Surprise, surprise dog lovers, but America’s favorite domestic pet is not your lovable Labrador. Though dogs are universally referred to as “man’s best friend,” the preferred pet in the USA is actually a cat. In a survey conducted in 2012, the American Pet Products Association found there to be an estimated total of 83.3 million dogs, and 95.6 million cats in American households. Of the millions of felines, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association, there are 10 specific breeds that are the most highly favored.
|Persian: Persian cats have remained the leading cat breed since the 1870’s, and are adored for their easy going personalities and luxurious long coats. They are aesthetically beautiful creatures, requiring daily brushing and grooming from their human devotees.
|Exotic Shorthair: This breed was first recognized in 1966, and was designed to combine the positive features of the Persian and the American Shorthair breed. They have similar oval facial structures as the Persians, but have a much shorter coat. They also tend to be less independent than Persians, and prefer to spend the majority of their time with their owners.
|Maine Coon: This breed is the largest of the domestic cats, and is known for having a strong and fierce appearance. Maine Coons have thick long coats, and sharply pointed ears. Though they are skillful hunters, when Maine Coons are around humans, they possess the low-key personality of a gentle giant.
|Ragdoll: Not only do Ragdolls have long silky coats and dreamy blue eyes, they are known for having the most docile of temperaments. Ragdolls are named for the way they go limp whenever they are picked up. They are both gentle and loyal, following their masters around, and never playing with extended claws.
|British Shorthair: Like the Exotic Shorthair, this breed has a dense, low-maintenance coat, a thick body and a wide face. British Shorthair cats tend to be more dignified and less energetic than other breeds, but win the favor of their masters by being a consistently steady companion.
|Abyssinian: These sleek creatures almost look regal in their “tickled” coats, and wide pointy ears. However, though they are intelligent, active and curious cats, Abyssinians love human interaction and rely upon regular playtime with their owners.
|American Shorthair: This classic pet is a well-rounded feline who works well with children, is a skilled hunter with robust health and a friendly personality. The American Shorthair has proportionate features, an athletic body, and can sport more than eighty colors combinations and patterns in her coat.
|Sphynx: These nearly hairless creatures became popular in the 1960’s, and are recognized for their large ears, muscular body and hypoallergenic coat. Though they are strange-looking to those unfamiliar to the breed, Sphynx cats have affectionate and winning personalities, with plenty of loyalty to their owner.
|Siamese: This breed is known for its chatty behavior, and distinct raspy voice. They have creamy colored sleek bodies with bright eyes and dark tails and ears. One of the easiest breeds to recognize, the Siamese has been a favorite choice since the 1950’s.
|Devon Rex: This playful shorthaired breed is easily recognizable for the wavy coat, wide pointed ears, and svelte bodies. They can be mischievous and intelligent, and are able to learn complicated tricks, and recognize their owner’s name.
Each breed brings their own unique appearance, charm and personality to the table. It is no wonder with the kind of diversity that is celebrated amongst humans in America, that the 10 most popular cat breeds would reflect the same range of variety.