North America is packed with pet lovers. However, before deciding on buying a pet, you need to make an informed decision about which pet best suits your lifestyle and family. Cats make wonderful pets, but many end up in animal shelters because their owners bought them on an impulse. Learn more about cats and the various breeds to help you decide what cat breed is best for me.
Do cats make good pets?
Feline lovers will tell you cats make the best pets, and we agree. Cats are cute, entertaining, affectionate, and wonderful companions. Most important, they are easy to house-train, don’t need to be taken for walks, and are quite low on maintenance. They are wonderful and adaptable indoor pets.
Popular Cat Breeds
According to the Cat Fancier’s Association, there are 45 distinct breeds of cats. Cats without a pedigree or lineage are called domestic cats and don’t fall into any of the distinct breeds. Other than purebred cats, some are crossbred with wild felines. These cats are called hybrids.
Some cat breeds are more popular than others because of their physical appearance and character traits. Some breeds are also popular because of their longer lifespans. Around the world, feline lovers are mostly attracted to these breeds:
- Life expectancy: 12 years
- Height and weight: Maximum height of 14 inches and weight is between 6 to 14 pounds.
This cat breed originates from Siam, the country now known as Thailand. Siamese cats usually have short hair, long slender bodies and legs, and a larger head. However, the Siamese can also have a chubbier body with an apple-like head.
Their distinctive features are the areas of coloration on their face, ears, feet, and tail. These are called “points.” Siamese cats have blue eyes and usually have chocolate, seal (dark brown), blue, or lilac coats. They are active, affectionate, intelligent, and vocal.
- Life expectancy: 15 years
- Height and weight: 11 to 13 inches in height and usually weigh between 10 and 20 pounds.
If you want a cat that will follow you around the house, then the Ragdoll is for you. Ragdolls have dog-like personalities. They also have docile temperaments and go limp when picked up, hence their name.
Looks-wise, Ragdolls resemble Siamese cats because they have similar color points. Their coat has medium-length hair in different colors and patterns. Ragdolls have distinctive blue eyes.
- Life expectancy: 10 to 17 years
- Height and Weight: Up to 18 inches and between 7 and 12 pounds.
For decades, Persians have been one of the most popular cat breeds. These beautiful creatures with their squashed-looking faces are affectionate, gentle, quiet, and calm. Persians are thought to originate from Persia (Iran) and evidence of their existence dates to at least one and a half thousand years B.C.
Persians have long fur coats in solid and bi-colors. They need regular grooming and occasional bathing. Being purebred, Persians are prone to some illnesses, including cardiac conditions.
- Life expectancy: 10 and 16 years
- Height and Weight: Maximum height of 16 inches and will weigh from 8 to 15 pounds.
These wild-looking cats may look like you took them out of the jungle, but are delightful pets. Bengals were originally bred with wildcat to give them their beautifully patterned coats. They get their name from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard.
They are a short-haired breed and Bengals can have many pattern variations including spots and rosettes. The patterns are in black, chocolate, and sometimes lighter colors like gray or silver. Their eyes are green or gold.
- Life expectancy: 9 to 15 years
- Height and weight: Maximum 16 inches and between 9 and 17 pounds.
Maine Coons are known for their presence because they have a larger stature. They are the official cat of the state of Maine, where they hail from. Maine Coons were only recognized as a pure breed in the 1970s.
This popular breed is known for its great hunting skills but is actually a gentle giant. Their coat is double with long hair. Maine Coons have larger feet than most cat breeds, and many have extra toes. Their main color is tabby brown, but you can find them in 75 color combinations.
- Life expectancy: 15 years
- Height and weight: Maximum height of 10 inches and can weigh up to 12 pounds.
Originally from Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Abyssinians are elegant creatures. Even though they don’t prefer sitting on you, they are affectionate, curious, and playful. They love being around their “family” and are great explorers.
Abyssinians are short-haired with a red, orange, cinnamon, fawn, or blue agouti coat that has bands of darker or lighter coloring.
- Life expectancy: 15 years
- Height and weight: Up to 10 inches in height and 12 pounds in weight.
Birmans have color points like Siamese and Ragdoll cats, and Ragdolls were bred from them. Their marking and personalities are different from Ragdolls, even though they are similar in looks. They have deep blue eyes and a medium-long silky coat in a variety of colors, including tortoiseshell.
