Cats come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and looking at pictures of different cat breeds can help you get a better idea of how they are different. Breeds' temperaments can range from outgoing and athletic to laid-back lap cats. This gallery shows a collection of some of the most popular varieties.
Ragdolls are lovely cats with a gentle, outgoing personality. They love people and are good pets for families with children. The breed gets its name from a unique trait deliberately bred into them. When picked up, they should hang limply in your arms, which gives the appearance of a ragdoll.
Domestic Longhair Kitten
There are several breeds that can be considered part of the domestic longhair group. Some of the most popular ones include the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest Cat, Persians, and Ragamuffins. Longhair cats are definitely beautiful but potential owners should be aware of their grooming needs, which include daily brushings and regular baths. Kittens in particular will need to be acclimated to grooming with positive reinforcement to help them enjoy it as they grow into adults.
An interesting fact about Siamese kittens is despite their beautiful coloring, kittens are born white and only develop their coat color about a week after they are born. The coat is sensitive to heat due to an enzyme responsible for coat pigmentation. Since kittens are in a warm environment in the womb, they do not develop their color until they reach a cooler environment after birth.
White Persian Cat
Despite their elegant appearance, Persian cats are loving and sweet. This breed of cat does best in calm, quiet homes that match its personality. White Persians do require regular grooming to keep their coat free of mats, which can be painful.
Himalayan cats are a type of Persian known for their distinctive coat colors. They are a colorpoint cat, which means their body fur is a light cream or ivory color and their face, paws, and tail are a darker color. The darker color options commonly include chocolate, seal, lilac, blue, red, and tortoiseshell.
British Shorthair Cat
The British Shorthair Cat, also known as the "British Blue," is an easygoing cat that enjoys performing constant lap cuddling duties. Despite its nickname, British Shorthairs come in other colors including tabby, tortoiseshell, smoke, and most solid colors. They have a reputation for getting along well with other pets and being generally laid back affectionate feline companions.
Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coons are one of the largest cat breeds. They have strikingly beautiful, long lush fur. Their coats are perfect for colder climates and are resistant to winter weather. Their name comes from the belief that they were originally wild cats bred with raccoons.
The graceful and elegant Siamese is one of the oldest cat breeds. Their body coat color is white, cream or a bluish-silver shade and their legs, tail, face and ears are tipped with a darker color such as seal, chocolate, blue, lilac or red. Siamese cats are engaging, outgoing cats that love people. They are known for being very "talkative" and make several types of vocalizations.
Russian Blue Cat
Russian Blues have emerald green eyes and medium length coats that are a lovely blue/gray color with tips of silvery grey. Their coat is very dense and feels plush and luxurious but Russian Blues actually have minimal grooming needs. The Russian Blue personality is a bit on the shy side initially and they tend to bond strongly with one person in the household.
Cornish Rex Cat
The Cornish Rex cat can be easily recognized due to their large pointed ears, egg-shaped head and their short, wavy coat. They are active cats that need a lot of attention and care from their owners and often thrive with the company of other cats. They are considered a hypoallergenic cat although this does not mean everyone with allergies can tolerate them.
Longhair Calico Cat
Calico cats are not a breed but a color pattern found in most cat breeds. The pattern is either a mix of solid patches of black, orange and white, or blue, chocolate, cream and fawn, known as a "blue cream calico." The color is caused by a gene that most often presents itself in female cats. Male calico cats are rarer and due to the gene they are usually sterile and live shorter lives.
Domestic Shorthair Cat
Domestic Shorthair cats are one of the most popular cat breeds although they are actually not a breed. 95 percent of cats in North America are considered Domestic Shorthairs, which shows just how well loved they are. They are referred to as "mutts" and are composed of different breeds. They come in all colors and their body types and sizes can differ, as well as their personalities, based on their individual genetic heritage.
Birmans are large, stocky cats that have a light, golden coat. They have dark points that are either seal, blue, chocolate, or lilac and they have striking blue eyes. These cats prefer to live with other pets and don't like being left alone. They are gentle and affectionate with people.
One of the oldest cat breeds, Abyssinian cats are medium-sized with a slender frame, long legs, and large, pointed ears. They also have an unusual coat that has a tabby pattern that becomes lighter and darker along the body. They are very intelligent problem solvers that may be challenging for cat owners who expect a sedate lap cat. Providing enough mental and physical enrichment to keep them happy is a must with this breed.
Bengals are a hybrid of a domestic cat and the Asian Leopard cat. They are large, lithe, and athletic cats that are spotted like a wild jungle cat. Bengal cats can be quite a handful and they are very outgoing and inquisitive. Owners must provide them with lots of outlets for their energy, including toys, cat trees and lots of playtime. They are not a good choice for owners who don't have the time to satisfy their behavioral needs.
Ginger Bengal Kitten
Ginger Bengals look like a reddish version of small, wild leopard. The kittens look a lot like wild cat cubs with fuzzy fur. Bengal kittens and cats enjoy being with their people and can have a lot of energy. These are cats you could train to walk on a leash or learn tricks with a clicker to keep them mentally stimulated.
If you're trying to decide which cat is best for you, research the most common cat breeds to find one that matches your lifestyle. Talk to breeders and shelters to find the perfect feline companion!