15 Top Cat Breeds UK: Find Your Purrfect Match Today!

Introduction: Top cat breeds UK

In the UK, cats are one of the most popular pets, with around 26% of households owning at least one. With such a high demand, there are many different breeds of cats to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and qualities. In this article, we will provide an overview of the top 15 cat breeds in the UK.

Overview of the popularity of cats in the UK:

Cats have been a beloved pet in the UK for centuries, with their popularity increasing significantly in recent years. According to the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report in 2020, around 10.9 million cats were owned in the UK, making them the second most popular pet after dogs. The report also revealed that cats are most commonly owned by individuals between the ages of 25 and 34.

Brief history of cat breeding in the UK:

Cat breeding in the UK dates back to the 19th century when cat shows became popular, and breeders began selectively breeding cats to produce specific traits. Some of the first cat breeds to be established in the UK include the Siamese, Persian, and British Shorthair.

Purpose of the article:

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top 15 cat breeds in the UK, including their unique characteristics, appearance, and temperament. Whether you are considering getting a cat or just interested in learning more about different breeds, this article will provide valuable information.

Bengal Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Bengal cat is a medium to large-sized cat breed that is recognized for its distinctive coat pattern resembling that of a wild leopard or jaguar. They have a muscular build, and their coats come in a variety of colors, including brown, silver, and snow. Bengals are active and energetic cats with a playful and curious temperament. They are known for their intelligence and can be trained to perform tricks and even walk on a leash.

Origins and history:The Bengal cat breed was created in the 1960s by breeding an Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat. The breed was recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1983 and has since gained popularity around the world.

Care and maintenance:Bengal cats require regular grooming to maintain their coats and prevent matting. They also need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Bengal cats can be prone to certain health issues, such as heart disease and a condition called Bengal Nose, which can cause respiratory issues. Regular vet check-ups are recommended to ensure their health and well-being.

Popularity in the UK:The Bengal cat is a popular breed in the UK, with their distinctive coat pattern and playful temperament appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 7th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Sphynx Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Sphynx cat is a hairless breed known for its wrinkled skin and large ears. They are medium-sized cats with a muscular build and come in a variety of colors, including white, black, and cream. Sphynx cats are affectionate and sociable, with a playful and mischievous personality. They are known for their love of attention and will often seek out their owners for cuddles and affection.

Origins and history:The Sphynx cat breed originated in Toronto, Canada, in the 1960s when a hairless kitten was born as a result of a natural mutation. The breed was recognized by TICA in 1985 and has since gained popularity around the world.

Care and maintenance:Despite being hairless, Sphynx cats still require regular grooming to keep their skin clean and healthy. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as skin conditions and dental problems. Sphynx cats are indoor cats and should be kept warm in colder weather to prevent them from getting too cold.

Popularity in the UK:The Sphynx cat is a relatively rare breed in the UK, but their unique appearance and affectionate personality have gained them a small but dedicated following. They were ranked as the 27th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

British Shorthair Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The British Shorthair is a medium to large-sized cat breed with a rounded body and thick, dense coat. They come in a variety of colors, including blue, black, and cream. British Shorthairs are known for their calm and gentle temperament and make excellent family pets. They are also intelligent and independent cats that enjoy their own company.

Origins and history:The British Shorthair is one of the oldest cat breeds in the UK, with records dating back to the 19th century. Originally bred as a working cat to keep the rat population under control, the breed has since become a popular domestic pet.Care and maintenance:British Shorthair cats require regular grooming to maintain their thick, dense coats and prevent matting. They are also prone to obesity, so a healthy diet and plenty of exercise are essential to keep them in good health.

Popularity in the UK:The British Shorthair is one of the most popular cat breeds in the UK, with their gentle temperament and striking appearance appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 3rd most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Maine Coon Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Maine Coon is a large cat breed with a long, bushy tail and distinctive ear tufts. They come in a variety of colors, including black, white, and tabby. Maine Coons are known for their friendly and sociable personalities and make excellent family pets. They are also intelligent and curious cats that enjoy playing and exploring.

Origins and history:The Maine Coon is believed to have originated in North America, with records dating back to the early 19th century. They were originally bred as working cats to help control the rodent population on farms and ships.

Care and maintenance:Maine Coon cats require regular grooming to maintain their long, thick coats and prevent matting. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and heart disease, so regular vet check-ups are essential.