If you want a cat to love you exclusively, then a Birman is the best choice. These cats are social, fun, love attention, but prefer all this from just one person.
- Life expectancy: Between 9 and 15 year
- Height and weight: Up to 10 inches high and between 6 and 12 pounds heavy.
Sphynx is the ideal cat if you are looking for a breed that doesn’t shed. Don’t let their regal demeanor fool you; these gorgeous creatures are social, playful, active, and funny.
Even though they are hairless, they are available in a variety of colors, including black, red, lavender, calico, tortoiseshell, pointed, and tabby.
- Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
- Height and weight: Up to 11 inches tall and can weigh up to 10 pounds.
Even though the Oriental Shorthair resembles a Siamese, it is a separate breed. Oriental Shorthairs have short smooth coats of hair in many colors and patterns. They mostly have green eyes, and you often see them wearing coats to protect them from the cold and sun. They are prone to skin cancers.
- Life expectancy: Up to 20 years
- Height and weight: Maximum height of 10 inches and weigh a maximum of 15 pounds.
This all-American purebred cat has short ears and a round face. They have a gentle nature and are great companions. Above all, they also get along well with children and other pets. Their shorthaired coat comes in a wide variety of colors and color combinations.
- Life expectancy: Approximately 15 years
- Height and weight: Up to 12 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds.
Himalayans are a cross between Persians and Siamese. They have dense undercoats and long overcoats with color points and patterns. These are usually grey-blue, lilac, cream, and chocolate in color.
They have sweet personalities, and people love them because they seek lots of attention and affection from their owners.
- Life expectancy: Up to 15 years
- Height and weight: Maximum height is 12 inches and weighs up to 9 pounds.
These slender-bodied cats have enormous ears, and their hair is short, soft, and curly. Devon Rex cats are lively, cute, and very easy to train.
- Life expectancy: 15 to 17 years
- Weight and height: This varies because it depends on their breed mix.
If you are looking for a cat with unique features, intelligence, and friendly nature, then a mixed breed is perfect for you. These cats can be adopted from shelters or homes that are giving kittens away. Even though mixed breeds don’t have a recognizable pedigree, they do have a rich and interesting history. Mixed breeds come in a variety of colors and sizes.
One thing is certain, domestic cats have been around for approximately 12, 000 years, They have served mankind well by protecting our stored grains, gardens, and homes from pests like mice and rats.
A few tips to choose what cat breed is best for me
A healthy and happy cat has few daily needs, no matter which breed you decide is best for you. Food and a place to eliminate are important, but cats also need social interaction, and space to exercise and play. Caring for a cat is relatively easy.
The ideal time to get a kitten is between 7 and nine weeks, but you can also adopt an older cat. If possible, meet the parents for any clues about its future behavioral and physical characteristics.
Be a responsible pet owner and have your cat neutered or spayed to prevent unwanted litters.
Cats are best kept indoors because they are very adventurous and to explore. This is the best way to protect them from getting injured or lost. Like this, you can increase your cat’s lifespan to double that of an outdoor cat exposed to predators, fights, and infections.
Always make sure to place a screen near open windows. High-rise syndrome is the name given to the severe injuries cats suffer when they jump from great heights. A cat can have serious injuries even from a second-floor jump.
These playful creatures love social interaction, so provide them with plenty of opportunities to do this indoors. Offer them toys, areas to climb, and a nice sunny spot to sleep in, and plenty of love and cuddles.
Social interaction is important, but remember, cats usually seek it on their own terms. Most people think cats are nocturnal, but they are crepuscular. That means they are most active at dawn and dusk with plenty of naps in between.
You must provide your cat with a litter box, and it must always be kept clean. If you have more than one cat, provide them with more than one litter box. It’s best to scatter these around your home.
Cats with long or thick coat hair require regular grooming to prevent matting and skin irritations, so give them a daily brushing. Breeds with short hair do groom themselves daily but need brushing at least once a week.
Grooming promotes a healthy, shiny coat, and helps prevent intestinal blockages from hairballs. Cats rarely need bathing, unless indicated by a veterinarian. All cats need to have their teeth brushed and nails trimmed routinely.
After you’ve decided what cat breed is best for me, grooming will play an essential part in its routine. If you need help selecting a groomer, read How do you find the right pet groomer. Maintain your cat’s physical appearance and ensure its best health by finding a groomer near you here at Pet Groomer Finder.