Around 26% of the households in the UK own at least one cat. That’s totaling nearly 11 million pet felines, proving the nation’s love for cats. While it hasn’t been like that forever, given that the cats have a long and storied history in the UK, it’s remarkable that a sheer variety of cat breeds are thriving in the region. If you’re wondering which ones are most adored and sought after, here’s a rundown of the most popular cat breeds in the UK.
1. British Shorthair
A feline that they can call their own, the British Shorthair is native and the oldest cat breed recorded in England – no surprise that it has consistently ranked among the most popular cat breeds in the UK.
These cats are well-loved for their round bodies, and round, happy faces, plus short, thick, plush grayish coats, making them look like teddy bears. They have an easygoing and affectionate nature, which means they are willing to reciprocate all the love and hugs their owners give them.
While they are not energetic, they are fond of playing with their favorite guardians. They work best in peaceful homes and if properly cared for, they can live from 14 to 20 years, promising a longtime, adorable feline companion.
Though Bengal cats have only been recognized as a breed in the UK in 1997, they have rapidly catapulted into popularity. This stunning breed is most renowned for its striking spots and handsome features, providing them an exotic look that resembles their wild cat cousins.
Despite their appearance, Bengal cats are loyal, friendly, and loving, making them wonderful companions. However, they are incredibly intelligent, high-spirited, and playful, with seemingly everlasting energy, even at old age. Thus, they best suit homes with active families who can match their vigor.
The Siamese cat is a sophisticated cat breed that traces its roots from Thailand, yet has gained immense popularity all the way in the UK. They are most recognizable for their gorgeous blue eyes, and light-colored coats, with dark points in the ears, faces, tails, and feet.
Any owner can expect to have lots of snuggles from this loving, sociable, and intelligent breed. They are fun to have around the house, as long as you can tolerate these cats’ innate love for talking. They are extremely vocal and will talk almost the entire day, whether you’re paying attention or not.
4. Maine Coon
Maine Coons are undoubtedly the largest breed of domesticated cat. They can stand at a height of 10 to 16 inches, measure 30 to 40 inches long, and weigh from 8 to 30 pounds. Commonly dubbed as “gentle giants,” Maine Coons’ massive appearance is matched by a friendly and loving nature. They love to stay beside their owners and don’t like being left alone for extended periods.
Apart from being affectionate, these big cats are highly intelligent, making them relatively easy to train. They love to explore and are incredible hunters. Yet, these kitties won’t be shy to clown around, perching on peculiar spots, which can be funny given their size. Such a lovable personality in a huge package made it easy for this breed to capture people’s hearts.
Exuding an air of nobility and beauty, Persian cats are among the prized and most popular cat breeds in the USA for many years. They have roundish heads, plump cheeks, short snouts, resulting in a flat yet gorgeous face.
These cats are incredibly sweet and docile, happy to sit on your lap but will also be content just watching things from afar. They love attention, but won’t be naggy when left alone for long hours.
What requires much more care though is their long, flowing fur, which needs to be brushed at least once a day to prevent uncomfortable matting and knots. All efforts are worth it, as these beautiful creatures will certainly delight any home as they do in many UK households today.
Ragdolls’ name was derived from their tendency to relax and go limp when held. They are among the biggest cat breeds, yet these cats also possess one of the most lovable temperaments. Ragdolls are calm, friendly, highly affectionate, and family orientated. They’ll be happy to sit or snooze on any lap or follow their owners around the house, seemingly like a curious puppy.
Though they may resemble Siamese cats, ragdolls have a longer, fluffier coat. Add their dazzling blue eyes, round, and tufted paws, it’s hard not to give them some cuddles. They are intelligent and go along well with children, making them ideal, loving family pets.
7. Russian Blue
Aptly named for their place of origin and their elegant coat, Russian Blues are an elegant-looking breed, with dense, velvety blue fur, slender body, and striking green eyes. They’re sweet-tempered, quiet, loyal, and affectionate, though relatively shy and reserved with strangers and may hide themselves during large gatherings.
With their beloved owners, expect Russian Blues to be friendly and playful. Yet, they also have an independent streak, which means they can go through a day without a companion as they’ll be equally content amusing themselves.
8. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds are quickly recognizable with their cute folded ears, which may have a single fold, double fold, or even a triple fold! Yet, it’s not only their defining characteristic. These cars are also known to be in hilarious situations, sometimes adopting a meerkat pose, which makes their owners burst into laughter.
What’s great is that this affectionate breed is relatively easy to live with and care for. They boast a perfect balance of energy, playfulness, and demand for attention. She is comfortable with any member of the family, never really minding if that human is young or old, big or small – they just love being with their people.
9. Savannah Cat
Like the Bengal, the Savannah cat is a hybrid feline, produced by breeding the domestic cat with the African Serval. Resembling their ancestor, this breed is elegant, tall, and lean, with long necks, long legs, big ears, and beautiful spotted golden or tawny coats.
Savannah cats are highly active and extremely playful. Plus, they’re also intelligent and inquisitive, always looking for something to do and explore. Moreover, they are exceedingly loyal and will love to follow their owners around. The catch is that anyone who owns must always keep his or her guard up. These cats have a good sense of humor and are renowned for playing pranks or jokes, even at their guardian’s expense.
At number 10 is the Sphynx, perhaps the most recognizable breed due to their lack of fur, which is replaced by suede-like down that’s warm, soft, and velvety to touch. While others fear them for their looks, those who own them know that this breed is one of the most affectionate, sociable, and sweet-natured felines in the world.
Sphynxes are also energetic, acrobatic, playful, and goofy, often doing silly things to be the center of attention. For their safety, this breed should remain as an indoor cat. As their skin is exposed, they’re pretty vulnerable to harsh, outside elements. No regrets, as inside homes, they’ll surely be bound to bring sheer delight and provide lots of affection to their respective owners.
Indeed, cats are among the most popular pets in the UK and these breeds are the ones that top the list. Yet, there are many more breeds to discover, with each having its own characteristic but all capable of devoting the same pure love, companionship, and fun to their human families and homes.