The 15 Most Popular Cat Breeds in the World

Ragdoll cats reign supreme.
These ragdoll kittens know exactly how popular they are.
These ragdoll kittens know exactly how popular they are. / Andy Whale/Photodisc/Getty Images

Since its formation in 1906, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) has hosted cat shows and kept track of pedigreed cats in the U.S. and abroad. These days, it recognizes 45 different pedigreed breeds, from the Abyssinian to the Turkish Van.

So which ones are the most popular? According to registration data from 2023, ragdoll cats are—which CFA says is partially thanks to their “docile nature and affectionate personality.” Prospective pet owners in the market for a diminutive cat might want to opt for a different breed, though: Ragdolls are quite large, with males weighing up to 20 pounds and females tipping the scales between 10 and 15. Hefty cats are apparently a hot commodity: Maine Coons came in second place.

Some of the most popular pedigreed breeds have been recognized by the CFA since the beginning. Persian cats (third place), Abyssinians (seventh place), American shorthairs (11th), and Russian blues (12th) were all recognized back in 1906. The newest recruit rounded out the top 15: Bengals, which were recognized in 2018.

While the nearest cat lover will be quick to tell you that all cats are beautiful—and their own feline is the most beautiful—it’s hard to deny that Bengals are especially striking. They look like miniature leopards (they’re part Asian leopard cat), which probably helps explain why they’re so expensive. In fact, there’s quite a lot of crossover between the list of most popular breeds and the most expensive ones. But even purebred cats end up in shelters—so if you have your heart set on a certain breed, it’s always a good idea to start there.

See the 15 most popular cat breeds below, and find out more about each one here.

  1. Ragdoll
  2. Maine coon
  3. Persian
  4. Exotic shorthair
  5. Devon rex
  6. British shorthair
  7. Abyssinian
  8. Scottish fold
  9. Siberian
  10. Sphynx
  11. American shorthair
  12. Russian blue
  13. Norwegian forest
  14. Oriental shorthair
  15. Bengal

Read More Stories About Cats: