cats and back to hairless cats to produce a genetically sound cat with hybrid vigor. These cats have outgoing, attention-loving temperaments and are difficult to adopt as breeders usually have very long waiting list for them. Sphynx have been recognized since 2006.
Founded in 1906, CFA is a not-for-profit association and the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats which proudly celebrates the human-feline bond. CFA honors feline history, legacy and health care and is committed to protecting the well-being of all cats through the promotion of responsible ownership, caregiving and breed preservation best practices.