Thursday, November 17, 2011

Most Popular Cat Breeds

Don't assess the most popular cat breeds by the number of registered cats at cat associations. This is how some websites do it. All you are doing is counting the number of purebred cats at a certain cat association in the USA. The CFA says that the Persian is the most registered cat and therefore the most popular. This would be the flat-faced Persian. This is the modern unhealthy Persian (sorry about that). Counting registrations under those circumstances does not necessarily translate to popularity.

Does that mean that the Persian is more popular than the Maine Coon or Siamese? No it does not. I don't think it is possible to say that. The Maine Coon is a much better purebred cat than the contemporary Persian. The contemporary Persian was the most popular cat breed say 10-15 years ago but things have changed.

This is because people are concerned with a cat's health partly because it costs more to look after a cat that is prone to illness and the Persian is more prone to illness than the Maine Coon.

Another factor which is ignored is that the Persian comes in two varieties: the modern flat-faced and the traditional. I would argue that on a world wide basis the traditional Persian is more popular than the modern Persian (75% prefer the traditional). And you have to factor this in if you are answering the question, "what are the most popular cat breeds?" You have to think worldwide, not just America. It seems that websites answer the question on what is the most popular cat breed with the American people. Wrong. Remember the CFA is an exclusively USA cat association. It cannot measure cat breed popularity world wide. And there are lots of purebred cats in place other than the almighty USA.

So, people like Jennifer Copley of suite101 get it wrong. They provide the simplistic answer based on CFA registrations and people think it is correct.

The only way you can find out what is the most popular cat breed is by asking people in a large survey. And I have done that. The result is as set out below:
Most popular cat breeds

Even my survey is not necessarily going to be perfect because about 38% of visitorswho have voted are Americans. Although my site has a a true world audience.

The modern cat caretaker (2011) will find these cats in the top 6 of all cat breeds:
  1. Maine Coon
  2. Siamese
  3. Persian
  4. Bengal
  5. Ragdoll
  6. Abyssinian
They are not necessarily in that order.

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