Popular Cats for Many Types of Households

Several types of cats consistently rank among the Cat Fanciers' Association's list of top breeds. These cat breeds tend to be quite friendly, affectionate, and playful. And many can adapt to a variety of household situations, including living with children and other pets. If you are looking for a tried-and-true companion, here are 10 of the most popular cat breeds.

Tip

Every cat has a unique personality within its breed. You can find many of these popular cat breeds at animal shelters, where you'll be able to spend time with individual cats and get to know their temperaments.

  • 01 of 10

    Abyssinian

    Abyssinian cat breed

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    The Abyssinian, also referred to as the Aby, is a lively and active cat. Many Abyssinians even love water, and most will spend their days climbing and exploring in your home. Be prepared to provide plenty of interactive play for an Aby, and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of loyalty. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Tall, pointy ears; wedge-shaped head; slender and muscular body

  • 02 of 10

    American Shorthair

    American shorthair tabby lying in sun

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    The American shorthair, the pedigreed version of the domestic shorthair, is a fairly low-maintenance pet. These cats are hardy, easygoing, and largely tolerant of whatever life throws their way. And if they receive proper socialization from a young age, many American shorthairs can get along well with children, strangers, and other pets.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 10 to 15 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Athletic build; short, dense coat

  • 03 of 10

    British Shorthair

    British shorthair lying on couch

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    The British shorthair is considered to be the oldest natural cat breed from England. While moderately active, British shorthairs are ideal household cats and can be comfortable with children and other pets. They’re generally not lap cats, but most are quite affectionate and prefer to be near their favorite humans.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 12 to 14 inches

    Weight: 7 to 17 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Large head; round eyes; well-balanced body

  • 04 of 10

    Exotic

    Exotic shorthair cat resting on floor

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    The exotic has been dubbed “the lazy man’s Persian” because it’s similar to the Persian cat in its sweet looks but has a coat that requires much less maintenance. Brushing or combing once a week is typically all it takes to keep the coat free of tangles. Exotics tend to be laid-back, loving lap cats, but they have a playful side, too.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: 10 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Short legs; rounded body; short nose

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  • 05 of 10

    Maine Coon

    two Maine coons

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    Contrary to folklore, the Maine coon isn't the result of a cat breeding with a raccoon. It's most likely a cross between an American domestic cat and a longhaired foreign cat. Maine coons have a “gentle giant” reputation and are generally comfortable around children and other pets. They are highly affectionate and engaged with their favorite humans, but they typically don't demand attention.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 16 inches 

    Weight: 10 to 25 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; thick, heavy coat

  • 06 of 10

    Persian

    Brown Persian cat lying on edge of green carpet

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    With their flowing coat, sweet face, and affectionate disposition, it’s no wonder Persians are one of the most popular cat breeds. Persians prefer a calm, predictable environment and do best in quiet households. Their coats must be combed daily to prevent tangles, as well as bathed weekly to keep them shiny and clean.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long coat; short, stocky legs; large, round eyes

  • 07 of 10

    Ragdoll

    ragdoll cat standing alertly

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    Ragdoll cats got their name because of their tendency to relax and go limp in a person’s arms. These cats adore their humans and will follow them from room to room. They are often very tolerant with children and other pets, and they can be quite playful. They have a moderate energy level, and many are even willing to walk on a leash for exercise.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 11 inches

    Weight: 8 to 20 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Blue eyes; semi-longhaired coat

  • 08 of 10

    Scottish Fold

    Scottish fold in a cat tree

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    While the Scottish fold typically has ears that fold forward (a genetic mutation), the occasional kitten will have straight ears. In fact, all Scottish fold kittens are born with straight ears, which begin to bend forward after a few months. These cats are generally affectionate and easygoing, and they can adapt well to various living situations. They prefer to be around their favorite humans and love a good game of fetch. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 6 to 14 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Round body; large, round eyes; folded ears

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  • 09 of 10

    Siamese

    Siamese cat on a windowsill

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    Siamese cats, fondly known as "Meezers," are one of the oldest and most recognizable cat breeds. These cats tend to be curious, intelligent, and rather chatty. They will “talk” to their humans day and night to express their opinions and demand attention. They also need lots of entertainment from interactive toys or even on-leash walks, or they might seek out their own games, such as turning on faucets. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Sleek body; almond-shaped eyes; wedge-shaped head

  • 10 of 10

    Sphynx

    Sphynx cat on a chair

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    The Sphynx is another highly recognizable and popular cat breed, thanks to its hairless body and prominent features. These cats tend to be intelligent, curious, and easygoing. They often love meeting new people and can do well with children and other pets. But they do need to be kept warm due to their lack of coat, and their skin needs regular bathing to remove excess oil.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 10 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless; wrinkled head; lean build