Popularity in the UK:The Maine Coon is a popular cat breed in the UK, with their striking appearance and friendly personality appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 4th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Scottish Fold Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Scottish Fold is a medium-sized cat breed known for its distinctive folded ears. They come in a variety of colors, including white, black, and tabby. Scottish Folds are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities and make excellent family pets. They are also intelligent and playful cats that enjoy interactive playtime.

Origins and history:The Scottish Fold cat breed originated in Scotland in the 1960s when a cat with folded ears was discovered on a farm. The breed was recognized by TICA in 1978 and has since gained popularity around the world.

Care and maintenance:Scottish Fold cats require regular grooming to maintain their thick, dense coats and prevent matting. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as ear infections and osteochondrodysplasia, a condition that affects their bone growth.

Popularity in the UK:The Scottish Fold is a popular cat breed in the UK, with their unique appearance and friendly personality appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 10th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Siamese Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Siamese is a medium-sized cat breed with a sleek body and distinctive blue eyes. They come in a variety of colors, including seal point, blue point, and chocolate point. Siamese cats are known for their talkative and outgoing personalities, and they form strong bonds with their owners.

Origins and history:The Siamese cat breed originated in Thailand (formerly known as Siam) and was brought to the UK in the late 19th century. They quickly became popular due to their unique appearance and friendly personalities.

Care and maintenance:Siamese cats require regular grooming to maintain their short, fine coats and prevent matting. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as dental problems and respiratory infections.

Popularity in the UK:The Siamese is a popular cat breed in the UK, with their striking appearance and outgoing personality appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 9th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Persian Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Persian is a medium to large-sized cat breed with a long, fluffy coat and distinctive flat face. They come in a variety of colors, including white, black, and tabby. Persians are known for their calm and affectionate personalities, and they enjoy spending time with their owners.

Origins and history:The Persian cat breed originated in Iran (formerly known as Persia) and was introduced to the UK in the 19th century. They quickly became popular due to their distinctive appearance and friendly personalities.

Care and maintenance:Persian cats require regular grooming to maintain their long, fluffy coats and prevent matting. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as eye problems and respiratory infections.

Popularity in the UK:The Persian is a popular cat breed in the UK, with their distinctive appearance and affectionate personality appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 7th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Ragdoll Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Ragdoll is a large cat breed with a fluffy coat and striking blue eyes. They come in a variety of colors, including seal point and blue point. Ragdolls are known for their laid-back and affectionate personalities, and they are often described as “dog-like” in their behavior.

Origins and history:The Ragdoll cat breed originated in California in the 1960s and was developed by breeder Ann Baker. They quickly became popular due to their unique appearance and friendly personalities.

Care and maintenance:Ragdoll cats require regular grooming to maintain their long, fluffy coats and prevent matting. They are also prone to certain health issues, such as heart disease and urinary tract problems.

Popularity in the UK:The Ragdoll is a popular cat breed in the UK, with their striking appearance and affectionate personality appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 8th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

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Russian Blue Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Russian Blue is a medium-sized cat breed with a distinctive blue-grey coat and bright green eyes. They are known for their quiet and reserved personalities, but also for their affectionate and loyal nature towards their owners.

Origins and history:The Russian Blue cat breed is believed to have originated in the Archangel Isles in Russia, where they were first mentioned in literature in the 19th century. They were brought to England in the 1800s and quickly became popular due to their striking appearance and friendly personalities.

Care and maintenance:Russian Blue cats require regular grooming to maintain their short, dense coat and prevent matting. They are generally healthy, but can be prone to certain health issues such as urinary tract problems.

Popularity in the UK:The Russian Blue is a popular cat breed in the UK, with their distinctive appearance and loyal personality appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 16th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Savannah Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Savannah is a large cat breed with a distinctive spotted coat and long legs. They are known for their active and playful personalities, as well as their strong bonds with their owners.

Origins and history:The Savannah cat breed is a hybrid breed that was first developed in the 1980s by crossing domestic cats with African servals. They quickly became popular due to their unique appearance and outgoing personalities.

Care and maintenance:Savannah cats require regular grooming to maintain their short, dense coat and prevent matting. They are generally healthy, but can be prone to certain health issues such as dental problems.

Popularity in the UK:The Savannah is a relatively new cat breed in the UK, but their unique appearance and playful personality have already made them popular among cat owners. They were ranked as the 20th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Burmese Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics and temperament:The Burmese is a medium-sized cat breed with a short, shiny coat and expressive eyes. They are known for their outgoing and affectionate personalities, as well as their love for play.

