A study by pet food company IAMS UK[i] found that the most popular choice of cat is the plain old moggy – a cat that doesn’t have a pedigree. In fact 55% of owners say they have this type of cat.
Unlike dogs, many people are happy to just have a cat and are not bothered about having a particular pedigree. It’s probably why cat breeds aren’t as recognisable as dog breeds. However there are many different breeds of cat all with differing characteristics and traits, which suit all different types of people and households.
IAMS UK highlighted 10 of the most popular pedigree cats breeds in the UK, with the British Shorthair and Bengal being the top two choices. Here is a list of the top ten and some of their key traits[ii]:
This is a sturdy and muscular cat that is known for his aloofness. He is intelligent and dignified, but is not generally keen on being a lap cat. Once he gets to know you though he is an affectionate companion, who is laid back and will get on well with dogs and children. Interestingly, with this breed the females can be more serious, whereas the males are a bit more happy-go-lucky[iii].
These are exotic looking cats that are also a little bit wild. They were created by crossing a small Asian Leopard Cat with a domestic cat. They are known for being affectionate, attention-seeking cats who love their owners. The Bengal is smart, curious and active. He loves walking on the lead and needs an owner willing to spend a lot of time interacting with him[iv].
The Siamese is one of the most recognisable breeds and is known for being curious, intelligent, vocal and demanding. He is one of the oldest breeds and was first introduced in the west during the Victorian era. A beautiful and playful breed; they are one of the most vocal cats who will ‘talk’ to their owners all day and night. This is another breed that may be willing to walk on a lead and could also be tempted to have a game of fetch[v].
This cat is the official state cat of Maine in the USA and is a large cat that weighs between 9 and 18 pounds. They are known for having a sweet and friendly nature, and showing an interest in people and their surroundings. They are happy to play and walk on the lead, but also enjoy curling up on their owners lap[vi].
This cat is known for his good looks and being quite high maintenance. They make a great lap cat and enjoy cuddles. They are also more serene and calm than some of the breeds above and will spend time chilling out and looking beautiful on the sofa. They are playful and curious too and most communicate with a soft, melodious sound[vii].
This cat got its name because he is a floppy cat that goes limp with enjoyment when picked up and cuddled. He is a relaxed and good natured cat that tends to get on with everyone he meets and also dogs. He is also quite a large cat who has baby blue eyes and enjoys being a constant companion. Unusually for cats he is a good choice for people that want to travel with their cat[viii].
This breed is often quite aloof and reserved, but will be affectionate when he wants to be. He is an intelligent cat who doesn’t crave constant attention, so suits a home where people are at work during the day. He loves to climb and jump and can often be found enjoying a rest on a window sill in the sun[ix].
This cat is known for his ears that fold forward and all of today’s Folds came from a Scottish fold-eared cat found by a shepherd n 1961. This cat has a friendly and calm nature and loves being around people, as well as other cats and dogs. Folds are unusual in that they often stand on their hind legs or arrange themselves in funny positions[x].
This is an active, intelligent, curious and confident cat that is a relatively new breed. It is considered quite a wild cat but gets on well with people, children, other cats and dogs if raised with them. It was created by crossing African Servals with domestic cats and then breeding the offspring to cats such as Egyptian Maus and Oriental Shorthairs[xi].
This cat is distinctive because it is appears hairless, although it is in fact covered with soft-down. It was the product of a spontaneous natural mutation and first appeared in the 1970s. This odd looking cat is curious, intelligent and funny and loves playing the crowd for attention. He loves being close to people too and is often found sleeping under the duvet[xii].
Whatever type of cat you have leaving them when you go away can be difficult. Most cats are creatures of habit and want to stay in their home environment. Some cat breeds are more outgoing than others and may be happy in a cattery, most however prefer the companionship of a homesitter when their owners go on holiday.
Not only will they get one on one attention in their own home but they can sleep in their favourite spot, get fed in their usual place at their usual time and probably not really even notice you are gone, after a day or so. To find out more about employing a homesitter visit www.homesitters.co.uk