4 Popular Cat Breeds in the United States

Cats are one of the most common household pets in the world. People love adopting and purchasing cute kittens and seeing them grow into curious, playful adult felines. While most cats make great pets due to their general compatibility with people and lack of aggressive or dangerous behaviors, some breeds of cats make better pets than others. Below is a list of five cats that are sought after pets and some of the characteristics that make them so popular.

Siamese

Siamese Cat

Siamese cats have a very unique appearance. With their blue eyes and light colored hair, it is a very attractive animal. In terms of its demeanor, it is very curious and friendly. This social nature makes the Siamese cat an excellent household pet that is very compatible with humans. It is this combination of characteristics that makes the Siamese cat a popular pet.

Persian

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Behind the Siamese, vetstreet recognized the Persian as the second most popular pedigreed breed of cat in America. Persians are known for their beautiful coat that distinguishes them from any other feline. For someone considering adopting or purchasing a Persian, prepare to care for this signature coat as it needs frequent grooming.

Aside from its striking appearance, Persians are very kind and gentle cats. For many people, the Persian’s quiet and loving nature makes any required grooming a small concession.

Ragdoll

Ragdoll Cat

The Ragdoll is one of the most family-friendly cats on this list. It is has a very sweet nature and enjoys the company of people, meaning that it wouldn’t mind cuddling up with you on one of your missions chairs. The Ragdoll’s bright blue eyes and soft coat are physical features that compliment its kind disposition. For individuals or families looking for a loving and friendly pet, the Ragdoll is definitely a breed of cat to consider.

Bengal

Bengal Cat

While the Bengal isn’t quite as social or friendly as some of the other popular cat breeds, its intelligence and tendency to be active are sought after characteristics. Bengals usually have black stripes or spots on their coats that resemble the Asian leopard cat from which they descend. These markings, mixed with shades of brown, silver or sepia make for a very distinct and intriguing appearance.

Despite their independence, the Bengal still makes for an excellent household pet and will enjoy attention when it’s not overdone. Considering the Bengal’s ancestry, it is important to know what generation of Bengal you are adopting or purchasing. Fourth generation felines are very docile in nature and are great for domestication. Second and third generation Bengals may be more temperamental due to their close genetic relationship to the Asian leopard cat.

Rare Breed Profile: Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtail cat is a rare breed that has also endured something of an identity crisis. It can’t seem to decide if it’s a cat or a rabbit. These animals have short, bobbed tails, as their monikers suggest, and they’ve even been known to hop to get from one place to another, ran than walk or run. That sounds more like a bunny than a kitty.

Still, even with their dual personalities, they make for winning companions for owners who appreciate fascinating back stories in their household pets.

Ancient History

That back story began 1,000 years ago, when the cats are believed to have begun breeding. They’re native to Asia, specifically Japan, though they don’t pop up a lot in written history until 1602, when the Japanese government demanded that all owners set their cats set free from their home and onto the streets of the country to help take care of a rodent infestation.

The rodents were eating all of the country’s highly valued silk worms, and the freed cats helped to eradicate the mice and rats and spare the silk worms. Buying or selling these cats was illegal, and so Japanese Bobtails began thriving on the streets, fending for themselves and seeking out their own food.

It wasn’t until 1968 that Japanese Bobtails were imported to the Western Hemisphere, but there are still very few breeders worldwide.

Appearance

The Japanese Bobtail has large ears that are set wide apart and a broad muzzle. Their heads are shaped like equilateral triangles, and they have large oval eyes. They have long, skinny legs and long torsos that show off their muscles. They have five toes on each front foot and four in the rear.

These cats come in both short- and long-hair varieties, and the textures of both are soft and silky. Their nearly non-existent tails have one of several slightly curved articulations. They come in any color or pattern of color, including mono-colored. Calicoes are most popular.

Legends and Folklore

Cats figure prominently in Japanese folklore, and the Japanese Bobtail is no different. Japanese storytellers seem to revere the animals, lifting them to a position of great respect in their tales. While long-tailed cats are often revealed to be evil spirits, short-tailed cats are often portrayed as good luck charms.

There are even tales about how the Japanese Bobtail got its short tail, including one that tells of a cat whose tail caught on fire while it was sleeping.

Popular Culture

If you think you’ve never seen a Japanese Bobtail, think again. The popular Hello Kitty figure is based on a Japanese Bobtail, and it has become ubiquitous in Japan and abroad. And Muta, a character in “The Cat Returns,” is also based on a Japanese Bobtail.

Rare Breed Profile: Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold

You may not have ever heard of the Scottish Fold, but you may have seen it. These cats look as though they don’t have any ears. The cartilage in their ears folds, which pushes their ears forward toward the front of their heads. Some compare the cats’ appearance to that of an owl.

Scottish Fold cats have also been called Coupari, Longhair Fold, Highland Fold and Scottish Fold Longhair. For a long time they didn’t have a real name; they were simply referred to as lop-eared, playing off the lop-eared rabbit. But in 1966 they were finally dubbed Scottish Fold.

History

This breed’s origins go back just over 50 years, to 1961. The first recorded instance of the rare ear flap was found in a cat named Susie, who resided on a farm in Perthshire, Scotland. She passed the genetic trait to two of her kittens, and William Ross, who purchased one of those kittens, later registered the breed with Great Britain’s Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

Alas, Susie’s story ends with a very different result than humane rat traps produce for vermin. She was hit by a car and killed just three months after delivering her kittens. Amazingly, every Scottish Fold cat can be traced back to her.

Appearance

The distinctive ear folds don’t become apparent until a kitten is about three weeks old. Though early Scottish Folds had only one fold in their ears, cats from more recent generations have two or three. The breed has an extremely round face.

Male cats weigh 13 pounds or less, while female cats weigh up to nine pounds. They have short necks and widely spaced eyes. They come in all colors and may have long or short hair.

Temperament and Habits

These cats are well-known for placing themselves in the “Buddha position:” They stretch out their legs and rest their paws on their bellies. It’s pretty adorable.

Some say that Scottish Folds have a more extensive vocabulary than other cats, with more distinctive meows and purrs. (Believe what you will, but some people think their cats converse with them.)

These animals aren’t high-strung like so many cats. Instead, they’re laid-back and very affectionate to their owners. They demonstrate their love by rubbing and kneading them, and they are extremely loyal pets.

The breed is also very intelligent, though admittedly this doesn’t quite explain why Taylor Swift’s Scottish Fold cat has its own Twitter account. Their smarts are one reason why the breed is so adaptable, finding its own peace with its owners whether in the country or city, hot or cold, as an indoor or outdoor cat. They’re rare, but they’re certainly a breed worth finding.

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