Origins and history:The Burmese cat breed originated in Southeast Asia and was first introduced to the UK in the 1940s. They quickly became popular due to their friendly personalities and unique appearance.

Care and maintenance:Burmese cats require regular grooming to maintain their short, shiny coat and prevent matting. They are generally healthy, but can be prone to certain health issues such as respiratory infections.

Popularity in the UK:The Burmese is a popular cat breed in the UK, with their outgoing personality and affectionate nature appealing to many cat owners. They were ranked as the 17th most popular cat breed in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 2020.

Norwegian Forest Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics: The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large breed with a muscular build and a thick, water-resistant coat. They have long, tufted ears, a bushy tail, and large, almond-shaped eyes. They come in a variety of colors, including black, white, and orange.

Temperament: Norwegian Forest Cats are known for their friendly, outgoing personalities. They are intelligent and playful, and they enjoy being around people. They are also very independent and can be quite stubborn at times.

Origins and history: The Norwegian Forest Cat is a natural breed that originated in Norway. They were originally used as farm cats, where they would hunt rodents and other pests. The breed nearly became extinct in the 20th century, but dedicated breeders worked to save the breed, and it is now one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.

Care and maintenance: Norwegian Forest Cats require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and tangle-free. They are also prone to dental issues, so regular teeth cleaning is important. They are generally healthy cats, but they may be prone to hip dysplasia.

Popularity in the UK: The Norwegian Forest Cat is a popular breed in the UK, and is recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).

Abyssinian Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics: The Abyssinian Cat is a medium-sized breed with a muscular build and a short, fine coat. They have large, pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes. They come in a variety of colors, including cinnamon, ruddy, and blue.

Temperament: Abyssinian Cats are known for their active, curious personalities. They are intelligent and playful, and they enjoy being around people. They are also very independent and can be quite stubborn at times.

Origins and history: The Abyssinian Cat is an ancient breed that is believed to have originated in Egypt. They were brought to Europe in the 19th century, where they quickly became popular due to their distinctive appearance.

Care and maintenance: Abyssinian Cats require minimal grooming, as their short coats do not tangle easily. They are generally healthy cats, but they may be prone to dental issues.

Popularity in the UK: The Abyssinian Cat is a popular breed in the UK, and is recognized by the GCCF.

Birman Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics: The Birman Cat is a medium-sized breed with a stocky build and a long, silky coat. They have blue eyes and white paws. They come in a variety of colors, including seal point and blue point.

Temperament: Birman Cats are known for their gentle, affectionate personalities. They are intelligent and playful, and they enjoy being around people. They are also very social and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.

Origins and history: The Birman Cat is an ancient breed that originated in Burma. They were brought to Europe in the 20th century, where they quickly became popular due to their distinctive appearance and friendly temperament.

Care and maintenance: Birman Cats require regular grooming to keep their long coats healthy and tangle-free. They are generally healthy cats, but they may be prone to dental issues.

Popularity in the UK: The Birman Cat is a popular breed in the UK, and is recognized by the GCCF.

Exotic Shorthair Cat:

top cat breeds uk

Physical characteristics: The Exotic Shorthair Cat is a medium-sized breed with a stocky build and a short, dense coat. They have round faces and large, round eyes. They come in a variety of colors, including white, black, and tabby.

Temperament: Exotic Shorthair Cats are known for their calm, affectionate personalities. They arenot as active as some other breeds, but they enjoy playing and interacting with their owners.

Origins and history: The Exotic Shorthair Cat is a breed that was developed in the 1950s by crossing Persian Cats with American Shorthairs. The goal was to create a cat with the gentle personality of the Persian, but with a shorter, more manageable coat.

Care and maintenance: Exotic Shorthair Cats require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and free of mats. They are prone to dental issues, so regular teeth cleaning is important. They may also be prone to respiratory issues due to their short, flattened faces.

Popularity in the UK: The Exotic Shorthair Cat is a popular breed in the UK, and is recognized by the GCCF. However, they are not as popular as some other breeds like the Persian or Siamese.

