While cat awesomeness doesn't necessarily have anything to do with popularity, knowing the most popular cat breeds can be interesting and fun. This cat breed gallery is based on the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) 2010 statistics on which breeds are the most popular.
First up are Persians. These cats are sometimes called the "flower" of cat breeds because of their pansy-like faces. These cats are quite more docile than the average cat, so it's best to keep them safe indoors. Their long coats require regular brushing and even the occasional bath. Their bodies are short and broad, and they have thick, short legs.
In addition to white, Persians come in an incredible variety of colors and patterns, including the color point pattern of the Himalayan cat. These cats can be a bit shy, but they are friendly and sweet once they warm up to someone.
Maine Coons are a large, hardy breed. They have a rectangular-shaped body. and their thick coats are suited to the cold climates of Northeast America. This is the official state cat for the state of Maine.
According to the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association (MCBFA), males commonly attain a weight of between 13 and 18 pounds. The hair on the head is shorter and longer on the stomach and flanks. Some cats even have a ruff on their neck that makes them look almost like a lion. They come in a huge range of colors, including calico patterns and multi-color coats. Maine Coons tend to love people and like to follow their owners from room to room, but most do not enjoy sitting on laps.
According to the Cat Fanciers' Association breed profile, the Exotic cat has the face and build of a Persian, but it has short hair which makes this cat easier to groom. Exotics are short, wide cats with relatively short tails.
These cats also have easy-going personalities like Persians, but they're more energetic and playful. They get along well with other pets, but they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
According to the CFA breed profile, Ragdolls are large, fluffy cats with color points and blue eyes. They have markings similar to a Siamese cat and come in similar color point patterns. Although they have long fur, they do not have an undercoat. This means they require only minimal grooming, such as regular brushing.
Some Ragdolls go limp when picked up, supposedly because they enjoy attention so much, and this is how the breed got its name. They are extremely docile, eager to please and relaxed. They tend to bond closely with their human companions.
The Sphynx, also called a Canadian Hairless, is a largely hairless cat, although according to the CFA breed profile, some members of the breed do carry a fine fuzz that makes them feel like a peach.
This cat's head is wedge shaped, and it has a long, slender body with a slightly rounded stomach. Sphynx cats are highly intelligent and curious, and they tend to be friendly with strangers. Since they seek warmth, they are likely to cuddle up with their owners at night.
Siamese cats are popular as pets because of their beauty and the excellent companionship they offer. According to the CFA breed profile, they have darker color points on their paws, ears, tips of tail and as a mask on the face. Their eyes are an intense blue. Most Siamese today have a triangular face and long, slender, sturdy body. Their fur is short and shiny.
Siamese are intelligent and loyal to their human families. They tend to get spurts of energy, particularly as young cats, and race through the house at times. They tend to be very vocal, and some reportedly act more like dogs than cats.
According to the CFA breed profile, the Abyssinian is an exotic-looking cat. It has slender legs, a long tail and pointed ears. The coat is ticked, which gives the fur a deep, glossy appearance. Many Abyssinians have an "M" marking on their foreheads that makes them look like they are frowning.
These cats love to explore, spend time with their families and play, although they are sometimes reluctant to meet new people. Abyssinians are energetic and enjoy attention, but they are not typically lap cats.
The American Shorthair is called a "working cat" because of its strong build and ability to hunt mice. It has an overall stocky appearance that makes it look like a muscle builder cat. The American Shorthair is a large cat. Males can reach upwards of 15 pounds. The CFA recognizes over 80 color patterns for the American Shorthair.
This breed is excellent with children, likes to play and loves to cuddle. American Shorthairs like human companionship, but they don't mind being left alone at times.
According to the CFA breed standard, Cornish Rex cats have short and silky coats that are completely free of guard hairs and should lay in uniform, marcel waves. They are long and lean and considered by some people to be the "Greyhound" of cats. They come in a variety of color patterns.
These cats tend to be energetic and playful. While they bond closely with their owners and are gentle and affectionate, they can be skittish around new people or large groups. Since they do not have much fur, they need to be kept indoors in a temperature-controlled environment.
According to the CFA breed standard, the Birman has medium-length, silky fur with a heavy ruff around the neck that does not mat. This make the breed easier to groom than some other cats. It is marked with color points and white socks on its feet and has vivid deep blue eyes. The Birman has a long, slender nose, shortish body and cobby build. Its ears are small.
Birmans love people. These cats will follow their owners around the house and love to cuddle and sit on laps.
And that's the list of the most popular cat breeds according to the Cat Fanciers' Association. If you enjoyed this slideshow, take a look at LTK's Different Breeds of Cats slideshow.