Five most common breeds of cats
Cats can be cuddly companions, playful friends or steadfast sentinels keeping watch out a living room window. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are about 86.4 million pet cats in the country. Of those 86 million, five cat breeds tend to be the most popular with feline aficionados.
American Shorthair. Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, this breed arrived in North America via European settlers. Typically, the female American Shorthair cat is smaller than the male, weighing about 8 to 12 pounds, while the male can weigh 11 to 15 pounds. The Cat Fanciers' Association recognizes more than 80 different colors and patterns for this breed. From blue-eyed whites to cats with shades of silver, brown and smoke, American Shorthairs are varied. They may appear as calicos, tabbies and tortoiseshell. This breed tends to be low-maintenance, friendly and healthy.
Main Coon. Main Coons are bigger cats with fluffy tails and tufts of fur at the tips of the ears. The males may weigh about 13 to 18 pounds, with the females weighing in around 9 to 12 pounds. This breed typically boasts a big personality to match its bigger size. They can be extremely affectionate and playful and are generally good with kids. They are a longhaired American cat, bred originally in Maine as mousers. A Main Coon even was chosen as the Best Cat in the first major American cat show, according to Cat Fanciers' Association.
Persian. A longhaired cat, the Persian gained popularity in the early 1800s before making its way to America. The Persian is considered one of the oldest cat breeds, having been recorded in the travels of the Italian aristocrat Pietro della Valle in the early 1600s. Pietro della Valle is credited with introducing the breed to Europe. Persians easily are distinguishable by their flat face and round eyes. They may weigh about 8 to 10 pounds and typically have a stocky body, strong legs and a fluffy tail. Their longhaired coats require attention and daily brushings and vary in color from whites to grays to chocolate and creams.
Ragdoll. Ragdoll cats tend to be people pets. They love their people, often following them around the house and even racing to the door when their owners arrive home. Known for its floppy nature when held, this cat tends to be unaggressive. Their coats are semi-long, which do need some brushing. Their color combinations and patterns vary and may include seal, blue, chocolate and cream. Ann Baker developed the ragdoll cat breed in the 1960s.
Siamese. The Siamese cat breed originated from Thailand (Siam) in the late 1800s. They are recognizable for their long head, pointed ears, piercing blue eyes and sleek body. Siamese cats are considered intelligent, curious and loving. Their voices are distinct, and their meows can be quite loud. Males will weigh about 11 to 15 pounds and females about 8 to 12 pounds. They are a shorthaired cat.