Comparison table of the Top Cat Breeds

Here is a comparison of the top cat breeds, including their key characteristics and differences, as well as some pros and cons of each breed:

BreedKey CharacteristicsProsCons
Bengal CatMedium-sized, muscular build, leopard-like spots, short fine coat, energetic, intelligentIntelligent, active, playful, affectionate, hypoallergenic coatMay be prone to certain health issues, needs lots of stimulation and exercise
Sphynx CatHairless, muscular build, wrinkled skin, large ears, curious, affectionateHypoallergenic coat, affectionate, loyal, low maintenanceMay be prone to skin issues, temperature-sensitive, not suited for outdoor environments
British Shorthair CatMedium to large-sized, sturdy build, short thick coat, round face, affectionate, mellow personalityCalm, adaptable, easy to groom, good with children, generally healthy breedMay be prone to weight gain and related health issues, may require regular dental care
Maine Coon CatLarge, muscular build, long thick coat, tufted ears, bushy tail, sociable, affectionateIntelligent, playful, friendly, good with children, generally healthy breedMay be prone to certain health issues, requires regular grooming and maintenance
Scottish Fold CatMedium-sized, round face, folded ears, thick coat, affectionate, docile personalityCalm, adaptable, affectionate, generally healthy breedMay be prone to certain health issues related to folded ears, not recognized by some cat associations
Siamese CatMedium-sized, sleek build, pointed coat, blue eyes, intelligent, vocalIntelligent, vocal, affectionate, loyal, generally healthy breedMay be prone to certain health issues, may be too vocal for some owners
Persian CatMedium-sized, long thick coat, round face, affectionate, docile personalityCalm, affectionate, low-maintenance, generally healthy breedMay be prone to certain health issues related to their facial structure, requires regular grooming and maintenance
Ragdoll CatMedium-sized, long thick coat, blue eyes, docile, affectionate personalityCalm, affectionate, good with children, generally healthy breedMay be prone to certain health issues, requires regular grooming and maintenance
Russian Blue CatMedium-sized, short thick coat, blue-grey coat, green eyes, intelligent, independentIntelligent, independent, low-maintenance, hypoallergenic coatMay be prone to certain health issues, may be too independent for some owners
Savannah CatLarge-sized, muscular build, spotted coat, active, intelligent, vocalIntelligent, active, affectionate, hypoallergenic coat, exotic appearanceMay be too energetic for some owners, not recognized by some cat associations
Burmese CatMedium-sized, muscular build, short fine coat, round face, affectionate, playfulIntelligent, affectionate, playful, good with children, generally healthy breedMay be prone to certain health issues, may require regular dental care
Norwegian Forest CatLarge, muscular build, thick, water-resistant coat, long tufted ears, bushy tail, almond-shaped eyesIntelligent, playful, independent, good with children, generally healthy breedRequires regular grooming, may be prone to hip dysplasia
Abyssinian CatMedium-sized, sleek and muscular, ticked coat, affectionate, activeActive, curious, affectionate, low-maintenance grooming, hypoallergenic, healthy breedMay be prone to dental problems and kidney disease, may require lots of stimulation
Birman CatMedium-sized, gentle and sociable, striking blue eyes, long silky coatAffectionate, loyal, sociable, low-maintenance grooming, good with other petsMay be prone to heart disease and eye problems
Exotic Shorthair CatMedium-sized, round face, short thick coat, affectionate, gentle personalityCalm, affectionate, low-maintenance, good with children, generally healthy breedMay be prone to weight gain and related health issues, may require regular dental care

Conclusion:

In this article, we have discussed 15 of the top cat breeds in the UK, each with their own unique characteristics, pros, and cons. From the affectionate and playful Bengal Cat to the calm and easygoing Exotic Shorthair, there is a cat breed to suit any lifestyle.

Recap of the 15 top cat breeds in the UK:

  1. Bengal Cat
  2. Sphynx Cat
  3. British Shorthair Cat
  4. Maine Coon Cat
  5. Scottish Fold Cat
  6. Siamese Cat
  7. Persian Cat
  8. Ragdoll Cat
  9. Russian Blue Cat
  10. Savannah Cat
  11. Burmese Cat
  12. Norwegian Forest Cat
  13. Abyssinian Cat
  14. Birman Cat
  15. Exotic Shorthair Cat

Final thoughts on cat ownership in the UK:

Cat ownership can be a rewarding experience for those who are prepared for the responsibility that comes with it. Before getting a cat, it is important to research different breeds and their needs to ensure that you can provide the appropriate care and attention. It is also important to consider adopting from a local shelter or rescue organization to give a cat in need a loving home. By taking the time to properly care for and bond with your cat, you can enjoy a long and happy companionship.

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