If you’re a cat lover, the chances are that everything from a huge fluffy Persian cat to a humble local moggy will turn your head, but many of us also have a specific breed or two that is particularly close to our hearts.
There are several pedigree cat breeds that are particularly popular across the UK as a whole, and if you’re wondering which ones they are, wonder no more! Here at Pets4Homes, we’ve analysed user search data across the site and adverts for cats for sale in the UK to identify the country’s favourite cat breeds for 2018. Read on to learn more.
The Scottish fold is the 10th most popular cat breed in the UK, but one that is also rather controversial. It is not recognised as a pedigree cat breed by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy or GCCF – the UK’s umbrella organisation for pedigree cat breeds.
The Scottish fold’s ears are their most defining feature – they curl or fold over to produce the breed’s unique appearance, which is a definite part of their appeal. However, this trait occurs due to a genetic mutation that also causes skeletal abnormalities that can have a negative impact on the cat’s health and quality of life, particularly as they get older.
The Russian blue cat breed is most distinctive due to its gorgeous plush steel grey or blue coat, and contrasting hypnotic emerald green eyes. As the name suggests, the breed originated in Russia – and they are lithe, graceful cats that are undeniably handsome. The Russian blue is the UK’s 9th most popular cat breed.
The Savannah is the UK’s 8th most popular cat breed, and the second breed on our list that isn’t recognised by the GCCF. Savannah cats are a hybrid cat breed that was first deliberately bred in the 1980’s, and the first cats of the breed were produced by crossing domestic cats with a small wild cat – the African serval.
This makes the Savannah cat a wild cat hybrid, and whilst the breed has been around long enough that most cats of this type are many generations removed from their wild ancestor, they possess several distinctive appearance and personality traits that set them apart from the average domestic moggy!
The Siamese cat breed is instantly recognisable, and has long been one of the UK’s favourite pedigrees. Today, they are the 7th most popular breed in the UK, thanks to their distinctive good looks and very loyal personalities.
They are an oriental cat breed that has an angular face and pointed ears, as well as a very distinctive and piercing meow that they use frequently, often carrying out long conversations with their owners!
The enigmatic-sounding Sphynx cat is very unusual, being as they are hairless! This produces a very unique appearance which of course, makes them rather sensitive to the cold, as well as placing them at risk of sunburn in the summer, which means that they are usually kept as indoor-only pets.
They are very loving and personable medium-sized cats that need to be bathed every couple of weeks to keep their skin healthy and in good condition – and most cats of the breed actually enjoy this!
The Maine Coon is a very large, very fluffy cat that hails from the USA, and as well as being larger than life they also have entrancing faces with large, round eyes and high pointed ears that usually have long, thick tufts of fur known as “ear furnishings” growing from them!
They tend to be active, independent and bold, as well as loving their families and home comforts.
Most cat lovers could pick a Persian out of a line-up instantly, thanks to their thick, fluffy coats and squashed-looking flat faces. However, cats of the breed didn’t always have today’s signature shortened muzzles – this trait occurred as the result of a genetic mutation within the breed that arose several decades ago, and which has since been bred to become a dominant breed trait.
If the degree of flatness of the muzzle is excessive, this can lead to breathing difficulties, and make the risk of damage to the cat’s eyes higher than normal. A more old-fashioned variant of the breed, known as the doll-faced Persian, can also be found – which does not share the flat face that most of us associate with the breed today.
The Bengal cat breed is the second wild cat hybrid to make the top ten list, and they’re firm favourites within the UK despite their often high purchase prices! The Bengal cat’s ancestry combines domestic cat breeds such as the Abyssinian and Egyptian Mau with the Asian leopard cat, which produces the breed’s distinctive coat texture and appearance as well as personality.
They are incredibly sleek to the touch and can be found in a variety of coat patterns and shades, the most desirable of which incorporates the unique spotted coat of their wild ancestors.
The Ragdoll is a large, longhaired cat breed that is very gentle and affectionate, as well as being a rather recent addition to the modern list of recognised cat breeds, with the first Ragdolls produced in the 1960’s.
The breed’s best-known trait is their tendency to go limp when picked up, rather like the ragdolls for which they are named. They are very loving and sweet-natured cats but often, aren’t particularly streetwise, which means that they are generally kept indoors, or provided with only supervised access to outside.
The UK’s favourite cat breed overall is one of our homegrown native breeds – the British shorthair.
British shorthairs have been the nation’s favourite for many years, and more new British shorthair kittens are registered with the GCCF each year than those of any other breed.
They are stocky or cobby and quite rounded in appearance with what is often known as a teddy bear face, and they possess a great combination of independence and affection that makes them a great choice for homes of all types.
This is what makes the British shorthair the UK’s number one – as well as their best of British spirit!