A hairless cat rests on a table.

Technically, a “cat fancier” is someone who breeds and cares for cats. The Cat Fanciers’ Association was originally founded in 1906 and sets the standard for the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. However, because of feline overpopulation and the inherent challenges therein, most cat lovers today tend to adopt from shelters or rescues, never knowing their true lineage. 

Whether domestic or purebred, there are so many beautiful cat breeds to love and admire.

A Little Background on Cat Breeds

The Cat Fanciers’ Association recognizes 44 cat breeds, in contrast with other international feline organizations that count 43 (Federation Internationale Feline) and 58 (The International Cat Association)

Each organization evaluates unique physical characteristics and distinct personality traits, among other things. As a result, prospective cat owners (and those that simply adore felines) can determine which breed will make the best match.

It is worth mentioning that purebred cat breeds may be at higher risk of health problems related to their genetics. Before you make a leap with a breeder, learn more about potential risks to feline health. 

The Fine Print

Most cats available at animal shelters and cat rescues are domestic short- or long-hairs. Recognized as the most common cat breed in the U.S., short- or long-hairs are also referred to as house cats or alley cats. 

Not to be confused with the American Shorthair, a purebred cat breed, with a round face, short ears, and large stature.

Most Popular Cat Breeds

In addition to both the domestic short-hairs and the American Shorthair, the following are among the most popular cat breeds in America:

  • Bengal
  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Maine Coon
  • Birman
  • Abyssinian
  • Ragdoll
  • Siamese
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Sphinx
  • Devon Rex

Each breed has unique traits that continue to endear them to breeders and hobbyists alike.

The Most Peculiar Ones

This list is purely relative, but it’s safe to say that the majority of the following cat breeds are among some of the strangest:

  • The Sphinx cat is a hairless cat breed that took off in Canada during the 1960s. Since then, the different look of the Sphinx has helped increase their popularity. 
  • The Peterbald breed is similar to the Oriental Shorthair in that the ears are rather large. 
  • The American Curl cat breed boasts ears that curl backward at the tip, instead of pointing straight up. 
  • The Highlander Curl has a similar aesthetic as its American counterpart, but in addition to unique ear curls, they are polydactyl as well.

Super Distinct

Among the country’s most distinctive cat breeds, the following stand out as some of the most rare:

  • Turkish Angora
  • Chartreux
  • Havana Brown
  • Burmilla
  • LaPerm
  • Turkish Van (also one of the oldest cat breeds!)

Adopt Them All

If we could, we’d love to adopt all the cat in the world! Each breed has their own special story to tell, and we’re all ears. If you have any questions about your cat’s breed, and their inherited personality and behavior traits, please contact us