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The Most Popular Cat Breeds

September 16th, 2011 Pets

You may not know it, but there are more than 50 different breeds of purebred cats, which can make choosing the right feline for your family more difficult than you expected. Here's a list of 10 of the most popular cat breeds in the world and what makes them such great pets.

1. Persians. These cats are known for their luxurious long coats and squished faces. They are one of the most loyal and affectionate breeds, which is probably why they've been cherished over the centuries. They were lauded in 1871 at a show in London's Crystal Palace, according to Iams.com. They come in many colors and should be brushed regularly to prevent tangles in their coats.

2. Maine Coon. This breed is one of the largest - adult males generally grow to be up to 20 pounds. They are very devoted cats who love to play throughout their old age - some even love to play with water. They're usually shy around strangers, but once they warm up to you, they're very affectionate.

3. Exotics. This breed is simply a shorthaired version of the Persian. They possess similar qualities, but have a much shorter coat, which is a lot easier to groom.

4. Siamese. These cats are very intelligent and attached to their owners. They are playful and talkative and don't like to be ignored, similar to dogs. They often have a bit of an attitude, and they're generally considered to be the least friendliest cats around strangers, but with proper introductions they should be fine.

5. Abyssinian. This type of cat is commonly rated as the friendliest feline breed. They are very active and high-spirited, which means you should be prepared to play a lot and be followed around the house. They love elevated locations, so don't be surprised to see your cat on top of the cabinets or on your shoulders.

6. Ragdolls. These big cats are very easy-going and laid back, sometimes growing up to 30 pounds. They are gentle and generally good with children, and they love to play. Some people refer to them as "puppycats" because they're so loyal. As their name suggests, they're so even-tempered that they may go limp in your arms.

7. Birman. This breed is generally sweet and even-tempered. They usually enjoy a good snuggle session and often like to be held. They are less active than other cats, but love to follow their human companions around the house. Big blue eyes are their trademarks.

8. Oriental. These cats are intelligent and very curious about everything. They often retain the energy level of a kitten well into adulthood and don't like to be ignored. Their mischievous natures may get them into trouble on occasion, so leave the treats locked up! Their fur can be either long or short.

9. American shorthair. These cats are usually very healthy and are considered the best all-around family cats who get along well with most dogs and children. They have strong hunting instincts and may bring home "gifts" of mice if you let them outside, so be wary when doing so.

10. Tonkinese. This breed is often compared to dogs because of how playful and affectionate they are. They're very smart and less chatty than Siamese cats. They shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time because they can get bored and become destructive.

No matter which breed you choose, cats are loyal companions who can make a great addition to any family. Develop a strong bond with your cat and play with him often to ensure that he stays happy and active.