The GCCF or Governing Council of the Cat Fancy is the UK’s most widely recognised and longest established formal registry for pedigree cat breeds. They’re the body that determines if a breed is classed as a pedigree or not, which can deny registration to potential breeds that come with health or welfare concerns, and that host the most highly regarded and prestigious cat shows each year too; including hotly contested championship shows that are the feline equivalent of Crufts!
Whilst there are other cat breed registries that register some breeds the GCCF doesn’t recognise and that each have their own level of recognition and influence, the GCCF is the body we think of as the default when we think of pedigree cats.
One of the main things they do of course is to register pedigree kittens, and they recognise a total of 40 different breeds as eligible for registration.
The GCCF collates registration statistics each year on a breed-by-breed basis, and at the end of each year, share information on which breeds were most popular in terms of the number of new kittens of the breed registered; and how like for like, the numbers compared to the prior year.
This information can tell us what pedigree cat breeds are the most in demand and popular at any given time, which are becoming more popular, and which are falling out of favour.
With this in mind, this article will share the five cat breeds that saw the greatest number of new kitten registrations recorded with the GCCF last year (2019), and compare how this changed from the prior year of 2018. Read on to learn more.
The British shorthair is one of the UK’s longest established and most widely recognised cat breeds, and this is of course a native British breed, which helps to contribute to it being a homegrown favourite!
In 2019, the GFFC registered a total number of 7,672 British shorthair kittens born over the course of the year, placing the British shorthaired cat in first place in terms of popularity and demand.
This figure actually represented a very steep increase on the number of kittens of the breed born in 2019 compared to the prior year of 2018; in 2018, 6,717 kittens were registered, making an increase of 955 in just one year, or over 14%, which is quite significant.
The Ragdoll cat is a more recent addition to the list of recognised cat breeds in the UK, but one that very quickly became highly popular among cat lovers!
The Ragdoll was the cat breed with the second highest total number of new kittens registered with the GCCF in 2019. A total number of 3,537 Ragdoll kittens were registered over the course of the year; and as you might have noticed, there’s a big difference in numbers between second and first place on the list, with over twice as many British shorthaired kittens registered in the same time period.
That said, the Ragdoll’s registration numbers also saw an increase between 2018 and 2019, with the 2018 figure being 3,185. This is a percentage increase of 11% between 2018 and 2019.
The Maine Coon, widely considered to be the only formally recognised cat breed native to North America, was the third most popular cat breed registered with the GCCF last year in terms of new kitten numbers.
A total number of 1,980 kittens were registered, which is once more another steep drop down from second to third place in the list. This still represents an increase in numbers from 2018, however, in which the number was 1,697, a percentage increase in 2019 of almost 17%, showing that the Maine Coon is actually the fastest growing of the top five breeds in terms of population increase.
The Siamese cat is one of the best known and easiest to recognise cat breeds of all, and one that has long been very popular in the UK. Thoroughly unique, the Siamese isn’t for everyone but they do have a committed following of fans and enthusiasts!
The Siamese cat was the fourth most popular in 2019 in terms of new GCCF kitten registrations, there being a total number of 1,395 of them made; again, a fair difference in numbers from the third-placed Maine Coon.
Also, the registration numbers for Siamese kittens fell between 2018 and 2019, in contrast with the cats higher than them in the list; in 2018, 1,582 Siamese kittens were registered, and so the breed saw a fall of 13% over the year.
The Burmese cat was the fifth most popular in the UK in 2019 based on new GCCF kitten registrations, of which there were a total number of 1,021 of them. This breed too fell somewhat in popularity between 2018 and 2019, as in 2018 there were 1,145 of them, and so the Burmese dropped in popularity by 12% during this time too.