The flat-faced, wide-eyed Exotic has been named America’s most popular pedigreed cat breed. This round-up of the country’s most coveted kitties comes from The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), which operates the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. The list was created based on cats that registered with the association over the course of a year—and what better day to share their findings than today, National Cat Day? (An even better way to celebrate the occasion? Head to your nearest pet shelter and adopt a fuzzy feline of your own.)
With a name like Exotic, it’s perhaps no surprise that this feline is in such demand. They’re still a fairly new breed, having emerged in the 1950s or 1960s, when breeders mated American Shorthair cats with silver, green-eyed Persians.
Although they look similar to Persians, they’re not quite as high-maintenance. Their fur doesn't shed as much, and they only require a weekly brushing. “The Exotic is bred to meet the Persian standard in every way with one very special exception: the coat,” the CFA says. “The thick, plush, short coat gives the Exotic a soft, rounded, teddy bear look.”
Ragdolls, which also emerged in the ‘60s, are the second most beloved breed among cat connoisseurs. These lap cats are known for their friendly personalities, brilliant blue eyes, large size, and silky fur. They’re also incredibly docile, and were supposedly named for the way their bodies go limp—like a rag doll—when they’re picked up.
Third on the list is the British Shorthair, which has been around far longer than the previously mentioned breeds. In fact, they’re one of the world’s oldest cat breeds, having descended from felines that were brought to Rome via ancient Egypt. They were worshipped by ancient civilizations, and continue to be worshipped by modern-day fur parents.
Does your fancy feline make the list? Check out the top 20 breeds below, courtesy of the CFA.
3. British Shorthair
5. Maine Coon
6. American Shorthair
7. Scottish Fold
9. Devon Rex
13. Cornish Rex
14. Norwegian Forest
17. Russian Blue