When it comes to cats, there are many popular breeds that cat owners love. Determining which breed is the number one most popular cat breed is not easy, as there are many factors to consider. Some of the top contending cat breeds for the #1 spot include the Persian, Siamese, Maine Coon, Ragdoll, and Abyssinian. By looking at cat registration data, surveys, and polls, we can get a good sense of what may be the most popular cat breed today.
Examining Cat Registration Data
One way to gauge a breed’s popularity is to look at cat registry data. This data tracks the number of new kittens and cats registered each year by breed. The largest cat registry in the world is The International Cat Association (TICA). According to TICA’s 2022 registry statistics, the most registered pedigreed cat breed was the Ragdoll, followed by the British Shorthair and then the Persian.
|Breed||Registrations in 2022|
However, registration data has some limitations in determining overall popularity. Not all cat owners register their cats, so registration numbers may reflect interest among breeders rather than general cat owners. Also, some breeds like the domestic short hair and long hair cat are not included as they are not considered a pedigreed breed.
Cat Surveys and Opinion Polls
Another way to assess cat breed popularity is through surveys, polls, and questionnaires of cat owners. These types of studies aim to capture data on all types of cats, not just registered pedigreed cats.
One large survey conducted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 2015 polled over 10,000 cat owners in the United States. The results found the most popular breed owned was the exotic shorthair, followed by the ragdoll and then the Persian.
|Breed||Percentage of Survey Respondents Who Owned the Breed|
Another poll conducted by the American Pet Products Association in 2022 found the most popular breed owned was the domestic short hair, with about 28% of respondents indicating they had this breed. Persians and Siamese were tied for the #2 spot at about 6% each.
While no breed emerges as definitively #1 across all surveys, Persians, Siamese, Ragdolls, and Exotic Shorthairs consistently rank near the top. Surveys point to slightly different results based on their sampling methods. But they help capture the general cat owning population’s preferences.
Assessing Popularity by Media Coverage and Culture
Breed popularity is also influenced by media coverage, celebrity cats, and cultural trends. This includes mentions in film, TV, books, advertisements and social media. Certain breeds can rise and fall in popularity as they gain media exposure and public fascination.
For example, the Persian cat is considered one of the oldest and most established breeds. Its lush coat and flat face have made it a favorite of cat fanciers for over a century. The Persian remains one of the most depicted cat breeds in animation, advertising and movies. Its constant presence in pop culture contributes to its ongoing status as a top contender for most popular breed.
In the 1970s, the Siamese cat skyrocketed in popularity following the Disney film Lady and the Tramp. For decades it remained one of the most recognized and depicted breeds, with cross-eyed Siamese often used as a cat stereotype. While its popularity has waned slightly, it still remains a much loved breed today.
More recently, interest in large cat breeds like the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat has grown thanks to internet memes and viral photos depicting their majestic coats and size. Ragdoll cats also surged in interest in the 2000s and 2010s as they gained visibility through championships, breeding programs, and savvy marketing. Monitoring breed mentions and appearances can provide clues to shifting breed preferences.
When examining the data points of registrations, surveys, and cultural presence, a few breeds stand out as perennial contenders for most popular. The Persian cat has a century-long legacy of distinction and remains a constant presence, likely making it still the #1 most popular breed. But competition is increasing from newcomers like the Ragdoll and Exotic Shorthair.
The Siamese remains in the top 5, but its popularity is not as dominant as its 20th century height. Large breeds like the Maine Coon have made gains through internet fame. Ultimately, no one breed can claim the definitive title as the most popular. But the Persian cat, with its timeless elegance and presence, earns its place as the top cat in the #1 spot.