Mental Floss

The 20 Cutest Cat Breeds, According to Science

Ellen Gutoskey
A Norwegian Forest cat flaunting her near-perfect facial proportions.
A Norwegian Forest cat flaunting her near-perfect facial proportions. / undefined undefined/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Claiming your cat is the cutest one on Earth might not seem like a compelling argument on its own. But if it happens to be a Norwegian Forest, you do sort of have science on your side.

As the Daily Mail reports, All About Cats used the Golden Ratio to determine which cat breeds are objectively the most beautiful. In first place was a three-way tie between the Norwegian Forest, Russian Blue, and Manx.

The Golden Ratio, about 1.618 after rounding, is the answer to a centuries-old mathematical equation that has to do with the relationship between length and width. It’s long been thought that humans tend to find things that come close to the Golden Ratio—be it part of a building or part of a plant—especially pleasing to the eye. So All About Cats measured the facial proportions of 46 different kinds of cats to find out which ones fit the bill the best.

The three first-place finishers are all just 0.03 points away from the Golden Ratio (rounded in the study to 1.62). The runners-up, Ragamuffin and Siberian, missed the top spot by a margin of two-hundredths of a point. It was a pretty tight race all the way down: The three 10th-place breeds—Korat, Ocicat, and Ragdoll—are 0.14 points off the Golden Ratio.

ragdoll cat
This Ragdoll cat is pretty and he knows it. / Julia Gomina/iStock via Getty Images Plus

But before you conclude that all feline faces come close to mathematical perfection, you might want to take a look in last place: The Himalayan’s ratio was 58.49, a staggering 56.87 points from Golden. The Peterbald registered an 18.16-point differential, and the Persian’s was 5.87 points from perfect.

All that said, beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder—and your flat-faced Himalayan is really just as cute as your neighbor’s elegant Russian Blue. See the top 20 breeds below, and check out the full list of 46 here.

Wondering how cute your dog is, scientifically speaking? There’s a list for that, too.

1. Norwegian Forest // 0.03
1. Russian Blue // 0.03
1. Manx // 0.03
2. Ragamuffin // 0.05
2. Siberian // 0.05
3. American Curl // 0.06
4. Selkirk Rex // 0.07
4. Siamese // 0.07
5. Maine Coon // 0.09
6. Egyptian Mau // 0.1
6. Turkish Angora // 0.1
7. American Bobtail // 0.11
8. American Whitehair // 0.12
8. Birman // 0.12
8. Pixiebob // 0.12
9. American Shorthair // 0.13
10. Korat // 0.14
10. Ocicat // 0.14
10. Ragdoll // 0.14
11. Chartreux // 0.15

[h/t Daily Mail]